Young Eco Champions

Be inspired by these young eco champions!

Such a range of ideas, combined with the guts and determination to get out there and make it happen.

I'm sure they will generate much discussion and  inspire more young eco champions in the future.

Banning plastic bags in Bali

Melati and Isabel Wijsen set out on a mission to halt plastic bag use in their beautiful country, Bali. They persevered with petitions, beach clean-ups, and even a hunger strike. Their efforts were rewarded when they convinced their governor to commit to a plastic bag-free Bali. What an achievement! "Don't ever let anyone tell you that you're too young or you won't understand," Isabel urges other young people to believe in themselves and nover to believe that they are too young to make a difference.  "We're not telling you it's going to be easy.' they say, ' We're telling you it's going to be worth it." 


350 million trees planted in Eithiopia

In Ethiopia, a group of young people and their communities  planted 350 million trees in a single day as part of a national reforestation campaign. Planting trees is a simple yet effective way to combat climate change, and children have been taking action by planting trees in their communities.


'Zero waste' life strategies

Lauren Singer explains how she succeeds in living a zero waste life. Inspirational dedication, perseverance and ingenuity!


Virtual reality to protect Sacramento Chinook Salmon

Niria Alicia Garcia, from the USA, organises (along with her community) an annual run called Run4Salmon, using virtual reality to highlight the journey that the Sacremento chinook salmon make along California's largest waterway. By making people aware of the salmon route, Niria helps people think in harmony with nature and work towards protecting the species that live in our environment.

Niria is a winner of the Young Champions of the Earth prize which is the United Nations Environment Programme. Niria encourages all young people to dream big and to trust that when you put your heart out there for the right reason, things will start to happen. 


Fishing school that protects the ocean

Lefteris is from a long line of fishermen in Greece. He was disturbed about over-fishing and plastic in the ocean. which meant many fishermen were catching rubbish instead of fish. Determined to do something about this, he started Enaleia, Greece's first professional fishing school. The aim of the school is to teach fishers to be more eco-friendly and to fins discarded plastic so that it could be taken from the sea.  Lefteris says that the school is teaching people not only how to fish, but how to protect the oceans for future generations. He was named one of Europe’s Young Champion of the Earth by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Lefteris is definately a young eco champion to watch in the future as he makes an impact in Greece and beyond.


App to find clean water

Due to pollution, many people in the Chinese countryside do not have easy access to clean water. This makes many people ill every year. Xiaoyuan “Charlene” Ren was worried about this, so developed an app to help people find clean water. She started MyH2O, an app that charts the quality of groundwater across rural China and lets residents know where to find clean water. It also, connects communities with private companies and NGOs that provide potable water solutions. Xiaoyuan is determine to enable everyone to have clean water - she strongly feels that water should not be a luxury item. She was a winner of the Young Champions of the Earth prize in 2020.  


Innovative recycling idea in Kuwait

Worried about the enormous need for more recycling but wondering how to motivate people, Fatemah Alzelzela from Kuwait, had the brilliant idea of forming the organisation Eco Star, which gives a plant to each person who gives in things to be recycled. 

Fatemah was a winner of The Young Champions of the Earth prize in 2020, which is the United Nations Environment Programme's leading initiative. It's aim is to engage young people in tackling the world's biggest environmental challenges. Fatemah was given funding and mentorship to support her environmental organisation. Fatemah is definately a trailblazing young eco champion in this area of rewarding people for recycling - The impact on the environment will be huge! Great stuff Fatemah!


Making bricks from plastic rubbish

Nzambi Matee, from Nairobi, melts down plastic until it looks like poo, then presses it into hard bricks, as solid as concrete. These bricks have many uses, including being used for building roads. Nzambi, winner of Young Champion of the Earth for Africa,  aims to change the future, one brick at a time! Inspiring stuff!


Action For Nature's International Young Eco-Hero Award Winners

2023 Award Winners

What inspiration. Listening to these young people makes me realise just what is possible!  Let these young eco champions lead the way!

Meet Eiha Dixit, 9 years old from Meirut, India, who, with a group, planted over 20,000 saplings, creating mini forests, parks, and green belts in her Indian city, providing shade and cleaner air.

Also meet Charlotte Michaluk, 16 years old, from Titusville, NJ, United States, who, as a young sailor, designed a special coating for ship hulls, inspired by shark skin, which makes ships more efficient by reducing resistance and the growth of harmful organisms on the ship's surface. She also developed a concept for a cargo ship that uses both wind and fossil fuels for power. If these ideas are adopted and applied to the global cargo shipping fleet, it could have a very significant positive impact on the environment, on par to taking 7.5 million cars off the road.

Check out the other winners with their huge range of ideas at 2023 Action for Nature Award Winners


Straight-talking Greta inspires youth around the world

Straight-talking Greta has inspired youth around the world, not just to speak out about climate change and the need for action, but also to look for solutions in their own environments. In this video young activists from around the world talk about how they have personally seen the impacts of climate change and how they have been inspired to be part of the change.


Young Eco Champions inpsire a call to action

Rueben Sapetulu and Yande Banda clearly articulate the problems, challenges and essentially - the call to action. They say we need not just resources but a change in mentality as well. The solutions are there in front of us, they say, we just need to get on and make the changes. Inspirational! Let's do it!

For more information check out Unicef's Youth for Climate Action