Can you think of a way that we can stop damaging Planet Earth and get our environment back to full health? Well, anyone with a bright idea that really works is in line for a big, new prize.

This week, the Earthshot Prize started taking entries. Next year, they’ll give out 5 prizes, each worth a million pounds (a bit more than a million euros or dollars). And it will do the same for 10 years. Why?

Well, you know Prince William? Yes? No? Anyway, the British Queen is his granny. And, one day, Prince William will be King William.

He set up the Earthshot Prize because he calls the next 10 years “a critical decade of change”. It means everyone has to change how we do things so that our air, our oceans, the plants and animals and our climate can all get back to health.

Be positive!

Prince William says it won’t be easy but that being positive and looking for solutions is a lot better for us that moping about worrying.

Earthshot is an odd name, isn’t it? Prince William says he got the idea from the year when Russia sent the first person into space, 1961.

Space race

America wanted to get back ahead of Russia in what they called the space race. So, President John Kennedy promised that an American would walk on the Moon before 1970.

But no one knew how. Many experts thought it couldn’t be done so soon – in less than 10 years. People called it a Moonshot. The idea was that it was like “shooting the moon” – in other words, it was impossible.

But President Kennedy thought that if people thought positively about it, then the “impossible” was possible. And he was right! U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon just 8 years later, in 1969.

They said it was a “moonshot” = in other words, impossible!

WoW! winners!

Today, Prince William wants us all to put our brains together, not for a Moonshot but for an Earthshot, to help our home planet itself. He’s looking for solutions to fix 5 things: Nature; the sea; the air, the climate; and waste.

Do you feel positive that we can pull it off? Well, just take a look at 5 ideas we’ve covered in WoW! that we think deserve Earthshot prizes!

Protect & Restore Nature

Felix Finkbeiner was only 9 when he dreamed up an app to raise money to plant trees that give homes to wildlife and clean our air. Go Felix!

Felix and his amazing app
Revive Our Oceans

Plastic Soup Surfer, with his crazy boards made of rubbish, campaigns to stop us throwing away billions of plastic bottles that end up in the sea.

Merijn Tinga, surfeur biologiste et militant écologiste néerlandais
Merijn Tinga, aka The Plastic Soup Surfer
Clean Our Air

We need to make clean electricity from the sun. But how to keep the lights on when it’s dark? Remember this gravity-powered natural battery from Gravitricity?

Gravitricity plant visualised within rural edge landscape setting using 3D software.

Fix our Climate

Fish on the roof! Farms in cities mean our food doesn’t travel far, so no carbon emissions. And it’s fresh! Our prize goes to urban farmer Steven Beckers.

Fish and tomatoes
Fish and tomatoes – from Steven’s urban farm
Build a Waste-Free World

You! Our WoW! readers taking part in No Waste November. You are all changing the world for the better. Take a bow!

Projet d'enfants sur le recyclage
Well done, WoW! waste-busters!