It’s Earth Day, folks! Today we’re highlighting kids around the world who are making a difference for the planet.
Mari Copeny, 13
13-year-old activist, philanthropist, and “future president” Mari Copeny, from Flint, Michigan, is on the front lines helping kids to embrace their power through equal opportunity. When the Flint Water Crisis began in Flint instead of feeling helpless Mari decided to use her voice to help out her community and to fight for the kids in Flint and she has not stopped since. Since then she has expanded her effort to help communities across the nation dealing with toxic water.
What does Mari have to share with other kids who want to get involved? “You’re never too young or too small to change the world!”
Amy & Ella Meek, 13 & 15
Sisters Amy and Ella Meek, from the UK, founded their child-led campaign Kids Against Plastic after learning about the devastating impact plastic pollution has on marine wildlife.
As they learned about plastics they also discovered plastic’s connection to fossil fuel. One UN study found that if the growth of plastic production continues at its current rate, “by 2050 the plastic industry may account for 20% of the world’s total oil consumption.”
As Amy told a UK newspaper, “The wasteful production of single-use plastics is so interconnected with the consumption of fossil fuels and global warming, and learning about these problems really opened our eyes.”
You can learn more about the teen’s work in their Tedx Talk! You can also follow their Instagram @kidsagainstplastic for the latest.
Lesein Mutunkei, 18
Lesein Mutunkei from Nairobi, Kenya uses soccer and social media to raise awareness of deforestation and climate change.
The teen is an avid soccer player and says, “everyone should do their little thing.” In his case, Lesein promised to plant a tree for every goal he scored while playing his favorite game.
He has encouraged his teammates, friends, and other kids in his area to take the #trees4goals pledge and hopes to see the trend spread beyond Kenya.
You can follow Lesein on Instagram at @trees4goals. On his account, the savvy gen-zer promotes the use of reusable materials and advocates for a change in politics to better protect the environment.
Tips For Parents
Like these kids, your child may be concerned about the environment and have questions about climate change. Talking about a complex and pressing issue can feel daunting. Below we’ve collected some great resources on how to talk to kids about climate change.
- NPR has 6 tips for talking to your kids about climate change.
- National Geographic breaks the conversation into three pragmatic pieces.
- Conservation.org recommends spending time outdoors together.
- Young Voices For the Planet has great resources for kids and adults including loads of ways to get involved.