Shreya Ramachandran, a 14-year-old Indian American form California, has won the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes for her nonprofit The Grey Water Project.
Ramachandran founded The Grey Water Project, which promotes the safe reuse of grey water and water conservation by educating others how to gently reuse the unclean and unusable water from household sinks, showers, and laundry, according to Barron Prize’s website.
Ramachandran has learned the California Plumbing Code and conducts seminars to show others how easy it is to build “laundry to lawn” grey water systems using organic detergents such as soap nuts, which are a natural berry shell that release soap when placed in water.
It took her three years to conduct research on these soap nuts and finally conclude that it doesn’t harm soil, plants or aquatic life.
She is now working with several California water agencies to promote grey water reuse.
Ramachandran has earned numerous awards for her work such as the President’s Environmental Youth Award, and she was even invited to partner with the United Nations’ Global Wastewater Initiative, the Barron Prize website says.
She is currently developing a grey water curriculum for elementary students to teach water conservation and show how small actions can make a huge difference.
According to their website, the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes was established in 2001, to celebrate inspiring, public-spirited young people from diverse backgrounds all across North America.
Each year, the Barron Prize honors 25 young leaders, ages 8 to 18, who have made a significant positive difference to people and the environment; the top 15 winners receive $10,000 each.