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What the world needs now is optimism - and science.

Hannah Alper, a young environmental activist gives a thumbs up while planting a tree.

Today is World Nature Conservation Day - an opportunity for people to learn about the natural world around us and take action to protect and preserve it.

When I was nine years old, I became an advocate for environmental conservation, shining a light on people, organizations, and movements that are putting good out into the world, and to encourage others to do the same.

My parents encouraged me to write about something I loved (other than Justin Bieber) and my focus turned to environmental issues. At a young age, I recognized the Earth and everything in it – including animals and their habitats – were not safe. I was scared for their futures, and ours. Ten years later, I am proud to continue this advocacy and to try and inspire others to create a positive change for the planet through my social media platforms, a blog, motivational speaking and more.

Planting seeds of change, one action at a time.

In honour of World Nature Conservation Day, I attended a recent tree planting event with 3M Canada where I once again witnessed science and sustainability hand in hand. Through learning and doing, everyone at the event was inspired to plant a tree and take home some knowledge to continue their change making. 

Here are four things I learned:

  1. It’s the little things that add up to make a big difference. While we won’t see the results from the tree planting for months, years or even decades, I know small actions today will make a sustainable and long-term impact thanks to our conservation efforts.
  2. We all have the power, capacity, and responsibility to protect and conserve the place that we call home. We can leave the world a little bit better than we first found it.
  3. Learning is important. You can’t take action on an issue if you don’t care about it. And you can’t care about an issue if you don’t know about it. Becoming more educated about issues, especially environmental ones, is crucial to creating a society that takes care of its one and only home.
  4. We all have the ability to create change. Your ability might be something that you’re good at or that you like doing. It might be a skill or a hobby or a resource. Trust me, everyone has one. When you use your ability for positive action like volunteering or caring for your local habitats, you’re creating change for the good.


That’s why I’m so excited to team up with a company like 3M – whose workplace and products are committed to curbing carbon emissions, driving energy efficiency, enabling automotive electrification, advancing the circular economy, and championing people like me and other sustainability advocates. 


Science. It’s a gift – pass it on.

Science and STEM play an essential role in sustainability and have the power to create real solutions that will create real change. Through the 3M State of Science Index, awareness is being raised around public attitudes towards STEM, including how science and greater diversity in STEM can help deliver a more sustainable future.

I’m not a scientist, but I understand that if we want to see real environmental action, science will be the driving force behind innovative solutions that help create a brighter future for the planet and people. According to the 2022 3M State of Science Index, 68% of Canadians are more concerned about climate change (up from 58% in 2021). 64% are more concerned that they or a loved one may one day be displaced from where they live due to extreme weather related to climate change. 

While issues like this can seem overwhelming, we must use it as fuel for optimism and hope to see the world for what it is and for what it can be. This hope comes from my generation, who see solutions. It also comes from the champions who have supported me, like my parents who urged me to start writing about something that I deeply cared about.

Hope also comes from organizations, who uplift diverse voices of champions, and promote power of science. What is the one thing that my generation, champions, and 3M have in common? We know that it is infinitely better to do something rather than nothing, and the only way we are going to reach these much-needed solutions is by taking action together.

Throughout my journey, I have seen that we all have the power to create change. My strength is certainly not science - it’s communication, so that’s what I use to create change. I use my platform to lift organizations and the steps they are taking to help conserve the environment and mitigate climate change.

To sum it all up, the most powerful strength anyone can harness is the ability to see a better and brighter future. Use the skills and the potential you have to make it a reality and let’s be part of that future – together.

Hannah’s blog is part of a paid sponsorship agreement with 3M Canada.


About the Author

[enBio=At the age of nine, Hannah launched a blog to share her growing concern for environmental issues and show that small, everyday actions can lead to big change. Now 19 years old, she has emerged as an impassioned public speaker, author, and activist using her voice to motivate and empower people of all ages to identify their passion and take action for a better world.],[enJob=Environmental Activist, Youth Motivational Speaker],[frBio=À l’âge de neuf ans, Hannah a lancé un blogue pour partager sa préoccupation croissante pour les questions environnementales et montrer que de petits gestes quotidiens peuvent entraîner de grands changements. Maintenant âgée de 19 ans, elle est devenue une conférencière, une auteure et une activiste passionnée qui fait entendre sa voix pour motiver et donner aux personnes de tous âges les moyens d’identifier leur passion et d’agir en vue d’un monde meilleur.],[frJob=Activiste écologiste, conférencière motivatrice des jeunes]

Profile Photo of Hannah Alper
Climate change is getting personal.