Kids Doing Rad Stuff: Dylan D’Haeze

What is your name? 

Dylan D’Haeze

How old are you?

14

Where are you from?

I was born in Portland, OR but now live on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands in Washington state.

What’s your favourite subject at school?

I have been homeschooling while making the documentaries. My favourite things that I’m learning are film making and flying aeroplanes!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Berlin, Germany.

Where has been your favourite place that you’ve travelled to?

Paris, France.

What’s the happiest memory you have from this year so far?

New Years Eve, hanging out with my friends.

If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be?

Arnold Schwarzenegger

When did you discover the issue of plastic pollution?

When I was 13 I went up and down the west coast with my mom studying coastal issues and saw lots of exhibits on plastic pollution. It really scared me!

Tell us a little bit about ‘Kids Can Save The Planet’ and what you do… 

Kids Can Save The Planet is an environmental documentary series I made with my parent’s help. I filmed, co-directed and starred in all the films.

What is the ‘Kids Can Save The Planet’ documentary series about?

The series is about environmental issues from a kid’s perspective, and what kids can do to solve the problems. There are three films in the series. The first is “Plastic Is Forever”, which is about plastic pollution and how it affects the marine environment. The second is called “Tipping Point” and it’s about climate change. The third is called “Everything Connects” and it is about why we need to lead a sustainable lifestyle and create less waste.

What made you decide to educate people in the form of documentaries?

When I saw all the issues going on with plastic and climate change, it really scared me. My mom encouraged me to face my fears and do something about it instead of being scared. I thought about it and decided to make a documentary. My parents are filmmakers and I watched them make a documentary before that was very powerful and affected change, so I asked them to teach me how to do it. It turned out better than I could have ever imagined!

Tell us about the awards that your first film, Plastic Is Forever, has won… 

When I was making Plastic Is Forever, I never even thought about entering it into a film festival. I showed the film to one of the people that is in it, and they encouraged me to enter it into the International Ocean Film Festival. It won the Environment Award! I’m the youngest to have ever won that award. It also won Best Children’s Film at the International Wildlife Film Festival, and Best Indie Youth film at the Arizona International Film Festival. 🙂

Which documentary was your favourite to create?

Plastic Is Forever was my favourite because we got to go to Hawaii to film!

What are your goals this new year?

My goal is to get the businesses and restaurants on the island I live on to stop using single-use plastics, as well as to travel around the country screening my documentaries and inspiring kids to help save the planet.

If you could change anything in the world, what would you change?

I would get rid of greed and materialism.

What is the impact you want to have on  the world when you grow up?

I hope I’ve inspired people to make changes in their lives to help solve our environmental problems.