Youth Think Climate Magazine Edition #3: Earth Month

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APRIL 2021


Youth Think Climate EST. 2020

Your Submissions Narratives, essays, poems, artwork, and photography on the beauty of our planet.

Earth Appreciation Interviews Read about the impact nature has had on people during the pandemic and what actions you can take to help preserve it. Cover artwork by Jasmine Parker Red Rock Falls (pg 08)




03 | Editors' Note 04 | Meet the Team 06 | Your Submissions 07 | Appreciate Our Planet's Beauty 20 | Protect the Environment


34 | YTC Actions & Resources


36 | Thank You


EDITORS' NOTE Dear Readers, This Earth Month, we bring you a special edition dedicated to appreciating the Earth's Beauty. Equally important, this edition also brings attention to the reality that we still have a lot of work to do in regards to protecting and restoring that Beauty. Originally, we were only looking for submissions that were "positive" and showcasing a collage of thriving nature and animals; however, we decided to also feature submissions that exposed the "negatives" such ocean pollution -- submissions that affirmed our need to continue to fight for environmental justice, encourage improvements in our lifestyles to live more sustainably, and protect the planet and all of its inhabitants. Additionally, we included interview questions to increase the ways that each artist could express their stories and ideas. We think that reading about why other people appreciate nature, especially through this pandemic, is a way to expand your own perspective of the services that nature provides for us and why it is so critical that we protect the Earth. Sincerely,

The Youth Think Climate Team youth think climate est. 2020

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MEET THE TEAM The Youth Think Climate (YTC) magazine was born out of a partnership between six Fellows from Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) Fellowships in Orlando, Florida and Madison, Wisconsin. They wanted to create a platform for youth interested in the climate movement to share their stories.

JULIAN is 15 years old and lives in Madison, Wisconsin. He is fond of playing viola, reading novels, and autumn weather.

LIANE is an ACE Fellow from Central Florida. She loves to travel and will always appreciate a good (or bad) dad joke.

JULIANA is a 14 years old climate activist who lives in Florida. She loves meeting new people, and helping out in her community. She hopes to pursue a career in journalism.

LAUREN loves meeting new people and discussing environmental issues through Madison’s Youth Climate Action Team (YCAT) and La Follette High School’s Green Club.

MARISSA is a 14 year old from Callisburg, TX. She loves swimming and animals and hopes to pursue a career in marine biology. 04 | YTC

KIMBERLEY is a 16-year-old French-American writer and activist who has spent her years living in Paris, London, Dallas, and Miami. She enjoys reading, writing, and listening to music.

ARDRA is an ACE Fellow from Madison, WI. She enjoys volunteering, helping her community, and fighting for climate justice.

NOEMY is 17 years old and lives Madison, WI. She enjoys going for long walks and identifying native species.

IAN is an ACE Fellow from Central Florida. He enjoys playing the violin in his free time.

MARCO is a Youth Organizer in Milwaukee, WI where he works to support youth to become leaders in the fight for climate justice. He enjoys playing soccer and rock climbing.

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Where We're From by YTC | | Instagram: @youththinkclimate We the people - We the voices of the silenced youth - demand change. Our voices will be raised, and we as a whole will dismantle the inequities that plague our reality. Screaming at the top of our lungs, we will take to the streets, educate our people, and demand what we deserve because the power of our movement weighs heavy in our heart. A single heart unifying us all - powered by our thirst for justice - which will never stop beating. We the people demand to have our voices heard. Read our thoughts on the current climate emergency and keep them in mind as you listen to our pounding heartbeat. 06 | YTC

pg 10



pg 09

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This painting depicts Red Rock Falls near Oakhurst, Ca. My parents took a picture in front of the falls when they were dating, and about 20 years later they took my brother and I to the falls in the Fall of 2018. We hiked up the falls and followed the water upstream where my mother took the reference photo for this picture. This place ( and painting) represents not only our admiration for nature as a family, but for me personally as an artist who takes inspiration from nature, and the treasured memories the natural world imbues in all of us who are fortunate enough to venture out into nature.

Red Rock Falls by Jasmine Parker | California | 22 | She/Her | Instagram: @jlp_artsy

What do you appreciate about the Earth/nature? I am constantly baffled by the colors found in nature from vibrant neons to "Earth" tones like umber, ochre, etc., and how they interact in different environments for different species and their survival. On a different note, I appreciate how nature can bring people together from different communities, while also acting as an alluring force for a solitary and meaningful experience.

What actions have you taken to preserve the beauty of the Earth? What are some actions other people can take? I make my own makeup products when I can to reduce my use of plastic and purchase from local or small businesses that practice sustainability when I can not make my own beauty/bath products. I have bought my clothes for the past 3 years solely from thrift stores, and reuse objects/materials whenever possible especially in my artwork. Also, I bring a bag with me each time I like to pick up trash on the trails and surrounding areas.

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The Benefits of Nature on Human Health by Marissa Payne | Texas | 14 | She/Her

According to the EPA, the average American spends approximately 90% of their time indoors. Contrary to this current trend, outdoor activities have been linked to many mental and physical health benefits.

First of all, nature keeps your mind sharp. The National Park Service has stated that even 20

Wading in the Falls by Jeffrey DeCristofaro | North Carolina | 35 | He/Him | Instagram: @jeffrey_decristofaro_official

minutes outside can increase concentration in children with ADHD, and exercising in a natural environment can reduce cortisol levels by up to 15%. Therefore, making time for a simple walk outside is crucial for the management of emotions such as depression and anxiety.

Furthermore, there are many physical advantages to a connection with our environment. The simple act of walking

Rainbow Over the Blue Ridge

through a green space can considerably reduce the risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol.

In summary, nature is essential to our health and well-being. In the coming months and years, we must keep in mind all that our world provides for us. Consider what we can give in return.

Flying Past Hooker Falls Read Jeffrey's poem on page 26

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What do you appreciate about the Earth/nature? Its healing and life-sustaining qualities.

Sunset Rock on Lookout Mountain (Chattanooga, TN) by Amber Boleng | Florida | 32 | She/Her

How has nature helped you during the pandemic? Or, how has your perception or relationship to nature changed during the pandemic? Nature has helped see the beauty of the world and it constantly reminds me of how beautiful life can be.

"Pictures in my beautiful little island" by Alondra | Puerto Rico | 16 | She/They | Instagram: @hiccup222 10 | YTC

The Blossoming Flower by Alina Luke | Washington | 21 | She/Her | Instagram: @saylin_the7seas The Blossoming Flower poem I wrote does not pertain to any particular individual, but rather shows that even when you fall, you can rise up to become a better you by finding the right groups and finding the right people to hang out with and social with, to hopefully reflect back on how you have grown as a person.

Hidden Meanings Within the Petals There once was a flower that was withering. The petals started to come off one by one, floating down onto the ripples of the river, slowly, but surely, treading along faster and faster. With the speed picking up from the river, the petals began to compete. Soon, there was a master of the petals. Dreading on their defeat, a hierarchy began to form. The ranking system started from first, second, third place, and then there were the extra. As the master of the river let out a cry of laughter, the extras began to form teams. Growing as strong as a beam, building up strategies, ideas, anything to go against the master of the petals. First, second, and third place left. All that was left was theft. Swirling in the waters, the extras decided to race again. With acceptance from the master, another challenge came into play. The master gave the say and decided to set another race in May. May came, gliding faster and faster, pacing against the master, spinning and spinning, aiming towards winning, not even close to thinning, the race came to an end. The extras won and the deed was done.

What do you appreciate about the Earth/nature? Earth and nature alike have a lot more than meets the eye. When seeing nature at its finest, the sense of calm runs through my veins like no tomorrow. Natural beauty is not seen everyday, and so, when one sits down and listens into the chirps or the birds or the howling of the wind, they will come to realize what it means to appreciate natural beauty.

What actions have you taken to preserve the beauty of the Earth? What are some actions other people can take? I have been reusing reusable cloth masks to lower the amount of waste from disposable masks and placing trash into garbage bins to reduce litter. Everyday, more and more waste piles up in landfills. To reduce the amount of waste piling up, I believe everyone should do their part in reducing, reusing, and recycling to make for a healthier Earth and environment for all.

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out by Emma Swain | Wisconsin | 23 | She/Her | Instagram: @emma.swain As spring melts to summer,

Lay down your burdens, and

as the greening of the trees force their

I will lay down mine.

cacophony of life into the thawing air:

Above your head, another bloom

let me live outdoors.

on the vine you planted not too long ago. And we will speak of

let a meadow thick with violets

soft things,

and bluebells bloom on the carpet.

of quiet and the falling of rain and the wild geese that soar homeward overhead.

sweep the wind across the floor through the window and

And around us,

throw the drapes open wide.

life will carry on,

make me a pillow of

and the soft damp earth beneath our feet will accept the burdens

dandelion and willow

we lay upon it afresh.

nestle me in a blanket of daisies and dander. bring in the dust of the earth into the crevices and cracks into my home into my soul. invite the sparrows in for tea and let them nest in the cupboards. breathe in hope and fill your lungs with warm fresh air untainted by winter's harm. let me bathe in the rainstorm, tumultuous though it may be, it restores the tumult which has been silent for too long within my winterized soul. replace the ceiling with a canopy of brambles and string up a hundred thousand flowers, those blooming reminders of my friends the trees the wildflowers the weeds the honeybees, the earth.

“Another Day” is a piece that shows something that I think is pretty in nature (frogs, trees, sunsets, ponds, etc) and I wanted the piece to be something simple that’s a reminder of how pretty the world can be and is when you look in the right places.

Another Day by Jordyn Harper | Georgia | 16 | She/Her

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What actions have you taken to preserve the beauty of the Earth? What are some actions other people can take? I have used up my old products and switched to eco friendly and sustainable products in the bathroom, kitchen, etc. I have also starting buying more fruits and veggies with my tote bag. Other people can make simple swaps such as a tote for shopping, or reusable paper towels or bars of shampoo.

Scape FallScape Fall | 15 || ania | Pennsylv by Rachel | She/Her nia | 15 | Pennsylva Rachel y22 m: @rstahle | Instagra She/Her 22 : @rstahley Instagram

"[This work] shows how beautiful our earth is when we do our job to keep garbage and pollution away waters & our land. Keep our earth clean, do your part and DO NOT LITTER."

Midnight Beauty Jada Marino | New York | 9 13 | YTC

Magnificence by Juliana Verzi | Florida | 14 | She/Her | Instagram: @julianavbella

The sun’s rays shine through the blue and white of the sky aiding the natural processes of earth, The radiant songs of birds filling the air awakening creatures, large and small, The vibrancy of flowers bringing colour to the lush green valleys the blossoming being’s sweet nectar feeding the flamboyant butterflies and lively bees, The snowflakes of varying shapes and sizes gleam as they fly through the air hitting the ground and accumulating in soft, compressed fluffs until the cold passes, The prismatic appearance of the blue sea from the surface becomes a world abundant with life, thriving in the depths, The dense jungles filled with exotic species creating a multicoloured ecosystem, vivid and radiant, The savannahs with their golden grass, the home for some of the world’s mightiest and most massive wildlife The grasslands, bustling with life of all forms, those who graze on the fields of green The mountains of gray, sleek and majestic stand tall above all, ominous but breathtaking These are some of the many components contributing to the beauty of nature, of earth We cannot take these things for granted as they need our help to flourish We must learn to protect them to preserve earth’s magnificence

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What do you appreciate about the Earth/nature? The Earth gives us so much, including the essential elements of life that we don't give a second thought in our constantly full and busy lives. As living creatures ourselves, we are fundamentally connected to this big, beautiful, breathing blue planet, and that is something incredible in and of itself.

Hummingbird Camouflage by Allison Su | Connecticut | 17 | She/Her

"The quetzal is the national bird of Guatemala, and one of the most beautiful creatures of the tropical rainforest."

What do you appreciate about the Earth/nature? I like taking walks and seeing animals out in the wild.

Quetzal by Aria Luna | California | 10 | She/Her | Instagram: | 15 | YTC

On Winter by Anonymous During the COVID-19 pandemic, I've noticed that my relationship with nature has begun to slowly change. With my newfound time, I can devote myself to more observation of the earth around me, and less to the ever-changing world that now seems so foreign. I feel incredibly privileged to be in a position where I have this time and wellbeing during the pandemic. During this year especially, spending time outside in winter presents a unique, solitary experience. Winter, though often unforgiving, shows us the skeleton of the Earth; something unreplicated in any other season.

The season itself, although not as glamorous as summer, is seen as a time to stay inside, and we're often distracted from the outdoors by the inviting lull of holidays and visits from family. Visiting a nature preserve or conservation area during the coldest months of the year presents an eerie stillness. The skies are seemingly muted from the absence of birds, and the streams that crisscross walking trails are shielded from the wind by a layer of ice. The snow itself presents unique documentation of the previous visitors by means of shallow footprints hastily imprinted on the ground. There are hardly any colors except for the brown of the tree bark and the white of the snow. These conditions make it the ideal place to spend time alone, during a season in which we are often reminded to do the opposite.

In winter, one often gets a sense of just how brittle the natural world really is. From gaunt tree branches to chalky prairie plants, the cold leaves nature practically defenseless. Nevertheless, withstanding the harshness, they are able to return when the time comes. Perhaps the natural world is trying to tell us something here. As our society slowly begins to resume operation, one must keep the natural world within your peripheral vision. Even as winters grow more frigid, the earth will know how to return every year, far past our time.

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What actions have you taken to preserve the beauty of the Earth? What are some actions other people can take? Reduce, reuse,

Unlikely Animal Friend Duos by Sara Goldberg | Massachusetts | 23 | She/Her | Instagram: @illustration.creations

recycle, walk, carpool, take shorter showers, donate to reliable organizations

Sleeping on Clouds by Hessa | Dubai | 31 | Instagram: @F9oo9

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Exploring the Extremes Of Our Amazing Planet by Christopher Lyons | Florida | 12 | Instagram: @christopherl.official Once upon a time I was that kid that always had a pocket full of rocks. I always enjoyed going on family hikes and often times I would name larger rocks that I would find on trails after dinosaurs or other familiar things that the rocks resembled. This led to a natural love for travel and world geography. Learning about different countries, various geological landscapes and different biomes on earth because something that now what I call, “a lifetime hobby.” During my journeys, I discovered quickly that the best way to learn about the environment is through experiences and safe exploration. I also quickly became good at negotiating where and why we should travel. Traveling to learn about the planet offered unique experiences and amazing adventures. Planet earth is the best classroom but one that we should explore with gratitude and preserve with care for future generations.

A few years ago my Mom asked me a question. She asked me, “if I could go anywhere on planet earth, where would I go?” I told her that I wanted to go to all of the places that she has been.

She chuckled and said, “well, there are certainly some places that she won’t be able to take me that she has been to”. She shared that times have changed but despite, she promised to do her best. I already knew where I wanted to go.

During this time, I was fascinated by dinosaurs, rocks and I really enjoyed learning about volcanoes. my number one choice was the land of fire and ice, Iceland. My mother spent a significant amount of time in Iceland many moons ago chasing weather and doing some awesome science and engineering work. She would always tell me stories about exploring there and about how amazing it was. Naturally, Iceland was my top choice for a family adventure. I couldn’t wait to get a glimpse and to explore where some of our astronauts trained to prepare for exploring the lunar surface.

My family & I set off on a geology-infused adventure to see real basaltic volcanoes, smoldering sulfur pits and to see something that I was super excited about, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge which is also known as MAR. We backtracked to many of the exact places that my mother explored years ago and finally, I made it to MAR, the continental divide.

Initially I was thinking about the movie Ice Age and Scratt the Squirrel but this was beyond my wildest imagination. It was amazing! I felt that I was on another planet!

Read the rest of Christopher's essay here

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What actions have you taken to preserve the beauty of the Earth? What are some actions other people can take? Some actions I have taken to preserve the Earth are picking up after myself, picking up trash I happen to come across, and help sign petitions that will hopefully help change. Some actions others can

Garden of Sand by Alysha | Nebraska | 16 | She/Her | Instagram: @alysha.kwailin

take are doing the above or keeping up with things going on in the environment by following a group of environmentalists. Not only that, but another good way to take action is by buying eco-friendly products! What’s even better than that is supporting local, small businesses that sell ecofriendly products.

"The idea is viewing the beauty of earth all to together as if everything was connected."

Blur by Sabrina Whitaker | North Carolina | 20 | She/Her | Instagram: @sabrinawhitaker89 19 | YTC

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pg 21

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One Ocean. Two Futures. by Mohammed Neshath | India | 20 | He/Him | Instagram: @mneshath

What you do Matters. Those tiny actions you do either benefits or harms your surrounding. Our surrounding. One Mother Nature. It's all we have. Oceans too, a major part of her. Plastics. Oil spillage. Coral leaching. Dwindling marine ecosystems. Damage is done. The Ocean screams. Yet, as Desmond Tutu says "Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness." Global youth at its finest , counts as the most valuable Resource in our hands. Whether through education, technology, science or law

young people far and wide are tapping

into their skills to speak up for climate action. Ultimately, Our voice matters and our life matters. Let us stand together in stopping climate change.

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My Fear of Mankind by Kimberley Yasmine Dunn | FL | 16 | She/Her | Instagram: @Frenchdaisy04 "My Fear of Mankind" is representative of man's greed and disregard for nature will be the own stimulus to Earth's destruction and the downfall of humanity.

Climate Change by Ariana Habermann | California | 15 | She/Her | Instagram: @a_ariana_h

When I was young, I would walk through the towers of men, and Mother would guide my every step.

She now lies on her deathbed; no longer can she shield me from the atrocities of humankind.

In her last moments, I ask her, “Mother, why did you birth the greed of man?”

She sighed with the most saccharine of smiles, “So that when I perish, there is nobody else to blame for the death of feeble peace and birth of evitable destruction.”

What actions have you taken to preserve the beauty of the Earth? What are some actions other people can take? Recently researching the water quality of my city, I discovered that Miami drinking water is in fact contaminated with polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. PFAS is often labelled as a “forever chemical” as it does not break down naturally in the environment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a growing body of research of PFAS’ impact on human health shows exposure is linked to reproductive and developmental harm as well as liver and kidney damage and cancer. What is more, according to the Miami New Times, “Florida does not have its own PFAS safety standard and instead relies on federal guidelines, which recommend that municipalities maintain PFAS levels lower than 70 parts per trillion.” However, recent readings showed that Miami PFAS levels far exceeded such an amount. Without stricter guidelines, polluting industries are continuing to get away with polluting our waterways rather than disposing of toxic waste. Such carelessness has devastating effects on one’s health including an increased risk of getting cancer, especially for those who consume seafood daily. In light of the polluting industries’ attempts to coverup their effect on Miami’s water quality, I am looking to raise awareness about the need to tighten the legal limits for contaminants in Miami’s water. Just because current limits are legal doesn’t mean they’re safe.

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What We Leave Behind Amy Yang | Rhode Island | 20 | She/Her | Instagram: @autumnwings

The inspiration for this piece came when I was asked, "What connects all of our oceans?" The sad thing is, the thing all of our oceans have in common is plastic. It's the things we throw in the trash, toss out the car window, or leave behind for someone else to clean up that will be the consequences that outlive us. The ones who pay the price, though, are the wildlife who will suffocate from our carelessness. I hope for this piece to encourage everyone to be aware of what they're buying, where it came from, and where it ultimately ends up. The legacy that humanity leaves behind can be more than just post-consumer waste.

How has nature helped you during the pandemic? Or, how has your perception or relationship to nature changed during the pandemic? Nature has always been a calming escape from a reality that is sometimes too much to handle, especially during the pandemic. Hikes in my local park never fail to clear my mind and allow me to truly take in the beauty of my surroundings, which I intend to preserve in my pursuit of a career as a wildlife veterinarian and conservation biologist.

What do you appreciate about the Earth/nature? I appreciate the biodiversity that humbles mankind with the reminder that humans are not the pinnacle of evolution. Every single life form has faced its own challenges to get to where they are now, and their struggles shine through in their irreplaceable beauty.

What actions have you taken to preserve the beauty of the Earth? What are some actions other people can take? As an executive officer of my student sustainability organization, I organize and execute projects that will give back to our supportive community. The Bottle Cap Bench Project intends to collect and clean 200 lbs of plastic bottle caps and lids to recycle into a park bench, which we will donate to the local library. The Rain Barrel Project aims to modify soy sauce containers into functioning rain barrels, which we will donate to community gardens. I believe the actions people can take for the betterment of our planet are truly endless, and I hope to inspire more individuals to selflessly give back to a community in whatever unique way that they can. The most important part, though, is to put passion to action and truly enjoy the work you do.

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The Argument for Sustainable Consumption by Ysabella Zuniga Aviles | Texas | 16 | She/Her | Linkedin: Ysabella Zuniga Aviles Research analysis argumentative essay advocating for increased market consciousness for achievable sustainable consumption/ manufacturing.

We live in a world accustomed to mass production and rampant consumption at every corner. The tolls that our societal habits have on the environment have become increasingly evident as deforestation, plastic waste, and habitat loss disturb ecosystems. Human nonchalance towards the effects of our actions mar the beautiful state of our planet, to the point it will soon be irrevocable. One of the best ways to preserve the beauty of our planet is through increased consciousness and the implementation of preventative measures. Sustainable consumption - also known as green or ethical consumerism - is the practice of buying and producing in a manner that minimizes one’s ecological footprint through the use of clean energy sources and materials. It has added yet another consideration for companies to ponder when analyzing their market and has left many unsure of how to proceed. Rather than avoiding the emergence of sustainable consumerism, companies should implement green practices whenever possible and seek to promote consumers’ understanding regarding the workings of sustainability.

Read the rest of Ysabella's essay here

What actions have you taken to preserve the beauty of the Earth? What are some actions other people can take? A simple action I have taken, and others can too, is buying a single metal water bottle and using it on a daily basis rather than multiple disposable plastic water bottles! In the long run, it's both cheaper and better for the environment!

America’s Crisis Response by Gillian Joseph | New York | 17 | She/Her | Tiktok: @Dill.ztr This essay covers issues FEMA has with their efficiency in responding to high level natural disasters, and what we can do to fix it.

As we find new ways to slow the effects of climate change and adopt new policies to decrease our carbon footprint, we need to be prepared to take on the aftermath of global warming. Climate change has ushered in fierce tropical storms, and Hurricanes such as Irma, Sandy, and Katrina; Many would agree that the government’s response to victims of natural disasters hasn't been efficient or adequate enough for these families to get back on their feet .

Read the rest of Gillian's essay here

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Save Ariel by Devon West | Massachusetts | 17 | She/Her | Instagram: @devoceansci

"I made it to spread awareness about ocean pollution. In this watercolor painting, Ariel from the little mermaid is dying because of the trash in the ocean."

How has nature helped you during the pandemic? Or, how has your perception or relationship to nature changed during the pandemic? The ocean breeze always calms me down and clears my mind which has really helped me cope with the chaos of the pandemic

What actions have you taken to preserve the beauty of the Earth? What are some actions other people can take? I've started to go down the zero waste mindset and cut down on my environmental impact, other people can educate themselves and just learn the impact their day to day life has on the earth.

Jellyfish and Plastic Bags Raygun Jones | United States | 20 | She/Her | Instagram: @hey_itsme_nasa 25| YTC

How Beautiful You Are by Jeffrey DeCristofaro | North Carolina | 35 | He/Him | Instagram: @jeffrey_decristofaro_official This is my ode to Mother Nature, as a description, as well as an indictment of the crimes humans have caused to her as a whole, and the mission that we in the present and our children must fulfill to protect her as a whole.

How beautiful you are, world that existed long before we were all born. We took our first breaths, opened our eyes, and stepped out. And there you were, everywhere, everything… and there you are still. You are the sky that hangs above all. You are the ground that spreads before all. You are the land that we walk and run on. You are the waters in which we swim, bathe, and sail on. You are the air that we breathe, the wind blowing all around. And we are your children, who must return the love you have given.

How beautiful you are, world populated with treasures far richer than what we create. The forests that reach for the sky, the hills and mountains that tower. The rivers that flow over your face, the seas that engulf your body. You are the trees that must grow tall, give us air, food, shade and shelter. You are the deserts that must remain dry, the polar ice that must remain frozen. You are the fish that swarm above and throughout your reefs. You are the birds that soar and sing, alone or in flocks. You are the beasts that roam your terrain, give it tails, scales, fur, faces and legs. And we are their brothers and sisters, who must share and show love to them and their homes.

How beautiful you are, a world that shows pain and sorrow. Among us are those who do not understand, who cherish greed and power at your expense. They afflict misery and injury, great scars and suffering, that take a toll on your health and our future. You are the jungles that we razed and stripped bare to the roots. You are the oceans tainted with oil that we drained, poisons that we spilled. You are the atmosphere choked with toxins that we pumped out. You are the flora that we stomped, burned, sprayed and paved over. You are the fauna that we hunted, abducted, imprisoned, abused and murdered. And we are your children, who must atone for these crimes, restore all living beauty you gave us before, for our own children to behold and treasure with far greater wisdom and love than we showed before.

Read Jeffrey's Interview Here

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The Stain We Leave Behind By Anthony Fiore | Connecticut | 17 | He/His | Instagram: @Anthony_fiore_ct

Survival by Clark Hoskins | Florida | 38

"Protect the Planet and Its People" by Annabelle Golden | USA | 22 | She/Her | Instagram: @graphicsandgrain

"I created this piece for @intersectionalenvironmentalist , inspired by the values of intersectional environmentalism. Intersectional environmentalism teaches us that social issues and environmental justice are interconnected and we can't protect the planet without also protecting the people who live there."

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I Still Hope by Margaret Dukes | Minnesota | 25 | She/Them I don’t know how to explain how I still have hope. That all my years of being angry and jaded just made me burnt out. How I spent years learning to love myself and the world again.

I know enough about climate change to know that it feels overwhelming and impossible to solve but not enough to cite sources. Which is where most of America is, I think. There’s this undercurrent of anxiety while we all smile and pretend everything is okay because what can we do? The world is being murdered. No, that’s not right. The world will still be there when all this is over. We’re murdering each other. The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. The world gets hotter. These are intrinsically bound together.

Some of us act like we can save the world with personal virtue, like people driving to work is to blame for the crisis. Like car and tire companies didn’t buy up public transportation to destroy the competition. Like jobs don’t ask if you have reliable transportation in a country with so few options.

Still I believe in a future where companies are held accountable. Where indigenous voices are listened to and climate justice is law. The fight will probably never be over, but that doesn’t mean we give up. We make Greed and Hate fight for every inch it tries to gain.

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Protest Sign & "Giraffes" by Gina Goldin | California | 21 | She/Her | Instagram: @goldindoodle Along with art, animals are my biggest passion and it’s important to me to use my art to bring awareness to the wildlife we share this planet with. I put a lot of focus into capturing the individuality of the animals in my work, so I like to draw in a more expressive style so that people can emotionally connect with them.

I feel strongly that it is our responsibility to undo the damage we have done to our planet, and that we owe it to the wildlife that has allowed us to live as a species.

What actions have you taken to preserve the beauty of the Earth? What are some actions other people can take? I try to eat more sustainable foods whenever I can. Also I use a search engine called Ecosia that plants trees from your searches.

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Wanderer's Wife by Kaylee Hamilton | Missouri | 19 | She/Her | Instagram: write_the_right_way Wanderer; wanderer;

Mother Nature

What do I do

never resorts to revenge;

When even heaven

Just to avenge itself.

Claims to be bewitched by you?

The only difference Between nature and I

Wanderer; wanderer;

Is my wealth;

Eye of mine;

I sought,

What do you hold most divine?

With my eye.

The hearth;

Nature breeds life to become of

The core;


Core to core;

Nature is life

Celestial being once more.

So today So be it

Wanderer; wanderer

I worship nature

What do find

And yet I want Mother Nature

When heaven is Earth;

Like a wife.

Now I can see What is divine forsaking you! "The author is talking to

Even an overgrowth Is beauty Withhold all who coath. I pray to the trees; Run my finger alongSkin to skin

herself internally when she asks wanderer these things... When I mention skin to skin I mean we have evolved from nature so everything in nature has skin."

How has nature helped you during the pandemic? Or, how has your perception or relationship to nature changed during the pandemic? I learned nature is stronger than I thought- nature can be menacing; though it can also be beautiful.

What do you appreciate about the Earth/nature? The way it makes me feel whole even though I dissociate because of my anxiety which is caused by my schizophrenia.

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Still There by Eva Sweeney | Massachusetts | 18 | She/They | Instagram: @evasweeneyy

"Alternating stanzas contrasting an urban environment to nature. Meaning: I tried to convey that I think the

Underneath it all there is a silence.

most wonderful thing about nature is it's

Blades of grass in sidewalk cracks,

persistence. Despite pollution in urban

the horizon dawns an old alliance,

areas, nature can still be found. This gives

pray it comes before collapse.

me hope for our planet's ability to recover


from pollution."

Cities rose like treads on tires, grinding on sprawling highways. Countries excavate the ground’s heart, in search of more to set ablaze. Cars puffing smoke like business men way back in the sixties. We sings songs for coming futures. We promise we will not feel guilty. All of us scraped by branches. All of us infected with life, beating the thrum inside our chests, humming thoughts in our minds. Stoic smokestacks spewing, roads paved with cigarette stubs. Silver soil glitters with litter, and that’s not where it stops.

How has nature helped you during the pandemic? Or, how has your perception or relationship to nature changed during the pandemic? Nature has been a nice escape from being stuck inside my house during the pandemic. I have always enjoyed the outdoors, but long walks and bike rides have been especially useful for lifting my mood.

What do you appreciate about the Earth/nature? I appreciate how resilient the earth can be! I love seeing how abandoned urban spaces are always taken back over by nature in the end. It gives me hope for the future health of the planet.

We open factories for coffin nails and shining plastic rings. Don’t pause to strain the oceans or clear oil from bird wings. I’ve seen wonders big and small. I’ve seen redwoods reach the sky

Nature by Tanish Singh | Texas | 20 | He/Him | Instagram: @thespiritus

and ivy thriving on brick walls, unyielding nature glorified. Streetlights brighten up the clouds and smog covers us up thick. You can’t think over the noise or see the coming brink. Walk out into the empty and count stars as you squint. Feel earth with your palms

Watch Tanish's Video Essay Here

and promise to commit. A marvel of a marble, for you and I. We’ve got to try.

31 | YTC

Art gives us permission to dream about the world we deserve to live in: a world where all people are treated with dignity and have access to clean air, water, and land; a world where we live in harmony with the Earth; a world where rest and joy are valued. This piece aims to inspire us and give us the courage to act on those dreams. As Arundhati Roy expressed so beautifully, "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing."

Another World is Possible by Eliana Bernat | Illinois | 17 | She/Her | Instagram: @planet.artivist Suffocation by Hannah Saville | US | 20 | She/Her | Instagram: @artsy_hannahwyos

This piece shows real plants and flowers beneath the bubble wrap being suffocated by it.

32 | YTC

"I wanted to create something simple. When we often see images of pollution, or perhaps

American White Iris in the Everglades by Ollie Frost | Florida | 17 | They/Them | Instagram: @0llieruuuth

artwork that allude to pollution, they are extreme. The images are filled with animals dying or places destroyed or horrifying and detailed ways in which the world is on fire. While these images show the harmful impacts, they can often deter away from reality, I wanted to create a realistic image while still creating a sense of urgency in wanting to help and protect the environment. The red ink pops from the peacefully monochromatic Florida landscape I grew up with. It draws the eye away from what you want to see in nature and forces you to look at the pollution that surrounds the bird. There is pollution in the water, in the air lining the clouds it is even within the beak of the Iris and you can't unsee it because the artwork itself was designed to force you to look upon what we have done to the environment. I'm proud with how it turned out and I'm hoping people can take something away from it, whether it's a new found appreciation for the subtle ways environmental activism can impact art or simply a want for a cleaner Earth, a want for change."

How has nature helped you during the pandemic? Or, how has your perception or relationship to nature changed during the pandemic? I love nature; I always have and always will. But I have gotten closer to nature seeing as I spend my days in my backyard saying hello to all the birds and squirrels that come up to our seed feeder everyday.

What do you appreciate about the Earth/nature? I love that there is still more and more that we don't know about the Earth. We like to think that we know everything that there is to know about the Earth from an ecological standpoint, when in reality there is so much more to explore. There is 95% of the ocean left untouched, approximately 4 million different types of bugs that we still don't know exist, and so much more.

What actions have you taken to preserve the beauty of the Earth? What are some actions other people can take? I sign petitions, join activist groups, write to my local law makers and representatives, I actively listen to others when they need their voices to be heard. And these are thing we should all be doing, and should all have an understanding and empathy and respect for those who can't use metal straws or consistently buy sustainably or be able to become vegan or vegetarian because there is a certain privilege in being able to do those things.

33 | YTC


Actions & Resources WHAT WE'RE READING


The Women Fighting A Pipeline That Could Destroy Precious Wildlife article by Joe Whittle




What Makes Earth So Special? TED Talk by Lucianne Walkowicz






Stellar astronomer and TED




heart of the largest river swamp in North

suggests that we stop dreaming of Mars

America, a battle is being waged over the

as a place that we'll eventually move to

future of the most precious resource of

when we've messed up Earth, and to start

all: water. On one side of the conflict is a


small band of Indigenous activists. On the

preservation of the Earth as two sides of

other side is the relentless machinery of

the same goal. As she says, "The more you


look for planets like Earth, the more you










Greenwashed weekly web series from the Alliance for Climate

Build Back Fossil Free youth letter to President Biden

Education (ACE)

Description: generation’s

Description: that



Watch the talk here




appreciate our own planet."

Read the article here




Young people have written









Hear voices

directly who





movements around the country and taking power back from those who are intent on our silence.

Back Fossil Free.

Sign the petition here

Watch the first episode here 34 | YTC


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35 | YTC

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who submitted their work and for giving us the opportunity to share your voices. We would also like to express our gratitude towards our readers and supporters. This publication wouldn't have been possible without you. Sincerely, the Youth Think Climate Team

youth think climate est. 2020

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