3 Women in Environmentalism to Watch this Year

Friday, March 8th is International Women’s Day, and we’d like to name some of the women who have been in the forefront of environmental and ecological efforts. Women tend to work like gardeners -- planting seeds, allowing the fruits of their endeavors to serve and nourish the whole.

We want to bring your attention to just three women who have made incredible contributions to the Earth community.

Photo by David Brenner

Peggy Shepard is the executive director and co-founder of WE ACT for Environmental Justice and is a highly respected, nationally-recognized advocate for environmental policy. She has combined grassroots efforts with environmental advocacy and health research to effect health policy, locally and nationally, ensuring communities are afforded their entitlements of clean air, water, and soil. Ms. Shepard has received the Rockefeller Foundation’s Jane Jacobs Medal for Lifetime Achievement, the 10th Annual Heinz Award for the Environment, and the Asian Americans for Equality’s Dream of Equality award. Keep an eye out for Peggy Shepard as she fights for your right to live in a healthy environment!

Clare Dubois has worked internationally for 18 years as a social entrepreneur and inspirational speaker. As the founder and CEO of TreeSisters, she combines her expertise in behavior change processes and her love for nature. TreeSisters is an organization that is dedicated to “women seeding change.” The team is growing a global network of women focused on collective responsibility, leadership and planetary reforestation in order to protect regions of the tropical forest belt from the effects of climate change. Through grass roots efforts, education, and monthly donations TreeSisters helps fund the planting of nearly 220,000 trees per month and currently has projects in Madagascar, Kenya, India and Brazil. With attention to the inner and outer work that is required for women to create lasting change, TreeSisters addresses biodiversity (and human diversity) and the restoration of ecosystems and livelihoods.

Last year, a fifteen (now 16) year old Swedish girl by the name of Greta Thunberg took two weeks off of school to protest at the steps of the Swedish parliament. Though the country of Sweden is a pioneer in climate change efforts, with a target of carbon neutrality by 2045, Greta felt more could be done. Her passion to bring more attention to the effects of climate change was recognized by members of parliament as well as other citizens, some of whom joined in her protest. Last month, Greta addressed the EU on their climate change reduction efforts, telling them that their targets are not enough and encouraging them to step it up.

“This target is not sufficient to protect the future for children growing up today. If the EU is to make its fair contribution to stay within the carbon budget for the 2C limit then it needs a minimum of 80% reduction by 2030, and that includes aviation and shipping.”

This young woman has gumption! And, she will lead the way for the new generations to use their voice in speaking for the environment and helping humanity live in a sustainable world.

There are obviously SO many amazing women, from diverse backgrounds, with unique perspectives and contributions. Even though we can’t feature all of the incredible women who are doing great things in the world, we honor each and every one of them!!

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