Hannah is your average 10-year old. She likes going to sleepover camp, playing with her dog Indigo and listening to Carly Rae Jepsen’s latest hit song. The only difference is that Hannah is saving the environment one blog post at a time.
“I knew about the problems in the environment and I wanted to stop it, but I didn’t know how. Then I came across the Digital Family Summit and thought this [blog] is a great way to get the word out,” Hannah said.
Hannah first launched her environmental blog, Call Me Hannah, in 2012, after attending the Digital Family Summit with her parents.
“It taught them how to start their first WordPress blog. She wrote her first blog there about animals and it grew and it didn’t stop,” Eric Alper, Hannah’s father, said.
Since then, Call Me Hannah has been a major success and has gained nationwide attention, allowing Hannah to work with organizations like the WWF, Free the Children and the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada. She has been on TV, interviews and has given speeches to hundreds of people. Looking back, Hannah says she never expected her blog to become this popular.
“I thought it would be small because I didn’t know that one kid could really do so much, but with my first post I received a thousand views. As I kept going on, it kept getting bigger and bigger.”
Hannah writes not only about the environment, but social issues such as child labour, women’s rights and bullying. She writes about her experiences at the Junos as an “on the ground” eco blogger, her shoreline cleanups, her eco-cleaning supplies and her interviews with activists who inspire her, like Severn Cullis-Suzuki and Craig Kielburger.
“When I meet them I feel a spark that what I’m doing is changing the world. It’s weird for a 10-year old to admire an activist, but if I had to choose between being a singer or an activist, I’d be an activist because I love what I’m doing,” Hannah said.
The real goal Hannah wants to achieve with her blog, a goal which has proven to be a challenge, is to encourage other youth to care about the environment.
“I believe kids are the future and they can make the world a better place. I want other kids to understand the environment like me. I did a speech […] and it seemed like some kids didn’t care, so sometimes I feel like giving up.”
But for Hannah, there are many things that keep her going: her family, the encouraging comments and views on her blog and, of course, the environment.
“I think about why I’m doing this, and I’m doing this for the environment, not for me. I know that people believe in me and are inspired.”
Both of Hannah’s parents are tremendous supporters of her blog, but they say monitoring is involved.
“She doesn’t have a Facebook or Twitter account. We look at the posts to ensure it’s written well and that it’s what she wants to say. It’s not that we’re putting her alone into the social media world,” Eric said.
Hannah believes that everyone can help the environment by following the tips found on her blog. Helping could even be as simple as getting the word out.
“I’d tell people to take care of the environment and to spread the word. It’s a little thing but can make a big difference. Also, whatever litter is on the ground, when you see it pick it up.”
While Hannah one day hopes to be an environmental activist, for now her focus is on using her blog to help make a positive impact on the world.
- Take the Earth Hour pledge found on www.callmehannah.ca. Commit to stop, start and continue doing something eco-friendly. The whole family can get involved!
- Follow some of Hannah’s simple environmental tips to do around the house, such as eco-friendly cleaning supplies and learning how to recycle properly – it’s more than paper and plastic.
- Spread the word! Tell people the importance of caring for the environment. Everyone can make a difference.