By Lottie Dalziel
There’s no doubt about it that the youth of today are driving and fighting for a more sustainable future. From global climate strikes to innovation in our own backyard young people are leading the way. These four changemakers prove that age means nothing when it comes to creating change and making a difference.
1. Sophia Skarparis
Uni student Sophia Skarparis (also known as Plastic Free Sophia) has a vendetta against plastic and has made it her life mission to stop plastic pollution. At the age of 14, Sophia collected over 12,000 handwritten signatures to support banning single use and heavy retail plastic bags in New South Wales. She presented the petition to the NSW Premier and whilst the motion was unsuccessful it did come into effect years later. Skarparis was named Young Conservationists of the Year 2018 by Australian National Geographic for her efforts fighting plastic pollution.
2. Noah Pronk
When tasked with the challenge of building a business for $20, 12-year old Noah and a member of West Beach Surf Lifesaving Club came up with an idea to create an eco-friendly surf wax and Sticky Pronk was born.
He told the ABC, "surf waxes are toxic and it's filled with chemicals, and it's not good for the fish. They are swimming in the sea with the plastics in it, then we eat them, so we're pretty much eating plastic, and I wanted to solve that — I didn't want to be eating plastic."
Traditionally surf waxes are made from paraffins, which is a byproduct of petroleum. Noah’s unique blend combines beeswax with other natural ingredients to create a wax that’s tough but kind on the ocean.
The business which is almost five years old now offers refills in paper packaging and has over 10 stockists across the country.
3. Jean Hinchliffe
Jean Hinchliffe was the lead organiser of the Sydney School Strike 4 Climate which saw 80,000 people in Sydney and over 300,000 people around Australia march for climate justice. Today, she campaigns for legislative action against the sourcing and usage of fossil fuels, along with pushing for Australia to become fully carbon neutral as well as other missions.
In 2019 she presented a TEDx talk titled How Youth-Led Movements are Changing the World. On top of that she has also recently published a book, Lead the Way: How to change the world from a teen activist and school striker.
4. Greta Thunberg
Greta Thunberg famously started spending her school days outside the Swedish parliament in a bid to raise awareness. This led to a global movement where students protested for climate change, starting the School Strike 4 Climate which hundreds of thousands of students, like Jean are involved in around the world.
Thunberg has been named one of Time’s 100 most influential people in the world and has had three consecutive nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize (2019-2021).
Electrolux is inviting young minds to shape a better future, jump onto their website to pen your thoughts about your desired future today, and have the opportunity to co-create the future of home appliances. Electrolux is teaming up with changemakers to be involved in a special collaboration that aims to provide a better future.
This article is sponsored by Electrolux.