Five Earth activists you have never heard of!

However, the rise of climate change, man-made changes to nature and the spread of COVID-19 has greatly disrupted the Earth’s biodiversity, which is reversing so much of the progress we have made towards achieving SDG 13 (Climate Action) at one of its most crucial points.

But there is always hope. With the likes of Greta Thunberg paving the way for making these climate dreams a reality, there are many more who have fallen under the radar. However, their contribution has been crucial. With International Mother Earth Day now on the horizon, here are five other activists saving our planet that you have never heard of.

Aditya Mukarji

Still only a teenager, Aditya Mukraji has declared a war on plastic which now appears to be something he is winning. A school student from India, Aditya believes that single-use plastic is one of the most dangerous inventions made by man due to its catastrophic impact on the environment.

The student embarked on a door-to-door campaign in the National Capital Region of the country to spread awareness about the effects of plastic, in which India alone generates 9.46 million tons of plastic waste every year. In just two years, Aditya has been able to avert the use of more than 28 million plastic objects, including straws in as many as 150 restaurants and cafes in NCR in what has been one of the biggest shifts in attitudes towards plastic consumption.

Follow him on Twitter: @AdityaMukraji

Kallan Benson

Kallan Benson is a national coordinator for Fridays For Future USA movement and a co-organiser of the Outreach Working Group for Fridays for Future International. Her efforts have been crucial in addressing climate change in the USA and abroad where she has firmly established a broad collaborative movement which has resulted in as many as 140 weekly strike communities across the country.

Her activism has led to a state-wide fracking ban in Maryland while bills have been passed to reduce fossil fuel dependence in the state and the District of Columbia.

Twitter: @releaf4us

Autumn Peltier

Autumn Peltier is an Anishinaabe Indigenous clean water advocate from the Wiikwemkoong First Nation on Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada.

She has been cited as the “water warrior” for her efforts and she is Chief Water Protector for the Anishnabek Nation. She has been a leading voice for a very marginalised community and has confronted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the issue as well as delivering a motivational and empowering speech on this to the UN.

She has seen the dangers of unsafe cleaning water greatly affect her community and people and has striven to protect them from the damaging effects climate change has had on clean water.

Instagram: @autumn.peltier

Leah Namugerwa

A proud member of the Fridays for Future Uganda movement, Leah Namugerwa drew on the inspiration of Greta Thunberg to strike every Friday for climate justice in her country. She has seen how damaging famine has been in Uganda which has been driven by drought and landslides from climate change. Despite the government’s harsh response, Leah has not backed down and has even demanded for a nationwide plastic bag ban. She has been criticised and questioned by many for choosing to advocate but this has only motivated her more to fight for greater action.

As well as filing a petition on the plastic bag ban, she is also known to actively plant trees and has led several campaigns on the issue.

Twitter: @NamugerwaLeah

Lesein Mutunkei

Lesein Mutunkei is using his love of football to spread the message on climate action. After hearing about the impacts of deforestation on the world, the young Kenyan wanted to something about it in an innovative and thought-provoking manner. So, he decided to combine his two greatest passions – football and climate action – and provide a more active response to climate change.

He decided that for every goal he scored, he would plant a tree in what he called the #Trees4Goals campaign. This has so far garnered a positive response that has not only seen Lesein score goals, but he has also made a difference. He has encouraged his football club and school to be more sustainable and he now hopes to take this initiative across the continent and encourage Africa to make an impact through the beautiful game.

Twitter: @trees4goals

This Mother Earth Day we need a shift to a more sustainable economy that works for both people and the planet and now more than ever, this needs the support of every government, organisation and general public to come together and show our Earth how much we care. In doing this, we will be able to preserve its beauty and prosperous ecosystem for many generations to come and if we can follow the lead of these activists, anything will be possible.