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Happy Birthday, Greta!

January 8, 2021

One of our favorite teen activists, Greta Thunberg, turned eighteen on January 3rd. When asked what she wanted for her birthday, she simply said that she wants everyone to do as much as they can for the planet. You said it, Greta! To celebrate Greta’s birthday, we’re sharing five fun facts about one of planet Earth’s greatest allies.

1. In 2019, Greta Thunberg was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year. She was sixteen at the time and became the youngest person to ever receive this title. Who is Time’s 2020 Person of the Year? US President-elect Joe Biden and US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

2. Greta has written one book, No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference (Penguin, 2018), and co-written another Our House Is on Fire: Scenes of a Family and a Planet in Crisis (Penguin, 2020) with her mom, dad, and sister.

Greta Thunberg
Anders Hellberg, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

3. In 2018, Greta founded the School Strike for Climate initiative. It started small with her skipping school every Friday and protesting in front of the Swedish parliament with a sign that said, “Skolstrejk för klimatet” or “School strike for climate.” Seven months later, her one-person protest became a global call to action and over a million people around the world joined her in what is now more commonly known as the Fridays for Future march.

4. Greta has Asperger’s syndrome, which affects the way a person socializes with others. While this is a neurological disorder, Greta’s mom calls it her superpower!

5. In 2019, Greta was invited to speak at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York and chose to sail on an emissions-free yacht from Sweden to New York instead of fly. Although the trip took many, many more days (two weeks to be exact!), Greta chose this longer and more treacherous route so that she would not leave an environmental footprint.

Correction (1/26/21): In the original article, Greta Thunberg is credited for writing a book with Geoff Blackwell. She is the subject of the book, I Know This To Be True and not an author.