They say the children are our future, so it's kind of a shame that we are trashing the planet for them. That said, even if we do manage to totally screw over our civilization—there are some pretty resourceful young people out there.
We're putting our money on these kids, come the apocalypse.
Austin Hayes, tiny house builder
Austin Hayes project to build himself a mortgage-free home is as inspiring as it is refreshing. Working in his backyard, he crafted a beautiful tiny house which he planned to take with him when he headed off to college. The best part? He did it while generating almost zero trash.
Abigail Osborne, 5-year-old survival specialist
Paul Osborne is a survival specialist. So it's no surprise that his 5-year-old, Abigail, is also learning about how to survive in the woods. As part of a school project, the father-and-daughter duo put together a survival kit that would help keep her safe if she gets lost. What's not included in the kit—rope, knives etc—is as interesting as what is included. And Paul does a good job of explaining the importance of psychological comfort and keeping a child occupied—after all, staying put and waiting for help is one of the most important pieces of advice that a young child alone in the woods can heed.
The Ebel Brothers, teen floating home builders
I posted on the Ebel family's efforts to build a 12-person floating home/workshop last week. While some folks were skeptical of the boat's ocean worthiness, it's hard to argue that the skills being learned by the Ebel boys aren't valuable, and all too rare, in a world where almost everything can be purchased at the store.
Teen moms, urban farmers
Detroit is not exactly a picture of new urbanist utopia, but it does have a lot of vacant land. And a growing number of would-be farmers are taking that land and turning it into vibrant, urban farms. One effort to create well paid jobs for teen mothers was highlighted in the documentary Grown In Detroit. It sure does help to be able to grow your own food when civilization collapses.
Boyan Slat, garbage patch harvester
When resources are scarce and supply chains disrupted, we'll need to make do with what we have. And what we have is a whole lot of trash. True, actually building one of Boyan Slat's gigantic devices to harvest plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch will be much harder if the apocalypse ever really does come to pass (and there are anti-plastics pollution campaigners who claim it is a pointless, even dangerous, pipe dream even now), but we'll bet that a kid this resourceful has a few other clever tricks up his sleeve too. We still want him on our side when the gas pumps start to run dry.