Our Story

It began as an idea.

Ignition Green was launched in May 2017 by a group of high school students with a love for our Earth and a dream of a sustainable future.

It's become a reality.

Since then, we've spread our passion and our message to students, cities, and schools across the nation.

Learn more about what we've been up to lately!


And counting!

A letter from the beginning:

Hi! My name is Matthew, and I'm the founder and executive director of Ignition Green.

Dear bright and powerful teen,

Thank you for taking the time to check us out! This is my personal note to you. I’ve put my heart and soul into Ignition Green, and here’s why.

Growing up in suburban San Antonio, Texas and visiting foggy, humid, and polluted Beijing, whose citizens count themselves lucky to see a blue sky, has shown me how important it is to protect our environment—because ultimately, when we save the environment, we’re saving ourselves.

Yet, the whole world, not just Beijing, is in a time of crisis. Global warming, climate change, whatever you want to call it—our environment, and our existence, face a challenge the likes of which has never existed before. Earth’s temperature is rising at an increasingly rapid rate (1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880, with the most growth in recent decades, according to NASA) and although this doesn’t seem like much, it threatens to destroy ecosystems worldwide, cause rising sea levels, significantly change weather patterns, and ultimately devastate the Earth as we know it.

And as humans, we directly contribute to this through pollution, greenhouse gas emission, and deforestation, which all trap greenhouse gases in our atmosphere and cause a rise in temperature.

However, we can still prevent this! By being waste-conscious, switching to cleaner energy, and being actively engaged in climate change prevention projects, we can cut our carbon emissions and set ourselves on a brighter path. However, it will take a collective, concerted effort from all of us to stop climate change.

Most teens these days don’t believe they have the power to make such a change. They think, “That’s a job for the adults. What good can one person possibly do?” Yet, in the words of Robert Swan, an environmental leader and public speaker, “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” And more importantly, the adults of today won’t be the ones living in the world of the future. It’ll be today’s teen generation. It’ll be us. That makes it all the more important for us to work, to reach out, to strive towards a better tomorrow for ourselves and our posterity. The most important challenge in today’s climate change problem is not in finding ways to stop it—we have plenty of ways to do that already—but to inspire people to stand up for the environment, to show that they have the power to make a difference.

That’s what Ignition Green is here for. I conceived the idea for Ignition Green in May of 2016, and after a year of research, planning, and development, I launched the nonprofit with my schoolmates. I hope to pass on the same passion I have for the environment to teens nationwide. We’re a team of daring, creative, and passionate students across America who believe that anyone, big or small, can make a difference. And we believe that the seemingly “small” efforts of millions can add up to tremendous changes. So that’s why we’re here—to “ignite” a movement and mobilize a generation for a better world.

I believe that Ignition Green should be a community: A place where environmentally-concerned students can meet, connect, and collaborate to work towards a sustainable future. So come and join the family! Use your time at Ignition Green to find your passion for the environment, to meet others across America who feel the same way as you, and to make friends you’d never thought you’d make. You can contact us and join up with us in our Slack group or attend one of our many yearly events. With your help, we can truly make the world a better place. And when it comes to saving our planet, we’re all in this together.

Welcome to the family.

Best wishes,

Matthew Su
Executive Director, Ignition Green