Record temperatures have people talking. Rising ocean levels have experts warning. But how about action? Some of the most impressive steps are being taken by those who will inherit the Earth and all its problems: kids.
A teen in Ireland had heard enough about plastics clogging our oceans. 18-year-old Fionn won the grand prize at the Google Science Fair. His prize? $50,000. His true achievement? Time will tell. His project put forward a process for removing microplastics from ocean waters. “Microplastics” are defined as plastics less than 5 millimeters long. They’re used for more than you might think. That face scrub with the little beads? Those are plastic. Your toothpaste might even contain some, too. How small are we talking? The average person ingests between 74,000 and 121,000 of the microplastic beads per year. Yikes. Those shocking numbers left Fionn to come up with a novel solution that uses oil, magnetite, and magnets to gather and remove the particles from water. Here’s the teen’s invention at work:
Going Green is about more than defense. A few novel Biz Kids are inventing products that reduce, reuse, and recycle.
Live Green Learn Green
Live Green Learn Green is a nonprofit organization that empowers families with energy efficient products. From lightbulbs to weather stripping, the kits save families hundreds of dollars over time. So where does their funding come from? Kids. Student volunteers babysit and tutor, then donate the money to the nonprofit.
When 12-year-old Hunter heard that 20 million plastic and paper bags are thrown away each day, he got to work crafting a line of bags crafted from sustainable materials. The result? 20,000 bags and over $100,000 in sales later, Hunter is succeeding on more than one front: “being green can make green.”
Twice Loved by Maggie B
At just 8 years old, Maggie is a business tycoon on a mission. Her line of jewelry is called Twice Lovedfor a reason: every necklace is crafted from recycled materials. Plus, she donates a portion of every sale to nonprofit organizations. Way to go, Maggie B.
These kids and teens are living proof that small changes can make a big difference, and that complex problems can be conquered by anyone—including kids.