You can watch the Young Voice for the Planet films at:
The Young Voices for the Planet (YVFP) films, produced by Lynne Cherry of Young Voices on Climate Change (YVCC), take a fundamentally different approach than other climate education efforts by documenting and communicating the role youth ages 9-19 are playing in helping solve the climate crisis. The young people in the YCFP films find creative win-win solutions to reduce the carbon footprint of their homes and schools and engage parents administrators, local governments, and communities.
The common belief has been that if people understood the severity of the problem they would act. However many educators, communicators and government agencies are now realizing that messages of gloom and doom elicit reactions of fear and hopelessness. However, messages that focuses on positive success stories inspire people to engage and act.
The Young Voices for the Planet (YVFP) films champion youth solutions to the climate crisis. These inspirational and empowering stories transform viewers from feeling hopeless to hopeful and from apathetic to engaged. After watching the YVFP films, three 9-year-olds from Lexington, Massachusetts thought, “ If they can do something, so can we.” They testified at their town meeting and helped overturn a town law prohibiting solar panels on town buildings. Solar panels were installed on all the town buildings. The last YVFP movie
“Save Tomorrow” was about them.
In “Plant for the Planet” eleven-year-old Felix Finkbeiner, inspired by Wangari Maathai’s planting of a million trees in Africa, started planting trees and created a web site that went viral. Felix has now inspired planting of a billion trees worldwide.
In “Dreaming in Green” four girls learn that, of all the coastal cities in the world, Miami will suffer the greatest economic loss from sea level rise. They conduct an energy audit and save their school $53,000.
“Longing for a Local Lunch” documents four Massachusetts students who, concerned about climate change, calculate the carbon footprint of locally-grown food vs produce coming from a distance. They succeed in getting local fare into their school one day a month.
The young people in these films earnestly discuss the effects that climate change will have upon their lives and upon future generations, yet they inspire our moving to a more sustainable future and help create the political will to address climate change. They motivate other young people to challenge adults to make the necessary changes for a better world.
Team Marine high school students were the first group of youth to successfully get a ban on plastic bags in the city of Santa Monica. The film about them was shown to many other California kids who were instrumental in getting the statewide plastic bag ban passed.
Young people effective influence parents to act responsibly toward the environment. As wearing seat belts, recycling and stopping littering succeeded through the youth, the Young Voices for the Planet films creates change. There is no better messenger than the children who will bear the brunt of climate change.