At just 13-year of age, Felix Finkbeiner is enjoying the kind of fame that most celebrities only dream of - He has a huge fan following in his home country of Germany, meets with CEO's of International companies and is even featured in advertisements with politicians and fashion models. However, the wiry, bespectacled boy does not sing, act or even play sports - He simply encourages people to plant trees.
Felix's quest to do something to heal the world began when he was just nine. While researching for a school assignment on climate change he came across Nobel Prize winner Wangari Mathai's Green Belt Movement, that amongst other things has resulted in the planting of 45 million new trees in Kenya, since it was founded in 1977.
Inspired by her courage, he came up with his mission to affect climate change - To plant a million trees. His teacher was so impressed that she asked him to present his idea to the entire school. In March 2007, two months after his first presentation, Felix planted his first tree - a crab apple sapling.
Soon other schools found out and began inquire how they could help Felix's campaign - Plant for the Planet. Encouraged by his success, Felix decided to seek out a sponsor so that he could hire a full-time employee, and found a willing one in the CEO of Toyota, Germany who gave him 40,000 Euros ($58,000). He also invited him to speak at an annual gathering of Toyota dealers, where Felix raised an additional 11,000 Euros ($15,838).
He also called a press conference when Plant for the Planet hit a milestone of 50,000 trees. Soon everyone in Germany had joined in the effort and a few months ago, about three years since that fateful school project, Felix accomplished his mission - One million new trees had established their roots in Germany.
However, he is not done yet - He now wants the entire world to join in and has a new goal to plant one billion new trees. This time he is not alone - Many high-ranking officials have joined the young environmentalist in his advertising campaign that urges people to 'Stop Talking and Start Planting'.
Would you like to do your share? Then check out his website plant for the planet and see how you can help Felix accomplish what no adult has been able to do - Plant a billion new trees on Earth!
Resources: telegraph.co.uk, www.care2.com