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Hear why climate change is important and how we can save our planet

Hannah Alper is an environmental teen activist and has been passionate about environmental conservation and preservation since the age of nine. The Toronto-based activist’s journey has taken her across North America, Kenya and Costa Rica, where she has spoken to capacity crowds and met with social justice luminaries including Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai. She has also published a book Momentus: Small Acts, Big Change, featuring 19 interviews with activists, youth change-makers and celebrities.

By sharing her story, the young Canadian hopes to bring an impassioned perspective to the environmental challenges that we are facing today, and highlight how even the smallest changes can matter.

While fears may linger about the future of our planet, Hannah has high hopes for her generation and beyond when it comes to healing our planet.

why is environmental conservation and climate change so important to you?

It’s incredibly important to me. As a young person, this isn’t just an issue for the present but an issue for our future. Climate change continues to be, I would say, the most urgent issue on our planet.

I started my journey of activism when I was nine years old. Learning about the environment, climate change and deforestation – I was devastated, but I also became really motivated to do something about it.

Through simple environmental actions like an eco-friendly cleanup or ethical purchasing practices, I realized that my actions as a young girl can create change. The little things do add up and make a big difference towards the environment.

Many activists are very young individuals, why are young people so passionate and focused on saving the environment?

This is our world, our present and our future. I remember this quote that said “young people are not just the leaders of today but they are the leaders of tomorrow.” And this is an issue that’s incredibly important to us.

Social media and the internet have allowed us to see this issue progress over decades.

This is truly our time and now more than ever we mean it when we say enough is enough.

I also think young people are so much more hopeful about the world. This makes us unique in comparison to previous generations because we can see a better world. We are ready to fight for that world and put pressure on people in power to do something about it. We are also willing to take action in our own lives and do the work that needs to be done. This can be through volunteering and getting involved with things like Unite for Change and the Protect the Environment Fund.

Why do you think everyone should care about protecting the environment?

We all live here and we need to do something about what is going on.

I’m here, my kids are going to be here and my grandkids are going to be here. We need to preserve the world for those people who will come after us. Take animals for example, I want to see the animals within my generation live on in my children’s generation and my grandchildren’s generation.

I often get asked “why are you trying to make a difference or why should people make a difference?” The reality is, why not!

We all have the responsibility, the capacity, and the power to change the world for the better.If this is our world then we should at least try to help it. It is possible for our planet to get better! We just have to take action.

What would you say to someone who thinks they can’t make a difference?

It can be so easy to get bogged down and overwhelmed by the statistics and the photos that are circulating around the world about the environment. But we have to remember that if we don’t do anything then nothing will get done.

We all have a role to play and I really do believe that it’s up to all of us. It’s not all about being a huge philanthropist and giving millions of dollars, giving $1 or $5 or shifting your lifestyle for the better will also make a huge impact on our present and our future.

What are some easy ways to make a positive impact on the environment?

I think one of the easiest things anyone can do is shift their purchasing habits and direct their money to places that are making a conscious effort to help the environment. A lot of people think that it’s super expensive but it’s actually not. Now, there are so many companies that are taking steps to have those sustainable and ethical practices.

For example, I am in first year university and when I was shopping for my dorm it was really important to me to purchase everything I needed with environmental practices and sustainability in mind. I wanted to give my money to companies that I really supported, who aligned with my interests and passion for helping the environment.

Another really easy way you can make change is by donating to the Protect the Environment Fund. Even if you don’t know anything about charities in the sector, you can be sure your money is going to charities who are focused on environment conservation.

Your gift will go to so many places within the sector, so you don’t have to do all the work of researching yourself.

It can be really daunting. So, you can give as much as you can and it goes a long way.

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