Several women around the globe have had great influence on making our world a better place to live in. Some of them bravely went against all odds just to fight for what they know is right and just.
Listed as follows are women environmental activists who bravely fought and paved the way for more sustainable and eco-friendly practices in their respective fields.
Frances Beinecke is a former president of the Natural Resources Defense Council. For four decades, she has focused on ways on how to combat climate change, protect people’s health and welfare as well as the endangered wildlife.
Being naturally compassionate and committed to her work, Beinecke and her team manages to travel the world to look for places that are in dire need for protection. One of her works includes studying and witnessing the use of wind turbines in Denmark in order to create energy. Their team also went to places such as the Gulf Coast areas to help the people who were greatly affected by the devastating Hurricane Katrina.
Dr. Earle is a National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence who is the founder of both Mission Blue and SEAlliance and Deep Ocean Exploration and Research, Inc. As an oceanographer and explorer, her main focus is to protect the marine life and to put a stop on the on-going destruction of sea life. She fearlessly led a team composed mainly of women to live deep in the oceans to explore and study what were underneath. Having an experience of leading more than 50 expeditions of ocean exploration has gained the respect of many and even gave her titles such as “Hero for the Planet”, “Her Deepness”, and “Living Legend”.
Vandana Shiva, an Indian philosopher and physicist, witnessed how many people suffered due to indebtedness for using pesticides and chemical fertilizers in agriculture. Many also died when the Bhopal gas tragedy happened which was considered as the world’s worst industrial disaster from a pesticide plant. Agriculture was deeply affected thus; many people were deprived of food to eat. These led her to put all her efforts to study, practice, and promote awareness of organic farming for three decades. For her, organic farming is the key to prevent further indebtedness and at the same time, it’s safer for the people and also for the environment.
Wangari Maathi is the first African woman who obtained a doctorate degree from Mount St. Scholastica College in Atchison, Kansas and University of Pittsburgh. Not only that, she was also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. Wangari Maathi was the founder of the Green Belt Movement which aims in assisting women to plant more than 20 million trees for the betterment of the environment.
Showing a great love and passion for endangered Asian elephants, Sangduen Chailert was named as Thailand’s Elephant Queen. It was when her grandfather adopted a baby elephant when she was still young that led her to start an advocacy for the welfare and rights of the endangered elephants.
Sangduen Chailert has won many honorary awards and her advocacy and voice were known and heard by many with the help of the documentaries produced by the BBC, National Geographic, Animal Planet and Discovery.
An American film actress, Daryl Hannah, has bravely fought for social and environmental causes and getting arrested at some point, did not stop her from doing what she thinks is right. One of the few things she did was when she drank biofuel just to prove that it’s safe; and protested on the demolition of the urban farm in South Central L.A. by chaining herself to a walnut tree.
These passionate women have selflessly devoted all their time and effort in providing viable solutions to help save and preserve our world. We may not hear their names often or not even know them at all but their deeds allowed everyone else around them to benefit from a more sustainable environment and practices.
We don’t need to have a degree from any reputable university or to have a valuable position in any organization to make a change. One must only be conscious of what’s happening around and have the will to act and do the right thing. Even the slightest act of showing care, when done by many, would surprisingly make a great impact. Let’s all act today and do our part for the environment!