Celebrating Women in Sustainability
Did you know, studies have found that on the whole, women tend to be greener than their male counterparts?
Today it’s International Women’s Day and at Vino Supraja, we wanted to pay tribute to some of our fellow females who are doing amazing things for the environment and sustainability. We’ve rounded up five inspirational women who deserve a mention:
Greta Thunberg – climate change activist
Okay, so Greta seems an obvious one to start with, but this young lady is too vocal to ignore. The 17-year-old Swedish teenager started her campaign against climate change by striking from school back in 2018. Her solo mission caught the attention of the press and she quickly garnered a huge following of fans and critics alike. Whatever your thoughts may be on Greta, you can’t deny that her strong words and controversial actions have played a huge part in raising awareness about the plight of the planet. It’s pretty impressive to think that at such a young age she has already taken to the stage at the United Nations Climate Change Summit and been recognized for her work with a number of honors and awards. We’re interested to see how the “Greta Effect” continues to influence the next generation of world leaders and eco-warriors as well as today’s decision-makers.
Isatou Ceesay – activist and social entrepreneur
Known by many as the Queen of Recycling, Gambian activist Isatou Ceesay is the founder of the One Plastic Bag movement. In 1997, Isatou started an empowering movement for women in The Gambia when she began educating them about plastic recycling and teaching them how to create sellable products from waste. Over the years, her project continued to grow and is now an official community-based organisation which generates income for more than 11,000 people across four separate communities in The Gambia.
Vandana Shiva – ecofeminist
There are a lot of labels you could give Vandana Shiva, from scholar, to food sovereignty activist, to ecofeminist….this Indian woman has worked tirelessly for many causes. In 1991 she began her research institute, Navdanya, which is dedicated to tackling issues of social and environmental justice. She is perhaps best known for her work in protecting native seeds by campaigning against corporate giants who look to take over the world’s seed supply through genetic engineering. Her work in this area has been called “seed freedom” and some have dubbed her “Monsanto’s worst nightmare”. We are in awe of this fearsome and remarkable woman.
“We are either going to have a future where women lead the way to make peace with the Earth or we are not going to have a human future at all.” Vandana Shiva
Lucy Hughes – inventor
British student Lucy Hughes won the 2019 James Dyson Award for her sustainable plastic alternative that she invented from fish. Dubbed MarinaTex, the material could single-handedly solve the problem of single-use plastic and fish waste. A shocking finding from a United Nations report revealed that 27% of fish that are brought to land never get used. Lucy’s plastic would make use of this wasted fish by turning it into a material that, unlike other bioplastics, would degrade at room temperatures. With her prize money, Lucy continues to work on developing MarinaTex with the hope it will eventually replace the single-use plastic that is often found on food packaging. We hope Lucy will inspire more women in the world of sustainable design and invention.
Jane Goodall – anthropologist and primatologist
At 85 years old, British primatologist Jane Goodall has a lifetime of amazing work behind her. Renowned for her work with primates, Jane is the world’s expert on chimpanzees and her work with these creatures has seen her become heavily involved in habitat protection and conservation. Through the Jane Goodall Institute and Roots and Shoots programme, Jane has had a global impact on both animal rights and environmental issues.
“There are so many ways in which we are destroying the planet. And once we understand, once we care, then we have to do something.” Jane Goodall
Images courtesy - Baku Magazine and CNN