top of page

6 Female Environmentalists You Should Know

Women have always been at the forefront of the environmental movement, working tirelessly to affect change and raise awareness about global issues. With International Women’s Day around the corner, we are reminded to celebrate these incredible women– from Dr. Jane Goodall to Wangari Maathai, female environmentalists have played a vital role in shaping the conversation around climate change and conservation.

Dr Jane Goodall

With over 60 years of experience protecting wildlife, Dr. Jane Goodall is most well-known for her work with chimpanzees and protecting animals from extinction. In 1960 she traveled to Tanzania and gave the world a closer look into wildlife and how to conserve it. She later founded the Jane Goodall Institute which has allowed her to expand her research globally.

A sense of calm came over me. More and more often I found myself thinking, this is where I belong. This is what I came into this world to do.

Marina Silva

When it comes to protecting the rainforest, Brazilian environmentalists and politician Marina Silva is your woman. She, alongside Chico Mendes (who was assassinated for defending the rainforest in 1988), have worked to defend the rainforest and protect it from deforestation. She currently serves as Brazil's Minister of the Environment and Climate Change where she has successfully decreased deforestation by 59%.

Wangari Maathai

The woman of the trees, the late Wangari Maathai, was a biologist and first ever female professor of her home country, Kenya. She is well known for her work linking environmental protection and human rights. In 1977, she started a grass-roots movement to counteract the deforestation that was threatening the wildlife and agriculture of Kenya.

"She thinks globally and acts locally” - Nobel Committee

Throughout her life she encouraged many to think ecologically and plant trees. Maathai also went on to become the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004.

Vandana Shiva

Indian environmentalist, Vandana Shiva, has made a career around defending biodiversity and maintaining the integrity of native seeds. She also works to promote fair trade practices and social justice. In 1991, she founded research institute Navdanya, which aims to protect the biological and cultural diversity facing ecological destruction.

Navdanya means “nine seeds” symbolising protection of biological and cultural diversity. This gift or “dana” of Navdanya (nine seeds) is the ultimate gift – it is a gift of life, of heritage and continuity that we bring to you through more than 3 decades of service to the Earth and humanity.

Sylvia Earle

American marine biologist, Sylvia Earle, is a National Geographic explorer and was named one of Time magazine’s “Heroes for the Planet”. Earle was the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, founder of SEAlliance, which partnered with National Geographic on Mission Blue to further global initiatives aimed at restoring health and productivity to the ocean. She even is a part of the group Ocean Elders, which is dedicated to protecting the ocean and its wildlife.

Hold up a mirror and ask yourself what you are capable of doing, and what you really care about. Then take the initiative- don’t wait for someone else to ask you to act.

Earle has pioneered research on marine ecosystems and led more than a hundred expeditions, logging over 7,000 hours underwater. Her environmentalism does not end at the water’s edge, Sylvia Earle eats a vegetarian diet and references the health of oceans in her dietary decision.

Susan Solomon

As a leader in the field of atmospheric science, Susan Solomon is well known for her theory explaining why the ozone hole occurs in Antarctica. She was able to obtain some of the first chemical measurements that helped to establish the chlorofluorocarbons and its cause. This decorated chemist worked most of her career with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and later became a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has also written several influential papers in climate science, stressing the importance of the climate change problem as well as her book, The Coldest March.

Solomon is a member of the U.S., European, and French Academies of Sciences. Time magazine named Solomon as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2008.

The contributions of these amazing women are simply insurmountable– as we continue to face unprecedented environmental challenges, we must recognize, learn from, and celebrate the women who have changed the landscape of our planet. By supporting and empowering female environmentalists, we can work towards a more sustainable, equitable, and just future for all.


ESW Beauty Raw Juice Sheet Masks.jpg

Meet The Brand Behind The Blog!

Explore the brand behind the blog! We are ESW Beauty, a clean skincare brand inspired by healthy living! All of our products are formulated with clean & vegan ingredients, are cruelty free, and made sustainably. Learn more about us below!

like what you're reading? subscribe here

Thanks for submitting!

  • TikTok
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
bottom of page