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Formation 2008
Type NGO
Headquarters Orlando, Florida, USA
Henry Harding and Chris Castro

IDEASForUs is an environmental organization of emerging professionals advancing sustainability throughout universities, colleges and K-12 schools.

The non-governmental organization guides IDEAS (Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions) chapters and affiliate partners, and build on the ‘passion for change’ by providing them with consulting services, professional training programs, capacity building, leadership development, youth empowerment, peer-to-peer mentorship and incubation. IDEAS For Us serves as an inter-generational platform for global partnerships that organizes a critical mass of educated youth to engage one another on real-world issues.[1] [2]

Though IDEASforUs is an environmental organization, it is independent of any government, political ideology, or religious creed. The Board of Directors derives its authority from the IDEAS grassroots movement of which it oversees. This grassroots movement includes chapters and affiliate chapters, both in the United States and abroad, professionals, youth leaders, non-profit partners and affiliate companies.[3]



Since their inception, IDEASforUs has evolved into an international network of thousands of individuals who work together to identify, share, develop and initiate these solutions to the integrated environment and sustainability challenges with a focus on the 5 Pillars of Sustainability: Energy, Water, Food, Waste and Ecology. The movement uses an all inclusive approach to directly involve students in multiple disciplines to organize community actions, share resources and best practices, develop innovations, and invent the solutions they need through cooperation. [4]


IDEASforUs seeks to "Educate, Engage, and Empower" youth and all ages on environmental issues. The organization seeks to provide means for groups of individuals to make a positive change in their environmental community. IDEAS chapters are encouraged "not to dilute, but to add value" to the existing environmental community. [5]

IDEAS Movement[edit]


Penn State University Chapter during the Green Your Game recycling initiative

The first chapter of IDEAS (Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions) was created at the University of Central Florida in August 2008 by Chris Castro and Henry Harding, both UCF students at the time. Shortly after, a second chapter was created at the University of Miami. Chapters at both schools worked together to participate in the Kill-a-Watt challenge, proving to be the first project which gained acclaim in school newspapers for the movement.[6] From there, the UCF chapter created the "T-tote" campaign, which involved upcycling worn out donated t-shirts into carrying bags. This campaign moved IDEAS on the national level for winning the "Best Campaign of the Year" award at the 2010 Campus Progress National Conference.[7] The movement gained further attention when a video with Chris Castro, founder to the movement, appeared on the front page of the United States Department of Energy's website in 2010.[8]


On October 31, 2011, a house which functions completely off-the-grid was established by IDEAS members in downtown Orlando, Florida. This house has no basic utilities, such as municipal water or electric. Instead the house is completely powered by solar panels and wind turbines. Water is provided by runoff barrels. The house was designed and implemented entilerly by a team of IDEAS eco engineers. [9]

DJ Chill Will, a Floridian IDEAS member, is a DJ who runs all of his equipment on solar power.[10]

As of Fall 2012, IDEAS for Binghamton and IDEAS Office of the Northern Region are collaborating on a project which will bring a semi-closed loop food system to the Binghamton University campus, by creating an on-campus farm as well as an on-campus compost system. [11]

Through Clean Edison, IDEASforUs offers courses in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), BPI (Building Performance Institute) Certification, Energy Auditing, Solar Installation, Wind Engineer and Renewable Energy Technician.[12]


IDEASforUs accepts the Best Campaign of the Year Award from Campus Progress

- University of Central Florida - University of Florida - Florida International University - University of Miami - Miami-Dade College - Seminole State College - Penn State University - Florida State University - Florida A&M University - Full Sail University - Coral Reef High School - Binghamton University - Rollins College - Eau Gallie High School - Chapel Hill High School - University of Michigan - Howard University


Best Campaign of the Year 2009-2010 Campus Progress

2011 Conservation Organization of the Year (2011) Florida Wildlife Federation

Champions of Change (2011) The White House, Office of Public Engagement


  1. ^ "IDEAS (Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions)". TckTckTck. Retrieved 20 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "Student Groups". Florida International University. Retrieved 20 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "What is IDEAS?". IDEAS for Us. Retrieved 20 August 2012. 
  4. ^ "5 Pillars of Sustainability". IDEASforUs. Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "What is IDEAS?". IDEASforUs. 
  6. ^ Smith, Jhanile. "Kill-A-Watt Program Promotes Effeciency". The Miami Hurricane. Retrieved 20 August 2012. 
  7. ^ Renzulli, Kerri Anne. "Recycled tote idea brings group award from national conference". Central Florida Future. Retrieved 20 August 2012. 
  8. ^ Gilmartin, Courtney. "Bright I.D.E.A.S. shine on U.S. Dept of Energy home page". Central Florida Future. 
  9. ^ "About". Off The Grid. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  10. ^ Lindner, Meg. "Solar powered DJ performs at Technology Commons grand opening". Central Florida Future. Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  11. ^ Kravat, Katie. "CIW Dining hall now selling local bananas?". Pipe Dream. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  12. ^ "Clean Edison". IDEASforUs. Retrieved 17 October 2012.