The most inspiring women leading sustainability will encourage us to start the change to a better world today.
Women have always played an increasingly important role in raising their voices in support of the environment and sustainability. And this does not come as a surprise – women are the ones bearing the brunt of climate change and its effects. UN statistics say that almost 80% of women across the world are vulnerable to the impact of climate change. This makes the voices of these women all the more important, as they closely witness the impact climate change has on their everyday lives.
We’ll be talking about some of the most inspiring women leading sustainability from different parts of the world. These women are determined, fearless, and do not mince their words when it comes to what they are most passionate about – the environment. Let’s find out who these awe-inspiring women are:
Dr. Jane Goodall
Dr. Jane Goodall is a name known to us all. We may have also come across many inspirational videos of this amazing lady who, as a 26-year-old, left England and ventured into Tanzania. This was way back in the 1960s, and since then, she has come a long way.
In 1977, Dr. Jane founded the Jane Goodall Institute. It is an organization that actively advocates for the conservation of the environment. Her primary focus has always been wild chimpanzees, but her research of over 60 years talks about how the conservation of different species is important for both humans and the environment.
In Gambia, she is known as the Queen of Plastic – thanks to the amazing work she carries out in the country. Isatou Ceesay started a plastic recycling project called One Plastic Bag way back in 1998. The whole idea of the program was to educate people about the harmful effects of plastic and how we can put it to good use to earn revenue.
The program, which was started by Ceesay in her native village, now has more than 2000 members across the country. These women produce bags, balls, wallets, and other items from plastic waste. The impact of this movement has been such that many communities now refuse to use plastic bags in local stores. Instead, they are opting for paper bags – thanks to the efforts of Isatou Ceesay.
An advocate of sustainable fashion, Eshita launched her app – By Rotation. The app works on an incentive-based model, where you can calculate the carbon emissions you’ve saved by choosing to rent out clothes rather than buying them. By Rotation is now becoming one of the most popular apparels renting platforms in the UK.
In an age where fast fashion is trending, such ideas are more than welcome. We laud Ishita for her efforts toward helping the new generation understand the drastic consequences of shopping mindlessly while offering a solution to deal with the same
We have to take a moment to admire this teenager who had the guts to stand before top world leaders and challenge them to act and take mitigating steps towards climate change. Inspiring as she is, Greta started her campaign for action against climate change when she was a fifteen-year-old in school.
She sat outside the Swedish parliament with a sign reading ‘School Strike for Climate. Inspired by her, many school students from different parts of the world too started protests – asking for accountability from global leaders. For her efforts, she was named at Time magazine’s person of the year in 2019.
Apart from being the fastest solo sailor to circumnavigate the earth in 2005, Ellen MacAruther is also known for her efforts at conservation of marine life. As she sailed through the oceans across countries, she witnessed the negative effects of marine waste on aquatic life. She launched the Ellen MacArthur Foundation a few years later. The organization aims to create and promote sustainable options.
In 2018, the foundation also came up with the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment in collaboration with the UN. The objective of this program was to completely eradicate the use of plastics. The program received support from many top companies and brands from across the world.
Coming from India, Vandana Shiva is one fearless lady. She fiercely opposes genetic engineering and the negative effects of globalization. Shiva promotes the preservation of indigenous seeds while celebrating biodiversity. She started Navdanya, an organic movement for the collection of indigenous plant varieties that aren’t genetically modified.
Today, Navdanya is the biggest network of seed keepers and organic products in India. Dr. Shiva has led international campaigns on food rights, and her efforts have put pressure on the World Bank to act against the corruption in the food industry.
While most of us have a thought in our minds, very few of us actually muster the courage to act on it. These women chose the latter and will continue doing so for the rest of their lives. While we have mentioned a few, there are thousands of other women, who are going out of their way to do their bit for the environment. As we get inspired by these women, let’s also take into consideration the causes they work for and try incorporating them into our lives.