This Earth Day, Fairygodboss is celebrating 23 extraordinary female environmentalists who are helping to improve the environment and safeguard our planet for future generations. Read on to learn more about these pollution-defying women.
A founding member of the Goa Foundation, Alvarez is an Indian social worker, environmental activist and attorney. She is also the president of an animal support group, People for Animals and has been honored for her work by the Indian government.
Berman is best known for her role in blockading loggers in British Columbia in the early 1990’s. Working with Greenpeace, Berman helped bring the destruction of Canada’s rainforest into international focus. She has served in Canada’s British Columbia’s Green Energy Task Force and is a social entrepreneur.
The woman played by Julia Roberts in the film, Erin Brockovich is, in fact, a real person who was an environmental activist in California. Best known for filing a successful lawsuit against a large California utility company, she is now a media personality and works with attorneys and clients facing exposure to chemical substances.
Browner was previously the Obama Presidential administration’s director for the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy. Previously, she worked under the Clinton administration within the EPA and is known for starting a successful program to deal with contaminated lands in urban areas. She serves on a number of boards and committees dealing with environmental issues.
French actress Marion Cotillard is not just the face of Dior handbags but is a well known figure in France and America for her many movie roles. In addition to her film work, she has taken part in environmental activism and protection. For example, she is a member of WWF and also a spokesperson and member of Greenpeace.
Cousteau’s last name comes from her famous father and grandfather, who were both conservationists and naturalists, particularly with respect to the ocean and water resources. She continues their work as well, through her documentary films and her work leading expeditions through open waters.
Ghandi is an environmentalist and is currently the Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development in India. She is heavily involved in animal rights activism in addition to her environmental work. She founded the organization People for Animals, the largest animal welfare / rights organization in India and she also currently chairs the Jury of International Energy Globe Foundation which gives annual awards to those who have made the best environmental innovations.
8. Daryl Hannah
Though Hannah is best known as an actress, she is also an environmental campaigner who hosts a weekly video blog called DHLoveLife on sustainable solutions. She walks the talk by driving a car run on biodiesel and living in a home built with green materials and run on solar power.
Hill is an American environmentalist and is best known for having lived in a California redwood named Luna for two years in the late 1990’s, in order to prevent loggers from cutting the tree down. The story of her time living in the tree is fascinating and involves learning how to cook on a propane stove and sleeping in a sleeping bag. Hill is an author and the co-founder of the Circle of Life Foundation and the Engage Network.
10. Aila Keto
Australian Aila Keto is the President and founder of the Australian Rainforest Conservation Society. She is best known for her work in obtaining world heritage status for areas within the Australian rainforest and won the 2005 Volvo Environment Prize for her work.
11. Winona LaDuke
LaDuke is an American environmentalist and economist best known for her work in preservation around Native American tribal land claims. She has been on the same Presidential ticket as Ralph Nadar and is the first Native American woman to have received an electoral vote for Vice President of the United States. She previously has had an acting career.
12. Loren Legarda
Legarda is a Senator in the Philippines who has authored several laws regarding ecological waste management, as well as legislation benefiting women and children’s rights. She is also known as an environmentalist who has led a number of climate change laws.
13. Hunter Lovins
Lovins is President of Natural Capitalism Solutions, a non-profit based in Colorado and also teaches sustainable business management at Bard College in New York. She previously co-founded and led the Rocky Mountain Institute. Lovins has been named a “green business icon” and “Hero of the Planet” by Newsweek and Time magazines, respectively.
14. Elizabeth May
May was formerly the Executive Director of the Sierra Club of Canada for over 15 years where she won several awards in recognition of her environmental contributions. May is currently the leader of the Green Party of Canada. She is also an Earth Charter International Commission member.
15. Sunita Narain
Narain is the director of the India-based research Center for Science and Environment and a major proponent of sustainable methods for development. She was named in 2016 to Time Magazine’s list of 100 most influential people for her work in sustainable development and climate negotiations. She has also appeared in the documentary, “Before the Flood.”
16. Phyllis Omido
Kenyan Phyllis Omido is best known for leading organized protests against a lead smelting plant located near a slum in Mombasa, Kenya. The plant was ultimately closed for lead poisoning that killed nearby residents including her own child. She’s the founder of the Centre for Justice, Governance and Environmental Action and is known as the “East African Erin Brockovich.”
17. Jane Poynter
A Britishwoman and currently CEO of World View Enterprises, her company takes people to the edge of the Earth’s atmosphere through a high-altitude balloon. She is best known as one of eight people who agreed to live in a sealed, artificial world for two years in the 1990’s known as Biosphere 2. She has worked with the World Bank on projects to mitigate global climate change and grow crops in Africa and Central America.
18. Vandana Shiva
Based in Delhi, India, Shiva has authored more than 20 books and is an scholar and environmental activist. She believes that a more sustainable environmental approach in agriculture goes hand in hand with engaging more women in farming and agricultural policy.
A poet, feminist and environmental activist, Sugathakumari is one of the most famous environmentalists in Kerala, India. Her poetry places respect for nature and women at the forefront and she has won numerous accolades for both her writing and conservation work of old-growth forests in Kerala.
20. Marina Silva
Silva is best known for being a Brazilian politician who ran for the 2010 Brazilian elections with the Green Party. She is associated with activists who have been assassinated for defending the Amazon forests and is considered a top global thinker.
Culls-Suzuki is an Canadian environmentalist and media personality. She’s previously been the host of Suzuki’s Nature Quest, a children’s television series and she helped launch a think tank focused on the issues of sustainable global development. She is an Earth Charter International Council Member.
Thimmakka’s Resources for Environmental Education is a non-profit based in Los Angeles, California named after Thimmakka. She is best known for her work in planting and personally and painstakingly tending to close to 400 banyan trees along a stretch of highway in the Indian state of Karnataka.
23. Persia White
Persia White is an environmentalist who is a director of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. A vegan and animal rights activist as well, she was honored by PETA in 2005 as a Humanitarian of the Year. She is best known for her acting career and her role on the sitcom Girlfriends.