Local environmental activist, Hannah Testa, age 14, has partnered with State Senator Michael Williams to proclaim February 15, 2017 as Plastic Pollution Awareness Day at the State Capitol. This event, believed to be one of the first of its kind nationwide, was conceived and spearheaded by Hannah, Forsyth County’s resident environmental activist. The teen, who founded the organization Hannah4Change (www.hannah4change.org), worked with Senator Williams, of the 27th District in Forsyth County, to develop a resolution to be passed that helps to educate Georgians about the growing health crisis of plastic pollution.
“The aim is to make residents aware of the impact that plastic pollution has on our environment,” states Hannah. “Not only does plastic end up on our streets, streams, and oceans, but also affects 600 species of marine life, through ingestion and entanglement, often killing them. Scientists are finding plastic in our food chain too.” Her goal is to make citizens and businesses aware that simple shifts in our daily lives can greatly reduce the state’s plastic footprint. Hannah’s call to action is for Georgians to reduce consumption of single-use plastic products such as plastic bottles, straws, and bags on at least one day out of the year and perhaps all year long.
Senator Williams adds, “I’m very impressed by Hannah’s efforts, especially by someone of her age. By educating the public, we can help people to make informed decisions.”
To commemorate Plastic Pollution Awareness Day and encourage engagement and commitment from others, Hannah is creating a large traveling quilt made up of hundreds of commitments from local residents and businesses on actions they will take to reduce their use of disposable plastic products. This quilt, along with large sculptures and artwork made out of plastic debris by North Carolina ocean scientist Bonnie Monteleone and Atlanta artist Mitch Cherry from the Primitive Urban Living artist group, will be exhibited at the State Capitol on February 15, 2017. Ms. Testa and Senator Williams will also be accompanied by a host of environmental leaders across the nation as well as by local businesses that support her efforts. This event will be from 10 am to 2:30 pm in room 123 of the State Capitol Building and is open to the public.
Hannah’s efforts are the latest in her young career to speak up for issues that concern her, and others have taken note of her amazing work at such a young age. “Hannah is a light of hope and is a true example to never underestimate a young person’s capability to evoke change. Its been a pleasure to watch her blossom and grow in passion and beauty inside and out”, states Angela Sun, award-winning sportscaster, film maker, producer, writer, and environmentalist. Charles Orgbon III, CEO of Greening Forward, adds “Disposable plastics take a few minutes to make, a few seconds to use, and a lifetime to degrade in our landfills. Hannah’s event will help us understand what we can do to create more sustainable solutions.”
Hannah4Change was founded by award-winning Cumming, Georgia resident Hannah Testa to fight for issues that affect our world and all of its animals. Hannah is a 14-year-old honors student who is passionate about animals and environmental issues that have an impact on wildlife. Hannah has presented to thousands of adults and children – as well as to Georgia’s Governor – on plastic pollution and practical ways residents can reduce their “plastic footprint”. She believes that knowledge is power, and that through education and awareness, she can affect positive change. For additional information, please visit www.hannah4change.org.