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Volunteer - Fearless Eco Leader

An environmental protest held by Free the Planet.
Courtesy of Free the Planet

She isn't scrounging the neighborhood picking up garbage, but Heidi Iravani is still trying to make out planet a cleaner place. This seventeen-year-old started Free the Planet! which is part of a national nonprofit environmental organization. Members of this team are gutsy, patient and determined. Last April, Heide led the members in a protest outside a builder's store in her hometown of Charlotte, N.C. They were trying to stop big chain stores from selling lumber made from old-growth forests because the trees are over 250 years old and are home to endangered animals like the spotted owl.

Heide is one chick you don't wanna mess with. When the store manager suddenly came out waving a knife in her face, Heide told him they weren't going to budge an inch. At least, not until the police told them to. She still respects authority, but she knows her rights.

When she's not dealing with angry managers, Heide is worried that gases, like carbon monoxide, are warming up the earth's atmosphere. Heide helped organize a group of 227 US college students (she was the only high school student) and they headed to Netherlands for the United Nations' global warming conference last November. It wouldn't have been hard to spot her group. They were decked out in Americans flags in protest of America's contribution to global warming.

Heide hopes that her efforts will make people realize that they can help. She knows it only takes a little from one individual to become part of a greater cause.

Do you know a kid, tween or teen who's done something that should be recognized? Maybe it's you or even someone you've read about. who this person is and what they've done.

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