Fourteen Young Eco-Heroes Receive Awards for Exceptional Global Environmental Campaigns

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International competition by Action For Nature highlights the initiative, innovations, drive, and commitment of youth that benefit the world’s ecology.

Our 2013 Eco-Heroes represent the future generation of environmental leaders. Regardless of where they come from and how old they are, these young people feel a sense of urgency in protecting the environment.

From the US to the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom to Indonesia, environmental activism is getting a boost from kid power. Action For Nature (AFN) today named 14 extraordinary winners of its 2013 International Young Eco-Hero Awards competition. The organization recognized these inspirational youth from around the globe because they are helping to create a better future for our planet by taking actions to address tough environmental problems. Achievements of this year’s winners ranged from reducing plastic pollution to preserving wildlife habitats.

Malcolm Barnard, 16, of Georgia, won the first place award in the 12-16 age group, for organizing his community to protect its wildlife habitat. Using a three-pronged approach of “education, conservation, and continuation”, Malcolm led the city of Johns Creek, Georgia to become the sixtieth community in the USA to be certified by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) as a Community Wildlife Habitat.

Milo Cress, 12, of Longmont, Colorado, won the first place award in the 8-12 age group, for his campaign to address needless plastic waste in our landfills and oceans. Through research, he discovered that in the USA, approximately 500 million straws are used and discarded daily, enough to fill more than 127 school buses. To address this issue, Milo founded Be Straw Free (BSF), a non-profit organization whose goal is to make disposable drinking straws distributed only upon request, and his project was recognized by the National Restaurant Association as an industry “best practice.”

Second-place honors went to Christina and Eric Bear, ages 12 and 14, of Colorado for their research and activism concerning the impact of radon on human health; Abbie Barnes, age 16, of the United Kingdom who advocates against the use of palm oil in products; Kila Nurtjahya, age 15, of Indonesia, who researches and takes action to foster the honey bee industry in an area devastated by tin mining; and to Kehkashan Basu, age 12, of United Arab Emirates, for her efforts to combat land degradation through tree planting and addressing climate change.

Third-place winners included Brianna Moore, age 16 of Michigan, for her campaigns for recycling and cleanups; Benjamin Shrader, age 14 of Texas, who campaigns against invasive species and educates others; David Lewis, age 15 of Virginia, who grows oysters and researches oyster farming techniques; and Rajashree Choudhury, age 11 of India, who spread environmental awareness and led efforts to reduce electrical energy consumption at her school.

Other top honors from the competition include Honorable Mention awards for Salil Tripathy, age 15 of India, who promotes environmentalism and planting trees; Miruthula Jegadesan, age 16 of Arizona, who campaigns for clean water sources for people in India; Carolyn Jess, age 11 of Texas, for promoting endangered ocelot awareness; and Harnoor Gill, age 15 of Canada, for his outreach and organization of volunteers for environmental activities.

“Our 2013 Eco-Heroes represent the future generation of environmental leaders,” said Beryl Kay, president, Action For Nature. “Regardless of where they come from and how old they are, these young people feel a sense of urgency in protecting the environment. They are making a difference through personal action and their ability to inspire others. Their successes benefit our planet and people everywhere.”

About Action For Nature
Every year since 2003, Action For Nature (AFN), a U.S.-based non-profit, has sought to recognize and reward young people ages 8-16 who are taking action to solve the world’s tough environmental problems. Youth from countries around the globe send in their stories and explain their work, then a panel of judges including experts in environmental science, biology and education determines the year’s top achievers. Each Eco-Hero Award winner receives a cash prize, a certificate of achievement and other benefits.

For more information on the 2013 Young Eco-Hero Award winners and their environmental initiatives, please go to

Press contact:
Cheryl Patstone
E-mail: media(at)actionfornature(dot)org
Phone: +1 650-544-9889

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