Imagine you are a young kid and you wanted to help the world's environment. What would you do? Pick up trash, draw posters, or maybe write a letter?
Not if you are Severn Cullis-Suzuki.
Severn started helping to save the environment when she was six years old when she would sell her father's books for twenty-five cents each at yard sales to raise money for native land claims in British Columbia. At age ten she started ECO, the Environmental Children's Organization. They raised the money to buy a water filter for natives in the Malaysian rain forest because their water was threatened by over-logging and pollution from the sewers of the big cities.
But she really became known as a junior environmentalist when she was twelve. That's when the world heard her for the first time when Severn and some friends raised the money to go to the first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from Canada to tell adults at the conference about the environment. When she got there she was given the chance to do a speech at the last minute. She said yes and so she had to make up the speech on the taxi ride there. But it was still a great speech and here is my favorite part:
"At school, even in kindergarten, you teach us to behave
in the world. You teach us: not to fight with others,
to work things out, to respect others, to clean up our
mess, not to hurt other creatures, to share - not be
greedy.Then why do you go out and do the things you tell
us not to do?"
|Severn, age 12, at Earth Summit in Rio|
I think she's right, because adults do everything they say not to do in school, but adults just do it on a bigger scale. Severn has a really good goal. She wants to keep the world a good
place for kids when they grow up.
In the twelve years since she made that speech Severn has gone to places around the world and at age twenty-four she is still working for the environment and making speeches today. She is also involved in two environmental groups; the Sloth Club and the Skyfish Project.
Severn helps kids like me to discover that if they want to make a difference, they can. She helps the environment a lot and that's why Severn Cullis- Suzuki is my hero.