If we can imagine it, we can make it happen!


Globally, we’ve observed that the younger generation is getting more involved in the climate change discourse. Over the years, more young people are expressing their commitment to be part of the solution to the deteriorating state of the planet. In this blog, Julienne Fernando, a Youth Strike 4 Climate PH volunteer and Greenpeace Philippines supporter, shares with us her journey as a young environment advocate.

Julienne Fernando, 18-year old student of Jose Rizal University, 
during the Ambisyon Natin 2040 conference.

Even as a student, I already know I can make a positive impact on the environment. I allot time for the causes I support and donate to campaigns close to my heart. Earlier this month, I donated 1,000 pesos to Greenpeace through the online platform SimplyGiving. It was easy to access and completing my donation was a breeze.

Looking back a little, I must admit that I was not passionate about the environment before. I knew that we have different environmental problems, but I didn’t do anything to act on them. I eventually developed a deep admiration for the Earth and realized that we are the cause of its deterioration. With this, I started refusing single-use plastics in 2016.

Julienne with fellow students during the Youth Climate Strike, September 20, 2019.

I had this epiphany when I was in 9th grade. I was cleaning my room and found a bag full of plastic straws that I used to play with years back. It made me rethink my consumption behavior. I felt guilt and, from that point forward, I slowly switched to a more sustainable lifestyle. I started recycling and ditched single-use materials.

Honestly, it was hard and there were times that I failed. Plastics are everywhere! But my failure didn’t stop me from doing what’s right for our planet.

It was the last quarter of 2017 when I started following various environmental organizations, including Greenpeace. I stumbled upon their petitions and signed them without hesitation. The following day, they sent me an email acknowledging my support. From that day on, I regularly received emails from Greenpeace. 

“The power of collective action has never failed to move us, in ways we never could have imagined.” 

This is a line from one of their emails that has stuck with me. Indeed, a simple act, alongside people who have the same heart as you, can go a long way.

September last year, I received another email from Greenpeace inviting me to join the climate strike. My friend Arvie and I looked it up on the internet and found the youth-led organization Youth Strike 4 Climate PH and we signed up as volunteers. 

We shared the information about the global climate strike through our social media accounts and were able to get the support of half of our class and some representatives of a senior high school academic club. We were elated that all of our professors supported and allowed us to participate considering that we have classes on that day. 

We didn’t stop with the climate strike. Arvie and I formally proposed to our school canteen to ban single-use materials. It was eventually rejected but we felt proud of our effort. We will think of other ways to invite other students and make a better school environment.

Julienne (leftmost) with Greenpeace Southeast Asia Executive Director Yeb Saño (on her left) during a Climate Change conference held at the University of the Philippines-Diliman.

You might wonder why I’m passionate about the environment. The answer is simple: We can’t continue living like this and expect the planet to heal by itself. We are destroying our home and our future! We need to do our part and companies need to halt the production of single-use plastics and provide alternatives for us consumers.

Saving the planet seems to be impossible but the truth is it doesn’t require a superhero-like effort. If everyone will do his/her part, these small changes will add up and impact on the environment. So bring your eco-bag, skip plastic straws, bike to work, sign petitions, allot time to volunteer, or donate to environmental organizations. The list goes on. No effort is too trifling! Pick one of these new habits and take action today! Together, we can make this world a better place as we embark on a #betternormal.

We at Greenpeace believe that all generations should participate in the climate change discourse to achieve our dream of a better normal. We hope Julienne’s story will inspire you to help us find solutions to build a better future for generations to come.

Talk to us and know more about our campaigns. Be part of our family and volunteer. Donate whatever amount you can contribute and empower us to do more. Connect with us and start your journey now.