Born in Hong Kong, Harnoor Gill is a young aspiring writer who moved to Canada with his parents in 2002. To date he has volunteered thousands of hours and inspiring other youth to do the same. He is one of Canada’s Top 15 Under 15 Award (by the national magazine, Canadian Family) recipient and former World Vision Youth Ambassador. He has been quoted and published by over 100 national and international media outlets for his student voice in advocacy which led him to found a youth group known as the Peace Welcome Club (PWC), in Georgetown, where he encourages and mentors other youth to volunteer and to sustain community projects.
“Age is not a barrier to volunteer”
He has been recognized for his community service with the Young Conservationist Award, the YMCA Canada Peace Medal, the South Asian Teen of the Year Award, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. Additionally, Harnoor has also been recognized for the renowned International Diana Award.
Harnoor’s vision and actions towards a Green Future
“The impacts humans have had on the environment over the past decades have been brutal and terrible for the overall health of the Earth. However, humans have realized their mistakes in recent years and there has been an urge in many to fix the mistakes of our past. Some of these horrible problems include full-fledged forests being cut down for money, huge amounts of pollution produced from power plants and garbage that wasn’t garbage. The solutions for these have included planting more trees for the environment’s sake, raising awareness of the harmful occurrences of pollution and promoting the idea of recycling.
When I first volunteered, I spent my time helping out in the community at a conservation area because I enjoyed nature and wanted to help outside in the environment as much as I could. At Willow Park Ecology Centre, I helped out by taking out the invasive species in the area and taking part in the stewardship related activities for conservation. As I’ve grown older, I noticed how harmful human activities could be to the many bodies of water in the world. In fact, I have personally witnessed numerous acts of littering that have occurred in the Canadian bodies of water such as rivers, lakes and oceans.
The Credit Valley River runs through the local conservation area I volunteered at and I decided to do something about how dirty it had gotten in recent years. I gathered a group of youth and started a local Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-Up for the river. This amazing initiative that Loblaw’s Canada started has gone viral all across the nation and I had a great time taking part in it with my friends. Not only was this initiative for a good cause, but it also showed the community that youth were willing to step up and take responsibility for the actions that have been made to the environment in order to create a better Earth.”
“I recommend youth to go out in their communities and raise awareness on the importance of recycling. It goes a really long way when youth are a part of their community and raising their voice for the cause of saving the environment itself. Recycling helps reduce garbage, creates items that can be reusable and helps keep the Earth cleaner. Another recommendation of mine would be to try the idea of no waste which is essentially to use the most reusable items as possible and producing little to no waste. This will help reduce the world’s carbon footprint and less garbage for the whole world to take care of.”
Some of the challenges people may experience when you’re into helping the environment is the stereotype of how nobody cares nor does it. However, this is not true as almost everyone in the whole world tries to recycle, stop the act of littering around them and create less greenhouse gases. This eliminates the delusional stereotype of nobody caring for the environment or doing anything about it.
Overall, it’s up to us as humans to make the difference and create a better environment for future generations to come.