Celebrate Earth Day With These Female Earth Crusaders!

Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day has been an annual event since its first celebration in 1970. It was proposed in 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco by peace activist John McConnell as a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace.

Today, the event is coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and celebrated in more than 192 countries each year.

This Earth Day, we wanted to celebrate some of the women who have led and continue to lead campaigns across the globe for a healthier mother earth.

Here are our top 10 ladies in alphabetical order.

Erin Brockovich

Erin Brockovich-Ellis is an American legal clerk and environmental activist, who, despite the lack of a formal legal education, in 1993 was instrumental in building a case against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company of California.

Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson was an American marine biologist and conservationist who wrote, among other books, "Silent Spring," which is credited with advancing the global environmental movement.

Sylvia Earle

Sylvia Earle was the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and was named by "Time Magazine" as its first Hero for the Planet in 1998. She is currently a National Geographic explorer-in-residence.

Lois Gibbs

Lois Gibbs's involvement in environmental causes began in 1978 when she discovered that her seven-year-old son's elementary school in Niagara Falls, New York was built on a toxic waste dump. As a result of her efforts, not only were 833 families relocated from the area, but the victory also launched the federal Superfund program for the cleanup of hazardous waste sites.

Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall is considered the world's foremost expert on chimpanzees, and is best known for her 45-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania. She has worked extensively on conservation and animal welfare issues.

Julia 'Butterfly' Hill

Julia Lorraine Hill, known as Julia "Butterfly" Hill, is best known for having lived in a 1500-year-old California Redwood tree for 738 days to prevent Pacific Lumber Company loggers from cutting it down.

Lady Bird Johnson

Claudia Alta "Lady Bird" Taylor Johnson, former First Lady of the U.S., was a lifelong advocate for beautifying the nation's cities and highways. She is best known for the Highway Beautification Act of 1965, encouraging scenic enhancement, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest US civilian honors.

Wangari Maathai

The first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, Wangari Maathai is best known for her environmental and political work in Kenya. She founded the Green Belt Movement, an environmental non-governmental organization focused on the planting of trees, environmental conservation, and women's rights.

Marina Silva

Marina Silva, known as an "Amazonian Legend," is a Brazilian environmentalist and politician with a quest to protect Brazilian rain forests and human rights. In 2010, along with a few others, she was added to Foreign Policy magazine’s list of top global thinkers for taking Green mainstream.

Kate Stohr

Stohr is co-founder of the non-profit Architecture For Humanity, which seeks architectural solutions to humanitarian crises. The group believes that where resources and expertise are scarce, innovative, sustainable, and collaborative design can make a difference.

 

Photos from Wikimedia commons, captions via Wikipedia. Main image via Maryland Gov on Flickr/Creative Commons.