Observed every year on April 22, Earth Day is a day to celebrate the planet and educate people about the need for environmental protection.

In honor of this eco-friendly holiday, we’re highlighting individuals who are doing incredible and inspirational things for the Earth every day of the year. From photographers to scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, farmers, writers, small business owners, filmmakers, and chefs, here are just a few of the changemakers in the Passion Passport community who are using their platforms to fight for sustainability.

Phil Torres (@phil_torres)

What he does:

Phil is a biologist, photographer, science communicator, bug enthusiast, and conservation educator who spends his time documenting rainforests, guiding ecotourism trips, and hosting television shows about science and tech. He grew up examining snakes and bugs in the fields behind his house in Colorado, and kept at it until he was able to live out his dream of pursuing environmental science in the Amazon Rainforest. Since then, he’s pursued projects in Mongolia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Sweden, the Arctic, and the Bahamas, just to name a few.

What sustainability means to him:

“Sustainability is the accumulation of big and small acts that you can do to keep our natural world and future generations in mind. Much of it has to do with the way we consume food, the purchases we make, and where our products come from, including how people (and the environment) are treated there. There are so many wonderful, wild things in this world that we can find in far off places like the Amazon, or while walking down the street in NYC, where I live. It’s important to be mindful of what’s at stake here: do we want our future generations to share that joy of seeing a butterfly fly down the street, or watch a documentary on jaguars knowing they could one day go see them in the wild? Keeping my eyes on hope has made it easier for sustainable habits and purchases to become a normal part of my life.”


Shivya Nath (@shivya)

What she does:

Over four years ago, Shivya gave up her home, sold most of her possessions, and began living nomadically. Now a full-time traveler and blogger, she’s realized that with great influence comes great responsibility. Although she recognizes that there is no cure for wanderlust, Shivya uses her platforms to remind travelers that there is a cure for irresponsible mass tourism. Through her work, she hopes that people reconsider their travel choices and recognize their impact on our beautiful planet.

Some of her recent projects include an awareness campaign against bottled water in the Trans-Himalayan region of India and the training of young Himalayan photographers in rural villages, which resulted in India’s first Instagram account run entirely by a rural village community.

What sustainability means to her:

“Sustainability is not just ‘big picture’ stuff to me — though, of course, that’s of the utmost importance. To me, sustainability is about the little things we, as individuals, can change in our daily lives and on our travels, not just because it’s the need of the hour, but also because it’s a more immersive way to experience the world.”


Alex and Tyler Mifflin (@thewaterbrothers)

What they do:

Alex and Tyler run and host an eco-adventure documentary series called the Water Brothers, which follows them around the world as they explore and uncover some of the most important water stories of our time. For the past five years, the brothers have traveled across Canada and around the world, documenting a wide range of environmental challenges. Through the series, Alex and Tyler have investigated topics such as climate change, overfishing, plastic pollution, water in space, lack of access to clean water and sanitation, and much more. But in everything they do, their guiding question remains: “What are the problems, and where are the solutions to help us better protect our most precious resource?”

What sustainability means to them:

“For us, sustainability is the process of not just sustaining nature but doing everything possible to restore, grow, and rejuvenate wild places. It means working to ensure that half of the planet can be set aside as wilderness and protected areas. It means redesigning our energy systems to become more renewable. It is anything and everything that helps us live in harmony with nature, whether that be altering our diets, reducing our carbon footprint, eliminating single-use disposable plastic waste, or something else. We hope that our series can help people understand why sustainability matters, and inspire them to live a more sustainable lifestyle.”


Jessie Stokes (@tinyyellowbungalow)

What she does:

Jessie is the owner and founder of Tiny Yellow Bungalow, an online shop and blog specializing in all things zero-waste, eco-friendly, plant-based, and natural. She originally started the Tiny Yellow Bungalow blog as a way to explore sustainability and personal health, but it steadily evolved into an online eco-conscious shop that supplies individuals with products and environmental resources. Since creating the shop, Jessie has been able to provide a simple and convenient one-stop locale stocked with natural and Earth-friendly products.

What sustainability means to her:

“Sustainability, to me, is making more conscious choices in my daily life with future generations in mind. This is the planet we will leave them, and I enjoy helping others reach their sustainable goals — one eco product at a time!”


Tim Silverwood (@timsilverwood)

What he does:

Tim is the co-founder and CEO of Take 3 for the Sea, a non-profit organization that challenges individuals to take three pieces of garbage with them when they leave the beach, waterway, or any place they’ve visited. The initiative encourages people to take small actions to reduce plastic pollution and waste, and to share their efforts on social media to inspire others — in fact, the #take3forthesea hashtag has been used over 50 thousand times in 129 countries around the world. From documenting pollution in the Himalayas to sailing to the center of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and speaking at the U.S. State Department in Washington D.C., Tim has spent the past 10 years raising awareness and promoting actions to reduce plastic pollution. He even has a TEDx talk called “How did our lives become so plastic?”

What sustainability means to him:

“Sustainability is about understanding our role as a single species in this beautiful, complex biosphere containing millions of other species. For too long, humans have considered themselves as the single being that can use and abuse the earth’s resources, with no consideration of the impact that has on other species and future generations. In the context of the ocean, we continue to take all that we want and dump back all that we don’t. We forget that we actually live on planet ‘ocean’ and that without a healthy ocean, there is no healthy ‘us’. As Captain Paul Watson says, ‘If the oceans die, we die.’ It’s time we all realized that.”


Annemieke van den Dool (@plasticfreetuesday)

What she does:

Annemieke is the environmental scientist who founded Plastic-Free Tuesday as a way to raise greater awareness of the adverse impacts of plastic consumption. Each week, Plastic-Free Tuesday asks people to skip plastic consumption for the day to reduce their plastic footprint. That means they don’t buy anything that is made of plastic or contains plastic, and they don’t use anything made of plastic that they’d have to throw away after using — so, nothing wrapped in plastic, no plastic bags, no plastic cups or lids, and so on. Their motto is: “Don’t feed the plastic monster!”

What sustainability means to her:

“For me, sustainability means that we must ensure that our grandchildren and their children have a chance to live happy and healthy lives, just as we do now. In practice, this means that I always try to refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle. Less is more!”


Matt and Lentil Purbrick (@grownandgathered)

What they do:

Matt and Lentil are the couple behind Grown & Gathered — a blog, book (“Grown & Gathered: Traditional living made modern”), and small, natural farm. Through their work, they promote the use of seasonal, regional, and whole, natural ingredients alongside natural growing principles. Their approachable and pragmatic beliefs toward traditional food and sustainability, coupled with their sense of design and visual storytelling, has made them an inspiration for many across the world.

What sustainability means to them:

“For us, sustainability isn’t simply about changing light bulbs to those that are more efficient. Rather, it’s about really taking the time to nurture community and the environment. We believe that if we all look after our little part of the world — our homes, our communities, and our immediate environments — the whole planet will be looked after. And that is true sustainability.”


Katie Boué (@katieboue)

What she does:

Katie is a Cuban-American outdoor advocate and activist based in Salt Lake City, Utah — but you’re more likely to find her climbing in the desert, exploring America’s public lands, or occupying the halls of Capitol Hill lobbying on outdoor issues. After completing a yearlong climbing trip back in 2013, she felt compelled to move out West and work on public lands and environmental issues. And she hasn’t stopped since. Today, she’s a freelance consultant for outdoor industry brands and organizations seeking to do good through advocacy.

What sustainability means to her:

“What I love about sustainability is that is it so multifaceted. On a personal level, we can use our daily choices to make our lives a protest statement about the importance of protecting the environment. On the other side of the scale, there are big-ticket issues being tackled by the outdoor industry, like analyzing supply chains to minimize the impact that products have on the planet. The outdoor industry’s inherent values make it a prime leader in the sustainability space, and moments like REI’s new standards for all vendors make me proud to work in an industry where my professional work supports my personal values.”


David Coulson (@_davecoulson)

What he does:

Dave is a photographer and filmmaker from Toronto, Canada, who uses images, video, and words to tell stories that connect people to nature and help translate complex conservation issues in a relatable and emotional way. Through his collaborations with organizations, NGOs, and publications alike, he aims to use the power of storytelling to drive action and change for conservation and sustainability.

What sustainability means to him:

“Sustainability, to me, is as much about conserving and living in harmony with our natural world as it is about justice, equity, and improving well-being. It is both an understanding that we are fundamentally interconnected with our environment and each other, and an opportunity to create a better world now and for future generations.”


Anika Molesworth (@anikamolesworth)

What she does:

Anika is a researcher in international agricultural development who splits her time between her family’s arid outback sheep farm in western New South Wales, crop trials in the Riverina (where she’s completing her Ph.D.), and international fieldwork at the Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute. No two of her days are ever the same — one morning she could be flying a drone with a multi-spectral camera over a cotton crop to gauge plant health and the next, she could be wearing a white coat and running laboratory experiments. But regardless of whether she’s wading through muddy fields to collect soil samples or giving TEDx talks, Anika is fighting for sustainable farming, environmental conservation, and climate change action.

What sustainability means to her:

“Sustainability means conserving and enhancing our precious natural resources so that future generations can enjoy a rich and wondrous world just as much as we have. That means looking after the wildlife, vegetation, soils, and water (the building blocks of a healthy environment). But in order to do this, we must realize the fragility of the natural world and our impact upon it. When we care for the land, it supports us.”


Ed Kashi (@edkashi)

What he does:

Ed is a photojournalist, filmmaker, speaker, and educator dedicated to documenting the social and geopolitical issues that define our times. He’s covered topics as diverse as the impact of oil in Nigeria, the Protestant community in Northern Ireland, the lives of Jewish settlers in the West Bank, the impact of an aging society, climate change, the plight of Syrian refugees, and the global epidemic of Chronic Kidney Disease among agricultural workers. Ed also contributes to @everydayclimatechange’s collaborative Instagram feed, and his work has been recognized for its complex and compelling rendering of the human condition.

What sustainability means to him:

Sustainability is about finding ways that humanity can survive, and hopefully flourish, on this Earth without destroying it or ourselves. This means making smart and forward-looking choices about how we produce energy and how we consume and manage the detritus of humanity. We also need to consider how we grow our food and the types of food we produce. There are so many aspects to sustainability, and I truly believe finding the solutions will also lead to economic growth, better health for our planet, and ultimately less conflict.”


Manuela Baron (@thegirlgonegreen)

What she does:

Manuela is a twenty-two-year-old vlogger who’s embarked on a journey around the world to learn about environmental issues and solutions. After visiting Asia in 2015 and seeing the detrimental effects of plastic pollution, she radically changed her life and decided to go zero-waste, plant-based, and minimalist. Since then, she’s sought to discover sustainability and wellness practices across the globe. So far, Manuela has experienced the palm oil industry in Malaysia, the plastic emergency in Bali, sustainable fashion in Hong Kong, and organic farming in Thailand. She uses both her Instagram and her YouTube channel to inspire individuals to develop green initiatives in their own communities.

What sustainability means to her:

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“To me, sustainability is about making conscious decisions. That means making choices that align with your values and environments every day. It’s about maintaining a sustainable mindset. It’s easy to be eco-friendly during Earth Day, but what about on your daily commute to work? Can you ride your bike or bring your own coffee mug? Can you bring your own container for take-out? Once you develop a conscious mentality, thinking ‘green’ becomes second-nature.”


Anthony Morano and Leila Elamine (@therecipehunters)

What they do:

Anthony and Leila travel around the world in search of age-old traditional recipes and artisan food processes that respect and reflect local environments. They then make short documentary films that celebrate these traditions and the personal stories of the individuals and/or communities that are keeping them alive. By sharing this information, they hope to positively contribute to the world’s food system, which will help inspire individuals to make positive and sustainable changes in the way they grow, make, cook, and share food.

What sustainability means to them:

“When we think of sustainability, we think of food. To us, sustainability means local communities surviving off of their local environment. We need to rely on the resources of our local environments and the skills and organization of our local communities for a long-lasting, eco-friendly food environment. We believe that food sustainability must first be practiced on a local scale for it to be successful on a global scale.”


Naziha Mestaoui (@nazihamestaoui)

What she does:

Naziha is the environmental artist and architect who created the “1 Heart 1 Tree” initiative during the COP21 summit in Paris. The interactive multimedia exhibit “planted” a virtual forest on the Eiffel Tower, which was influenced by onlookers’ heartbeats. For every virtual tree projected onto the tower, a real tree was planted in one of seven reforestation programs around the world. Today, Naziha is recognized as an avant-garde artist who insists that nature be at the very heart of cultural issues. Through her work, she invites us to use technology to reconnect with the Earth and create a dynamic that can inspire our future.

What sustainability means to her:

“Sustainability simply means having respect for every living organism on earth and understanding that we are part of a network of life, where there is true interdependency.”


Olafur Eliasson (@littlesunenergy)

What he does:

Olafur is the artist who founded Little Sun, a global project and social business that is connecting the world through the sharing of the sun’s sustainable energy. Little Sun’s solar-powered products bring clean, reliable, and affordable light to the over one billion people living without electricity. Recently, Olafur also launched the Little Sun Foundation, an extension of the social business that brings light to some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. Additionally, the foundation provides educational programs and free workshop materials to help raise awareness of the importance of energy access, solar energy, and global community.

What sustainability means to him:

“Access to clean light is key to human existence. However, every seventh person on Earth lives without access to electricity, meaning basic needs are not being met. I founded Little Sun to deliver energy access to all, to ignite commitment to environmental protection and renewable energies, and to spread awareness for true sustainability. Together, we can achieve climate justice and energy access for all. As an artist, I believe in our collective power to co-produce reality and turn hope into action. We can change the world.”


Alden Wicker (@ecocult)

What she does:

Alden is a sustainable fashion and travel journalist who’s currently on a yearlong journey with her husband. She’s the founder of EcoCult.com, an international sustainable fashion and travel blog, and the president of Ethical Writers and Creatives, a community of bloggers, YouTubers, podcasters, photographers, and Instagrammers who are trying to make the world a better place by setting standards for ethics in the influencer space. Alden is also a frequent public speaker on the subject of sustainable and ethical fashion, and uses her platform to talk about the importance of sustainable travel in developing countries.

What sustainability means to her:

“I think about sustainability holistically, as a system, instead of as a personal lifestyle choice. For me, there are no black-and-white, easy answers. Instead, the earth is full of complex, interlocking ecosystems. Humans are just another animal, but I think we’ve become a pest to our own planet! I believe our power doesn’t lie in our ability to craft a perfect sustainable lifestyle, but in educating ourselves on the complex topics, being a politically active citizen, earning a living in a way that benefits society, and fighting for everyone’s right to a clean and healthy future. In other words, it means thinking big! And thinking systematically.”


Kirsten Bradley and Nick Ritar (@milkwood_permaculture)

What they do:

Kirsten and Nick are the founders of Milkwood, a platform dedicated to teaching and sharing knowledge of permaculture — or, what they call, “skills for down-to-earth living.” Whether online, in-person, or in print, the duo works to inspire others, help create resilient and abundant communities, and create a better world. Through Milkwood, Kirsten and Nick teach everything from permaculture design to market gardening, natural building, and mushroom cultivation — all to give others the confidence to create permanently sustainable systems.

What sustainability means to them:

“To us, sustainability is a baseline goal. We’d love to see folks aiming for above and beyond sustainability, and into the realm of regeneration! That could mean regenerative farming, which heals the land and the watershed around it while producing great food; growing a veggie patch in your backyard; or simply creating a thriving community. In this world we all share, sustainability is essential — but we think regeneration is even better.”


Jedidiah Jenkins (@jedidiahjenkins)

What he does:

Jedidiah is a writer, storyteller, and co-founder of Byta — a reusable cup company that pairs beautiful design with an eco-friendly mission. Although the idea for Byta started as a simple napkin doodle, it quickly developed into an initiative to help alleviate waste from plastic and paper cups. Today, Jedidiah and the Byta team are working to eliminate throwaway cups, one Byta at a time.

What sustainability means to him:

“Sustainability is quickly becoming the most important issue of our species. We can’t continue to consume and waste the way we do. If we can make small changes now, and smart ones, we can curb the pain to come. We have to train ourselves out of bad habits and rework the way we think. I have hope for us.”


Jill Pelto (@jillpelto)

What she does:

Jill is a climate change artist who is currently studying Earth and climate sciences. Her passion is creating artwork that addresses both positive and negative environmental topics, with the aim of using art as a platform for effective science communication. Among her creative approaches, she has incorporated various graphical data into her artwork and uses x-y plots to tell simple stories of change over time. After she completes her Master’s research in the Antarctic, Jill plans to work with other scientists to help communicate their research, with the objective of creating pieces that express their findings clearly and impactfully.

What sustainability means to her:

“For me, sustainability means a more healthy balance in our give-and-take with the natural world; we must use our intelligence and our technology to improve our methodology for extracting from the Earth. We have the tools to implement positive change, and I think it’s our responsibility to use them. In this way, artwork can be part of the movement toward a more sustainable world.”


Chris Burkard (@chrisburkard)

What he does:

Chris is an explorer, a photographer, a creative director, a speaker, and an author. Traveling throughout the year to pursue the farthest expanses of Earth, he works to capture stories that inspire humans to consider their relationship with nature, while promoting the preservation of wild places everywhere. Through social media, Chris strives to share his passion for untamed, powerful landscapes and to inspire others to explore for themselves.

What sustainability means to him:

“I strive to show the beauty of places around the world, but also promote the fact that they are only going to remain beautiful if we make sustainability a priority in our lives. Whether it be eliminating single-use plastics, picking up trash on the trail or beach, or riding a bike to work — it all plays a part. I never expected to have any real influence, but being able to promote what I see as good in the world is really valuable.”


Megean Weldon (@zerowastenerd)

What she does:

Megean is the blogger behind Zero Waste Nerd, a website and Instagram account dedicated to zero-waste living. Over the last three years, Megean and her family have lived waste-free — avoiding single-use disposables, cutting out packaged food, and eliminating frivolous consumption. With these practices, they only put their garbage can on the curb once a year. She hopes her blog inspires others to take the plunge and assess their mess.

What sustainability means to her:

“Sustainability is about where we fit in this biological system. We need to become connected to the planet once again and be a little more mindful of our consumption. We are a product of a convenience-based society. We throw away nearly five pounds of waste per person per day, which creates a colossal amount of waste that ends up in some of our most important resources — like the ocean, the object that gives this planet life. We need to ask ourselves: Are we taking more from the Earth than we’re giving back?


Bret Love and Mary Gabbett (@green_global_travel)

What they do:

Bret and Mary started Green Global Travel back in 2010 as an outlet for their passion of exploring the world’s nature, wildlife, history, and indigenous cultures. From trekking to see Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda to cruising the Galapagos Islands, camping with Bedouins in the deserts of Jordan, and parading with Mardi Gras Indians in New Orleans, they try to use their stories, photos, videos, and social media channels to share transformative travel experiences that make a positive impact. Their big-picture mission is to share their love for ecotourism, inspire people to travel and live more sustainably, and encourage everyone to do their part to make the world a better place.

What sustainability means to them:

We believe that ecotourism — responsible travel that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people — is the future of travel. Travel, much like food or any other consumer product, is most sustainable when its community-focused. We also believe that sustainability starts at home, which is why we do everything from recycling and composting to harvesting rainwater and using permaculture gardening principles to grow our own fruits and vegetables. Each of these actions may not make a huge impact. But we believe that if everyone is willing to take what we call “baby steps to going green,” we can collectively change the world.”


Emy Kane (@emersonkane)

What she does:

Emy is the digital strategist at Lonely Whale, a foundation that brings people closer to the ocean through education, awareness, and inspiration. She spearheaded Lonely Whale’s award-winning #StopSucking campaign that kickstarted an anti-plastic straw movement and commanded the attention of celebrities and NGOs alike, reaching of 244 million people across 30 countries and localizing in more than seven languages in just two months. The campaign has since inspired a global movement to ban single-use plastic straws, and Emy’s passion for the environment has empowered her to continue to create socially-conscious initiatives.

What sustainability means to her:

“To me, sustainability is simply living a conscious lifestyle. It’s not about ‘no’s,’ ‘do’s and don’ts,’ or perfection. Sustainability is about finding the small shifts you can honestly make in your lifestyle that actively protect and support a healthy environment. Sustainability should be seamless, honest, and celebrated — no matter where you live, how much you make, or what subcultures you subscribe to. In my work, I hope to continue to find new ways to make environmentalism accessible so that everyone can create their own small shifts.”


Jamey Stillings (@jameystillingsphoto)

What he does:

Jamey is a photographer who has a passionate interest in cultures, ideas, technology, and the environment. His project Changing Perspectives is a collection of aerial and ground-based photographs that document renewable energy development around the world. The motivation behind his work is to showcase the proactive commitment to sustainable energy for future generations demonstrated across the globe.

What sustainability means to him:

“Sustainability is about creating an approach to living on Earth that respects global ecosystems, finite natural resources, and future generations. If we do not address our responsibilities in this age of the Anthropocene, then we will imperil not only the future of humans, but also all current biodiversity on Earth. If we value what we have on this amazing planet, then we must accept this urgent, complex, and important responsibility to consume less; use energy and other resources as efficiently as possible; reuse, recycle, and repurpose; eliminate waste wherever possible; and make this movement a part of our lives.”


Did we miss anyone? Which environmentalists do you respect and admire? Let us know in the comments below!

Header image by David Coulson

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Hailing from the foothills of Northern California, Kacie is a writer and editor who's worked on everything from quarterly surf magazines to art books, zines, lookbooks, novels, and emoji style guides. She's a bit of a story junkie, but we forgive her for that. To view more of her work, creep her website and Instagram.