Without a healthy planet supported by sustainable and renewal resources, no one is going to be well, get well or stay well. There are lots of ways to help restore and maintain global wellbeing from big, multinational efforts supported by various governments, such as the Paris Climate Agreement, to simpler, basic efforts like at-home recycling and water conservation that individuals can support. Then, of course, there is everything in between. WellWell has identified just a few of the people working on unique and thought-provoking approaches to conservation, sustainability and environmental protection in hopes these efforts will engage others and perhaps spur new ideas. This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. There are thousands upon thousands of others working to help the planet and everyone on it stay well.
Andy Moon is the co-founder and CEO of SunFarmer, a nonprofit social enterprise that incubates and launches locally run solar businesses in developing countries. Since its inception in 2012, SunFarmer has scaled to over 35 employees; it has become profitable and will generate $4 to $5M in revenues this year. A graduate of Stanford University, Moon was named a 2016 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
Anna Sacks sees gold and sinful waste in the trash left on New York City’s streets every single day. In fact, she usually spends several evenings each week diving into other people’s trash and garbage to prove that people and companies throw away perfectly good items that can and should be reused for the benefit of everyone. A burgeoning NYC celebrity of sorts, her aim is to raise awareness of the adverse impact of consumerist culture and simultaneously help save the planet. She’s also not adverse to put a spotlight on retails outlets that are throwing away otherwise good merchandise and food items because its packaging may be slightly damaged or their sell-by date is approaching. Interested in some trashy adventures? Sacks can be followed on her Instagram account @thetrashwalker.
Dana Beach ditched her job as an investment banker in search of something with a greater ROI. She found it in 1989 by launching the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, a nonprofit that raises awareness about the effects of climate change and works to stop environmentally harmful practices like offshore drilling and plastic pollution in South Carolina. Today, more than 30 years after it was founded, the Coastal Conservation League is engaged in conservation and protection projects throughout the state, setting a benchmark for other groups to follow and match.
Jeaninne Kayembe came to Philadelphia from California seeking opportunities to use the arts and youth organizing as a vehicle for social change. Soon after, at age nineteen, she helped co-found Urban Creators, which initially focused on transforming a vacant two-acre city plot into a farm. Since its inception, Urban Creators and its farm and impact have grown. The group has successfully revitalized over three acres of city wasteland into urban gardens and green spaces. It has also helped start 3 community gardens and 9 school gardens. In the process, its has delivered fresh produce to dozens of local families, while also helping dozens of emerging artists and holding over 60 community events.
Hannah Testa has been obsessed with plastic, really plastic pollution, since she was 10. Ever since she’s been on a mission to eliminate it, which has led to her delivering presentations to over 30,000 children, adults, businesses and governments on ways they can reduce their plastic footprint. In 2017, she conceived and developed the formation of Plastic Pollution Awareness Day, which has grown in reach and impact every year since. She has also worked with various non-profits to develop a school curriculum on ocean environmental education.
Know some others who are engaged in unique efforts to protect the planet? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org