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One Teen Inspires Others to Plant Trees and Help Provide Cleaner Air for All


I feel like on this paperless forms blog, I generally talk about things we need to do like boycotting business forms and substituting them with paperless forms- making greener choices and leading a more ecofriendly life. Today, however, I decided to go along a slightly different route, and instead celebrate those who are getting it RIGHT. Yes. There are those who are blazing the trail for others to follow when it comes to protecting the environment. One of such people, that I shall actually focus this blog post upon, is Felix Finkbeiner.

Teen Speaks at United Nations General Assembly 

It is uncommon to see children invited to speak at the United Nations General Assembly, but there this young boy was, then at the age of 9 years old! (and yes It does make me feel completely useless since I’m way older). 

“We children know adults know the challenges and they know the solutions,” he said. “We don’t know why there is so little action.”

He came up with three possible reasons to explain the lapse.

“For most adults, it’s an academic question. For many of us children, it’s a question of survival,” he said. “Twenty-one hundred is still in our lifetime.”

Another explanation is climate denial. The third possibility can be glimpsed in an animal parable about monkeys that made an especially sharp point in the way that only a child delivering the message can.

“If you let a monkey choose if he wants one banana now or six bananas later, the monkey will always chose the one banana now,” he said. “From this, we children understood we cannot trust that adults alone will save our future. To do that, we have to take our future in our hands.”

At the time of his speech, Finkbeiner was four years into leading a remarkable environmental cause that has since expanded into a global network of children activists working to slow the Earth’s warming by reforesting the planet.

Plant for the Planet

Today, Finkbeiner is 19—and Plant-for-the-Planet, the environmental group he founded, together with the UN’s Billion Tree campaign, has planted more than 14 billion trees in more than 130 nations. The group has also pushed the planting goal upward to one trillion trees—150 for every person on the Earth.

The organization also prompted the first scientific, full-scale global tree count, which is now aiding NASA in an ongoing study of forests’ abilities to store carbon dioxide and their potential to better protect the Earth. In many ways, Finkbeiner has done more than any other activist to recruit youth to the climate change movement. Plant-for-the-Planet now has an army of 55,000 “climate justice ambassadors,” who have trained in one-day workshops to become climate activists in their home communities. Most of them are between the ages nine and 12.


“Felix is a combination of inspirational and articulate,” says Thomas Crowther, an ecologist who conducted the tree count while working at Yale University in Connecticut. “A lot of people are good at one of those things. Felix is really good at both.”

 I commend this young boy for his foresight; seeing a problem and actually taking action to change the situation.

Now, maybe you might not be able to undergo a massive project like him, but you could still make a difference. You could initiate some positive change. Felix Finkbeiner is planting trees, but you can help reduce the cutting down of them by making your office paperless with SignTech.

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