Earth Day, Fast Food, and TV Turnoff Week

This is a very special guest blog post.

Hi, I’m Koa Halpern, a guest on this blog, I am 12 years old, and I started my own nonprofit when I was 10 years old. My Nonprofit is called Fast Food Free.

We are trying to get people to eat less fast food through education and community awareness resulting in healthier people and a better world.

I am writing because two of my favorite events are coming up in the same week: TV Turnoff week and Earth Day. These events have more to do with each other – and with fast food – than you think.

Did you know that 66 percent of families regularly watch TV while eating dinner?  Fast food products are mainly advertised through TV. In the United States, kids spend tons of time watching television; many kids watch TV over 4 hours every day. Much of this time is spent watching commercials. Fast food and food product commercials are shown more than any other type of advertisement.  If parents reduce their kids’ growing addiction to television, we may be able to significantly reduce their fast food consumption as well.

Fast food poses huge problems for the environment. It takes 55 square feet of rainforest to make a single McDonald’s Quarter Pounder. 80% of the Ammonia released into the air comes from animal digestion and waste. Every second, the equivalent of a football field of rainforest is destroyed to make room for the 17 billion livestock that are populating our planet. This harms the planet more and more.  Consider becoming Fast Food Free for Earth Day.

There are many ways to “go green:” changing light bulbs, planting trees, and turning off the water when you brush your teeth. However, my approach is to not eat fast food and live a safer, happier, and greener life.

On April 19, start the week with TV Turnoff week.  You can also begin the “Spring into Healthy Eating Challenge” at Fast Food Free. By simply agreeing to give up fast food for just two weeks, you will save 3,222 gallons of water.

Enjoy Earth Day on April 22 knowing you are making great changes for the environment and the health of your kids.
To find out more about how giving up fast food can help the planet, and to take the pledge, visit my website

Koa Halpern

  • veronica (lifewithnature)

    Wonderful initiative!It’s people like you that we need to create our future. This post addresses some major problems like obesity, climate change, and general health. It’s very important to keep up generating awareness, and to do it across generations. Great post, thank you!

  • kc

    I know that kids can change the world. My kids and I took all food additives out of our diet for health reasons and since feeling the improvement in their health, they can’t wait to spread the word. Everywhere we go they are trying to enlighten people to the dangers of GMO derivatives and chemicals in processed food. I do believe there is a link between TV and fast food/processed foods. We tend to spend our family time in the kitchen cooking together instead of in front of the TV watching the same show while eating. After we switched to real food cooked from scratch, we realized that we never watched TV anymore so we discontinued cable TV. We spend more time together now than we did before even though “lack of time” is the main reason cited by parents for serving processed/fast food. I don’t believe lack of time is the real reason but exhaustion is probably a more accurate reason. If only people could feel the difference in energy level after only one week free from additives, they would realize that the additives in food cause fatigue. It is a vicious cycle and it’s extremely hard to break free, but if a family is determined to feel better they can do it by working together.

  • Heidi Kelly

    I would have passed this post by a year ago, because I was not ready for change. I did a recent experiment with my kids and was utterly dumbfounded by what I saw transpire.

    Kuddos Koa!