Greenpeace’s Oceans Director, John Hocevar, has an 11-year old niece named Anna. When Anna was little, she would spend hours asking John questions about the ocean. “Why are dolphins always smiling?” “Do goldfish like living in bowls?” “Have you ever seen a whale? An octopus? A starfish?”
Last week, Anna took the initiative and successfully convinced her principal to make their school go straw-free. Plastic straws may be small, but they cannot be recycled and many end up polluting our oceans. Thankfully, straws are not the only small things making a big difference! At just 11 years old, Anna is making waves of change. Check out the letter Anna wrote to her principal and learn more about this young ocean hero!
How did you get the idea to write to your principal?
I’d been wanting to bring up the idea for awhile, but my fifth grade class project this spring was on environmental issues. I chose to write about how plastic pollution affects sea turtles and it motivated me to write the letter.
What do you love most about the ocean?
I love swimming and I like how the ocean seems like it never ends. There are so many things to explore. I really love turtles. I went to the ocean last weekend with my mom and a friend and we spent an hour picking up trash. It was a beautiful day and the beach was crowded, people watched us and some clapped and congratulated us.
Do you remember your first ocean memory?
I remember my older sister and I having sand castle building contests. I never won, but then again, she was always the judge. Hmmm, seems suspicious now. My family spends a lot of time at the ocean. I love the ocean in the summer and in the winter.
What are your plans to keep protecting the ocean when you grow up?
I think it’s important for people to know the issues that the ocean faces. The more they know, the more they can help. I feel happy that my school listened to my thoughts and ideas and I hope hearing this story inspires other schools to do the same.
Thank you for being an ocean hero, Anna! The world needs more people like you!