Four decades after the first Earth Day, the circle of people working toward a cleaner, greener world has expanded way beyond treehugging hippies, red-paint-throwing protesters, posturing politicos, and card-carrying members of enviro groups. To mark this milestone, we’ve found 40 unexpected people who are altering the green landscape.


Erika Allen
Projects Manager, Growing Power


Ambessa Cantave
Educator, Alliance for Climate Education


Ambrose Carroll
Pastor, Renewal Worship Center


Valerie Casey
Founder, Designers Accord


Leslie Christian
Founder, Upstream 21 and Portfolio 21


Robert Cialdini


Jim Cochran
Farmer, Swanton Berry Farm


Cisco DeVries
President, Renewable Funding


Matt Golden
President, Founder, and Chief Building Scientist, Recurve


Zakiya Harris
Founder and Executive Director, Grind for the Green


Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart
Founder, Vaute Couture


Rob Jones
Cofounder, Crop Mob


Dorothy Le
Planning and Policy Director, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition


Anita Maltbia
Director, Green Impact Zone


Valerie Martinez
Executive Director, Indigenous People’s Green Jobs Coalition


Mike Mathieu
Founder, Front Seat


Patti Moreno
Founder, Garden Girl TV and Urban Sustainable Living


Irma Muñoz
Founder, Mujeres de la Tierra


Chandrasekhar “Spike” Narayan
Leader of Science and Technology Organization, IBM’s Almaden Research Center


Jack Newman
Cofounder and Senior Vice President of Research, Amyris


Brenda Palms-Barber
Chief Executive Director, North Lawndale Employment Network

Steve Price
Digital Designer, Urban Advantage


LaDonna Redmond
President, Institute for Community Resource Development; Founder, Graffiti and Grub


Berlin Reed
The Ethical But


Elena Rivellino and Dennis Stein
Owners, Sea Rocket Bistro


Gerod Rody
Founder, Out for Sustainability


Alan Salzman
Chief Executive, VantagePoint Venture Partners


Selim Sandoval
Founder, Growingreen Energy and EarthPlay Learning Adventures


Benjamin Shute and Miriam Latzer
Farmers, Hearty Roots Community Farm


Cameron Sinclair and Kate Stohr
Founders, Architecture for Humanity


Sammy Slade
Member, Board of Aldermen


John and Julie Stehling
Owners, Early Girl Eatery


Bryant Terry
Eco-chef and Food-justice Activist


Severine von Tscharner Fleming
Director and Founder, The Greenhorns


Hai Vo
Food Activist and Farmer


Janine Yorio
Founder and Managing Director, NewSeed Advisors