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We are surrounded by and inspired by amazing women every day. International Women’s Day is an occasion to celebrate women’s accomplishments and the work being done to support equality in our social, professional, and personal lives. This speaks to the #EachforEqual theme of International Women’s Day 2020.

Did you know? The first International Women’s Day gathering was in 1911 and was supported by over a million people”. The tradition has lived on, and we continue to celebrate around the world every year on March 8.

To celebrate this important day, some Product Care Recycling team members are sharing the women who inspire them from an environmental perspective.

Image of Product Care Recycling team members

Some of our amazing Product Care Recycling team members (From left to right: Kristina, Sam, Lauren, Brandie, Ali)

Women who inspire us

Brandie, Program Coordinator

Inspiration: Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai was the founder of the Green Belt Movement and the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. Her work was central to the environmental movement in Kenya, Africa, and globally. Professor Maathai was internationally acknowledged for her struggle for democracy, human rights, and environmental conservation. She served on the board of many organizations, addressed the UN on a number of occasions and spoke on behalf of women at special sessions of the General Assembly during the five-year review of the Earth Summit.

Lauren, Event & Communications Lead (ElectroRecycle)

Inspiration: Sarah Marquis

Sarah Marquis has been traveling, walking, and camping around the world for 25 years, with the intention of restoring the lost connection between humans and nature. If you put all her journeys together they would stretch right around the globe.

Some of her journeys include travelling from the Andes from Chile to Machu Picchu, and a three year trip from Siberia via Mongolia and Thailand, where she boarded a ship for Australia. In 2015, she spent three months surviving in the Western Australian outback.

What I admire about her is that she has taken on these adventures, instead of simply speaking about the necessity of protecting the planet. She shows everyone what it is really like to live in nature and respect it on an everyday basis.

Christina, Program Coordinator

Inspiration: Anna (Grandmother)

My grandmother, Anna, is a woman who inspires me. I always thought my grandmother was cool, but it wasn’t until I was an adult that I understood how exceptional she was for her time. She made ethical choices in terms of clothing and textiles, reused the same Tupperware for 50 years, washed and reused plastic bags and tinfoil, and had a worm compost on her apartment patio. In the 1970s, my grandmother also helped to establish a recycling centre in West Vancouver before there was any curbside collection.

Ali, Communications Coordinator

Inspiration: Jane Goodall

Before starting her time in Tanzania in 1960, Jane spent her early years serving at restaurants and working as a secretary. She was one of few people without an undergraduate degree to be accepted for the PhD program at Cambridge University. Jane Goodall has become a household name, but the thing I find most inspiring about her is how she performed her research and observations: with compassion, patience, and empathy. This let her build relationships with the chimpanzees she worked with and make incredible discoveries. At 85-years old, she continues her hard work and passion, travelling 300 days a year to further her conservation efforts.

Kristina, Marketing & Design Coordinator

Inspiration: Bea Johnson

When I was transitioning to a zero waste lifestyle, Bea Johnson was a huge inspiration to me. Her and her family have been living zero waste for over a decade, which she talks about in her book Zero Waste Home, her blog, and at regular speaking engagements. Her lighthearted approach to mentoring others about living minimally and sustainably is something I keep in my heart when I talk to others about embracing a greener lifestyle.

Sam, Digital Marketing Specialist

Inspiration: Naomi Klein

Naomi Klein stands out among all the women who inspire me. Naomi is a social activist, author and filmmaker. I’ve learned so much from her about how climate change and inequity intersect. For me, it’s important to understand the cultural context of climate change, so that we can amplify the voices of others who are experiencing its effects. Naomi inspires me because she’s honest, bold, and tirelessly educates herself on this topic. Above all, she’s not afraid to be open about her own emotions and how she copes with anxiety.

There is great evidence that “gender equality and women’s empowerment are prerequisites for sustainable development and a just world”. The change makers mentioned here are just some of the women who are contributing to a better world.

The environment is where we all meet, where we all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share. It is not only a mirror of ourselves, but a focusing lens on what we can become.

— Lady Bird Johnson. Speech at Yale University, Oct. 9, 1967.

Is there a woman who inspires you? We want to hear about her! Comment below or message us on Facebook.