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Like many other areas of society, the sustainability movement is no stranger to the structural issues preventing women from leading and taking on essential roles. However, a lot of organizations have made a large effort to focus heavily on environmental justice at the core of sustainability.
In honor of international women’s day, we want to honor and acknowledge the women currently involved in the environmental movement. We would not see the sustainable progress today without the many women deeply involved in this movement.
Here are some women currently working to make the earth healthier and the sustainability movement more inclusive.
Kate grew up in California where she understood the immense need to preserve beautiful places like the ones near her home. She started her career in the Obama campaign🇺🇸where she later developed the climate action plan for his administration.
She then became the nation’s first Chief Sustainability Officer under the Obama administration until it ended in 2016.
Kate is now the Chief Sustainability Officer at Google and is on a mission to make sure every part of google has sustainability and the environment weaved throughout its roots. Thanks a bunch Kate!
Sheila has pioneered the movement to protect arctic indigenous people’s rights. She has made huge progress in preventing the pollution of Inuit food supply chains and continues to work diligently on mitigating the effects of climate change on Indigenous peoples.
Sheila has been a part of several NGO’s and has been working closely with the Canadian government to ensure the preservation and prosperity of the Inuit people.
Thanks for all you do Sheila.
Greta Thunberg is a Swedish activist🇸🇪who gained attention through the simple idea of protesting her government instead of attending school. This action is not only challenging her government to act, but it's saying: we won’t have a future unless you act on climate change, so why should we go to school?
Greta’s efforts have inspired millions. Eventually, the Fridays for Future school climate strike became an international strike where kids don’t attend school on Friday and instead protest their government.
All I can think is:
Man, I wish I thought of this when I was in school. Three day weekends!
But really, keep up the great work Greta.
Naomi Klein has made a name for herself by making globalization and capitalism public enemy number one when it comes to the environment. Okay, well maybe not that far, although to be honest...she probably agrees with it. Naomi definitely guides a lot of our environmental (and world) issues back to these two things.
Naomi is a Canadian author and activist who has published several books such as The Shock Doctrine, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate, and her most recent book On Fire: The (Burning) case for a Green New Deal.
Naomi has put several root causes to society's problems into the spotlight. This has created clarity on how to solve a lot of the issues we see today. Love ya Naomi.
CEO and co-founder of FInalStraw, Emma received a masters degree from Harvard in Environmental Management and Sustainability.
FinalStraw is a collapsable, reusable, easily cleanable, and very green-able, metal straw. It had amazing success in its Kickstarter campaign which made well over 1.5 million dollars in funding!
Emma continues to provide a high quality product to a market that is ready to align their actions with their values.
Vandana was raised by her parents who had a deep interest in forests and in nature.This undoubtedly had an influence on her passion for the environment, food sovereignty, and resistance to globalization.
Shiva has written books, given many speeches, and has founded or was an integral part of several organizations focusing on agriculture, the environment, economics, and social justice.
Vandana Shiva has had a massive influence on promoting biodiversity in agriculture and helping areas establish more seed freedom. Big seed companies establish patents on seeds which prevents farmers from replanting with previous crops. This not only puts more strain on farmers, but on the planet as well.
Cheers to you Vandana Shiva!
Lauren Singer is an entrepreneur, activist, and community engager for all things environment and zero waste.
She started with her blog, Trash is for Tossers which is an amazing resource for all things zero waste. She gave a TED Talk about her zero waste journey and how she fit all of her trash for one year in just a mason jar!
Lauren lives in New York City where she founded the business Package Free Shop. In addition to her brick and mortar location, Lauren has created an amazing online shop for all your zero waste needs.
She continues to lead discussion and engagement in her community while spearheading the zero waste movement. Thank you for all you do Lauren!
As executive director of 350.org, May can best be described as an eco-activist leading a very high functioning nonprofit. She and a group of colleagues started 350.org in 2007 and ever since May has worked effortlessly to bring people and organizations together on one issue, climate change.
Her perseverance and willingness to connect with groups that seem uninterested in the environment is exactly what helped create such a massive turnout for the People’s Climate March.
May has been very outspoken about the social structures put in place within the environmental movement preventing women from having a strong voice. She has done a lot to redefine what the environmental movement looks like, as well as what it means. So, thanks a bunch May!
Lea and Chloe Smith are two sisters from the southern U.S. who started the band Rising Appalachia. The two of them have toured all around the world spreading love and telling stories.
Lea and Chloe both advocate for sustainability, peace, and spirituality whether it’s through their music or in their daily lives.
So many messages can be offered to us through music that may not reach us otherwise. Music has a way of letting our guard down and making us more able to listen. You rock Lea and Chloe.
And last, but definitely not least, one of our very own founders of LastObject!
Isabel grew up in an entrepreneur family which undoubtedly had an impact on her desire to create. As Isabel worked on various projects throughout the years, she eventually helped create a product with a bigger purpose, the LastSwab.
She has been on a mission to help the zero waste movement prosper and expand while creating room for all of those interested.
"For the first time we are all working on something that really has a purpose. Of course there is a purpose to having success but the overall goal to reduce and eliminate single-use products is so meaningful. That’s what drives us.”
Thanks for all you do for this amazing company and the world.
While women should be acknowledged and empowered to lead the world every day of the year, it is nice to have a day as a reminder to be extra empowering and...acknowledge-y.
Whatever the focus, when women are in a position of influence within these global issues, the world is ultimately a kinder, more compassionate, and greener place to be. Thanks to all women lifting society up. Here’s to you.