Find out more about the Captain Planet Foundation (CPF) straight from the Captain himself — with a little help from Ira Blumenthal, president of the foundation

(Meredith Darlington/MNN and Nick Scott/MNN)


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Interviewer: What does your foundation stand for? What does it do?
Ira Blumenthal: You really want me to say that? He’s very proud of the foundation. Our foundation, the Captain Planet Foundation, is the quintessential, most important, singular leader in educating and inspiring children to be great stewards of the planet and live eco-friendly lives.
Interviewer: How long ago was the Captain Planet Foundation started?
Ira Blumenthal: When was it? Do you remember?  ’91?  ’90.  ’91.  ’91.  It was founded in 1991, actually. It was a visionary brainchild of a guy named Ted Turner. Ted is a philanthropist, a media mogul, a dedicated and committed environmentalist, okay, who you’re buddies with. All right? Ted conjured up the whole vision of Captain Planet. So it’s been around since 1991.
Interviewer: Why was it started?
Ira Blumenthal: That, that, you know, should we get into the, you know, a little bit of philosophy? Philosophically, philosophically, there have been books, and poems, and plays written for centuries about how we will all follow children. Children will lead us by the hand and by the heart. They will teach us to be free, and the list goes on and on and on. Captain Planet Foundation was founded to educate children so that they can become good stewards of the planet, live good, eco-friendly lives, and teach us as adults the right way to protect this wonderful Earth of ours. Children have been catalysts to get Mom and Dad to wear seatbelts. Children have stopped Mom and Dad from smoking, because in school they learned about smoking and the ills of smoking. And this is all about kids learning about how to protect our wonderful forests, and our animals, and our water, and our energy. So it was done for that. It was an offshoot, it was an offshoot of a great cartoon series that was created in 1991.
Interviewer: And Captain Planet, what kinds of special programs are you currently developing?
Ira Blumenthal: We’ll keep that as a secret, because we’re going to introduce that in a few months, okay? But, yeah, what’s the other one?  Yeah, I love that. I love that. Okay, you know, we give grants every year to schools and youth groups all around the world -- primarily domestic, but you know, we’re a global, we’re a global brand, and we’re moving more in the global focus. And these grants, these checks go to support environmental projects. It could be a composting project. It could be a recycling project. It could be water conservation. It could be education on energy, an energy project. But one of the things we’re doing, all right, in the next few months, over the next number of years, is we’re going to obsessively focus on outdoor classrooms and edible school gardens. Now, let me tell you about edible school gardens, all right. Children learn how to plant their own veggies, and fruits, and herbs, and flowers. And it’s not just about science. Math teachers can go out there and do a math lesson about maybe peas are planted 10 inches apart. The music teacher can go out there and talk, and the kids can sing songs about fruits, and vegetables, and nature. The art teacher can certainly have a -- it’s an integrated form of education. We believe in no child left inside.  We believe in trading video games for grass stains. Our children need to be outside. And we’re so thrilled about these kinds of programs, and it all came from the Captain. It all came from the vision. And so this year and the next few years, we’ll be focusing very aggressively on being the catalyst to build these gardens outside of schools so the children can learn about the environment, in the environment.


"Captain Planet" is an animated series created by Ted Turner in the 1990s. is the primary source for "Captain Planet" episodes on the Web. 

Captain Planet is a superhero whose powers are implemented by a team of five Planeteers (as well as himself), each of whom helps combat environmental catastrophes like pollution, animal poaching, water scarcity and more. Each episode of "Captain Planet" involves the captain and his planeteers tackling different dilemmas and nefarious eco-villains.

Numerous celebrities contributed voice work to the show, including Meg Ryan, Jeff Goldblum, Whoopi Goldberg and many others. You can watch all the Captain Planet episodes on MNN  and you can learn more about the series by going behind the scenes with the creators and major players.