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In 1992, at the age of 12, Cullis-Suzuki raised money with members of ECO, to attend the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro where she was applauded for a speech to the delegates. She graduated from Yale University in 2002 with a B.Sc. in ecology and evolutionary biology. After Yale, she spent two years traveling. In early 2002, she helped launch an Internet-based think tank called The Skyfish Project. The Skyfish Project disbanded in 2004 as Cullis-Suzuki turned her focus back to school and enrolled in a graduate course in the University of Victoria to study ethnobotany.
A unique combination of children’s culture and a profound commitment to the environment, Eco-Agents is the leading environmental organization for children in Norway. This distinctively Norwegian phenomenon has now existed for 15 years. The group’s aim is to “stimulate children’s interest and love for nature, and to make them realize that the way we live our lives has influence on the environment.”
Can kids really change the future of the planet? A bunch of Australian youngsters reckon they can – in just five minutes a day. See if you’re up to their challenge.
A group of Rhode Island middle school students recently one a President’s Environmental Yourth Award for a project called T.G.I.F. – Turn Grease Into Fuel. The kids tackled the problem of global warming by first convincing local residents to create grease collection receptacles where waste cooking oil could be collected. The waste oil was then transferred to a biodiesel refinery where it was recycled into biofuel. So far, the project has collected over 36,000 gallons of waste oil and produced 30,000 gallons of biofuel a year, eliminating 600,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions to the air. The students have donated 4,000 gallons of biofuel to local charities and helped 40 families with emergency heating assistance.
Hat Tip: advancedbiofuelsusa.info
What do Cameron Diaz and Grover from Sesame Street have in common besides freakishly large smiles? A love of trees:
Lily, a 5th-grader at Montgomery County, Md., Public Schools’ Great Seneca Creek Elementary School, talks about attending a LEED-Gold school.* For more information, visit www.buildgreenschools.org.
*The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through the creation and implementation of universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria.
This video features children delivering important messages about new greening initiatives launched during the 2007 conference.
When he was 14, Andrew Angelloti got the idea to turn his 1988 Mazda pickup into an electric vehicle. The part-time lifeguard started buying parts in 2006 and finished his project in May, 2007. Powered by 20 golf cart batteries, the truck has a top speed of 55MPH with a range of 40 miles per charge. Now 18 years-old, Andrew reports that, despite the rigors of college life, he’s built a few motor controllers of various types on the small scale, digital voltage gauges, and “a few other non-EV-related items that I am equally unrightfully proud of – digital clocks, stepper motor controllers, that kind of thing.”
When seventh grader, Otana Jakpor read about potentially harmful levels of ozone emitted by common air purifiers, she created eight experiments to test their impact on human health. She discovered that some purifiers emit levels equal to Stage 3 smog alerts and her findings spurred her home state of California to become the first state to regulate ozone generators. Otana was subsequently awarded the President’s Environmental Youth Award and she is now a volunteer spokesperson for the American Lung Association.
Hat Tip: mnn.com.
When 8 year-old Erik Uebelacker learned that butterflies taste with their feet, he decided to write a book about them. Six months after self-publishing Butterflies Shouldn’t Wear Shoes, he donated the proceeds ($2000) to the World Wildlife Fund. Erik and his mom are still trying to get the book published by a real publisher so that it can be sold nationwide (with the profits again going to World Wildlife Fund).
Check Erik’s website at www.ButterfliesShouldntWearShoes.com.
Hat Tip: http://www.mnn.com
On the road for the fifth year in a row, The Big Green Bus is a vegetable-oil powered classroom on wheels manned by 15 Dartmouth University students who’re helping promote climate change awareness and action. The bus is outfitted with solar panels and an interior made entirely of sustainable materials. You can follow the Big Green Bus at thebiggreenbus.org. While you’re there, check to see when they plan to be in your neighborhood.
So far, 54 RelightNY teams have: adopted 609 NYC buildings, changed 111,283 bulbs, eliminated 21,811,468 lbs of CO2 emissions, saved New York City $5,497,380.20 in energy costs.*
(*estimate for lifetime savings per bulb based on 3 hours per day usage in New York.)
Light bulb photo: Originally uploaded by purplemattfish
It may take 1,000 years for plastic to decompose but decompose it does, which means there must be microorganisms out there doing the decomposing. Could they be bred to do the job faster? The question was recently answered by 16 year-old Canadian high school student, Daniel Burd, who immersed ground plastic in a yeast solution that encourages microbial growth, and then isolated the most productive organisms. He kept at it, selecting the most effective strains and interbreeding them. After several weeks of tweaking and optimizing temperatures, Burd achieved a 43 % degradation of plastic in six weeks, an almost inconceivable accomplishment. More of the story here.
British university student and designer, Emily Cummins, was named Female Innovator of the Year in 2007 by the British Female Inventors and Innovators Network, and has been shortlisted for Cosmopolitan Magazine’s Ultimate Women of The Year Awards. Her latest innovation is a refrigerator that cools completely without electricity. The fridge is already in use in Africa (where she gave away the design for free).
Hat Tip: www.nmoe.org
Hat Tip: nmoe.org/
Since the age of 10, Tayler McGillis has collected and recycled more than 23,000 pounds of aluminum from roadside trash, old homes and other sources. The Toluca, Illinois resident has thus been able to raise more than $18,000 for local charities including Habitat for Humanity. Tayler has also turned an abandoned coal mine into a wildlife preserve and designed and built a project to stop lake erosion. What’s more, he and a team of volunteers have walked and cleaned up more than 400 miles of local highways.
Hat Tip: epa.state.il.us
These days, New Zealand students are busy cleaning up Mother Earth. Over 600 Kiwi schools are involved in a program called, Enviroschools, in which every classroom has compost and paper recycling bins. Classes sponsor dolphins, design eco buildings on computers, and stock bird feeders they’ve built. There are “wheels days” for bikes and scooters, designed to promote exercise and take more cars off the road. According to officials, Enviroschools students don’t just learn about the environment; they do something about it. Details here.
Sunjay Tyle, a 15 year-old senior at Pittsford Mendon High School in Rochester, New York, has been working on an alternative energy project with Professor J.H. David Wu at the University of Rochester since he was nine and has created a new method for directly converting cellulose into ethanol. Sunjay also blogs about the environment, alternative energy, transportation, and other topics for Mother Nature Network.
Hat Tip: businessweek.com
16 year-old Linus Wafula lives in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya, with his mother. Unable to afford school, Linus has spent much of his youth addressing the impact of uncollected waste in his neighborhood. In one instance, he created a volunteer youth club that cleaned up dumpsites and drained stagnant water, provided residents with garbage bags, and educated them about waste management efforts. The club also started a tree planting campaign to beautify the neighborhood. Linus is a recent winner of an Action For Nature International Young Eco-Hero Award. Click here to read his blog.
Hat Tip: world-wire.com
Kids vs Global Warming is a non profit organization founded and led by Alec Loorz, who is now 14 years old. “We are a group of kids that educate other kids about the science of global warming and empower them to take action. Through educational presentations, community activism projects, action teams, and hands on demonstrations, we teach youth that they have a voice, and that they can do something about global warming.”
Colin Carlson directs a climate change organization called the Cool Coventry Club, a service project to educate people about global warming and encourage energy conservation at individual, business and governmental levels. He also works with businesses to develop “energy action plans.” He is a Nestle Very Best In Youth winner and a recent winner of a Do Something Plum Grant, which he is using to produce climate change information booklets he created for Coventry’s second grade public school students. Born on Harry Potter’s birthday, twelve year-old Colin is currently a student at the University of Connecticut.
Hat Tip: nytimes & photographer Shana Sureck
Mollie created her own blog and letter-writing campaign as a way to help polar bears gain protection on the Endangered Species list. After reading at school about the plight of the polar bear, Mollie and some friends created “Save the bears!” posters and marched around the playground. Many of her peers taunted the girls, saying their march was accomplishing very little, and later that evening, Mollie realized they were right. She decided to take more concrete action and started a blog, where she posted statements such as “Polar bears like to swim, but they can’t swim forever!”, referring to the dire consequences of melting Arctic ice. She also asked people to write letters to the Fish and Wildlife Service supporting the polar bear’s inclusion on the Endangered Species list, and collected 171 letters. When the Alaska Wilderness League learned of Mollie’s work, they asked her to speak at an Arctic rally on Capitol Hill, where she shared the stage with Senators John Kerry and Bernie Sanders – and stood on a box in order to reach the microphone.
Hat tip: barronprize.org/
Students will be encouraged to find solutions to global warming with the launch of a new environmental school curriculum in Melbourne.
The Living in 2030: An Experiment in Survival is a new school curriculum in Melbourne, Australia that invites students to imagine a world 20 years from now where environmental solutions have not yet been found to pressing issues including global warming. Students must then find solutions to the problems.
Steve Cook, principal at Williamstown High School – which has tested the education resource – said students had responded with optimism and creativity to the program.
“The work produced by our students involved in this program is characterized by their creativity, passion for the environment and a real desire to make a difference.”
For details, click here.
Inspired by a first-grade teacher who taught that people in Africa had difficulty getting clean water and access to wells, six year-old Ryan Hreljac, made a deal with his parents. A year after performing extra chores and doing a little fundraising, he had amassed $2,000 and in January, 1999, a well was built at the Angolo Primary School in northern Uganda.
Ten years later, Ryan’s work continues through the Ryan’s Well Foundation which has so far built 502 wells in sixteen countries serving a total of 621,712 people.
Habitat Heroes creator is Australian mom, Sharon Lowe, who conceived the idea when she had trouble finding a child-friendly ecology website for her seven year old daughter. “The core of Habitat Heroes was formed around values my husband and I wish to instill in our children,” Lowe said. “(The site) unites children into a global force of Super Heroes, teaching them that everyone can make a difference.” Hat tip to www.rolemommy.com
In 2007, a blog called “Fishes Feed Us,” was created by Art & Science Collaborations, Inc., and hosted by One Ocean, as a way for youth in New York City and the Indo-Pacific Region to exchange views about the fish crisis, telling their stories from the “fishes’ perspective” as well as from their own viewpoints. Here is some of what they had to say:
One day we will have to go to a museum to see a fish because we are eating up our ocean’s supply too fast, too soon. (Sameena – New York City)
Since the big commercial fishing vessels started coming into our local waters, there are fewer fish, and more pollution. If we can barely survive now, how are the future generations going to? (Francine – Malaysia)
I wish some groups would help fishers’ children so that they could go to school. It is every child’s right to be educated. (Angelica – New York City)
Boom! Everything seemed to stop. Then I saw fishes floating. Dead. With one dynamite explosion, the reefs, our home, were completely demolished. (Kristine – Philippines)
Education is the key. If people understand the human consequences of losing the world’s fish stocks, they will try and help stop the depletion. (Jasmine – New York City)
When he was nine, Alex Lin had co-created a community service team called Westerly Innovations Network (WIN) and it seemed fitting to motivate his team to tackle E-Waste. Alex’s leadership and dedication contributed to a slew of amazing accomplishments including a recycling drive which collected 21,000 pounds of E-Waste and the creation of a permanent E-Waste receptacle in town, which has collected more than 60,000 pounds of waste. Alex recently helped build an Internet café in Cameroon, and is now setting up a pilot system for providing refurbished computers to international youth through the United Nation’s Environment Program and launching a Bridging Divides program with U.S. businesses and schools.
When Erica Fernandez found out that a liquefied natural gas facility was proposed for the coast of Oxnard and Malibu with a 36-inch pipeline routed through low-income neighborhoods, she was outraged. She worked in concert with the Sierra Club and Latino No on LNG group to mobilize the youth and Latino voice in protests and public meetings. She organized weekly protests at the BHP Billiton offices in Oxnard, met regularly with community members, marched through neighborhoods that would be most impacted, reached out to the media, and brought more than 250 high school students to a critical rally. Her passionate testimony at the California State Lands Commission meeting was quoted in news articles, and helped convince the Commission to vote to deny the project.
To learn more about the Brower Youth Awards, visit http://broweryouthawards.org/article.php?list=type&type=12.
When he was nine, Alex had co-created a community service team called Westerly Innovations Network (WIN) and it seemed fitting to motivate his team to tackle E-Waste. Thus, Project WIN ’05 was born. Alex’s leadership and dedication contributed to a slew of amazing accomplishments including a recycling drive which collected 21,000 pounds of E-Waste and the creation of a permanent E-Waste receptacle in town, which has collected more than 60,000 pounds of waste.
We discovered this website a few days ago. Colin, its founder, explains its purpose far better than we can:
“Hi, my name is Colin. I am 10 years old and in the 5th grade. I love geology (any science really), history, the ocean, anything about WW II, Civil War or Revolutionary War, my friends and my family. My favorite music is from Jack Johnson, Ziggy and Bob Marley, John Butler Trio, Ben Taylor, James Hunter, and anything from the 80′s (that bums my mom out).
My mom helped me put this web site together because I am so angry about what is happening to our planet. Pollution and waste! What I hope is that kids will read what I write and start thinking about what they can do in their community to help keep the earth clean.
Keep visiting my web site and I promise to keep giving you cool things to read, and cool web sites to check out. Thanks! Also check out my blog at: ecosavvykid.blogspot.com.”
12 year-old surfer, Chris Regan, had this to say at a Department of the Interior’s Public Meeting on Offshore Energy Resources at the Atlantic City Convention Center: “I’ve watched an oil exec sneer at every person who has come up to speak today against drilling for oil,“ young Regan stated. He then stopped speaking, turned to his left and stared directly at his 3-piece suit-clad target. “Let me ask you something,“ said Regan, whose mother had signed him out of school to attend the hearing. “Do you have children? Grandchildren?“ The bigwig was caught off guard, but answered that he did have children. “This is their future too,” Regan told him. More on the Regan and the meeting at ESPN.
PHOTO CREDIT: nickphotos
Remedee is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping young people discover their voices through media. The organizers believe that young men and women are capable of telling profound stories about their world. In this short film, Jacie Lemon and Sharett Brooks take an airboat tour of the Louisiana wetlands to learn about the consequences of the MRGO industrial canal.