Hannah Faris: Envisioning a Sustainable Future
Written By: Hanna Smit, JGI Canada
Category: Our Champions
When Hannah Faris started attending York University, she was looking for a way to promote sustainability and pursue environmental activism; “climate change can be a hard pill to swallow and I was tired of feeling helpless,” she explains. So when she discovered her university’s Roots & Shoots chapter was recruiting new members she knew it would be a perfect fit, “joining Roots & Shoots helped me to feel empowered by setting me up with a network of like-minded individuals and great resources.”
Four years later, Hannah has been an active member of the Roots & Shoots community, serving as chapter president, delegate and volunteer – even representing JGI Canada at Dr. Goodall’s annual Roots & Shoots retreat at Windsor Castle in the UK. When asked what Roots & Shoots has taught her in this time, Hannah shares that “as an environmental activist you can sometimes put a lot of responsibility on yourself and feel like the weight of the world and its issues are yours alone to carry. Roots & Shoots has taught me that things like climate change are a shared burden and you are most definitely not alone.”
The growing number of young people involved in environmental activism keeps Hannah hopeful for the future, she knows change may not be easy but sees that today’s young leaders aren’t afraid to tell it how it is and advocate for the necessary next steps (even if grown-ups may take some convincing).
Like most people, Hannah learned all about Dr. Jane in elementary school, and Hannah hopes to inspire students and teach them about Dr. Jane in her own classroom one day; she’s heading to Teacher’s College in September with a goal of becoming an environmental educator. Encouraging youth to take action and make a difference on behalf of animals, people and the environment comes naturally to Hannah, she wants people to know “you don’t need permission to protect your planet; if you feel passionate – get creative, find a team and make your ideas a reality.”