These young Eco Warriors are leading the charge to save the world.
Every year on the 5th of June, the world comes together to celebrate World Environment Day. First held in 1974, World Environment Day (WED) is the UN’s flagship campaign to raise awareness on environmental issues plaguing the world. The celebration has grown to become a global platform for public outreach, with over 143 countries participating annually.
In honour of World Environment Day, we’d like to highlight several young environmentalists helping to make a difference in this world. Many might have heard of Greta Thunberg with her speech at the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit, where she criticised world leaders for their inaction in environmental issues. Below are other young leaders who deserve a mention for the role they are playing in saving the world.
Other than Greta, these are other young Eco Warriors doing their bit for the world:
Xiye Bastida is a teenage climate activist who is one of the lead organizers of the Fridays For Future youth climate strike movement. Born and raised in Mexico, her heritage is as part of the Otomi-Toltec indigenous people. Xiye sits on the administration committee of the People’s Climate Movement, and was the recipient of the “Spirit of the UN” award in 2018.
Another activist to look out for is Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, who started as early as 6 years old. Xiuhtezcatl is now a 19-year-old indigenous activist, musician, and the youth director of Earth Guardians, an organization that trains youth across the world to use civic engagement and the arts to help solve environmental issues. A hip- hop artist, Xiuhtezcatl uses music to convey powerful messages and is also not afraid to confront the government head-on - he was one of the 21 plaintiffs that sued the US Federal Government for their lack of action on climate change.
One of the youngest activists of them all at just 9 years old, Lilly Platt is on a war to end plastic pollution. When she first moved to Holland her grandfather began teaching her to speak Dutch, and to help her learn numbers, they collected pieces of plastic trash and counted them. Now Lilly picks up plastic as a Youth Ambassador for the Plastic Pollution Coalition and a Child Ambassador for Hands of the World (HOW) Global and World Cleanup Day.
Greta, Xiye, Xiuhtezcatl, and Lilly are amongst the few in a long line of champions and advocates for the environment. Their activism has proven that the youth can exert a major influence in environmental causes, contrary to popular belief. It is no longer something that only governments agencies and NGOs fight for in futility. They have successfully mobilised the youth to push for environmental change, harnessing the power of the internet and digital age while working hand-in- hand with long-time environmental heroes in the long fight to keep the planet green.