For us Earthlings, there is no Plan B—or more precisely, there is no Planet B. Sure, there are the likes of Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, and Elon Musk working on sending humans to the moon or Mars. But until we find another planet to colonize and inhabit… Houston, we still have a problem.
The vital signs of the planet all point to a warming climate. Soaring atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, a rise in global temperatures, shrinking ice sheets, rising sea levels, and extreme weather conditions—there’s no denying that the planet is in crisis. And the responsibility to save the planet lies with everyone. So where should you start if you want to take steps to save the planet? While sailing around the world in a boat or living in a tree to raise awareness might be a bold move, a good first step would be to check out these dozen inspirational eco-warriors.
Eco-Warriors Who Have Made a Difference
- Julia Hill is an eco-warrior famous for having lived atop “Luna” – a 1500-year old California redwood tree – for 738 days. Hill’s tree-sitting stunt helped protect Luna and other old-growth redwood trees within the perimeter.
- Yann Arthus-Bertrand is sometimes referred to as the “French Al Gore.” The celebrated aerial photographer and eco-warrior uses photos of our amazing planet to steer the discussion toward saving our home.
- Greta Thunberg is Swedish environmental activist making waves across the globe for her #FridaysForFuture campaign. What started as a Friday’s strike in front of the Swedish Parliament has become an international youth movement for climate change, with the young girl sailing around the world to spread the message.
- Eric Corey Freed is an architect by profession, but he has been an eco-warrior and an active proponent and practitioner of organic architecture. Using innovative and environment-friendly designs, Freed started a movement for sustainability pushing for ecologically-conscious structures.
- Sylvia Earle is an oceanographer and marine biologist and Time Magazine’s very first “Hero for the Planet.” Her pioneering work in deep-sea exploration and conservation has been influential on future efforts to save the ocean.
- Erin Schrode is a fiery 28-year-old eco-warrior and sustainability advocate with a prominent voice. She’s been advancing several causes, such as youth education, conscious living, and environmental stewardship.
- Vandana Shiva is a renowned environmental- and food activist from India. Her work centers on promoting sustainability and biodiversity through organic agricultural practices. Time Magazine cited her as an environmental hero in 2003.
- Lester Brown is showing no signs of slowing down at the age of 85. He is dubbed “one of the great pioneer environmentalists”. And he is known for his advocacies supporting alternative energy sources, curbing food shortage and water depletion, and analysis of global warming.
- Wangari Maathai lived a life of passion and conviction. Indeed, the environmentalist from Kenya was the first African woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize—and it all started with her Green Belt Movement. Her fight to combat deforestation has grown into a cause for women empowerment and defending the environment.
- Lois Gibbs was one of the forces behind the enactment of the Superfund Act of 1980. In 1978, Gibbs learned that toxins from Love Canal were making her child sick. Through her efforts, the government started looking at toxic waste sites and their impact on public health.
There are several ways one can take part in saving the planet. But what is essential is the desire to take the first step. With these environmental heroes as paragons, contributing to our planet’s healing is easier and more focused. So take up arms (figuratively speaking), and take a bold step toward saving the planet.