Heroes of the Environment: True Stories of People Who Are Helping to Protect Our Planet Harriet Rohmer
This book introduces readers to a dozen people of all ages and walks of life who are doing something to help the environment. Will Allen started an organic farm in the middle of Milwaukee. Keyladra Welcker invented a water filtration system to deal with a local pollutant--when she was in high school. Omar Freilla started a cooperative that sells construction waste to other builders to use in new construction projects. Debby Tewa helps houses in the Hopi Indian reservation get hooked up to solar power. Margie Richard got a big oil company to pay for residents to move out of Old Diamond--a town that the company had polluted so badly it was no longer safe to live there. John Todd invented a system that treats sewage and waste through a series of mini-ecosystems. At the age of 11, Alex Lin and his friends set up a site to collect e-waste. When that wasn't enough, he got his school to teach kids how to refurbish old computers and helped lobby for Rhode Island's e-waste law. Julia Bonds campaigns against mountaintop removal mining. El Hijo del Santo, a popular lucha libre star in Mexico gets kids to help him fight pollution. Barry Guillot gets his students to help him protect the wetlands around New Orleans--teaching science and helping the environment at the same time. Sarah James works to educate people about the importance of the Arctic areas and the caribou birthing grounds. When Erica Fernandez was high school with limited English skills, she campaigned to halt an offshore processing plant that would pipe highly explosive gas through Erica's Hispanic, farm-worker community.
All the stories are presented in a few pages, showing how normal people took something they found to be important and went with it, no matter if they didn't have skills, or if they were just kids.
What really struck me was that, with many of these projects, the fact that it helped the environment was secondary-- many of them are community projects. Debby Tewa helps Native American families use solar power, but she really just wants them to have access to electricity, but they live too far away to be connected up to the power lines. Will Allen wanted the people of Milwaukee to have access to fresh produce. Many of these projects show that no matter what you want to do to help your community, it can also help the environment and often community and environmental issues are intertwined.
A cool and easy to read, easy to browse book to show kids how people around them are quietly changing the world.
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