HEROES

HEROES

HEROES

You don’t have to wear a superhero suit to be a hero. You don’t need a force field, or an infinity stone. You don’t even need to be able to vote!

Inspired by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg (who’s been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for the second consecutive year) young people are now charging ahead in the climate change fight.

Kids are founding their own companiessearching to solve the removal of plastics from the oceans, planting millions of trees in partnership with the United Nationslitigating for the right to a world unplagued by global warming, and making massive change in their communities.

In October 2021, Earth911 recognized young environmentalists with annual its eco-hero awards.

Have climate heroes to share? Have you taken action to address the climate crisis? We’d love to hear about what you’re doing and who is inspiring you!

Here’s some of the kids who inspire us.

A Swedish Teenager's Compelling Plea on Climate

CURRENT NEWS

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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