Written By: Grace O’Bryan and Ashley York

Hannah Testa, current teen plastic reduction activist, is an inspiration for students and teachers around the world. 

Testa implements a no-waste lifestyle in her own home in Georgia, where she and her family choose green alternatives wherever possible. “We don’t use any single-use plastics. We use bamboo toothbrushes, reusable ziplock bags, organic detergent, reusable cling wrap, etc. I am also starting to use plastic free cosmetics and bath products from Lush. We are starting to compost most of our food waste, and right now we already compost our coffee grounds,” Testa explained.

Hannah not only focuses on plastic reduction, but also on animal conservation. Her concern about plastic reduction is linked to animal welfare, especially in terms of keeping our oceans healthy and plastic free. Testa recently assisted with a baby turtle release while she was on vacation in Cancun, Mexico. 

Hannah participates in marches around the country to raise awareness about plastic use and disposal. Most recently, she participated in the recent global climate strike, in London. “While there were only about 100 of us in the streets of London, thousands of people saw us marching in protest as we walked in the busiest part of the city,” Testa said. This visibility of the London march is why Testa refers to the event as one of her favorites.

Testa raises awareness about plastic-free and climate issues through her marches as well as through her entrepreneurial ventures.  Recently, she partnered with Ted’s Montana Grill restaurants to educate about plastic straws. Likewise, she currently works with Starbucks on their effort to create a compostable cup. Finally, Testa collaborated with the healthy food brand Kashi to develop a new line, “Kashi by Kids”, including items such as snacks, cereals, and granolas. 

Several organizations have honored Testa for her amazing dedication to saving the planet. Some of her recent awards include the Teen Earth Day Hero by CNN, the Young Superhero for Earth Award by Captain Planet, the Action for Nature International Young Eco-Hero Award, and the Gloria Barron Prize. She has featured in books, videos, and serves on several boards of plastic-reduction organizations. Testa speaks locally, nationally, and internationally. Check out her website, Hannah4Change.com, to look at green alternatives, read her story, and much more.

Testa is truly a role model for young activists, encouraging others to speak from the heart and never accept “no” as an answer.