Alissa Sallans is an 18 year old from Whitby, Ontario, Canada, who has never shied away from finding opportunities to educate others on environmental issues. She is well known in her high school for starting the school’s Environmental Council and initiating and leading numerous campaigns focused on educating others on environmental issues (such as the use of plastic water bottles, water stewardship, and the COP21 Climate Talks), and empowering them to take action. She has also led other educational school initiatives such as shoreline cleanups, cigarette butt and cereal bag upcycling, pollinator garden planting, and painting yellow fish on storm drains to remind people not to dump waste down storm drains. In order to bring together environmentally passionate students from across her region, Alissa organized an environmental sustainability conference for youth and a community Eco Fair.
Alissa is also an avid advocate for environmental issues in her community. She has led meetings on pollution, plastics, and overconsumption to Guiding units and a YMCA youth group. After travelling with Students on Ice to Antarctica to learn about the effects of climate change on the polar regions, she started going to elementary schools and community groups to make presentations on Antarctica and the impact that human actions are having on its fragile ecosystems. She even did a TEDx talk on the frozen continent. Alissa's passion for polar protection also led her to participate in an Arctic Youth Ambassadors Conference in Iqaluit, Nunavut, in the Canadian Arctic. Following that conference, she went out to community groups to speak on the environmental and economic factors faced by people living in Canada's North. Alissa is furthermore the youth lead of Blue Dot Whitby, a grassroots initiative seeking to have all levels of government recognize the right to live in a healthy environment. In that capacity, she has helped organize community education events and presented a speech on Blue Dot at a regional high school symposium. This past summer, her passion for sharing the wonders of the natural world led her to work as a Natural Heritage Education staff member at a provincial park. Alissa not only lives an environmentally conscious life, but her passion for the environment radiates through her drive to educate others.