My newsfeed has been blasting story after story at me about an amazing Swedish kid who is literally trying to change the world. And once I sat down to read about her, I realized that she is the superhero that kids the world over deserve. So, who is Greta? In short, she’s an environmental and climate change activist but, get this; she’s only 16-years-old and she’s on the Autism spectrum having been diagnosed with Asperger’s. But neither her age nor her diagnosis has stopped her from grabbing the attention of world leaders and millions of world citizens.
Greta’s story started in 2018 when her teacher shared facts and images about climate change with her class. For Greta, the images of animals becoming extinct and oceans glutted with trash overwhelmed her and she found herself unable to push it aside in her mind and move on.
“We saw these horrifying pictures of plastic in the oceans and floodings and so on, and everyone was very moved by that. But then it just seemed like everyone went back to normal,” Greta told NPR. “And I couldn’t go back to normal because those pictures were stuck in my head. And I couldn’t just go on knowing that this was happening around the world.”
So, she decided to do something. She read as much as she could to educate herself about what climate change is and ways to reduce it. Then she decided to put action behind her new-found passion and she formed a series of weekly strikes. At first, the strikes were very small and occurred on Friday’s when she would stand in front of the Swedish Parliament with signs and leaflets. Her first strike was held on August 20th, 2018 and immediately went viral on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Skip ahead a year and now millions of concerned global citizens have joined her cause. And she’s now been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
As a mother of three, I constantly worry about my children’s’ future. How will the job market be when they graduate? Will they ever own a home? Will they even want to have kids at the rate that climate change is altering our environment? So, when I see young voices like Thunberg’s rise up and not only demand change but inspire change and movement among her peers, I feel a beacon of hope for my kids’ future.
It’s inspired our family to take a much closer look at how to be a zero-waste family and how to vote with our dollars and at the ballot box in order to take steps toward making however much of a difference that we can.
Rock on, Greta Thunberg! Keep raising that voice and inspiring kids everywhere to do great things!