An international competition is on a mission to find sustainable solutions to our climate crisis.

High school and college students from California to China are taking part in the inaugural Orange County Sustainable Decathlon to innovate the homes of the future. 

What You Need To Know

  • High school and college students are building homes to address the concerns of climate change

  • 14 teams are competing in the decathlon

  • California made a goal to be 100% reliant on renewable energy by 2045

The decathlon kicked off Thursday, Oct 5 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 15.

Fourteen teams are competing in the event to showoff their best sustainable housing solutions to business leaders, government agencies, the public and young people.

Check out the video above to see some homes the students are building.

(Photo by OCSD23)

We spoke to Fred Smoller, a Chapman Univeristy professor and the co-founder of the decathlon about the importance of this event.

“You can’t be want you don’t see. And you can’t do and live a sustainable lifestyle unless you see it,” said Smoller.

(Photo by OCSD23)

People will get an up close look at how the competitors built these homes with climate friendly materials and how they use renewable energy.

Mike Moodian, who is also a co-founder of this decathlon, says they catered this event to young people.

“Nothing animates young people in this country more is the climate crisis. We’re showing the latest and greatest of what these college students to do,” Moodian told me.

I talked to several students who want to be the answer to that solution, including air force veteran and Cal-State Long Beach Student, Jonathan Beltran. 

His team built the Midori home, which draws on inspiration of the Japanese interior design concept of wabi-sabi.

“I wanted to come and make a difference and build beautiful structures for the world to see and enjoy,” said Beltran.

(Photo by OCSD23)

The competition is minting the next generation of sustainable engineers and is showing the world how to tackle the effects of climate change on the economy, environment and society.

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