Older generations are known for disparaging the younger generation. Even Aristotle complained about youth in the 4th century BC, stating “they think they know everything and are always quite sure about it.” Perhaps we older folks are jealous of the exuberance of youth, but having “the wisdom of age” that comes from enduring life’s challenges that those youngsters have yet to survive.
Famous songs have been written about the concern parents have about their children. One of my favorites is “Kids Today” from the musical “Bye Bye Birdie” by Harry MacAfee. The lyrics clearly summarize the attitudes. It’s a fun little ditty but is closer to the truth than we care to admit.
So, it was refreshing that during my trip to Dominica, I met a group of young women who give me great hope for the future.
I was introduced to a social enterprise created by five incredibly talented young women: Christianna Paul, Mhea Bardouille, Kyanna Dyer, Kyra Edwards, and ZebadiJah Maxwell. They created WePlanet “to protect and improve the natural environment in the Caribbean for present and future generations by encouraging and rewarding individuals to adopt small eco-friendly decisions.”
At first, their mission struck me as rather typical of efforts I’d seen before: “WePlanet Inc. acts on its motto, “Small Actions, Big Change” by creating innovative solutions that encourage all sectors to be more environmentally conscious. One of these solutions is the creation of a mobile application that optimizes the use of Progressive Web Application (PWA), technology. The functionalities of the mobile app are specially curated to motivate, educate, and encourage everyone, including businesses in the private sector, to implement eco-friendly strategies and choices.”
But what struck me as brilliant and the feature that will make this effort successful is that it uses monetary rewards to get everyday people to participate!
Little Things Make a Big Impact
With the WePlanet mobile app, when a shopper uses reusable bags, buys eco-friendly products, or try the app’s Eco-Challenges, they receive money, discounts, and vouchers that can be used at their partner locations. The developers worked hard to cultivate partnerships with public and private businesses. The rewards are big enough to get people interested and involved.
This effort to educate people about the environment involves not only education but also putting environmentally-friendly activities into daily life. They have attracted attention. WePlanet was selected as a semi-finalist in the 2021 Technovation Girls – a global competition for girls in STEM; as a finalist in the 2021 Global Environmental Education Partnership (GEEP) Youth Innovation Challenge; winner of the OECS Island Ideas Challenge; and recipient of the Dominica Youth Business Trust’s Social Enterprise Incubator Grant.
These women have convinced me that the future is in good hands with innovators like them. Maybe not everything is wrong with the younger generations! For more information about this amazing organization, visit their website: https://createcaribbean.org/create/weplanet-inc/ or Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/weplanet767