Youth Innovators in Slowing Climate Change

Indian student Siddhant founded GreenGaians in 2009. The group organized a campaign in schools and government offices to plant trees. Siddhant added, “More than activism, I prefer to lead by example, trying to follow a green lifestyle.” I asked him what motivated him to be a teen changemaker; “I guess my motivation came from my love for the planet. When children used to watch Cartoon Network, I would watch National Geographic or Discovery. I became a vegetarian when I was nine due to ethical reasons.” Again we see the influence of Western media on children globally. Being a Hindu is another influence, “The respect I have for other creatures has come from my religion. We worship the elements, and therefore respect them.” His parents are both teachers and as an only child they “have always been very supportive in everything I’ve done.” (Also in India, recycled plastic is us used to maker more than 3,000 miles of roads, innovated by Professor Rajagopalan Vasudevan.)

Dutch student Boyan Slat delayed going to university to study engineering to raise money for his plan to collect plastic debris from the Pacific Ocean. Diving in Greece, he saw more plastic bags than fish, so when he was 17, he developed a passive cleanup system. He coordinated a 530-page feasibility study, spoke on TEDx[i] and turned to crowdsourcing to raise $2 million to build the structures needed to collect plastic and recycle it into oil or other materials like the cover of the report.[ii] (Also in the Netherlands, olivine is used as a pebble ground cover because it absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.) Other young European environmentalists are active in Young Greens party.[iii]




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