Elevate Difference

Our Earth: How Kids are Saving the Planet

Warm colours cover this book of global children’s experiences of how they are changing the world. Janet Wilson’s Our Earth is a brightly illustrated compact collection worth reading. The core message is simple: all people need to come together to heal the Earth.

Children such as David Suzuki’s daughter, Severn, are included. Part of her advice on protecting the earth is, “If you don’t know how to fix it, please stop breaking it!” Susuki certainly had an environmental hook-up through her parents, but her message is no less potent.

Other voices, such as that of twelve-year-old Adeline Tiffanie Suwana (Indonesia), present knowledgeable adolescent awareness of the devastating effects of humans on Earth. Part of her realization is that we are all connected and whatever damage we do in one region of the world influences other areas.

Part of the attraction of this collection (beyond the artwork and inspirational experiences) is the fact that all of these individuals have proved that activists, no matter their age, can make a difference in the world. Costa Ricans Janine Licare and Aislin Livingstone have started up Kids Saving the Rainforest, a nonprofit that helps maintain habitats for animals like the Titi monkeys.

Accounts go beyond dealing with the after affects of human destruction; Fan Minghe, a Chinese teenager, searches markets for endangered wildlife being sold illegally in China. Thanks to his efforts, China has an organization called Green Eyes Club that not only saves animals but also is responsible for a number of tasks including reporting poachers and maintaining animal sanctuaries.

The last few pages provide a number of inventions and ways that children have provided as alternatives to modern pollutants like plastic bags. There are also snippets of grassroots level awareness which educate the reader.

Another strong point about this book is that the author does not highlight human atrocities; Our Earth's goal is to present solutions to the current problems Earth faces as a result of our existence here. Wilson encourages the reader to implement such strategies in their own schools and neighbourhoods.

Pollution and destruction are not simply local problems; they are global problems too. But as Our Earth shows, the world’s children and youth are at the forefront of the change we need to repair the earth. Get a copy of this book and pass it along to a young person you know in order to keep the momentum going!

Written by: Nicolette Westfall, January 19th 2011