Are There Any Female Environmentalist Out There?
Female environmentalists have been around forever, which is to say that women have dedicated their lives to protecting the environment throughout history. But, if you’re only hearing about them now through social media platforms, usually, you’re not the only one. It’s our duty though, to bring the women currently working as environmental activists and bring their work to light. Here are a few who are currently working day and night for the environment:
Sylvia Earle has been an inspiration for millions by trying to spread awareness of the harm that befalls the earth's natural water bodies as a result of environmental degradation and pollution. Having spent more than 6000 hours underwater, she was amongst the group of underwater explorers that were the first to use the SCUBA gear. Her non-profit organization, Mission Blue, has done immense work in exploring oceans and establishing a global network of marine protected areas that are now called Hope Spots. Also called "The Sturgeon General" or "Her Deepness" by her fans, Sylvia Earle is a joint record holder for a solo dive depth in 1986, along with being a pioneer of Deep Ocean Engineering. In 1988, she was declared the first Hero for the Planet by The Time Magazine.
In an era when many people questioned the ability and capability of women to work in the field, Jane Goodall spent a good 55 years on wild chimpanzees in Tanzania to silence those people and prove that when it comes to saving the environment, all you need is the passion to do it. It would not be an understatement to call her one of the foremost experts of chimpanzees, and it was her experimental research and insight that cleared many misconceptions. Through a non-profit organization, the Jane Goodall Institute, she's putting all her efforts to raise awareness and money to keep the chimpanzees and their habitats safe.
The fact that she was forced to drop out of school, like many Gambian girls, wasn't enough to stop the "Queen of Recycling" from being one of the most influential environmentalists of all time. When she saw the pollution and environmental degradation caused by plastic, she took the reins in her hand when nobody else took the responsibility. Today, her "Njau Recycling and Income Generation Group" not only protects the environment by recycling waste plastic bags, but is also a means for the local women. More than 100 women have been saved from poverty and unemployment by reducing the amount of waste from the village, all because of her revolutionary community recycling initiative.
While focusing on environmental justice, renewable energy, climate change, and sustainable development, Winona LaDuke, an American political activist, also runs 2 of her organizations. White Earth Land Recovery Project is dedicated to growing wild rice in Minnesota. One of the largest non-profit organizations in America, it also promotes the selling of traditional foods, a project called Native Harvest. Her other organization, Honor The Earth, has the sole purpose of creating awareness for native environmental issues and raising funds, along with providing grants to various initiatives. This project is a practical application of what she said, that "Power is in the earth; it is in your relationship to the earth".
Remember the 18-year old environmentalist who took the world by storm after she made that speech in the United Nations calling out the world leaders and urging them to fight against climate change? Yeah, that's Greta Thunberg. She has to deal with cyberbullying as people make fun of her appearance and her diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome, but she is as strong as her resolve to save the environment and considers being different a superpower. Being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, she will always be a source of inspiration for all environmentalists.