About Our Puppet Shows

We’ve been saying it for years, and we’re thrilled that big names like Mark Ruffalo, Gloria Walton, and TIME are saying it too. Storytelling unites diverse groups around common goals. From ancient temples to COVID-19, humanity has shown we can achieve the impossible when united. We think stories are our species’ superpower.

Our Why and How

The clock is ticking with climate change. To uphold the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) warning, we must cut global emissions in half by 2030 to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Less than seven years away, the time is now to make sweeping cultural shifts to get humanity to work together for the benefit of all—especially current children and future generations. Not taking action is setting our kids up for a difficult future, where air quality alerts, severe weather, drought, famine, water shortages, and vector-borne diseases would likely be part of daily life. We can do better. We must do better.

The great news is that we have all the solutions we need to bring down emissions. We just need to implement solutions through top-down policies and bottom-up individual actions. Moving people to action begins with people connecting to a story they feel they are part of. Our puppet shows provide that initial connection and offer solutions.

“History has shown that when approximately 3.5 percent of the population participates in nonviolent protest, success becomes inevitable. No nonviolent protest has ever failed to achieve its aims once it reached that threshold of participation. In the UK, this would be 2.3 million people. In the United States, 11 million.”

– Christiana Figueres

Our “Red Light, Green Light” Program

After pausing puppet shows during COVID, we are now ramping up our efforts with an entire team of amazing puppeteers! Our new “Red Light, Green Light” program uses a common narrative to teach stop-and-go behaviors for personal, societal, and planetary well-being. The puppet shows address an array of environmental, healthy living, mental health, and equity issues.


As the name of our organization, We All Need Food and Water, implies, equity is central to our work. Our events are free to ensure accessibility. We also give priority to our most vulnerable Environmental Justice communities, who face disproportionate levels of air pollution, poverty, and unemployment as well as barriers to healthcare and the internet. These communities have disproportionately high levels of asthma, diabetes, and mental health concerns. Improving air quality not only addresses climate emissions and asthma but also has unexpected benefits for improving diabetes and mental health. Studies show air pollutants are linked to impaired glucose metabolism, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and cognitive decline.

Mark Ruffalo and Gloria Walton on How Storytelling Can Save the Planet

Mark Ruffalo and Gloria Walton on How Storytelling Can Save the Planet*

When you’re trying to persuade people to do something important, you can present statistics, policy statements, graphs, and spreadsheets. But without a story that paints a picture of what’s at stake, touches the heartstrings, and sparks the imagination to envision possibilities, it’s hard to move people to take action. One formula for accelerating transformational change is to amplify the right message from the right messenger at the right moment in time.”

—TIME, April 20, 2023

*We know that the real issue is saving humanity. The planet has been around for 4.5 billion years and will continue with or without people. https://time.com/collection/earth-awards-2023/6272882/mark-ruffalo-gloria-walton-storytelling-climate/

We Need Your Help Today

We need your help bringing urgent stories to people to inspire action now. In the next 12 months, we aim to reach 6,000 kids (and their adults) in the Twin Cities Metro Areas with our environmental programming that also promotes mental health, healthy eating, active living, and tackling racial inequities. Although our shows are free of charge to the public to ensure accessibility, they cost money. Each show costs We All Need Food and Water about $300, with the puppeteers making a modest $20/hour. The bulk of the expense is in setting up and taking down the shows.