According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the last eight years have been the hottest ever recorded with many people now worrying about the future of our planet. However, today’s youth aren’t sitting idly as the planet goes up in flames. Instead, they have realised that collective youth climate action plays a pivotal role in shaping a more sustainable future.
Since Greta Thunberg spearheaded the 2019 Global Week for Future march for climate change, encouraging millions of young people to participate, several youth leaders have made waves for a greener, healthier, and more stable world.
Eleven-year-old Romario Valentine is a young eco-warrior and author of Protect our Planet – Take action with Romario. He’s worked on beach clean-ups, tree planting, and many other conservation projects. Through his work, Romario hopes to inspire and empower youth to become earth guardians.
Cash Daniels, 2022 TIME Kid of the Year Finalist, is a 21-year-old American devoted much of 2022 toward his goal of picking up 1 million pounds of trash. He spent his free time cleaning up trash in rivers with other teens, collecting up to a total of more than one ton of items in a single year.
Romario and Cash are only two out of the millions youth climate activists who have taken politicians and the global population to task for combatting climate change.
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There are many ways young people can participate in climate action for a sustainable future. Here are five examples of climate action initiatives.
Marching for climate change is an excellent way to raise awareness in numbers. Whether walking in the People’s Climate March in Washington D.C. or participating in a local rally, large events with numerous participants could get ample news coverage.
These particular rallies are most effective when the local community gathers for a regional climate change issue. Organize a march and invite others to join you in your mission to help the planet.
Educating others about climate change is integral to getting more people informed and on board with climate change and eco-friendliness.
Visit schools and read age-appropriate climate change books to children. Sign up to be a speaker at an event describing how climate change affects you and your community.
You might also create social media posts to extend your audience reach with accurate information about an environmental topic you’re passionate about. Another idea is to post content with sustainable lifestyle tips for reducing one’s carbon footprint.
Volunteering is a great way to get involved in youth climate action in your community. Join an organization or visit your town’s Public Works department for information regarding upcoming clean-ups.
Assisting during natural disasters and fundraising for natural disaster relief can also help those significantly impacted by climate change weather impacts.
A plant-based diet has many environmental and health benefits. Youth can help offset climate change impacts by eating predominantly vegetarian or vegan. The report shows that plant-based diets decrease greenhouse gas emissions and promote animal welfare, less land degradation, and greater nutrition without pesticides and fertilisers.
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Change can only occur when politicians enact new environmental legislation. Therefore, youth climate action entails calling up your representatives and speaking to them about concerns and solutions for climate change.
According to Pew Research Center, 64% of Americans believe climate change should be a top political issue. However, there are disparities between political parties, with liberal-leaning politics keener to focus on environmental issues facing our planet today.
Nevertheless, engaging with local leaders respectfully and encouraging more robust policies to mitigate greenhouse gases is the most effective way youth can create a more sustainable future.
The health of our planet is in young people’s capable hands. With their steadfast determination and hopefulness, we may still see an earth where climate change is no longer the risk it poses today.
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