Image by Rob n Amy C
One of the greatest things about kids is they aren’t loaded down with reasons why things can’t be done. They have positive attitudes and are interested in making the world more eco-friendly just because it makes sense to do so. They won’t take no for an answer and tend to have a very positive outlook on life. There’s a lot we can learn by taking a kid’s point of view.
And of course since we are currently in the International Year of Youth, I figured it would be good to take a look at a few incredible kids who are setting their sights on an eco-friendly future:
1) Sarah Connor, from New York, started a lemonade stand when she was 5 years old. She would donate all the proceeds from her sales to various non-profit organizations, groups dealing with disaster relief, etc. She felt that by doing so it was her way of “saving the earth one cup at a time”.
After reading “An Inconvenient Truth” at the age of 7, she encouraged her family to become more eco-friendly. At the age of 9, she started her own non-profit called Project LemonAid. Now, she has her own website at projectlemonaid.org where she has information about the environment, recipes, tips, a place where kids can send letters to world leaders, etc.
Now 10 years old, she recently placed 2nd in the 9-13 age group for the 2010 Eco-Hero Awards from Action for Nature. Additionally, she was the first kid to receive the Environmental Quality Award from the US EPA!
Learn more about Sarah, Action for Nature and all their 2010 Eco-Hero Award winners here.
2) Marcus Grignon, 2010 Brower Youth Award Winner. At the age of 19, Marcus decided to start his own non-profit organization and a program called “Greening the Schools: Honoring Our Traditions“. He got the idea for his program after Exxon apparently tried to start a mining project near the reservation he lived on. The tribes came together, along with others, and succeeded in preventing the mining.
He hopes through his efforts to encourage and educate other youth activists to help make a difference. He is currently working on getting the tribal buses and vans converted to fuel cell power. He is also teaching students about the value of renewable energy. Read more about Marcus and why he was a 2010 Brower Youth Award winner.
3) Eco Hero Kids is a group of kids who were brought together in order to help “To empower, encourage and educate kids and their families worldwide, through music and theater, to become actively involved in protecting our global environment.”
The kids wanted to do something about the condition of the environment around them. They didn’t want to simply sit by and do nothing. So, with help from singer/songwriter Julia Holland, they now spread their eco-friendly messages in a very creative way to get other kids interested and involved.
Here are the Eco Hero Kids performing at WorldFest 2010 in Los Angeles:
4) Green Brigade is a non-profit run by youth volunteers who asked the questions: “If not NOW, then when? If not YOU then who?” Originally started as a simple school organization working to help the environment, the Green Brigade now has youth volunteers in over a dozen countries and they have helped thousands of people around the world. Check out their mission, it’s pretty impressive.
As a result of their efforts to educate and involve the world’s youth in making a positive change in the environment, they were recognized by the UN as one of the runners up for the UN’s 2010 World Summit Youth Award (Go green category).
And last, but definitely not least:
5) Jonathan Lee, the Youth Ambassador for I.C.E.Y., is a 13-year old who has not only set his sights on an eco-friendly future, he is actively taking big, broad steps to achieve it. He believes the key to the future is through educating other eco-youth.
If you aren’t familiar with it, I.C.E.Y. stands for International Cooperation of Environmental Youth and their slogan is H.O.P.E., Helping Our Polluted Earth. When you sound it out together it sounds like “I see hope” (ICEY HOPE).
Jonathan is a truly inspirational individual who at a young age has taken many efforts to bring about change in the world. Take a look at this video and you’ll see what I mean:
Those are just a few of the incredible things kids can do. There are kids from all walks of life doing things, small and large, to make a difference. They intend to change the world and improve the environment we live in. These are kids who are not only interested in having an eco-friendly future for all, but they can inspire the rest of us to do something too. Tell us about kids you know who are making an eco-difference.