03/31/2016 03:46 EDT | Updated 04/01/2017 05:12 EDT

A Letter To Everyone Who's Freaked Out By Climate Change

One of my favourite magazines is Girls' Life. They have great style, reviews, interesting articles and inspiring girls' empowerment inspiration! I was so excited to get the March-April issue because one of my role models and favourite actresses, Rowan Blanchard, is on the cover.

She had some amazing things to say about young people using their voice and why she is a feminist. I loved what she said and I look forward to seeing more interviews like this from Rowan.

In every issue of Girls' Life, there is a column called Dear Carol. Girls submit their questions to author Carol Weston, who answers them with great care.

The girls remain anonymous and all the answers are titled according to the theme of the question. It's an advice column and I love reading them with my mom.

One of the questions someone submitted inspired me to write this blog post. This one is for everyone who is freaked out about about the issue that they care about.

Here is the question submitted by Worried About the World.

"Climate change is freaking me out. Do you have any tips for us on how to be more eco-responsible?"

As always, Carol had a great answer! She talked about the three R's, buying efficient light bulbs, walking instead of driving, using leftovers and consuming less in general. These are amazing ways that people can help keep the environment clean and make a difference. As a youth activist who cares deeply about the environment, I wanted to add to Carol's ideas and give a few other suggestions. So, here is my response to Worried About the World.


Photo by Candace Alper

Dear Worried About the World,

First of all, it's okay to be worrying about this. You know what? I'm freaked out about it, too. This is such a big issue in the world and it's easy to freak out about it.

Deeply caring about this and wanting to do something to help is the first step in making a difference. So, let me start off by saying you're already making a difference because you care.

Remember that the little things that we all do add up to make an impact. Carol offered some suggestions that included using efficient lightbulbs, turning off the lights when you leave the room.

Some other things that I do are picking up litter when I see it, using reusable containers and water bottles for lunch and bags for grocery shopping, learning about the "what goes where" in for waste disposal (i.e. batteries and electronics have to be carefully disposed of so that they can be reused).

These are all things that you can to do make a difference daily. Sometimes it's about good habits.

There are a lot of other things that you can do that take a bit of planning and/or organizing, but they can be a lot of fun and make a big difference.

You can organize your friends and family for a shoreline or neighbourhood cleanup. It's easy! Gather your friends and family members, get some gloves and garbage bags and you are all set to clean up an area you live!

You can also gather things like clothes, toys or household items, which are always welcome at a organization or shelter that helps those in need in your community. Blankets, towels and stuffed animals are also always welcome at animal shelters.

Learn about your issue. In the beginning, I said that being aware of the issue and caring was the first step.

The second step is learning more because to make a difference, you want to have a good understanding of your issue. In order to be part of the solution, you need to understand the problem, right?

There are organizations and resources in every community and online that will help you better your understanding and help you decide what action you want to take.

Use your voice. Share what you're learning with your family, friends, teachers and classmates. This just might motivate them to join you in making an impact.

If you are on social media, this is a great way to use social media for social good. When you talk about things that matter to you on social media, you will no doubt, find other people who have the same drive as you do.

All of these things have worked for me and I hope that they will work for you so that you will become a little less freaked out and a lot more confident in your ability to take action and change the world.

From your change-making friend,


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The young people who are tackling climate change