Famous environmental activists all over the wold are worried for our planet. This is far from a secret, as these people are doing anything they can to share their concerns with any who will listen or care. Sadly, this seems to be quite the uphill battle, making their prolonged efforts all the more inspiring.

It’s important to showcase these famous environmental activists and give some recognition to their worthy causes. Here is a list of seven famous environmental activists who made a significant impact:

1. Julia “Butterfly” Hill

Julia “Butterfly” Hill is one of the most famous environmental activists living today. After a car accident in 1996 nearly claimed her life, she devoted a great deal of her future to environmental causes and a lifelong commitment to recycling.

For almost two years, Hill lived in the branches of an ancient Redwood tree, which she lovingly named “Luna”, in Northern California to prevent it from being cut down. Her tree sit-in has become a famous international cause, and Hill remains involved in environmental and social causes to this day.


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2. Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall is one of the most famous environmental activists. She is renown and respected for her love of chimpanzees, along with her long years of field research regarding the species. In July 1960, she traveled to Tanzania from her home in England with the intent to discover the secrets of the chimpanzee species.

The unconventional approach she employed to her research changed the relationships between humans and animals. In 1977, Jane founded the Jane Goodall Institute, which continues its research worldwide. She also established Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots to encourage young people of all ages to help inspire their friends and to follow their dreams.

Jane currently travels around the world talking about environmental concerns while encouraging young people to actively participate in securing the future of the planet.


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3. Vandava Shiva

Vandana Shiva is an Indian environmentalist who has spent much of her life defending biodiversity. She founded Navdanya in the year 1991. Navdanya is a research institute with the goal of protecting both the diversity and the integrity of native seeds while also promoting fair trade practices.

With this research institute, Shiva is dedicated to addressing the most important environmental and social justice issues of modern times. It’s pretty safe to say that the world definitely needs more famous environmental activists like this.


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4. Chico Mendes

Chico Mendes is a famous environmental activist best known for his efforts in saving Brazil’s rainforests from logging and ranching activities. Mendes originated from a rubber harvester family that enhanced their income with the sustainable harvesting of nuts and other tropical forest products.

This upbringing led to him being quite alarmed by the devastation of the Amazon rainforest. Because of this, he helped generate international support for its preservation. Their activities, however, drew the ire of powerful livestock and wood interests: Sadly, this resulted in Mendes’ death at the hands of cattle ranchers at the age of 44.


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5. Marina Silva

Marina Silva is a notable fighter for the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. Silva was a colleague of Chico Mendes, in fact. She and Mendes were the leaders of numerous demonstrations in the 1980s. These demonstrations were primarily to protect the rainforest from government control.

After Mendes’s murder in 1988, Silva became a politician and fought for environmental protection, sustainable development, and social justice. The influence of her political career resulted in deforestation declining by 59% between 2004 and 2007. Naturally, this is a pretty significant achievement and she deserves to be celebrated as one of the most famous environmental activists in the world.


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6. May Boeve

May Boeve is a co-founder of the website 350.org. This organization is dedicated to working against climate change by connecting leaders from around the world. The organization’s goal is to reduce the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to a level where global warming is not as much of a threat as predicted.

Boeve’s organization is attempting to achieve this by going directly to the source: the fossil fuel industry. By limiting the abilities held by the industry itself, they hope to eventually confront the government about limiting carbon-dioxide emissions.


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7. Gaylord Nelson

Gaylord Nelson is a name that is heavily associated with Earth Day, and for good reason. Following his return from World War II, Nelson began a political career with heavy ties to environmental activism that lasted the rest of his life.

As governor of Wisconsin, he created an Outdoor Recreation Acquisition Program that saved an estimated one million acres of park territory. It was instrumental in the development of a national system of trails, including the Appalachian Trail. Nelson also helped pass the Forestry Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and some other incredibly useful environmental laws.

However, this famous environmental activist is more than likely best known as the founder of Earth Day, which has become a celebration of mother nature and the ongoing fight to protect our planet.


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