10 Behaviors I’ve Changed After Interviewing 34 Rebel Women Out to Save Our Planet 

Here are small actions I've taken on to help protect the environment.

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D3sign/ Getty Images
D3sign/ Getty Images

1. Getting into clothes swapping. I’ve learned that eighty percent of all apparel ends life in landfill, so best to trade around what we have instead of buying more to eventually add to that growing heap.  With my running group of ten women, I threw a clothes swap in lieu of our regular White Elephant party for the holidays. Instead of buying and giving junk that none of us wants or needs for a three second laugh, we cleaned out our closets. I scored a green Arcyteryx down parka which I haven’t taken off. I’m now partnering with Fashion Revolution to throw a major swap in SOHO on April 9th and instituting #WorldClothesSwapDay.

2. Shopping the Clement Street Farmers Market every Sunday. I want to support growers and cut down on energy used in produce transit. Plus, the food tastes better!

3. Eating less meat. Two of my kids are vegetarians for the planet. I now cook veggie or pescatarian most nights a week. Did you know that if every American cut out one measly burger a week, that would be the equivalent of taking 10 million cars off the road? 

4. Doubling down on storytelling as an approach to instigating change. My book interviews revealed that An Inconvenient Truth—dry as that 2006 film might have been—moved the needle. Three of the rebel women credit the documentary with turning them into environmental activists. Think of what could happen with dazzling tales?

5. Swore off ordering two sizes when online shopping to be sure one fits. I now know that most often returned clothes never make it back into circulation and instead get incinerated or sent to landfill. The logistics and costs of returns are a nightmare for companies so it’s often cheaper for them to just trash returns than go through all of the processing to resell the items. 

6. Investing in climate-friendly candidates instead of carbon offsets. The best use of funds, I’ve been told, is to back candidates in races against incumbents with a bad climate voting record early in the election cycle in close races. I’m researching now who I will be supporting in the midterms.

7. I’m a regular “How to Save a Planet” and “Pricing Nature” podcast listener. I’m a loyal reader of Inside Climate News, the Intersectional Environmentalist Instagram feed, the Heated newsletter by Emily Atkin’s, The Guardian’s climate coverage, Grist, and anything put out by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communications, to name severa new additions to my line-up.

8.. More frequently asking myself ‘Do I really need this?’ before purchasing, and trying to wait a week to check in with myself on whether I really need the new Hokas, dog toy, white jeans.

9. Getting my things fixed rather than buying new, like sending in our torn tent for repair, resoling climbing shoes, patching holes in down jackets.

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