In The Beginning
The story of two boys who fell in love... with our planet!
In 1989 Tessa and William Hill started a nonprofit called Kids for Saving Earth as a tribute to their son Clint. When Clint was 10 he was diagnosed with a brain tumour that eventually took his life, but believing his illness was caused by the effects of pollution on our environment, he spent the remainder of his short life trying to make a difference, gathering other kids at his school together for a common cause of "saving the earth."
In 1990, for the 20th anniversary of Earth Day, Target partnered with KSE to entice kids to get excited about helping the environment, and it was on a cross-border shopping trip that I first encountered KSE. It's entirely possible that this was actually a life-changing experience; I begged my father to let me order the KSE membership package and I dove in, reading every book I could find at the library about protecting the environment and I was hooked.
I advocated to get my fellow students involved and start a club in our school. I went through the activities provided in the club manual and made a solar oven from a cardboard box and tinfoil and I pestered and annoyed every adult in my life, in a way unique to the determined child, about changes they could make to help the environment.
I started writing articles to introduce people to the things I was learning and submitted them to the local newspaper where they were actually published, probably because it was a small town but also because I insisted on going to the newspaper office myself so I could plead my case in person. Imagine your reaction to the earnestness of an 11 year old walking in and asking you to help him protect the planet for his, and his peers', future. It worked, and I started submitting regular articles with simple and easy to implement suggestions for changes we could make in our lives to help.
So it all started with a trip to the states, likely to buy Heath bars, nearly thirty years ago, but I'd like to think that, even without the exposure to Clint's story and the resources that came from joining that club, it would have started sooner or later because that was just the beginning and there's a whole lot more to this story yet to come.