Boy Inspires Planting of One Million Trees

At the age of nine, Felix Finkbeiner hatched the idea to plant one million trees in Germany. He did a presentation in his school about the idea and people listened. He was inspired by the example of Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan environmentalist who has helped organize the planting of 30 million trees. Felix wanted to plant one million trees in every country he could. Three years later, Germany has an additional one million trees, and Felix’s organization called Plant for the Planet is doing work in 70 countries.

He made a great insight recently about climate change and the inability of bureaucracies to accomplish things in practical terms with swiftness. “We children feel really cheated because such a lot was done for Copenhagen and at the end, what was really achieved there?” Felix said.

The media picked up his story fairly early on, and the exposure has helped with donations. Also, his family has a strong environmental perspective. His father also started a conservation group, though not at such a young age. Today Felix is often invited to speak at conferences around the world. He keeps up with schoolwork but sometimes is away from home for weeks.

Plant for the Planet actually has a target goal of planting 212,000,000 trees. So far they have planted just over a million, and there are about 1.4 million pledged for planting. A humorous but pointed awareness campaign of theirs is called Stop Talking and Start Planting. Professional photographers donated their time and photos for the campaign.

stop talking

Their campaign has a Facebook page you can join. They also have a YouTube Channel where you can watch the children in action.

Image Credits: Tico, Flickr Creative Commons / Stop Talking Start Planting

Related Links

Plant Trees by Mailing in Old Cell Phones
Save the Trees Petition
5 Ways to Show Trees the Love


Ganaisha Calvin
Ganaisha Calvin5 years ago


Elisa Faulkner- Uriarte
Elisa F5 years ago

Great job Felix! Thanks for sharing.

Ahlam Zaid
Ahlam Zaid6 years ago

Awesome and keep it green

Kat Head
Katherine H6 years ago


Chelsea M.
Chelsea M7 years ago

Awesome! I wonder how he actually got it organized!

Emma S.
Emma S7 years ago

This is a really heartening story - just one reason why we shouldn't whine about the upcoming generation...

Tim Cheung
Tim C7 years ago


Robert O.
Robert O7 years ago

Awesome & Incredible.

Joy Mcronald
Joy M7 years ago

The world needs more children like Felix, Go you.. Thanks for caring so much...

Elizabeth M.
Elizabeth M7 years ago

What a great article, Than You Jake. Wow this young boy at age nine is smarter than half the world! I have some small spruce trees that started on their own (seeds blown or carried by birds), and I intend to give them out on earth day from my drive way. I am hoping our 100 year celebration in this town will plant trees in honor of the founding families.