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The Ripple Effect

FOR THE FUTURE Sagarika, 16, is a climate activist. She created Kids for a Better World when she was 10. NATALIE NACCACHE FOR TIME

Sagarika Sriram was 10 years old when she started reading newspaper stories. They were about a planet in trouble. One story was about turtles. They had plastic in their stomachs. Sagarika knew she needed to do something. First, she joined a group. It organized cleanup campaigns in Dubai. That’s her home city. It’s in the United Arab Emirates. The group “helped me understand what an individual can do and how I can really make a difference,” she says.

DOING HER PART Sagarika, at age 12, picks up plastic waste in the desert.


Then Sagarika created Kids for a Better World. It’s a digital platform. It has brought together nearly 10,000 youths. They come from all over the world. Their goal is to fight climate change.

Thinking Big

Sagarika is now 16. She’s part of a growing number of young climate activists. “We’re the generation that is going to face the consequences if the climate crisis is not tackled,” she says. She believes even individual actions can create a “ripple effect.” Sagarika says this can build momentum momentum IULIIA BONDAR—GETTY IMAGES the increasing force or speed of an object or process as it moves along (noun) The rally built momentum for her cause. . It can move things in the right direction.

GOING GREEN Sagarika plants a tree as part of a community effort in Dubai in 2016. courtesy kids for a better world


Kids for a Better World is for people ages 8 to 16. It teaches them about what they can do to reverse climate change. They can grow food or plant trees. They can collect recyclables .They can avoid using plastic bags. “This is the information which can help change our future,” Sagarika says.

Inspiring Action

Dubai is a desert metropolis metropolis MICHAEL LEE—GETTY IMAGES a large city (noun) a large city . Growing up there has made Sagarika very aware of the need for action. Her city faces the risk of rising temperatures. Its water supply is shrinking. She believes young people can bring attention to these environmental challenges.

IN THE GARDEN Using soil made from compost, Sagarika, at age 11, plants fruits and vegetables.


Sagarika is all about small actions. But she has big plans. She’d like to go to college in California. While she’s there, she’ll continue being an activist. She’ll also be running Kids for a Better World. She hopes to inspire others to fight for a greener planet. Others have inspired her. “We’re creating our own system of inspirational change-makers,” she says.