You might want to watch this before you do anything else.

Just for kids

JUST FOR KIDS

EVERY ACTION COUNTS

You can make a difference – every single day! 

We’ve got tons of ideas and tips to help you take action to protect the planet listed below. You’ll also find organizationsbooksmovies, and activities. Get inspired by young heroes like yourself, who are already making a big impact in the climate fight.   

For more ideas of ways you can help protect the environment and fight climate change, NASA’s Climate Kids and National Geographic Kids are great places to start. Nat Geo has a particularly good page on recycling.

THINGS KIDS CAN DO TODAY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Illustrations by Kathleen Founds

WANT TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP?

Get involved with an ORGANIZATION

Find an organization that brings together kids and families that care about our planet as much as you do. There is power in numbers!

Climate Action Families

Plant-For-The-Planet is an international youth-led organization that focuses on planting trees to combat climate change.

NASA’s Climate Kids

NASA’s Climate Kids website brings climate science to life with fun games, interactive features and exciting articles.

Roots & Shoots

Roots & Shoots is a global movement of youth leading change in their communities. Want to make a positive impact? Join Roots & Shoots to address problems that matter to you – from your neighborhood to our shared planet.

READ A BOOK OR WATCH A MOVIE

Great storytelling, whether on the page or the screen, has an extraordinary power to educate, inspire and motivate.

Recently we heard about a teenager, Dylan D’Agate who, at the age of 16, decided to write a book about the dangers of algae blooms (sometimes known as the “red tide”). Monster in the Water  both teaches kids about the dangers of pesticides and pollutants and encourages them to take action. He became an “earth blogger” for the Sierra Club (one of many young environmentalists advocating for the planet).

Here is a list of a few of our other favorites for kids. For a more in-depth list, check out  Common Sense Media (movies) and The Huffington Post  (books).

BOOKS

Coco’s Fire: Changing Climate Anxiety into Climate Action Paperback

By Jeremy D. Wortzel & Lena K. Champlin
Climate Change can be scary, so talking to children about this topic in a way that is both honest and empowering is important. Join Coco the squirrel and her dad on their quest to stop…

Monster in the Water: Fighting Back Against Harmful Algal Blooms (2021)

Dylan DAgate and illustrated by Maria DeCerce
The children of Seaville get a nasty surprise when they go to the beach and find it closed. Is there a monster lurking in the water? The kids enlist the help of environmental scientist Professor…

The Parents’ Guide to Climate Revolution (2018)

By Mary Democker
“Relax,” writes author Mary DeMocker, “this isn’t another light bulb list. It’s not another overwhelming pile of parental ‘to dos’ designed to shrink your family’s carbon footprint through eco-superheroism.” Instead, DeMocker lays out a lively,…

Don’t Let Them Disappear (2019)

By Chelsea Clinton
From The Author Of The #1 New York Times Bestseller She Persisted Comes A Beautiful Book About The Animals Who Share Our Planet–And What We Can Do To Help Them Survive.

The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge (2010)

Joanna Cole and illustrated by Bruce Degen
Like it or not, global warming is a hot topic, and it will affect the younger generation the most. So why not turn to the teacher kids like the most, Ms. Frizzle! Only the Friz…

The Lonely Polar Bear (2018)

Khoa Le
This sweet children's picture book presents a moving story, set in a fragile Arctic world threatened by global warming. A little polar bear wakes up alone after a furious storm, and finds himself all alone.…

The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World’s Coral Reefs (2018)

Kate Messner and illustrated by Matthew Forsythe
All it takes is one: one coral gamete to start a colony, one person to make a difference, one idea to change the world. The ongoing efforts to save and rebuild the world's coral reefs—with…

Not for me, please!: I choose to act green (2018)

Maria Godsey and illustrated by Christoph J Kellner
Join Luke on his journey to protect what he loves with this engaging children's picture book about sustainability and acting green.  After noticing the damage caused to the environment and animals due to trash and waste,…

Green City: How One Community Survived a Tornado and Rebuilt for a Sustainable Future (2016)

Allan Drummond
In 2007, a tornado destroyed Greensburg, Kansas, and the residents were at a loss as to what to do next--they didn't want to rebuild if their small town would just be destroyed in another storm.…

Energy Island: How One Community Harnessed the Wind and Changed their World (2015)

Allan Drummond
Hold onto your hats! It's windy on the Danish island of Samsø. Meet the environmentally friendly people who now proudly call their home Energy Island. At a time when most countries are producing ever-increasing amounts…

Climate Change: Discover How It Impacts Spaceship Earth With 25 Projects (2015)

Joshua Sneideman, Erin Twamley and illustrated by Mike Crosier
For more than 200 years, scientists have been observing, measuring, and analyzing information about our planet’s climate. Studies show that the earth is in constant transition and humans have an effect on what happens. In Climate…

Catch the Wind, Harness the Sun: 22 Super-Charged Projects for Kids (2011)

Michael J. Caduto
Get charged up about energy! With more than 20 fun activities and experiments that will have children ages 8 to 12 enthusiastically engaged with making and using renewable energy, Michael J. Caduto takes a hands-on…

What Is Climate Change? (2018)

Gail Herman and illustrated by John Hinderlighter
The earth is definitely getting warmer. There's no argument about that, but who or what is the cause? And why has climate change become a political issue? Are humans at fault? Is this just a…

This is My Planet: The Kids’ Guide To Global Warming (2007)

Jan Thornhill
In This Is My Planet, Jan Thornhill gives young readers the tools they need to live their own lives more ecologically — and ultimately, to improve the life of the planet. The book takes a…

The Problem of the Hot World (2015)

Pan Benspar and illustrated by Dick Rink
Five forest friends notice they are in trouble. Their world is too hot. Plants and bees are disappearing and their beautiful trees are dying. Bear, fox, deer, mole, and owl set off on an action-packed…

The Polar Bear’s Home: A Story About Global Warming (2008)

Lara Bergen and illustrated by Vincent Nguyen
Come along on an Arctic adventure with a little girl and her father and learn all about polar bears! This 8 x 8 storybook shows how global warming affects two baby polar bear cubs and…

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: Young Reader’s Edition (2015)

Michael Pollan
“What’s for dinner?” seemed like a simple question—until journalist and supermarket detective Michael Pollan delved behind the scenes. From fast food and big organic to small farms and old-fashioned hunting and gathering, this young readers’…

Love the Earth (2019)

Julian Lennon
Jump aboard the White Feather Flier, a magical plane that can go anywhere on Earth!  The final book in the New York Times bestselling trilogy, following Touch the Earth and Heal the Earth. by Julian…

The Lorax (1971)

Dr. Seuss
Long before “going green” was mainstream, Dr. Seuss’s Lorax spoke for the trees and warned of the dangers of disrespecting the environment. In this cautionary rhyming tale we learn of the Once-ler, who came across…

The EARTH Book (2010)

Todd Parr
With his signature blend of playfulness and sensitiviy, Todd Parr explores the important, timely subject of environmental protection and conservation in this eco-friendly picture book. Featuring a circular die-cut Earth on the cover, and printed…

Global Warming & Climate Change with Theodore (2018)

Ashley and Trent Harding
Global warming can be a difficult concept for children to understand. Theodore helps kids learn about the causes of global warming, climate change, the greenhouse effect and what we can do to help reduce the…

The Fog (2017)

Kyo Maclear and Illustrated by Kenard Pak
Warble is a small yellow warbler who lives on the beautiful island of Icyland, where he pursues his hobby of human watching. But on a warm day, a deep fog rolls in and obscures his…

MOVIES

For KIDS movies, animated treats such as Ice Age: The Meltdown and Happy Feet Two introduce everyone from 5 through middle school to the concept of global warming. 

Wall-E (2008)

What if mankind had to leave Earth and somebody forgot to turn the last robot…

Chasing Coral (2017)

Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. A team of divers,…

Happy Feet Two (2011)

The sequel to the Academy Award®-winning animated smash hit Happy Feet, Happy Feet Tworeturns audiences…

Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006)

As global warming melts their icy environments, Sid the sloth, Diego the saber tooth tiger,…

Frozen Planet (2011)

This landmark high-definition series brings to the screen the frozen wildernesses of the polar region…

Dr. Seuss’ Lorax (2012)

The imaginative world of Dr. Seuss comes to life like never before in this visually…

March of the Penguins (2005)

In the Antarctic, every March since the beginning of time, the quest begins for penguins…

Bears (2014)

From Disneynature, the studio that brought you Earth and Chimpanzee, comes Bears — an epic…

Oceans (2010)

Journey in to the depths of a wonderland filled with mystery, beauty and power. Oceans…

Earth (2009)

An epic story of adventure, starring some of the most magnificent and courageous creatures alive,…

To The Arctic (2012)

An extraordinary journey to the top of the world, the documentary adventure To the Arctic…

A Beautiful Planet (2016)

A Beautiful Planet is a breathtaking portrait of Earth from space, providing a unique perspective…

LEARN ABOUT CLIMATE THROUGH FUN ACTIVITIES

Learn about the climate, sustainability, and the environment through fun ACTIVITIES like those featured here. There are any number of organizations and sites that have great information, games, activities and videos for kids, for example NASA’s Climate Kids and Ology, the American Museum of Natural History‘s science website for kids.

50 creative weather activities

Here’s a fantastic list of inexpensive, hands-on weather activities.

Compost Cups

See decomposition in action with this easy science project.

Composting worm tower

Start a small scale worm farm, and see the food cycle in action!

Earth toast

Learn about global warming while making a piece of earth toast.

Make a Weather Station

Build the equipment to put together your own weather station, and  track the weather like a meteorologist

DIY solar oven

Solar ovens slow-cook food on a low heat. Try making rainbow crayons to see how it works!

Rain clouds in a bottle

You’re mimicking the part of Earth’s water cycle in which evaporated water (water vapor) cools and condenses, forming clouds as they connect with dust.

Make it Rain

This simple science experiment teaches children about clouds and rain. It’s fun and only uses commonly found ingredients.

Reusable lunch bag

Did you know that the average kid ages 8 to 12 throws away about 67 pounds of lunch waste each year? That’s about the same weight as an average eight-year-old boy! So before you chow down, make sure your lunch is garbage-free. By packing only what you can eat, reuse, or recycle, you will reduce the amount of waste you contribute to landfills. Start creating a waste-free lunch by ditching the brown paper bag and making your own reusable lunch bag.

Science fair projects

Get going on your next science fair project, or do one for fun!  Measure raindrops, test the ozone, make a wind gauge.

Scope out underwater

Investigate what’s going on underwater with this scope.

Seed balls, rainsticks, sun s’mores and more!

Check out NASA’s Climate Kids for a great list of list of fun projects.

Share a great story, poem or photo with the Junior Reporters’ Club

Submit your report below with your messages, photos and pictures. You might make it into the Junior Reporters’ Club pages in National Geographic Kids magazine.

YOU'RE NEVER TOO YOUNG TO BE A CLIMATE HERO

You’re never too young to be a climate HERO. Just look at what kids like you are already doing all over the world. Need even more inspiration? Discover dozens of young eco-heroes fighting to make the earth a healthier, safer place at CNNAction for NatureYour Story, and The Guardian.

Alec Loorz

Climate Change Activist
Founded Kids vs. Global Warming and iMatter
Alec Loorz was 12 when he put up his SLAP (Sea Level Awareness Posts) on a Ventura, California beach. At 15, he presented a Declaration of Independence from Fossil Fuels to senator Barbara Boxer on Capitol Hill. He believes his generation is poised to inherit a world where mass production, environmental degradation and the burning of fossil fuels has put the future of human society at risk. He is one of seven youth plaintiffs who sued the federal government on behalf of youth everywhere in an attempt to take Washington to task on climate change (they lost). He is a youth leader with the Alliance for Climate Education.

Alexandria Villaseñor

Climate Change Activist
Co-founder and co-director for the Youth for Climate Strike
13-year-old Alexandria Villasenor has, every week since December 2018, made a pilgrimage to the United Nations’ headquarters demanding action on climate change. She is one of a cadre of young, fierce and mostly female activists behind the School Strike 4 Climate movement. On March 15, 2019, with the support of some of the world’s biggest environmental groups, tens of thousands of kids in at least two dozen countries and nearly 30 U.S. states plan to skip school to protest.

Boyan Slat

Oceans
Boyan Slat founded The Ocean Cleanup when he was only 16. Using technology patented by Slat himself, this organization uses the oceans natural currents to congregate plastic into one area, making it easier to extract and recycle.

Dylan D’Agate

Algae Blooms
Dylan D’Agate, a sixteen year old from Long Island, wrote a book, Monster in the Water , about the dangers of algae blooms (sometimes known as the “red tide”), which both teaches kids about the dangers of pesticides and pollutants and encourages them to take action. He became an “earth blogger” for the Sierra Club (one of many young environmentalists advocating for the planet).

Edgar McGregor

Climate science
High school Climate Science Blogger
Edgar McGregor, a California high school student, spends his after school hours analyzing climate trends and trying to understand his future. He keeps a blog called Where We Stand.
His latest focuses on Climate Change and California.

Felix Finkbeiner

Reforestation
Started planting trees at 9 years old
Founder of the environmental group Plant-for-the-Planet when he was ten, he then partnered with the UN’s Billion Tree campaign and speaking in front of the full assembly when he was 13. This partnership is now responsible for the planting of more than 15 billion trees in more than 130 nations. The group has also pushed the planting goal upward to one trillion trees—150 for every person on the Earth. You can order your own Tree Card from his website.

Fionn Ferreira

Fionn Ferreira developed a project on microplastic extraction from water for the annual Google Science Fair. The project won the grand prize of $50,000 in educational funding at this year’s event.

Greta Thunberg

Politics
Climate change activist

At 15, Greta Thunberg decided to take matters into her own hands: she went on strike and sat on the steps of the parliament building, in Stockholm, every day during school hours for weeks. Her regular actions inspired other kids around the world to start striking for the climate. By 2019, she helped organize the world’s largest climate strike. In over 1000 events worldwide, more than 4 million people showed up around the world. She gave an inspiring talk at a TEDx event and also spoke in Switzerland and Poland.

Haven Coleman

Climate Change Activist
Co-founder and co-director for the Youth for Climate Strike
Haven says, “My parents have always taught me that if there’s a problem, I can fix it. Growing up with parents who supported my ideas I grew up into a lets do it kind of person. I’ve always been vocal about injustices, but climate change has become my focus the past three years. I help groups with furthering their initiatives, by organizing, speaking and showing up. Weekly school strikes though are unlike any other activism I’ve done, connecting me with the world and creating tangible change rapidly. I’m excited to see how this movement connects and engages the youth of America to fight for climate solutions. It’s our future, our lives. Join us!”

Isha Clarke

Student Activist
Isha first made headlines asking California Senator Dianne Feinstein to support a Green New Deal. She has a passion for intersectional activism and feels it is essential to pair environmental activism with environmental justice so we can can create a just and equitable world, while maintaining a livable climate. Read an interview with her at The Guardian.

Isra Hirsi

Climate Change Activist
Co-founder and co-director for the Youth for Climate Strike
Isra, a student at South High School in Minneapolis, is one of thousands of students around the world planning a massive Youth Climate Strike for March 15. With a few weeks to go, there are already strikes planned for 47 countries and almost all 50 states. Isra is one of three organizers who are bringing the movement — inspired by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg’s weekly climate strikes — to the United States.

Jamie Margolin

Community activism
Teenage activist and journalist
Jamie Margolin started This Is Zero Hour at only 16 years old, by organizing her friends in Washington D.C. to start demanding common sense climate laws from their political representatives. She has started a national youth movement demanding the right to a sustainable future.

Jonas Haller

Youth Delegate
Built a website and solved negotiators’ problem
If you want talk, put 195 national negotiators in a room. If you want a website built, ask a youth delegate. As countries fought over whether to have one online registry or two for national carbon-cutting and climate adaptation plans, Jonas Haller went ahead and created a webpage with all the technical features they had asked for and more.

Milo Cress

Anti-waste
9 year old started “Be Straw Free” campaign
Americans use about 500 million straws each day. The number is based on research conducted years ago by an enterprising 9-year-old Vermont boy named Milo Cress. He started “Be Straw Free,” a campaign to persuade restaurants to offer straws optionally rather than automatically. His anti-waste campaign received early coverage from local media in Vermont, but soon the fourth grader’s campaign was featured by outlets across the country, earning wide coverage for his cause — and the startling statistic.

Molly Burhans

In  2016, Molly Burhans, a young cartographer and environmentalist, began documenting the global landholdings of the Catholic Church. In 2019 she won the UN Young Champions of Earth Award . In February, 2021 The New Yorker wrote a spectacular article about the work she is doing to help Pope Francis battle climate change. More here.

Rose Strauss

Environmental Science
Climate change activist
A politician called her “young and naive,” and Rose Strauss is turning this newfound fame into action with Sunrise Movement, an activist group composed of young people concerned about the environment.

Shalvi Shakshi

Politics
CO23 Speaker
Shalvi Shakshi is a 10 year-old Fijian student who urged leaders to act quickly at the COP23 Climate Conference in Bonn. In her speech, she explains the connection between atmospheric carbon dioxide accumulation and sea level rise.

Sophie Dickinson

Protest Artist
Concepted an organized art protest
On May 17, 2018 in Australia, an 11-year-old 6th grader created an idea where 5,000 people gathered together to send the message: “climate change – our future is in your hands.” People formed the sign to highlight their frustration at a lack of action by Federal and State governments to reduce carbon emissions and tackle climate change.

Timoci Naulusala

Politics
COP23 Speaker
Timoci Naulusala, is the incredible year 7 student who detailed the impacts of climate change on his native country Fiji, challenging the leaders of the COP23 Climate Conference in Bonn, Germany to lead more strongly to solve the current environmental crisis.

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