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Sigourney Weaver Says Kids Are Closer To Nature Than Adults

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signourney weaver, avatarSigourney Weaver joined James and Suzy Cameron in Brooklyn this week to host the Eco Warrior Training competition at Brooklyn Technical High School. The contest gave students the chance to win $12,000 scholarships by delivering speeches on “An Environmental Lesson I Learned From Avatar and How to Apply It In My Community, New York City, America and/or the World.”

“As a New Yorker, I’m thrilled to be here to meet you, to talk to you about all of us becoming eco-warriors because our planet needs it,” Weaver said. “I got involved in Avatar, and I loved the experience. I loved the director, but I also really wanted to play Grace Augustine, who’s this kick-ass woman scientist.”

“Unfortunately she’s on Pandora partially because there’s nothing left on Earth for her to study and for her to report,” she added. “It’s a dead planet.”

The 60-year-old actress told PEOPLE that kids are the key to a more sustainable planet. “I think children have a connection to nature that’s so deep when they’re born, and they’re closer in a way than we are as adults,” she says. “I think they’re so hip to all these things. My daughter [Charlotte Simpson, 20] would say hello to every single person on the street when she could barely talk, and she wouldn’t let us move on until the other person has said hello back.”

Both Camerons echoed Weaver’s comments, saying that their own children were educated early on environmental issues and social justice.  “It’s not like, ‘Oh, we’re recycling,’ and patting ourselves on the back, it’s just part of their world,” said Suzy Cameron to PEOPLE. “It just becomes a part of their make-up.”

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