Children: Let Them Amaze You
Stop Talking. Start Planting.
The other day on NPR, I listened to a lecture at the Cambridge Forum by Lester Brown, the famed environmental analyst and founder of the Worldwatch Institute and the Earth Policy Institute. The title for discussion was the same as his newest book, World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse. He is an excellent speaker and covered the relevancy of our environmental issues to global economic instability. I enjoyed his presentation very much. However, what caught my attention was a question from the audience about the importance of trees. The audience member happened to mention the yeoman efforts of a young boy who started an organization for and by children, who have set the goal of planting one trillion trees by 2020.
I had not heard of this. I launched a search and found Plant for the Planet, founded by Felix Finkbeiner of Germany. When he was a mere lad of nine years and researching a school project about environmental issues, he came across the work of Wangari Maathai, who planted 30m trees in Africa. This inspired Felix to do the same but on a global scale. His idea was to plant a million trees in every country of the world figuring that the effort would help to counteract climate change and restore CO2 balance.
He started things off at his school by planting one tree. Pretty soon other children got involved at other schools. Before he knew it, one billion trees had been planted in Germany. Right now, according to the website of his organization, Plant for the Planet, children around the world have planted 12,990,394,436 trees. They’re well on their way to one trillion by 2020.
Felix is sixteen years old now, and giving a message to the adults of this world with his organization’s campaign slogan, “Stop talking. Start planting.” With a Board of Directors at Plant for Planet comprised of fourteen children and one adult, it seems quite likely that they’ll avoid the chit chat of the boardroom and keep on planting trees.
Here's a link to an interview in The Guardian with Felix: "Stop Talking. Start Planting"