Instead of scaring people into climate action, Adam Fishman thought he could start a ripple effect by starting with some gratitude.

Adam Fishman Climate Champion profile

Adam Fishman

This article and two-part video interview by author Ali Cappola was a Silver Prize winner in the Climate Champion Profiles Challenge, organized by Global Youth & News Media as part of The Writing’s on the Wall project, in partnership with News Decoder and The Climate Academy. Cappola attends The Baldwin School in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The Writing’s on the Wall project aims to help student journalists in their climate change reporting and to offer schools new tools to integrate climate science into their teaching.

In May of 2019, Adam Fishman co-founded Onora, a nonprofit startup company that aims to heal our planet through innovative projects that inspire change. His mission is to lead with love and spread positivity to empower people to take action.

Adam seeks to allow everyone to appreciate the progress that we have made, as opposed to focusing solely on our problems. This gratitude-based learning encourages us to abandon the idea that climate change is an irreversible issue.

By combatting the mental struggle that comes with preventing global warming, Adam hopes to spread Onora’s positive ripple effects across the globe.

His passion for protecting the environment by leading with love is reflected in the company, which has made incredible strides through accessible programs and impressive partnerships.

Onora has undertaken a variety of projects, including an Impact Fellowship for high school students, a survey to calculate individual carbon footprints and a partnership with Eden Reforestation to plant mangrove trees.

Mangrove trees for climate change

For each person who joins Onora — for free — a mangrove tree is planted in their honor. The company has planted more than 700,000 mangrove trees, causing more than 20 million pounds of carbon rebalancing in nature.

Fishman’s message of changing the public’s attitude toward climate change has the potential to inspire action on an international scale, as altering our mindsets could be the key to saving our planet.

While many view the fight against climate change as overly ambitious, Fishman’s initiative of leading with love encourages us to feel positively about the progress that we have made, which motivates us to take action.

I first learned about these concepts of gratitude-based learning and leading with love in Onora’s Impact Fellowship for high school students.

These values caused me to shift my perspective on climate change to focus on the success that we have made, which has grown my love and passion for protecting our planet. I wanted to interview Fishman to give others the opportunity to alter their mindsets toward climate change and spread these positive ripple effects.

Gratitude-based learning: An interview with Adam Fishman

Mangrove trees and ripple effects

Three questions to consider:

  1. How does Adam Fishman believe Onora can get people to reduce carbon emissions?
  2. What is gratitude-based learning?
  3. What could you do to reduce your carbon output?
Ali Cappola

Ali Cappola is in the third year of high school at the Baldwin School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Ali is senior head of the Environmental Club and participated in Onora’s Impact Fellowship. Outside of school, Ali enjoys swimming, baking and gardening. 

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Writing's on the WallClimate champion profileOne mangrove at a time: A ripple effect of climate action