You don't have to be an "adult" to have a smart planet impact

Getting started young: Non-profit looks for kids who are taking action to help the environment.

The Action for Nature non-profit group out in San Francisco is running the 2010 International Young Eco-Hero Awards contest and is looking to recognize kids between ages 8 and 16 who are making an impact in environmental advocacy, environmental health, research or protection of our planet. The awards program is now in its eighth year.

The deadline for entries is Feb. 28, 2010. The award is a $500 cash price, plus other forms of recognition. The 2008 recipient, Alec Loorz, is now the youngest member of Al Gore's speaking panel at the ripe old age of 15. Alec is the founder of Kids Vs. Global Warming. What I'm wondering is: How will Alec approach driving when he's of age? Seriously.

Another past recipient is Otana Jakpor, whose research on air purifiers and ozone emissions actually ended up inspiring California regulation on ozone-generators. She's only 16.

Kind of makes me feel really proud and really old at the same time.

Anyway, it's neat to see inspiration at such a young age when many other kids are fixated on things of a more material nature. If you know someone who deserve some props, encourage him or her to step forward.

This post was originally published on


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