GirlPlanet.Earth provides a global platform for girls and women to talk about overshoot - hyperconsumption, population, social stress, biodiversity loss, climate change, and share stories and solutions.
For far too long, people haven't acknowledged a big elephant in the room. Or they've pointed fingers at 'population versus consumption' -- rather than naming them as two related, fundamental problems.
Without addressing both, it's just not possible to sustain human life, planetary health, or economic well-being.
Join us. Start the conversation, share solutions. Help solve some of our society’s biggest challenges. We welcome women and teenage girls to our global dialogue on Facebook, here.
We encourage men to share these conversations in their communities, and on their platforms.
We appreciate your allyship.
These issues are crucial to our collective survival on the planet.
Our Global Voices
THATO ANGELINA GABAITSE
'My journey through climate change activism is mostly based on the effects it has on young girls and women, who in rural and remote communities are the most affected as they have to make sacrifices to ensure that the rest of the family is cared for. Often, children miss school due to lack of water for sanitation, irrigation and...
'Moureen Gufasha and I were inseparable friends. But on the 14th of February 2012 I lost her in childbirth soon after child marriage at age 13 to a 62-year-old rich man. She was the eldest from a family of 5 children whose farming income dried up during severe drought. I still remember her beautiful smile and dream to be a doctor...
SRI LANKA / CHINA
'I was born and grew up in a rural village surrounded by paddy fields near a coastal city of Sri Lanka. Life there was blessed, we always had fresh fish, vegetables, fruits and a bunch of innocent people to share the day. Life there was self-sustained and self-satisfied, full of greenery, soothing the soul. But I realized not everyone...
'I was born in 1965, into an Indian family in Johannesburg, South Africa. I am the youngest of six siblings, three brothers and three sisters. My parents brought us all up in the same house and when my elder brothers married and had children, we continued to stay together in one extended family. Living in a large family teaches one to be tolerant...
'It's only human to reproduce and fill the Earth as written in the holy scriptures, but we also ought to have sustainable usage of the Earth, which is more beautiful with natural forests, lakes, rivers, and wetlands. As a city councilor in Kajjansi, I sensitize people about family planning, proper disposal of plastics, planting of fruit trees, and participate in youth climate campaigns...
'I work with youth networks to empower and engage young people to take care of the environment and adopt nature-friendly practices and coordinate with various stakeholders to make sure that the climate action works are just and fair to all. Now, working for the environment is what I say and do.'
FRANCE / USA
'I am an established singer-songwriter-producer in New York City (I grew up in France) and a proud childfree woman.
I have produced and released the first-ever original song with the title "Childfree'' with 55 happy childfree women on the coverart. It is an anthem for women who live a life without having children by choice...
CATHERINE SARAH YOUNG
PHILIPPINES / AUSTRALIA
'As an artist, I believe that women contain in them universes of stories. I grew up in the Philippines, which has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancies in Asia. I saw how young women who went from having limited choices to even more limited ones. As I write this...
FRANCE / GERMANY / USA
'As much as I enjoyed picturing myself doing research in exotic locations, I felt like I had to dedicate my career to fighting the horrifyingly rapid erosion of biodiversity at the hands of humanity. The best thing about working in the population field is that I get to combine...
'I have a passion for oceans, and I love swimming with whales and dolphins. I live in Taiwan, an island where various whales and dolphins periodically travel by. As a marine ecology photographer, I followed them in the waters of Tonga, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Japan, and other places...
'When Phoebe asked me to join Girl Planet Earth Voices, at first I was reluctant, since I thought I don’t have one major success story on how I fought overconsumption or how I saved nature and our planet. Then, it occurred to me that indeed, neither I, nor we, do not have to do it all by ourselves....
'I have always been passionate about the environment, and it saddens me to see the unsustainable path that we are currently on. When discussing sustainability and climate change, overpopulation has always been at the centre of discussions, But we cannot address population growth without addressing...
'As human settlements spread out across some of the last vestiges of our natural world, habitats are being reduced and our living world is becoming smaller, more fragile. Can you imagine for a moment, the onset of spring, but no swallows? A moonlit night, yet no owls, no foxes, calling out across the darkness?...
'After I completed my degree, I joined the civil society sector - to use my expertise to propose solutions for climate change adaptation and to advocate for the rights of women, who are often disproportionately impacted by environmental changes. The drought in Morocco has been particularly devastating for rural communities, and...
CANADA / USA
'Young women contemplating motherhood are often pressured to have children with the advice, “if you don’t have a baby, you’ll regret it later”. There aren’t that many older women who have chosen to be childfree and can report back. But I am here to report that it went fine - I have absolutely no regrets. And here's why...
'My classmate and neighbor Rebecca wanted to become a journalist. I overheard her eloquently reading old newspapers. But her family expected her to marry at their archaic view of a girl's ripe age, not further her studies. And she did marry. Five years since graduation, she struggles to cater for her three children and is pregnant...
'I’ve always felt a kinship with nature and animals, and I’ve always felt it was my job to protect them as I would my friends and family. Most of my career has been devoted to working on protecting United States public lands from extractive industries, and volunteering in wildlife and animal rescue...
'I would love to live in a world where there is more focus given to connection than to consumption. I think our economy could thrive from provision of services, arts, and other activities, rather than purchasing more quantity of ever cheaper and lower quality products. I am actively trying to do this for myself, but it is difficult when you are...
MAXI PIA LOUIS
'For the past years, women in conservation have not been equally involved in decision making when it comes to environmental issues. Though we are actively involved as primary natural resource users and land users, we did not have an equivalent voice in making decisions. This is changing...
NIGERIA / WALES
'My connection to nature and the environment began from my childhood holidays with my family. We spent a lot of life in Yankari Game Reserve, Nigeria and enjoyed the times immensely. Never did I imagine that those holidays will shape my professional career and my travels. ..
BELGIUM / USA
'It was 1976. I was standing at the desk of Addis Ababa’s most luxurious hotel complaining to fellow UN colleagues that we were in a bubble, far from the realities of life. A distinguished man turned to me and asked, “Would you like to see reality?” I recognized the respected minister...
NATASHA JASMIN DURY
FIJI / UK/ UAE
'As a teenager, I took part in a UN-style 'International Roundtable Conference by Future Leaders' on climate change in the UAE with His Highness Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi, known around the world as the 'Green Sheikh.' Our island nation produces less than 1% of carbon emissions, yet...
'I am profoundly saddened by the state of the Earth. I feel shame that greed and foolishness drive species extinction and ecosystem degradation.... My career, personal interests and sensitivity have brought me to the worldview that humanity, and planet Earth as a whole...
'My parents had 5 children, of whom three had one child each and the other two none. My parents taught us to be frugal. They were farmers and we had to help with various tasks. This made us realise what it takes to put food on the table and clothes on our backs. We were taught...
'I'm not sure population growth or even consumption are true reflections of the actual problem. We face a deeper struggle. Whether it is the climate crisis or a biodiversity one, any effective mitigation and adaptation will require us to tackle the injustices of the past and present...
'My mom had six children, five girls and one boy. In her own family there were only three siblings, two brothers and herself. When I was a teenager, I never thought of kids or getting married. My major concern was to finish school. After that, getting married and having children was still not on my mind. I had no plans for that...
CHIOMA I. OKAFOR
'In my culture, the number of children you have determines the level of respect given to you as a woman. But this is gradually changing. In the former days, a woman can give birth to 11 children and more, until 6 children became the minimum. Now most couples are content with 3 children...
'Along with an insatiable feeling of being an outsider, a tweener, a maverick, I lacked belonging, connection, inclusion in all aspects of my choices. But with 20 years of public environmental service at the state and federal level, I've been helping communities and local governments analyze the effects of us humans...
'After I had enough of feeling powerless, hopeless, and angry about the way people relate to the environment, I made the decision to broaden my focus and accept the fear of jumping into the world of information in all its messiness and complexity. That was over four years ago now. I found my way to the Institute for Humane Education...
FAITH PATRICIA ARIOKOT
'I planted my first tree at age 12. I started by planting trees and giving out seedlings to others, but I noticed that many were left to dry out. I had to get a niche in tree education and tree planting education. Through Faith in Trees, I started the Boom Pencil: the plantable pencil, a tool to teach what a tree is and the advantages of planting trees...
'It was a normal day, I was at school and received a grim message..... this was January, 2019. One month down the road, I received another message, this time at home..... it was confusion all over the place! This is when my journey with climate change began. I lost two friends that year - one to heavy rains in Uganda, the other due to winds in Geneva...
'Addressing population growth is far from the only solution to our environmental crises. Decreasing consumption, promoting active transportation and plant-based diets, cutting waste, redistributing resources and power, and economic degrowth and localisation are all important...
'Once you take a pause from the bustle and confusion and open your eyes to the impact humans are having on Planet Earth, there’s no going back. It becomes impossible to pretend that things can carry on as they are. I’ve stopped apologising for being an ‘eco-warrior’. How can any of us be anything else?
'It’s all about infrastructure. That word keeps coming up in my life. I live in upstate New York, USA where man-made industrialized infrastructure--especially transportation--is a huge deal. It can be very harsh. But, natural infrastructure is also a huge deal because we are located...
AUSTRALIA / NETHERLANDS
'I am a 76-year-old woman, born and schooled in Netherlands. In high school we were taught that the world was heading towards overpopulation, that resources were limited and we had to learn to recycle because our waste management of dumping, was using up valuable land...
TRACEE ELLIS ROSS
'The husband and the babies are the expectation of what's supposed to happen at a certain point, and people fall back on, 'Well, that's the point of the human species, procreation.' And I'm, like, 'I think there are a lot of babies; isn't that part of what's going wrong, there's too many?...
'As I learned more and more about our relationship with nature, I realized how challenging is to make significant sacrifices that actually heal the planet. At the same time, I was lucky to have a mother that never pushed me to have children (unlike many families here in Peru). It is a hard decision...
LAURA O. AGHWANA
'I am a Legal Practitioner from southern Nigeria, Delta State... Being an Urhobo by tribe with a culture which recognizes having many children as an evidence of a man’s wealth and the 30th child in a polygamous family of about 8 wives and 47 children, left me with no choice...
FLORENCE N. BLONDEL
'In my country, Uganda, like in most of Sub-Saharan Africa, pressures for young girls and women to be childbearers persist. An average woman has about five children. My mom had 10. It's mostly the only choice we are given growing up, finding a man, giving him many children...
ISLAMIAT ABIDEMI RAJI
'My mom had eight girls, but my dad had 12 children, some of whom I have never met. Knowing that my mom gave birth to eight children not because she can fend for them, but because of the pressure to have a male child, is a big lesson for me with the overpopulation and Earth crises we have...
'My biggest lesson that I have had to unlearn is that you don’t have to get married, have children and buy a house to find fulfillment in life. As a girl - now a woman, we are conditioned from a young age, with influence of generations before us, that happiness and success is defined by getting married and having children....
'I'm Tanya Narang, a 16-year-old student from India. I'm passionate about climate action, period poverty and enjoy western singing. My exposure to menstrual health management happened when I heard that our housekeeper would stop coming to work every month, as she would tend to her daughter who wasn’t able to go to school....
MILDRED SAABAH ACQUAH
'I am twenty-two years of age and a final year student at the University of Ghana, reading marine and fisheries science. As a student I may not have networks yet, but I have the one power every one of us possesses, and that is my voice. I am using it to incite and hopefully inspire people on climate...
'As an ocean advocate and scientist, I am always trying to speak about the importance of marine ecosystem and biodiversity conservation to everyone. I wish to continue this activity to a broader level to a huge audience globally. I am an ocean lover, mother of a baby girl, with a PhD in benthic taxonomy and community ecology...
'I have been working as an environmental activist in the UK for two and a half years. I specialise in lobbying the UK government to consider a paradigm shift to degrowth in recognition of global ecological overshoot and ecosystem collapse. My website is called Poems for Parliament...
'Last night we started drilling to find water for people in the Sahel region of my home country, Togo. It was hard and long, but successful. I am having the most difficult experiences in my life and I think it will make me more strong to face life and adapt to every situation in life...
UAE / FIJI / SPAIN
'As a journalist from Fiji Islands, a nation most affected by climate change, I like talking about climate change. The more you find out how global warming impacts smaller nations, the more aware and cautious you will become about wastage in your day to day lives. I have been...
'I’ve just thrown the trash out. A large plastic bag filled with used nappies, baby napkins, food remains, and many other ‘necessary’ things of convenience. The bag I threw away fell on top of countless other plastic bags, carton boxes and old household appliances. And I felt like crying...
'I moved to the United States from México with my parents and seven siblings when I was 15. It was the most amazing experience to notice all the opportunities available to me if I only worked hard enough. Having freedom to choose my career and adventures seemed much more attractive than having a large family...
'I've had a fire in my belly for humanity to take charge of our destiny on this planet, and not give in to destruction, denialism, or despair. Since our 2019-2021 papers on a "World Scientists' Warning of a Climate Emergency," I'm working to implement solutions in the six areas we recommended to humanity...
'The impact we have on this planet, as collective humanity, is noticeable and profound. As a result we now experience feedbacks to our own health and well-being. It’s time for close scrutiny of our individual actions, because combined, multiple sustainable choices and behaviours will help to restore diversity...