Monday, August 1, 2011

Inspiring Kids

Lately, I've been feeling like all the little things I've been doing all these years to be eco-conscious hasn't added up to much and it sometimes gets difficutlt to keep going. I came across some stories recently about young environmentalists that really inspired me to not only continue with my efforts but to step it up.

  • Felix, a 9 year old in Germany, was so upset by what he was learning about global climate change that he decided to start his own organization called Plant for Planet with the goal being to plant a million trees in as many countries as he can. Thanks to some media attention, so far just over one million trees have been planted with more than a million pledged for planting

  • After the Gulf Coast oil spill, 11 year old Olivia teamed up the the Audubon Society to sell sketches she did and helped raise over $200,000 for relief efforts

  • 8 year old Cole in North Carolina got his entire elementary school to send postcards to fast food companies requesting they use recycled packaging. Success came when McDonald's agreed. Now Cole is working with several other elementary schools in his area to keep up the mission

Not only can these kids inspire everyone to do more, but to be more as well. Be a mentor and get kids into nature. There's no better way to cultivate a love of the outdoors and a desire to preserve it. There are proven health and psychological benefits connected to being outdoors, and in addition, kids may begin to see a future for themselves in the environmental field. At the very least, they are more likely to continue to spend time outdoors as they grow older. There are structured programs that can help guide them, but just spending more and more time outdoors will help. Ultimately, kids do what they see. Be an example everyday to encourage them by doing things like growing your own vegetables, composting, conserving water, carpooling, biking at local parks, etc. Hopefully, by staying with it, we can bring up the next generation of inspiring and eco-minded kids.

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