Miranda Frausto has always been compelled to work on climate change and environmental issues.
“People in my generation have never lived in a time when the climate crisis, and other environmental issues, were not urgent and pressing matters,” Frausto said. “I grew up learning about environmental degradation and wanting to make a difference. It wasn’t until high school where I learned how to take my passion beyond my individual choices and demand action. That’s when I started with the Carmel Promise Project, where we worked with Carmel elected officials to pass the Climate Resilience and Recovery Resolution (in 2017).”
That was the state’s first youth-led climate resolution.
The 2017 Carmel High School graduate worked with Carmel Green Initiative President Leslie Webb on the Promise Project, a youth-led organization. Frausto and Webb have been named Hoosier Resilience Heroes by the Environmental Resilience Institute at Indiana University, which described the recognition as being for their work ensuring a safe, healthy environment for their families, their neighbors and future generations.
“It is an incredible honor,” Frausto said. “It means so much to me to be recognized, especially amongst so many amazing leaders in our state. There is so much great work being done in Indiana in all corners and in all sectors, which this award program highlights so well. It has been a great experience and I am so thankful.”
Frausto is being recognized for her climate advocacy, assisting the City of Carmel government in its climate work and food waste reduction and food recovery operations while at IUPUI. She will graduate this month with a degree in sustainable management and policy.
“Through my work at the IUPUI Office of Sustainability, I have been really grateful to have worked on projects that reduced thousands of pounds of waste from going to the landfill,” Frausto said. “Most recently, (I worked) on a food insecurity program through the IUPUI Campus Kitchen, and providing over 300 meal kits to students this semester has been something I’m really proud of.”
Webb, who founded Carmel Green Initiative in 2008, is being recognized for her work on multiple green initiatives in Carmel through the course of 15 years. Her work includes partnering with members of the community to support and promote efforts to reduce energy waste, expand local investment in solar energy and promote recycling and educating others.
Webb has enjoyed working with Frausto, who is a CGI board member. Webb said Frausto’s work on the greenhouse gas inventory for Carmel establishes a foundation for climate solutions.
“Miranda continues to be a strong voice for sustainability today,” Webb said. “We’re passionate about sustainable living because clean air and water, thriving ecosystems and a stable climate boil down to protecting our health, our communities and meeting our moral obligation to protect the quality of life for our kids and grandkids.”
For more on ERI’s 2021 Hoosier Resilience Heroes, visit eri.iu.edu/who-we-work-with/residents/2021-hoosier-resilience-heroes.html.