In the last few months we’ve turned to activist @greengirlleah for guidance through these evolving times. Leah Thomas has risen as a necessary voice campaigning for both social and environmental progress. In the wake of the pandemic, she created a place to educate and inform those looking to lead more socially and environmentally responsible lives, believing the two go hand in hand. @intersectionalenviornmentalist has become this space. We were grateful for the opportunity to get personal with her, gaining insight into the founding of IE and how we can join her in changing the systemic and societal problems that are required for a more equitable world. Read on for her tips, advice, and routines. Here’s to continued progress and women like Leah who boldly lead the way.
Where + when did your interest in environmental issues begin?
I became interested in environmentalism through social justice initially. The more I learned about social inequality, I started to see that those who face the most social inequality also face more environmental injustices. Addressing systematic racism as a whole felt like a really large problem and overwhelming, so I decided to narrow in on environmental justice and began studying environmental science.
How long have you been living a sustainable lifestyle?
Probably since around 2014 when I started studying environmental science; however, before that my family often thrifted so that’s always been part of my life. When I started working at Patagonia I got even more interested and did a deeper dive into sustainable living.
Leah wears The West Dress in Forest Organic Rib
“I’d rather see 1 million imperfect environmentalists than 10 perfect environmentalists.”
Any tips for continued learning about environmental, social, and racial issues?
I would recommend checking out intersectionalenvironmentalist.com for a few resources that explore the intersections of environmentalism and social justice.
What are some of your favorite sustainable + earth friendly selfcare practices?
I love getting outside and understand i’m very privileged living in southern California to have access to beautiful nature, but just breathing fresh air is the perfect act of self care.
What are some sustainable switches to make at home for beginners?
Reusable containers are so helpful! Mason jars are pretty inexpensive and can be used for storage and drinking. I would recommend starting with reusable containers, reusable napkins and going from there.
What is your biggest takeaway from the last 6 months?
My biggest lesson is that progress is way better than perfection in my opinion! I’d rather see 1 million imperfect environmentalists than 10 perfect environmentalists. We’re all on our own journeys and none of us are perfect (even activists). I’ve also really learned to never let one person’s doubt determine whether or not you should pursue an idea - if that’d been the case, I would have let my unemployment status at the start of the pandemic deter me from starting intersectional environmentalist. If you have an idea you really car about - stick to it!
Describe your morning routine.
I usually jump out of bed and get right to work (for a call i’m usually late for!) I’m trying to get much better at time management, but in the mornings i’m usually rushing to get caught up with work and then my boyfriend will make me breakfast which is so sweet.
Someone you admire:
Favorite piece of art in your home: