Kids Speak Out on Earth Day

What do kids know about what’s going on with the Earth’s environment and how we can go about helping our radically changing planet? A lot more than we give them credit for. In honor of Earth Day, tonight HBO will air Part III of Saving My Tomorrow, a six-part family documentary series about the environment made in conjunction with the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

Below, we’ve excerpted a few startlingly prescient quotes that are featured in tonight’s episode, made by school children around the world who feel compelled to try to make a difference. We challenge you NOT to be inspired!

“Now that we evolved and started making, like, machines and iPods and computers and cars and cigarettes and things, we’re polluting [the Earth] now. The planet is getting warmer. We know about global warming and pollution and everything but it’s getting worse, so that’s why we should care.”
—Sasha, age 8

“You have to clean it up. You have to find out some sort of way to make sure that we and the nature around us can be happy.”
—Jacob, age 9

“We breathe in air and breathe out carbon dioxide. But trees and plants…they produce air. I’m worried that humans will chop down so many trees we might lose all the trees and soon we might suffocate of lack of air.”
—Hippocrates, age 9

“I want to bring down CO2 levels to 350 parts per million by the end of this century, so one of our main goals is to plant a trillion trees all around the world.”
—Wren, age 13

“We need 100 gigatons of reforestation and that adds up to a trillion trees. There’s room for a trillion trees in the world and it would take carbon out of the atmosphere, like, pulling the plug on carbon.”
—Gabe, age 13

“I’m selling lemonade to raise money to buy seeds to plant more trees. Don’t just sit down and watch TV after you do your school work. Get up, brainstorm, and go plant some more trees.”
—Abby, age 9

“Say there’s a random person who drops a soda can and plastic bags on the beach. The reason it affects the ocean is soon, eventually, it will wash up into the ocean and sea turtles, they see a plastic bag, they think it’s a jellyfish ‘cause they eat jellyfishes, and when they eat it they choke on it and die. It’s really not helpful at all.”
—Anastasia, age 8

“Our world is built off of plastic. Everything we use, everything we buy is wrapped in plastic and shipped in plastic…Plastic is dominating our whole society.
—Xiuhtezcatl, age 13

“Kids can do things adults can’t. The first thing we started to do was go around with petitions to get people to support and sign the [plastic] bag ban. We just showed up at the regular city council meetings, we kept going back and bugging them about it and eventually, it worked.  
—Sophia, age 11

“People are littering the earth and it’s not helping the Earth, it’s making the Earth very dirty and a bad place to live right now and we have to do things to help the Earth. And we have to do things that sometimes we don’t ordinarily do in our normal lifes, but we sort of have to change our lifes to save the Earth.
—Dakota, age 9

“You are the future generation. You are the ones that are going to have to deal with the mess that everybody else behind us has gotten us into. And you’re the ones who are going to have to figure out what to do.
—Grace, age 10

Photographs Courtesy of HBO