Happy International Women’s Day one and all! To celebrate, here’s a short, sweet and informative blog post on 5 great women who have contributed to making our world a more sustainable place. Our list isn’t exhaustive, so please feel free to add your favourites in the comments below!
Marjora Carter is on our list because of her particular focus on greening urban spaces, something that is both a challenge, and incredibly close to our hearts. Majora grew up in New York’s South Bronx, a deprived area, often used as an illegal dumping ground for waste. She has worked to transform the area through 2 NGOs, Sustainable South Bronx and the Bronx River Alliance. You can find out more about her career, achievements and philosophy here.
If you haven’t ever read Silent Spring, please do! Its author, Rachel Carson was a marine biologist and conservationist who, abhorred by the environmental destruction caused by the pesticide DDT, took to paper to argue for change. The book spurred a huge environmental movement, which in turn was a catalyst for the formation of the American Environmental Protection Agency.
Gro Harlem Brundtland
No sustainability lecture or training session is complete without a traditional reciting of the definition of sustainable development. The definition itself stems from the UN comissioned report, ‘Our Common Future’ (1987), which coined the term. Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway, lead the commission and has a huge global legacy when it comes to our current understanding and application of sustainability.
Whether you support the Green Party or not, few could doubt Caroline Lucas in her commitment to the environment, and the future sustainability or the UK. She’s a MP for the Brighton Pavilion constituency, is an outspoken critic of the UK government’s slow progress on climate change, and has even been arrested at fracking demonstrations!
Wangari Maathi is a Kenya environmentalist and political activist who spurred the Greenbelt movement in her country. She was also the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for “her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace”.