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generation that will do all these things. Why not start now?” In addressing environmental issues,


Sonneborn supports a tax on carbon emis- sions, Vermont’s commitment to uphold the standards of the Paris climate agree- ment and renewable energy incentives. In Kansas, where six teenagers are


running for governor, Tyler Ruzich’s cam- paign theme is, “A Republican for the Next Generation.” Tis Shawnee Mission North High School senior has serious concerns and ideas to make his state a better place to live, learn and work. A well-prepared orator committed to


public service, Ruzich is reaching younger voters on issues of voter registration, school funding, taxation, guns, immigration, ag- riculture, equal rights and job growth. On theMatter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien syn- dicated TV show, Ruzich said he believes his campaign is stimulating 18-to-25-year- olds to get involved in mid-term elections, which typically draw fewer voters.


Zero Waste Brandi Kneip’s family in Stuart, Florida, didn’t object when the 18-year-old decided to spend her college savings establishing a JAR dry goods store that fosters reusing and recycling materials to decrease or eliminate trash. Customers can buy what they need by dispensing pasta, herbs, spic- es, flour and other products into their own reusable jars or purchase glass containers


to take home. JAR also carries eco-friendly household items. “I want my impact on this Earth


to be like footprints in the sand. For a second, the Earth knows you are there, and when you move along, the waves wash them out or the wind blows them away. I’m so thankful for this big, green-blue planet, and I’ll strive every day to make more peo- ple notice the beauty it holds,” says Kneip.


Earth Child Institute Arati Patel was just 24 when she began serving as an intern with Earth Child Institute (ECI), a nonprofit that empowers global youth to engage with sustainabili- ty issues. Today, the New Jersey resident serves as its president, and is passionate


about why investing in the education of children is significant. As just one example, “Amazonian children are teaching their parents about how deforestation impacts climate change,” says Patel. A degree in environmental law and


policy at Vermont Law School, in South Royalton, and expertise in environmental education, curriculum development, field research and community outreach has helped Patel to assist in developing lesson plans for ECI Water Schools. Community groups and schools are mobilized to eval- uate the health of rivers and provide basic training in good health habits.


Plant-for-the-Planet Felix Finkbeiner, a German student, started Plant-for-the-Planet in 2007, when he was only 9. “It’s an amazing organization run by young people,” says Patel. Inspired by the late Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai, founder of the Green Belt Movement, Fink- beiner expanded Maathai’s original concept of a billion plantings to the Trillion Tree Campaign. To date, it’s seen 15 billion new trees in 190 countries under the guidance of the U.N. Environment Programme. Speaking at an Environmental Systems


Research Institute Conference, Finkbeiner said that beyond planting trees, children involved in the initiative have delivered presentations in schools and rotary clubs, and engineered sit-down meetings with mayors, local government officials and even


• Serving patients and their families with restorative care using tooth-colored dental materials


• Providing dental treatment for medically-compromised patients and those with allergies and chemical sensitivities


• Offering initial exams, consultations, second opinion evaluations, and collaboration with patients’ health care providers


MICHAEL D. FLEMING, DDS, PA JOHANNA LERZUNDY, DDS


1858 Hillandale Road Ste 200 • Durham, NC 27705 919-471-1064 • www.drmichaelfleming.com


28 NA Triangle www.natriangle.com


Dmytro Zinkevych/Shutterstock.com


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