11 Women Whose Work on Sustainability Could Literally Save the World

Aside from celebrating our planet, Earth Day is a time to reflect on how we can maintain nature’s beauty and our natural resources. Because as we know, those resources are quickly disappearing. Thankfully, Mother Nature has a great group of influential women looking out for her! From the oceans to the forests, these accomplished female environmentalist leaders are speaking up for the voiceless creatures and plants that need our help. As you learn their stories and achievements in environmental rights, find out how you can get involved towards protecting the Earth and preserving it for generations to come. 

Related

Renée Loux Shares Her Opinions On Environmental Issues

Erin Brockovich Discusses The Gifts We Receive From The Environment

MAKERS Paving The Way In Sustainable Eating

Gallery

Lisa Jackson Lisa Jackson became the first African American Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency during President Obama’s first term. During her time, the EPA was able to limit carbon emissions from power plants, provide new fuel efficiency standards for cars, and lead the response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  Lisa Jackson addresses the White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of Interior December 5, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Vandana Shiva Vandana Shiva is an environmental activist and anti-globalization author. After founding the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology a national movement began to protect living resources while promoting organic farming and fair trade. The movement’s efforts resulted in conservation of over 2000 rice varieties.  Environmental activist and anti-globalization author Vandana Shiva speaks at the ReclaimRealFood Food Seminar and Workshop at AXE on March 24, 2013 in Venice, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage)

Jane Goodall Jane Goodall’s career stretches over five decades. She is one of the most well known advocates for chimp research and conservation. Her work was the first to acknowledge the commonalities between humans and chimps. In 1977, she launched the Jane Goodall Institute, which works towards conservation efforts around the world.  Jane Goodall attends the United Nations 2014 Equator Prize Gala at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center on September 22, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Erin Brockovich MAKER Erin Brokovich gained attention while fighting for the citizens of Hinkley, California when their groundwater was contaminated with chromium. In 1996, the case resulted in a $333 million settlement and would inspire an Oscar-winning biopic. She’s also brought attention to the environmental dangers of fracking.  Erin Brockovich poses during a photo shoot at the Stamford Hotel on February 17, 2015 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Jamie Hanson/Newspix/Getty Images)

Sylvia Earle Sylvia Earle has been a trailblazing oceanographer for decades. She led the first team of women oceanographers in the two-week Tektite Project, in which they lived in an underwater chamber to study habitats in the ocean. Earle became the NOAA’s first female chief scientist along with Time magazine’s first Hero of the Planet. After winning the TED Prize in 2009, she launched Mission Blue, which works towards increasing public awareness of marine protected areas.  Explorer Dr. Sylvia Earle speaks onstage at the Glamour 2014 Women Of The Year Awards at Carnegie Hall on November 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Glamour)

Julia Hill Julia Hill protested against a logging project by living in a redwood tree for over 700 days. This act not only saved the 600-year-old tree, but also protected a 3-acre swath of forest from being destroyed. Since the protest, she became a motivational speaker and wrote a book about the experience.  Julia Butterfly Hill during Daryl Hannah Protests the Closing of South Central Los Angeles Farm - June 1, 2006 in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Jesse Grant/WireImage)

Majora Carter MAKER Majora Carter founded the Majora Carter Group in order to help civic, business, and nonprofit organizations meet their needs through green economic projects. Her work has led to numerous achievements, such as a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship award and being recognized by Essence Magazine among its 25 Most Influential African-Americans list.  Majora Carter attends the 2013 EBONY Power 100 List Gala at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on November 4, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

Laurie David Laurie David has worked towards bringing mainstream attention to global warming issues. She founded efforts such as the Stop Global Warming Virtual March and Stop Global Warming College tour in order to encourage Americans to take action. David also served as a producer for the Academy award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth. Her work has helped her receive numerous awards, like the National Wildlife’s Conservation Achievement Award Special Achievement.  Executive producer Laurie David poses for a portrait during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival at the Getty Images Portrait Studio at the Village At The Lift on January 20, 2014 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

Renee Loux MAKER Renee Loux champions towards environmental and sustainable food movements. She has brought these issues to the public as a television personality and author. So far, she has published our books on sustainability, environmentalism and healthy lifestyles. Loux is the host of It’s Easy Being Green on the Scripps Network.  Renee Loux attends a signing for her new book 'Easy Green Living' on April 14, 2008 at Exhale Spa in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by John M. Heller/Getty Images )

Maneka Gandhi Aside from being the Indian Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development, Maneka Gandhi is also an animal rights activist and environmentalist. Among her awards and achievements towards her efforts, she also founded the organization People for Animals. It is the largest organization for animal rights in India.  Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development Maneka Gandhi during Budget Session of Parliament on March 19, 2015 in New Delhi, India. (Photo by Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Andrea Reusing MAKER Andrea Reusing is a chef who has dedicated her work towards the sustainable agriculture movement. Her local and organic restuarant, Lantern, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina was recognized as one of the "best farm-to-table" restaurants by Gourmet and named "Restaurant of the Year" by thew News & Observer in 2009. Reusing is also the 2011 winner of the James Beard Award for Best Chef. Chef Andrea Reusing attends The New York Times Food For Tomorrow Conference At Stone Barns, NY on November 11, 2014 in Pocantico Hills, New York. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for New York Times)