Environmental Activists

An environmental activist may refer to a person who advocates and works for the cause of protecting the natural environment from various forms of destruction and degradation. An activist may be strongly passionate about conservation of the environment, its improvement, preservation, pollution control and plant and animal diversity. An environmental activist works for various environmental issues and campaigns including climate change, sustainable development, sustainable agriculture, waste management and renewable sources of energy among others. The need to protect the environment in various ways was recognized as early as 1272, when King Edward I of England forbid the practice of burning of sea coal. While during the Industrial Revolution in Europe, pollution in the air was one of the mainly recognized environmental problems of that time. The term environmentalism, originated in the year 1922 as a social movement with the main objective of influencing political process related to the environment. Environmental activists in the 21st century have been using the internet effectively, to create awareness about environment related issues and launch various environmental campaigns. Learn more intriguing and informative facts about some of the world’s most famous environmental activists, with their biographies that include trivia, interesting facts, timeline and life history.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg
31
Famous As: Environmental Activist
Birthdate: January 3, 2003
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden

Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg is known for her straightforward speaking manner in which she addresses world leaders for failing to take sufficient action regarding the climate change issue. She is considered a youth icon for starting the movement Fridays for Future. She has been included in Time magazine's 100 most influential people list.

 2 Steve Irwin

Steve Irwin
12
Famous As: Zookeeper, Conservationist
Birthdate: February 22, 1962
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Victoria, Australia
Died: September 4, 2006

Australian Steve Irwin was a world famous, high-spirited, lively host of The Crocodile Hunter television series. A conservationist, he was also part of other shows and documentaries on wildlife and environment. He was known for close encounters with some of the most dangerous and endangered animals in various jungles. He died after being pierced in the chest by a stingray barb while filming in Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

 3 Marion Cotillard

Marion Cotillard
6
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 30, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Marion Cotillard delivered an Academy Award-winning performance as Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose, becoming the first to win the award for a French-language film. She was appreciated for her iconic role of Joan of Arc on stage. She has promoted Lady Dior bags and Chanel No. 5 fragrance.

 4 Daryl Hannah

Daryl Hannah
6
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 3, 1960
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Daryl Hannah is best known for her Saturn Award-winning performances as Madison in Splash and Elle Driver in the Kill Bill movies. In 2017, she claimed she had been sexually harassed by Harvey Weinstein in the past. Hannah is a vegan and has struggled with autism in childhood.

 5 Erin Brockovich

Erin Brockovich
6
Famous As: Environmental Activist
Birthdate: June 22, 1960
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lawrence, Kansas

Legal consultant, environmental activist, and consumer activist Erin Brockovich is known for suing California-based Pacific Gas & Electric Company, alleging them of contamination of water with hexavelent chromium, in 1993. Her story inspired the Julia Roberts-starrer 2000 movie Erin Brockovich. She has written two books and hosted TV shows, too.

 6 Walton Goggins

Walton Goggins
8
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 10, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Birmingham, Alabama, USA

Walton Goggins is best known for his Emmy-nominated performance in Justified and has also played a long-running role in The Shield. His short film The Accountant won an Academy Award. He is an avid traveler and photographer, too, and also co-owns the spirits company Mulholland Distilling.

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 7 Timothy Treadwell

Timothy Treadwell
3
Famous As: Environmentalist
Birthdate: April 29, 1957
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Long Island, New York, United States
Died: October 6, 2003

Timothy Treadwell is best remembered for his work on Alaskan bears. He founded the organization Grizzly People and lived among bears in the Katmai National Park for 13 years. In 2003, he and his girlfriend were killed and eaten by a brown bear. He inspired the documentary Grizzly Man.

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 8 Laurie David

Laurie David
3
Famous As: Environmental Activist
Birthdate: March 22, 1958
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Long Island, New York, United States

Laurie David is an American environmental activist best known for producing An Inconvenient Truth, a documentary film that has been credited for reenergizing the environmental movement and raising public awareness on global warming. In 2003, she was honored with the Children's Nature Institute's Leaf Award for her efforts to educate young children about our environment.

 9 Ed Begley Jr.

Ed Begley Jr.
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 16, 1949
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

American actor and environmentalist, Ed Begley Jr., is perhaps best known for playing the role of Dr. Victor Ehrlich on the NBC medical drama series St. Elsewhere. Equally at home on big screen, he has worked in numerous feature films, also appearing in award-winning mockumentaries like Reboot Camp.  An environmentalist since 1970, he has authored several books on the subject.

 10 Q'orianka Kilcher

Q'orianka Kilcher
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 11, 1990
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Schweigmatt, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Q'orianka Kilcher is an American actress, activist, and singer. She is best known for playing important characters in films like The New World and Princess Kaiulani. As an activist, Kilcher has been visiting universities and colleges and delivering speeches at organizations like Amnesty International. 

 11 Anni-Frid Lyngstad

Anni-Frid Lyngstad
5
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: November 15, 1945
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bjørkåsen, Ballangen, Norway

Anni-Frid Lyngstad is a Norwegian-Swedish environmentalist, singer, and songwriter. She is credited with co-founding the popular Swedish pop band ABBA and popularizing the band by serving as its lead singer. In 2010, Anni-Frid Lyngstad was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2014, she received the Eskilstuna Music Prize for her contribution as an "icon."

 12 Jack Hemingway

Jack Hemingway
3
Famous As: Conservationist, Writer
Birthdate: October 10, 1923
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada
Died: December 1, 2000
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 13 Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
8
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: January 17, 1954
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

A well-known environmental attorney and an activist, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has tirelessly worked for prosecuting governments and companies responsible for polluting environment and waterbodies like the Long Island Sound and Hudson River. Moreover, he has written books and articles on issues affecting the environment. Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s work have won him prestigious awards and inspired numerous films and documentaries. 

 14 Ali Hewson

Ali Hewson
5
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: March 23, 1961
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Ali Hewson is an Irish businesswoman and activist. In the 1990s, Hewson joined the anti-nuclear movement and started working with activists like Adi Roche. In 2002, she played a key role in organizing campaigns against the Sellafield nuclear facility in England. As a businesswoman, Hewson has co-founded a skincare company and a fashion label called Nude skincare and EDUN respectively.

 15 Lina Esco

Lina Esco
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 14, 1985
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, USA

 16 Zuzana Čaputová

Zuzana Čaputová
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: June 21, 1973
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bratislava, Slovakia

 17 Charles Robert Redford Jr.

Charles Robert Redford Jr.
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 18, 1936
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, United States

Charles Robert Redford Jr. is a retired actor, activist, and director. He is credited with founding the Sundance Film Festival and was named in Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people in the world in 2014. For his contributions to arts, Charles Robert Redford Jr. was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.

 18 Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda
6
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 21, 1937
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Jane Fonda is hailed as one of the best actresses ever and has won two Oscars. She has acted in popular and acclaimed films like Barefoot in the Park, Barbarella, Klute, Coming Home, Julia, The Morning After, The China Syndrome and California Suite. She’s also known for her exercise videos and is famous for her opposition to the Vietnam War.

 19 Shailene Woodley

Shailene Woodley
10
Famous As: Actress & Environmental Activist
Birthdate: November 15, 1991
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: San Bernardino County, California, United States

A child model at four and a television actor at eight, Shailene Woodley began working early and found fame with The Descendants, The Spectacular Now and the Divergent film series. She later gained tremendous appreciation for her work in the movie The Fault in Our Stars and HBO series Big Little Lies. The award winning actress is also an environmentalist and activist

 20 David Suzuki

David Suzuki
5
Famous As: Academic, Enviromental Activist
Birthdate: March 24, 1936
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vancouver, Canada
Best known for the CBC show The Nature of Things, Canadian environmental activist David Suzuki has also been a genetics and zoology professor. The UN Environment Programme Medal winner has been a major force against global warming and has written several books, such as An Introduction to Genetic Analysis.

 21 Sylvia Earle

Sylvia Earle
5
Famous As: Marine biologist
Birthdate: August 30, 1935
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Gibbstown, New Jersey, U.S.
Sylvia Earle is known for her research on marine algae and she was the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Earle held the world record for the deepest untethered dive and was named by Time Magazine as its first Hero for the Planet, in 1998. She also featured in Netflix Original documentary Seaspiracy.

 22 Bob Irwin

Bob Irwin
3
Famous As: Founder of Australia Zoo
Birthdate: June 8, 1939
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia

Bob Irwin, better known to the world as the father of legendary Australian conservationist Steve Irwin, is a conservationist in his own right. Initially a plumber, he later built the Beerwah Reptile Park, which later became Australia Zoo. Following Steve’s death, he cut all ties with the zoo.

 23 T. Boone Pickens

T. Boone Pickens
5
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: May 22, 1928
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Holdenville, Oklahoma, U.S.
Died: September 11, 2019

 24 Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai
3
Famous As: Political Activist
Birthdate: April 1, 1940
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ihithe, Kenya
Died: September 25, 2011

Wangari Maathai was a Kenyan environmental, social, and political activist. She achieved popularity after becoming the first African woman to be honored with the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize. She is credited with founding a non-governmental organization called The Green Belt Movement (GBM), which focuses on women's rights and environmental conservation.

 25 Tulsi Gabbard

Tulsi Gabbard
4
Famous As: First Hindu Member of U.S. Congress
Birthdate: April 12, 1981
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Leloaloa, American Samoa

Born in American Samoa and raised in Hawaii, US Representative Tulsi Gabbard formed the environmental non-profit Healthy Hawai’i Coalition as a teenager. At 21, she was the youngest member of the Hawai‘i State Legislature. A US Army major, she later became the first Hindu to be part of Congress.

 26 Marc Randolph

Marc Randolph
5
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: April 29, 1958
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chappaqua, New York, United States

 27 Ronen Rubinstein

Ronen Rubinstein
2
Famous As: best known for his roles as Nathan in the Netflix series Orange Is The New Black
Birthdate: November 7, 1993
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rehovot, Israel

 28 Izabella Miko

Izabella Miko
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 21, 1981
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Łódź, Poland

Polish actress, dancer, film producer and environmental activist Izabella Miko is noted for starring in the films Coyote Ugly and The Forsaken and in the music videos Mr. Brightside and Miss Atomic Bomb by The Killers. She debuted as film producer with Desert Dancer. She runs the eco foundation called EkoMiko and has a sustainable candle line called EkoMiko Candles.

 29 Daniel Fredinburg

Daniel Fredinburg
3
Famous As: Google executive
Birthdate: September 8, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Mission Viejo, California, United States
Died: April 25, 2015

Daniel Fredinburg was an American climate activist, Google executive, explorer, inventor, and entrepreneur. He was credited with co-inventing over 12 software technologies that were recognized and patented by Google. Daniel Fredinburg also served as the head of privacy at Google X before his untimely and tragic death caused by head injuries during an avalanche, at the age of 33.

 30 Patrick Hemingway

Patrick Hemingway
2
Birthdate: June 28, 1928
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kansas City

 31 Lady Miss Kier

Lady Miss Kier
5
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: August 15, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Youngstown, Ohio, USA

 32 David Mayer de Rothschild

David Mayer de Rothschild
3
Birthdate: August 25, 1978
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London

 33 Dennis Kucinich

Dennis Kucinich
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: October 8, 1946
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, USA

 34 Peter Benchley

Peter Benchley
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: May 8, 1940
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City, U.S.
Died: February 11, 2006

 35 Isra Hirsi

Isra Hirsi
0
Famous As: Co-founder and served as the co-executive director of the U.S. Youth Climate Strike
Birthdate: February 22, 2003
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

 36 David Oakes

David Oakes
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 14, 1983
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hampshire, England, UK

 37 Eustace Conway

Eustace Conway
2
Famous As: Naturalist
Birthdate: September 15, 1961
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Columbia, South Carolina, United States

 38 Paul Watson

Paul Watson
3
Famous As: Environmental activist, who founded the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
Birthdate: December 2, 1950
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada

 39 George Monbiot

George Monbiot
2
Famous As: Journalist, University teacher, Activist, Writer
Birthdate: January 27, 1963
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kensington

 40 David Bellamy

David Bellamy
2
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: January 18, 1933
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England, UK

Once regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on botany and the environment, David Bellamy was also a successful TV presenter and was a regular on BBC programs. However, he later claimed that he was shunned by the TV fraternity for his denial of the importance of climate change.

 41 Douglas Tompkins

Douglas Tompkins
3
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: March 20, 1943
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Conneaut, Ohio, United States
Died: December 8, 2015

 42 Elizabeth May

Elizabeth May
3
Famous As: Leader of the Green Party of Canada from 2006 to 2019
Birthdate: June 9, 1954
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hartford, Connecticut, United States

 43 Aldo Leopold

Aldo Leopold
2
Birthdate: January 11, 1887
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Burlington
Died: April 21, 1948

 44 Ken Saro-Wiwa

Ken Saro-Wiwa
3
Famous As: Writer, Environmental activist
Birthdate: October 10, 1941
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bori, Nigeria
Died: November 10, 1995

 45 Ben Goldsmith

Ben Goldsmith
3
Famous As: Environmentalist
Birthdate: October 28, 1980
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London

 46 Gifford Pinchot

Gifford Pinchot
2
Famous As: Forestry scientist
Birthdate: August 11, 1865
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Simsbury, Connecticut, United States
Died: October 4, 1946

 47 Gary Snyder

Gary Snyder
2
Famous As: American man of letters
Birthdate: May 8, 1930
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: San Francisco

 48 Gina Lopez

Gina Lopez
0
Famous As: Environmentalist, Politician
Birthdate: December 27, 1953
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Manila, Philippines
Died: August 19, 2019

 49 James Lovelock

James Lovelock
2
Famous As: Biologist, Chemist, University teacher, Mythographer
Birthdate: July 26, 1919
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Letchworth

Renowned James Lovelock is best known for propagating the Gaia hypothesis, which states that every living being on planet Earth is part of a single self-regulating superorganism. He is also known for his long association with NIMR, London, and Harvard University and has over 50 patents under his name.

 50 Nicole Hernandez Hammer

Nicole Hernandez Hammer
0
Famous As: Climatologist and Activist
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Guatemala