A green career for every skill set
Today, the fight for a sustainable future extends beyond what we might think of as “traditional” environmental careers. There are dynamic and transformative careers for every kind of person with every kind of skill set.
Lights, Camera, Sustainability!
Filmmakers, producers and scriptwriters influence hearts and minds through their work. They collaborate to create visually captivating narratives that shed light on environmental challenges and inspire action. From documentaries that expose the realities of climate change to fictional films that envision sustainable futures, sustainable film professionals wield the power of storytelling to ignite a passion for environmental conservation. Documentaries such as Wild Babies, Seaspiracy and The Elephant Whisperers are my personal favorites.
Environmental Journalists and Storytellers Pen the Planet’s Plight
If the pen is mightier than the sword, why not use it to advocate for the environment? Environmental journalists are pivotal in raising awareness about issues such as climate change, deforestation and wildlife conservation. Through compelling storytelling, they inform and inspire readers to take action, amplifying the voices of environmentalists and those most affected by environmental injustice. A seasoned storyteller herself as the voice of the Degrees podcast for EDF, Yesh Pavlik Slenk shared why stories are so important to the climate movement:
“Storytelling is primal. It lights up a part of your brain, and when people share personal stories, they bring a human face to the otherwise abstract data and statistics,” Yesh said.
By narrating the stories of communities grappling with climate change, biodiversity loss or pollution, journalists and storytellers create an emotional connection with the audience, fostering empathy and understanding.
Cultivating Movements Through Grassroots Organizing.
Grassroots organizers sow the seeds of change by rallying communities, mobilizing volunteers, and igniting movements that drive change from the ground up. Whether they are advocating for clean energy policies or organizing tree-planting campaigns, these grassroots champions channel the collective power of ordinary people to create extraordinary transformations.
Richard Gallon, the Organizing and Training Manager for Defend Our Future, has spent his career as an organizer, in and outside the environmental movement. Richard advises that you should follow your passions because many issues intersect with environmental concerns. As he reflects on his own journey, working closely with queer and BIPOC communities, he realized the transferability of knowledge and skills to his work at EDF saying, “There is no one-size-fits-all path into this field.”
Graphic designers at the heart of every captivating brand
Visual narratives are essential to every environmental movement because they hold narratives that transcend language barriers and foster global connections. Anuranjan Pegu, Senior Designer at EDF has mastered design software and delivers high-quality designs alongside his team. He said that the most rewarding part of his career is “being a part of a larger mission and working towards environmental progress.” He enjoys working with his creative team, the clients who appreciate their work and the flexibility in the workplace. So, if you are into design, know that your passion holds the power to leave a lasting impression on the environmental movement. Anuranjan confirms that “it’s never too late and never too early to start!!”
Authors of Change: Environmental Policy
If you are a “change it from within” type of person, public policy might be the environmental career for you. Those working in environmental policy are on the frontlines of creating climate solutions for the future. Public policy, when done right, can be incredibly impactful and therefore, working in the policy field comes with a lot of responsibility. Saachi Kuwayama is the Senior Manager of Environmental Justice Policy at EDF. Armed with a master’s in environmental justice and policy, she works daily on analyzing the environmental policies EDF works on. Saachi does this work through an Environmental Justice lens, critically examining policies based on how community centric they are and what the justice implications of them are. As a Environmental Policy professional, you will have the privelege of elevating community needs and creating something impactful and long-lasting.
If the prospect of addressing environmental justice through policy resonates with you, this could be a path worth exploring. As Saachi points out, “Environmental policy offers you the opportunity to have a tangible impact on the world around us, and spark enthusiasm for environmental justice from communities to Capitol Hill.”
All this and so much more
As we continue our journey to safeguard our planet’s future, more and more career paths need an environmental lens. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list; there are so many other environmental careers that are worth exploring! Environmental film, journalism, grassroots organizing, and environmental justice each have a unique power to shape the world. Together, these captivating careers form a formidable force, to safeguard our planet’s precious resources and defend our future for generations to come
If you are reading this and are looking for eco-minded careers, the following resources are a great help!
- Green jobs board to find solidified green careers in environmental tech, NGO’s private organizations and so much more. https://www.browngirlgreen.com/greenjobs
- The Degrees podcast by Yesh Pavlik Slenk to hear more about people’s journey with green careers. https://www.edf.org/degrees-green-jobs-podcast