|Get the best of Oprah.com in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletters!|
Molly Fischer (3 posts)
But in 2008, Perdue terminated her contract. Morison suspects this had something to do with the camera crews she'd allowed into her barns to shoot footage for the shocking documentary Food, Inc. It wasn't until 2011 that she and her husband bought 500 Rhode Island Red laying hens—and set about doing things their way.
From the start, the hens were a revelation. They batted around Ping-Pong balls and chased each other to snatch pieces of lettuce, their favorite snack. While the industrial birds had been fragile and identical, the Reds were hardy and varied, with a stubborn resistance to disease. Perdue had demanded Morison use the company's proprietary feed, which she says routinely contained chemicals like arsenic (Perdue has said it stopped using arsenic in 2007). She fed her new birds grain, grasses, and clover to complement the worms they dug up on her 14 acres of pasture.
Recently, Morison's farm was certified by Animal Welfare Approved. While she previously "despised" her work—in addition to her guilt over contributing to toxic runoff in the Chesapeake Bay, she says, "I just felt so bad for the chickens"—she reports that "these days I'm having way more fun."
Münter, 36, grew up lecturing her friends on recycling and dreaming of becoming a marine biologist. But she was also"an adrenaline junkie," she admits—so at 23, she started taking driving lessons at a California racing school. A local team owner soon spotted her and encouraged her to go pro. She has now racked up nine top-five finishes in NASCAR and Indy Pro races, among other series.
But despite driving fossil fuel–burning vehicles for a living, Münter remained passionate about the environment. In 2006, when she blogged about the film An Inconvenient Truth, "I got people on a NASCAR board to argue about global warming!" she says. These days she adopts an acre of rainforest for each race she enters, to offset her car's emissions. She's also discussed the need for NASCAR to switch to biofuels. And while some racing fans write her off as "that tree-hugging vegetarian hippie girl," they're also curious, especially when she approaches issues in an unexpected way—like helping the veterans group Operation Free publicize national security reasons to support clean energy.
In February, Münter dedicated a race at Daytona to The Cove, the Oscar-winning documentary about the annual dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan. When her tire blew out, she was "heartbroken." But her accident gave the TV commentator a chance to discuss her mission to save the dolphins. Afterward she could only bring herself to watch the race once. But when she did, she says, "I had to smile."
Why we need more female leaders
Catherine Edouard Charlot's Brooklyn studio contains a lot of the things you'd expect to see in a designer's workspace: bright spools of thread, stacked copies of Women's Wear Daily, a collage of magazine photos tacked to a bulletin board. Then there are the 691 umbrellas. Stuffed in bins and strewn in piles on every surface, they range from black nylon throwaways to delicate floral parasols. Many are half-dissected, their fabric snipped from its wire skeleton, awaiting transformation into one-of-a-kind raincoats, totes, and Audrey Hepburn–inspired sheath dresses for Charlot's unconventional fashion line.
Charlot, 46, calls her designs "upcycled" (a term popularized by William McDonough and Michael Braungart in their seminal 2002 book, Cradle to Cradle), which means they're not just recycled but made more valuable in the process. In addition to discarded umbrellas (Wall Street is a rich hunting ground), she uses old upholstery, canvas, even yoga mats.
The idea struck her during a rain-soaked commute in 2002. She'd moved to New York in 1994 from her native Haiti, and worked administrative jobs while taking a class at the Fashion Institute of Technology (she'd learned to sew at age 13 in Port-au-Prince). When she couldn't find a waterproof bag, Charlot made one out of an old umbrella. The gray plaid tote was so eye-catching, it inspired her to launch her business, Himane, in 2004 (naming it for her mother back in Haiti).
These days Charlot sells leather clutches and canvas bags at boutiques around New York—but still carries that original plaid tote, frayed seams and all. "I hate to throw things away," she says. "I can't."