From solar sisters to waste warriors, 5 examples of women taking climate action

Solar Sister entrepreneurs hold up the renewable energy products they are selling.

Story highlights

  • Studies show that women are disproportionately impacted by global warming
  • From the Himalayas to Nigeria, women are trying to mitigate the impacts of climate change

(CNN)Climate-related disasters, extreme weather events and depleting water sources affect everyone on earth, but studies show that women are disproportionately impacted by global warming.

Women in developing countries are particularly at risk as they are often poorer and more dependent on natural resources than men, according to the United Nations.
    On International Women's Day, we profile five initiatives led by women fighting for a greener planet.
      The eXXpedition crew are seen on a sailing boat in the North Pacific Ocean.

      Sailing crew spotlight planet's plastic crisis

      Three hundred women from 100 different countries are sailing to remote parts of the planet over the next two years to raise awareness of the plastic crisis plaguing our oceans.
      British skipper Emily Penn launched the all-female eXXpedition voyages in 2014 because she was shocked by the "trillions of pieces of microplastics" she came across while sailing around the world.
        EXXpedition's aim is to highlight the extent of the plastic crisis and gain a better understanding of the different types of plastic in the oceans, Penn told CNN.
        The women will collect samples of water, sand and air and analyze how they have been contaminated by plastic waste.
        They will also assess the potential health impacts of plastic pollution, with existing research suggesting that chemicals released by plastics can affect fertility and hormone function.
        Despite a "global backlash over plastic, we are not yet seeing the positive impact on the oceans itself," Penn said.
        Ridding the oceans of plastic entirely is unrealistic, instead the focus should be on stemming the tide of waste entering them, Penn said.
        The four female co-founders of zero-waste shop Épicerie Loco: Marie-Soleil L'Allier, Sophie Maccario, Martine Gariépy and Andréanne Laurin.

        Quebec's first zero-waste shop

        Frustrated by the lack of environmentally friendly food, toiletries and cleaning products in Quebec, Canada, Andréanne Laurin decided to open the province's first zero-waste shop in 2016.
        With three other women, Laurin founded Épicerie Loco, a store in Montreal which only sells organic, eco-friendly products in reusable containers.
        "Supermarkets in Montreal waste around 10 percent of their food every day. Our waste [output] is no more than one or two percent," Laurin told CNN.
        Leftover food does not get thrown in the bin at the end of the day, but instead is reworked into ready meals, she said.
        "We don't accept anything that isn't brought to us in a zero-waste container," store manager Benedicta Porter told CNN, adding that they have completely eliminated single-use packaging by starting a glass jar deposit scheme.
        The zero-waste movement has grown rapidly in Quebec since Épicerie Loco opened and the province now counts at least 15 other businesses with a similar mission, said Laurin.