Dr. Jane Goodall / The Jane Goodall Institute

Photo courtesy of the Jane Goodall Institute/​Shawn Sweeney

Dr. Jane Goodall discovered that when we put local communities at the heart of conservation, we improve the lives of people, animals and the environment. One of the key prongs of this is the promotion of sustainable livelihoods—the Jane Goodall Institute works with communities living in or near chimpanzee habitat to launch alternative, sustainable livelihood projects that improve their incomes and their capacity to manage natural resources.

Alongside working hand in hand with communities at the grassroots level in vital conservation areas, the Jane Goodall Institute and Jane act as advocates for every individual around the world to live more sustainably. As Jane herself once said, I often think – how is it that the most intellectual species to ever walk the Earth is destroying its only home? Is there hope? Only if we start thinking about the consequences of the choices we make each day. What do we buy? what do we wear? what do we eat? how was it made? Did it harm the environment? or involve cruelty to animals? Is it cheap because of child slave labor? We need to think how our choices will affect future generations. Instead of asking: is this good for me, now – for the next shareholder meeting – we need to buy products that respect the environment and all life. If we all make ethical choices, every day, our collective power for change is great.”

Equipping People with the Tools to Be Change Agents 

JGI addresses local needs with practical strategies that improve the lives of people, animals and the environment by introducing sustainable livelihood options to communities located near chimpanzee habitats. Sustainable livelihoods like community-managed microcredit programs, beekeeping, and woodlot cultivation help community members increase their income and rely less on the forest, reducing deforestation and human/​chimpanzee interaction. 

The Roots & Shoots Program

Created by Dr. Goodall in 1991 when a group of young people in Tanzania expressed feeling frustrated by the problems facing the world and wanted to do something about it, the Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots & Shoots program provides youth service opportunities for young people of all ages and now exists in nearly 100 countries all over the globe. The Roots & Shoots 4 Step Formula” gets young people 1) Inspired 2) Exploring their communities (using mapping) 3) Designing a service project 4) Celebrating their success and connecting with others! One example of Roots & Shoots success can be seen in the Recycled Rainbows project, where two pre-teen girls started an initiative to recycle used crayons, turn them into fun new crayons and get them into the hands of kids who deserve to imagine and create. This Roots & Shoots group donates all of the proceeds from their sales to organizations who support wildlife and young people.

Not Consuming Animal Products 

Dr. Goodall has been a longtime advocate for reducing consumption of animal products and encourages a plant based diet. This is not only for its human health benefits and the terrible treatment of animals in factory farms, but it is also because of the environmental impact of consuming animals or animal-derivative products. She cites three primary reasons: Firstly, we may eliminate factory farms. Secondly, to reduce the shocking damage the meat production industry inflicts on the environment and its contribution to climate change. And finally, to improve human health.” And while Dr. Goodall has lived plant-based for many years, she heeds that you at least take her #IEatLessMeatPledge. By signing up and agreeing to simply reduce animal product consumption, you’re making positive, conscious consumption choices that have a positive effect on the environment, other people and animals, too. 

Eco-Friendly Partnerships

I believe there is still a window of time to heal the planet before it is too late, but only if we each make the right choices every day, which is why JGI has entered into partnerships with companies like Schmidt’s Naturals,” says Dr. Goodall.” Thanks to the resilience of nature we have a chance to create a better world for all living things.” Check out the JGI x Schmidt’s collaboration here*.

Utilizing Eco-Friendly Resources for Shop 

The JGI shop—full of innovative, eco-friendly buys — uses ethically sourced, organic and recycled materials whenever possible. Spend a few minutes on the site and you’ll find adorable cotton onesies, cheeky art prints, reusable water bottles — and each purchase drives back to Dr. Goodall’s core theory: Every single individual has a role to play. Every single individual matters. Because every single individual makes some impact on the environment and we have a choice to as to what kind of impact we make.” 


Articles from The Natural should not be considered medical advice. If you have any questions about your health, please consult a medical professional.


*Program begins 8/28/18 and ends 12/31/19. For each purchase of (i) Schmidt’s Naturals Lily of the Valley Natural Deodorant, or (ii) Schmidt’s Naturals Lily of the Valley Natural Deodorant Sensitive Skin Formula, Schmidt’s will donate 5% of your purchase price (excluding shipping) to The Jane Goodall Institute. Void where prohibited. Complete donation terms available at www.schmidts​.com/JGI. Offered by Conopco, Inc. d/​b/​a/​Unilever. Information concerning The Jane Goodall Institute, including financial, licensing or charitable purpose may be obtained, without cost, by visiting www​.jane​goodall​.org.