My name is Tejas Kannan. I’m a 16-year-old, Grade 11 student from Texas, USA. I am passionate about raising awareness among young people about protecting the environment, particularly from harmful chemicals found in everyday products.
What Are You Doing?
I’ve established website called Product Insight that is dedicated to shedding light on the harmful effects of chemicals in everyday products. It includes articles, blogs and podcasts that delve into the eco-friendly strategies we can adopt in our daily lives. I also curate online activity booklets and worksheets on environmental protection.
Why Are You Doing This?
My grandfather, who is a paramedic, shared heart-breaking stories of people losing their lives due to severe allergies caused by various known and unknown triggers and alerted us about the need to read product labels and understand their composition before purchasing.
Not only do such chemicals claim lives, they also pollute ecosystems. The Bellandur Lake in Bangalore, a once vibrant ecosystem, has also succumbed to severe pollution thanks to the disposal of harmful chemicals found in many everyday products. However, people continue carelessly tossing products into their shopping carts without a second thought. This realisation saddened me and I decided to take action.
When did you begin?
I began my work in 2020, at the age of 13
How did you begin?
I started my journey by delving into the world of product toxicity. I collected information about various products, meticulously examining their ingredients and researching their potential effects using multiple resources like websites and books. After that, I set up my website and also began curating and distributing activity booklets and worksheets to students.
What has been the impact?
My website carries information on over 200 chemicals, including substances like carrageenan and lead, and my activity booklets and worksheets can also be accessed online. I also use social media – Instagram, YouTube videos and podcasts – to amplify the reach of my work.
Today my worksheets on the ‘3 Rs’ (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) reach about 3000 students in government schools across India and I have more than 3500 followers on Instagram.
Where can one know more about your work?
@creatingyouthawareness on Instagram
Can you share a list of green books on your shelf for young readers interested in environmentalism?
More than books, I follow magazines and people to learn more about environmentalism: