A seven-year-old boy from Klagenfurt, Austria, inspires his classmates with his commitment to environmental protection. They go on a garbage hunt with a self-made garbage truck.

The young Klagenfurt Liam Walter has a mission. He wants to rid his hometown of garbage. For this he was chosen “Heart Person 2023” by the “Kronen Zeitung”. Now he has brought his friends on board.

Since he was three years old, Liam has been happily collecting waste from nature, equipped with garbage bags and grabbing tools. In an interview with the “Kronen-Zeitung”, his mother can no longer stop raving: “I don’t know any other child who enjoys collecting rubbish so much.” Liam’s parents, Ronny and Madeleine, actively support him.

For his extraordinary commitment, the “Kronen Zeitung” honored Liam as “Men of Heart 2023”. This impressed his teachers so much that they are now doing the same – and the whole class is following suit.

There’s a garbage collection project going on at Liam’s school, which the little conservationist naturally leads. The school provided all children with gloves and grippers and dad Ronny contributed a self-made garbage truck, as supervisor Fatima Zuka reported to the “Kronen-Zeitung”.

Under the supervision of the supervisor, several garbage collection activities have already been carried out, in which the children took part with enthusiasm and at the same time learned a lot about waste separation. Zuka is more than satisfied: “It was really great – all the children had a lot of fun.”

A report by the Federal Environment Agency on the emotional burden on children and young people caused by climate change describes the joint commitment to the environment as “problem-oriented coping”. The report lists such strategies as the most effective long-term measure against young people’s fears about the future.

However, in the short term there could be greater stress because young people are intensively dealing with a problem and cannot always solve it. Little Liam, for example, shouldn’t feel responsible for the cleanliness of Klagenfurt. Nevertheless, the report says, collective actions have the potential to create a sense of hope, togetherness and confidence.

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