EVERY ACTION COUNTS
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!
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.
NASA’s Climate Kids website brings climate science to life with fun games, interactive features and exciting articles.
Plant-For-The-Planet is an international youth-led organization that focuses on planting trees to combat climate change.
Michael Gere, writing for his blog, covers video games that raise awareness about critical sustainability issues. In addition, it encourages kids and teens to take part in the collaborative work to save our planet. These are his top ten:
MICHAEL GERE TOP TEN VIDEO GAMES
We wanted to end this list with a positive mark. As the name suggests, it’s time for a new beginning. This graphic-styled novel game lets you travel back through time in a world ravaged by…
A great opportunity for gamers to step into the near future and explore the ocean’s mysteries through the eyes of Mirai, a scientist and a sea adventurer. With their innovative technologies, the scientist along with…
Have you ever been interested in becoming a politician? Have you wondered what you’d do if you become one? What type of legislation/deals you’d set to get elected? These are the questions that raise concerns…
It is an online game where you can build a civilization in a simulated ecosystem. Hence, You can interact with other players and support each other in establishing a green world. A world where everything…
Since a lot of species are going or are already extinct, you’ll be playing the last mother Fox struggling for survival. You’ll see the world through the eyes of this endling, wrecked by mankind weeping…
Our best pick for this list! The sole purpose of this Game is to teach children aged 8 -10 the importance of Sustainable Development Goals in a simple and engaging way. This is designed to…
Developed by the UN to get Gen Z’s attention to the hole in the ozone layer. This immersive animated web series showcases to the younger generations 1985 at the Vienna Convention’s achievements to discuss the…
This 2020 expansion pack offers you the opportunity to experience simulated and sustainable living through the sims. The motto is to reduce, reuse, and recycle. From solar panels to wind turbines and upcycled clothing, and…
This amazing game belongs in this TOP 10 Environmental video Games simply because it’s ahead of its time. Actually, This game emerged as an outcry against pipeline construction on native lands. You’ll be playing as…
Stemming from Professor David Macdonald’s 10-year-old camera trapping study about the leopard habitat, this game gives players a chance to learn about biodiversity. The gameplay is fairly engaging; you are tasked to identify rare breeds…
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).
By Breena Bard
An inspiring and moving graphic novel, Wildfire follows climate change through the eyes of one middle-school girl, who’s eager to turn her anger into action. Julianna loved her life in rural Oregon. She loved taking…
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…
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,…
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.
By Carole Lindstrom and Michaela Goade.
Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth’s water from harm and corruption―a bold and lyrical picture book written by Carole…
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…
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…
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.…
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…
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,…
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.…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
“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’…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
What if mankind had to leave Earth and somebody forgot to turn the last robot…
Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. A team of divers,…
The sequel to the Academy Award®-winning animated smash hit Happy Feet, Happy Feet Tworeturns audiences…
As global warming melts their icy environments, Sid the sloth, Diego the saber tooth tiger,…
This landmark high-definition series brings to the screen the frozen wildernesses of the polar region…
The imaginative world of Dr. Seuss comes to life like never before in this visually…
In the Antarctic, every March since the beginning of time, the quest begins for penguins…
From Disneynature, the studio that brought you Earth and Chimpanzee, comes Bears — an epic…
Journey in to the depths of a wonderland filled with mystery, beauty and power. Oceans…
An epic story of adventure, starring some of the most magnificent and courageous creatures alive,…
An extraordinary journey to the top of the world, the documentary adventure To the Arctic…
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.
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 CNN, Action for Nature, Your Story, and The Guardian.
Sophia Kianni is a 19-year-old climate activist, founder of Climate Cardinals and the youngest member of the United Nations Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change. Kianni is fighting to correct the huge accessibility gap in climate change resources. When the U.N. publishes some of the most up-to-date and promising data on the climate crisis it only does so in six languages.
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).
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 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.
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.
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!”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Bridget Shirvell 09/22/23
Olivia Dreizen Howell wasn’t seeking out a climate lesson when she and her kids, aged 7 and 9, tuned into Molly of Denali, a popular children’s show on PBS. Read more
By Daisy Simmons 09/11/23
Is it an oxymoron to tackle reality by imagining you’re on a quest in a made-up world, along with a cast of fantastical characters? To Lil Milagro Henriquez, the founder of a Northern California youth… Read more
By Lauren Sommer and Malaka Gharib 07/14/23
Whether they're asking about historic flooding or wondering about record-breaking temperatures, it can be hard to know where to start. So we made a guide about how it's changing the planet and how to deal… Read more
By Cara Buckley 06/16/23
Standing at the front of her classroom at Slackwood Elementary School north of Trenton, N.J., one afternoon in June, Michelle Liwacz asked her first graders to consider a problem: Antarctica is getting warmer. What could… Read more
By YCC Team 02/07/23
Students' enthusiasm for energy efficiency can ripple outward, making an impact beyond the classroom. The post How teaching kids energy efficiency in schools can benefit families at home appeared first on Yale Climate Connections. ... Read more
By Lauren Sommer And Malaka Gharib 01/17/23
Are you a kid — or do you know a kid — who is learning about climate change? It can be hard to know where to start. So we made a guide about how it's… Read more
By SueEllen Campbell 11/10/22
If adults find it difficult to talk with each other about climate change, as many of us clearly do, how much harder is it to have good conversations about it with children, especially young ones? Read more
By Coral Davenport 10/04/22
Four-year-old Francis Gaskin, who lives with his family in Houston, has a favorite episode of his favorite new Netflix cartoon: When the Amazon rainforest canopy dries up from too much heat, the manic howler monkeys… Read more
By Kimberly White 09/21/22
Connecticut schools will soon be required to teach students about climate change thanks to a new state law. The new law requires every school district within the state to teach climate change education in line… Read more
By Allyson Shaw 06/06/22
Want to save the Earth and its oceans? Eat ice cream in a cone! Seriously, single-use plastic items like ice cream spoons account for more than 40 percent of plastic waste, and each year about… Read more
By Donna DeForbes 02/24/22
We’ve recycled in my household for years, so it was only natural that my daughter, Sofie, was exposed to the concept early on. With early exposure, recycling becomes as habitual as putting garbage in the… Read more
By Katie Worth 11/17/21
Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns, mainly caused by human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels. Read more
By Katie Worth 11/10/21
Something had been pestering 12-year-old Nakowa, and as he and his friends settled into their seventh-grade science class, he finally said it aloud: “This global warming stuff? My parents said it’s not true.” Read more
By Anne Bensfield and Pamela Rogers 06/23/21
Get educated about environmental racism, the carbon impact of sheltering in place, and more with experts including Bill Gates and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Read more
By Supplied 06/16/21
“Young people are not only victims of climate change, but they are also valuable contributors to climate action. They are agents of change, entrepreneurs and innovators,” says the UN. “Whether through education, science or technology,… Read more
Greenhouse gases are gases in Earth’s atmosphere that trap heat. They let sunlight pass through the atmosphere, but they prevent the heat that the sunlight brings from leaving the atmosphere. The main greenhouse gases are: Read more
Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural, such as through variations in the solar cycle. But since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver… Read more
By Katie Van Syckle 04/20/21
Climate change can be an unsettling subject for anyone, but it can be downright frightening for children. To explain the topic to young people, The New York Times’s Climate desk published a guide, “Bad Future,… Read more
By Katherine Martinko 04/16/21
Children and youth often feel they do not have a voice when it comes to the climate crisis. Too young to vote, their opinions and concerns lack a formal route to reach the ears of… Read more
Take this quiz to find out how green you are. Read more
It's a DIY crafting craze, learn how to make eco-friendly party favors and school gadgets. Read more
By Morgan Smith 03/18/20
Check out some of the virtual tours and animal cams offered for free by these U.S. zoos and aquariums: Read more
By Victoria Rodriguez 04/17/19
Young people have a lot more life to live, but if we don’t address climate change, the planet they live on will look nothing like it does today. The good news is, a number of… Read more
By David J. Craig 12/17/18
Deep-sea sediment provides a trove of information about our planet’s past and future. Read more