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What is Earth Day for Kids?

Updated on October 10, 2014
ecogranny profile image

An environmental enthusiast and activist her entire adult life, Kathryn shares her secrets to reducing waste and living greener.

Planet Earth: Home sweet home
Planet Earth: Home sweet home | Source

For our children, every day is Earth Day

For our kids, every day is Earth Day. They know what lies ahead. They're not just worried. They know what is at stake, and they're scared--scared enough to grow up instantly and do what many of us are not doing: Take action now to slow global warming and protect their future.

They're not waiting for their parents to get involved. They're taking matters into their own hands--planting millions of trees, forming coalitions, working to protect our air and water, asking their governments to think big, and asking us to listen to them and to act with them, in big and little ways, before it's too late.

On this page, you will have an opportunity to hear four of them, in their own voices, telling what they're doing and why. Listen to them. Learn what they're doing to save us all--and how you can help.

14-year-old Alec Loorz has a dream too - What he wants from us

Alec was 14 when this was filmed in 2009. He had already spent two years teaching other students about global warming and urging adults to give young people--the people who will inherit global warming from us--a seat at the climate discussion table. He starts out impassioned enough, but the end just may send chills down your spine. It does mine.

Now hear Felix Finkbeiner address the United Nations with his friends

At the age of nine, Felix Finkbeiner, inspired by the work of Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, the woman who fought deforestation in India with her grassroots tree-planting program, suggested to his German schoolmates that they plant one million trees.

It took them three years. By then he had founded an organization, Plant for the Planet, and was working to plant trees in 70 countries.

Is he strident in this speech? Yes. Do you think he has a right to be? Take a look.

How can we help these kids?

If the children are worried about the future, what can you and i do to help them prepare for the world to come? One thing we can do is take steps in our personal lives to live more gently, or greener, on the planet.

Whether you're just thinking about dipping your toe into the green stream or have been gradually changing your lifestyle for years, you will find plenty of tips for taking the next step in each of these books. My current fave? Green Made Easy by Chris Prelitz.

Prelitz's busts ten green myths we've all heard dozens of times, but it's the practical money-saving, time-saving green tips he shares, based on twenty years of life with kids, pets and a busy schedule that make this a handy, dandy guide for the budding greenie. No one could call me a green newbie, but I found plenty of new tips and info. Good choice!

Going green is easier than you think

"Being green is not black and white," says author and television host Renee Loux. In Easy Green Living, she helps all of us, from beginner to ardent environmentalist, make better green choices the easy way.

Her focus is on beauty, personal care and home care, and she lays it all out for us in 5-step lists we can easily manage, one at a time, as we're ready for them.

In these uber busy times, an author who makes the nitty gritty easy to get to is worth, well, definitely worth the price of the book, wouldn't you say?

Severn Suzuki was 12 years old when she made this speech in 1992

Severn hasn't given up. Her message today is as powerful as it was in 1992. (Read the full text of her speech on Think Global Green.) Listen to what she had to say then. Perhaps you will wonder, as I do, that 12, 13, and fifteen year olds today are still asking for the same things: A halt to global warming and ever-increasing poverty while the wealthy continue to turn a blind eye to the pain and suffering they create.

But the onus is not only on them. Every day you and I make decisions that either contribute to the problem or to the solution. Which side are you on?

iMatter - From Kids vs Global Warming

Alec Loorz founded Kids vs. Global Warming to help him and other youth lead the way to solutions. This short video, which Alec stayed up until 2 am one night to produce all by himself, tells the story better than anyone on Madison Avenue might have. Take a look.

After you've watched it, take a look at what he's doing today: Alec Loorz, 18 years old, Federal Plaintiff, Founder, Kids vs Global Warming.

A 19-year-old designs a clever machine to clean up the ocean's garbage patches - And make a profit while he's at it

As a teenaged scuba diver, Boyan Slat has seen the fallout of plastic pollution first-hand on some of the world's most beautiful beaches--as well as in our oceans. Returning from one such trip, he dedicated his final high school project to researching the extent of the plastic detritus in our oceans.

That summer, he continued his research and devised an ingenious device for cleaning our oceans of their surface plastic in just five years. Here, in a TEDx Delft talk, he explains the problem in the lively language we'd expect from a teenager, and showcases his solution.

For more information, visit The Ocean Cleanup website.

Are you ready to accept the challenge these young people so ardently cast?

After listening to these three children pleading for us to step up and take action, are you ready?

See results

See what a classroom of students did in just 5 minutes a day

More and more children are getting involved. In Australia, an entire classroom did an experiment. They wanted to learn how much effect they could have on the world if they took action in small groups just five minutes a day. Watch the video and see what they discovered.

What do you think we could accomplish if we each gave just five minutes a day to doing our part to slow climate change?

Earth Day every day: A billion acts of green

Earth Day 2015

On April 22, 2015, we will celebrate the 45th Earth Day, but we don't have to wait until then to take action.

Find hundreds of small--and large--ways to start making a difference right now on Earth Day Network and its Billion Acts of Green.

You might decide to start by learning more about Earth Day and what our kids face in 2030 if we don't take enough action right now.

Maybe you will start with something super easy, like switching out your plastic water bottles for one reusable water bottle. It doesn't weigh much more than your plastic bottle, and it can make a big difference in your pocket book as well as for the Earth. Have you noticed that bottles of water cost more than coffee in some shops?

Maybe you will take advantage of some of the tools the network offers, like calculating our carbon footprints, or learning simple ways to reduce our energy consumption--and save plenty of dollars in the process. There's so much we can do, one small step at a time.

Go to the link above and check out the Billion Acts of Green web page. Add yours to the list.

What do you think?

Are these kids on target? How do you feel we ordinary individuals can help them?

Have your say here

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    • ecogranny profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathryn Grace 

      4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you, Billy. I come back to it whenever my spirits flag and listen to these kids again. What an inspiration they are!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I taught history and geography for a number of years to middle school students, and you better believe I made sure Earth Day was a big day at our school. This is what education should be like...raising aware and responsible citizens. I'm glad you wrote this.

    • ecogranny profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathryn Grace 

      4 years ago from San Francisco

      @Adventuretravels, I agree. Optimism, coupled with concerted and unrelenting action will help our children now and thirty years from now. Thanks for weighing in.

    • Adventuretravels profile image


      4 years ago from UK

      These are truly wonderful kids. Isn't frightening and very sad to think that our kids have to do this in order to make adults hear!! God bless them - my son did a big project about global warming and did a presentation here in London. I think the first speaker is right - the kids are somehow in tuned with he seriousness of the situation. I personally remain optimistic - I have to for the sake of all our kids

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 

      4 years ago from West Virginia

      I think they're off to a good start.

    • ecogranny profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathryn Grace 

      4 years ago from San Francisco

      @Ruthi: I'm with you, Ruthi. I appreciate all you do in your every day activities as well as all you do to spread the word. Thank you!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I do believe if we adults keep on preaching green living, then practicing what we preach ... Then we can and will make a difference.

    • ecogranny profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathryn Grace 

      5 years ago from San Francisco

      @Elsie Hagley: You're welcome, Kiwinana. Children have to be. Many, as you can see from this sample, are keenly aware of the mess we are bequeathing them.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 

      5 years ago from New Zealand

      I think children are more up to date with earth day than us adults. Excellent Videos on this subject. Thanks for sharing.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      7 years ago from Colorado

      In many ways, we should be ashamed that children are doing more to address environmental issues than we are doing. They did not create the mess. I am always inspired by the compassion and energy of children. They want to do the right thing and often leap right in. May we follow their lead. Thank you for such a vital, inspirational article. Very much appreciated!

    • avigarret profile image


      7 years ago

      A truly inspiring lens, I think each generation tends to assume the following generation to go downhill, but I tend to be optimistic about the next generation.

    • allenwebstarme profile image


      7 years ago

      Great collection of inspiring videos. Super like!

    • Rangoon House profile image


      7 years ago from Australia

      This is emotionally confronting. Blessings for your passion.

    • BestRatedStuff profile image


      7 years ago

      Just saw a post to check you out, and here I am. You totally deserved this win. Well put and it is so refreshing to see and hear what these young people do.

    • ecogranny profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathryn Grace 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      @click2cause: Thanks!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      No WONDER you won our Earth Day contest! Just saw this lens, you earthy dear you!

    • ecogranny profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathryn Grace 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      @Brandi Bush: Thank you so much! I deeply appreciate your support.

    • Brandi Bush profile image


      7 years ago from Maryland

      Kids will inherit the Earth we leave nice to see Earth Day through their eyes. Wonderful lens! I'm casting my vote for this one for the Earth Day charity challenge! :) And, of course, I'm leaving a SquidAngel Blessing, too!

    • Ninche profile image


      7 years ago

      They are great, so is this lens!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Definitely a good thing to see kids interested in Earth Day! Blessed by a SquidAngel!


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