Several definitions of environmental justice can be found using a quick Google search and depending on who you are and your lived experiences, one definition may seem to resonate with you more than others. Instead of finding the simplest or most profound definition of what environmental justice is for this introduction, we invite you to embark on a journey that will lead you to discover your very own understanding and definition of environmental justice. We know that environmental justice goes hand-and-hand with social justice both based on principles of equity, access, participation, and rights – and at its core, a sense of understanding that everyone deserves equal opportunities but especially those who are often left out when we say “everyone or all.”

Learn about the history of environmental racism and hear from the early leaders of the environmental justice movement. Uncover the events that sparked the movement and come to understand the long journey still ahead. Explore the principles of environmental justice and see environmental justice through the lens of people and communities most impacted by the injustices. Last but not least, join us and others in taking action and receive recognition for your efforts by earning your NWF EcoLeader Environmental Justice badge!

Read NWF's Environmental Justice Statement

How It Works:

EcoLeaders earn points towards certification by taking action in the following categories which represent the NWF EcoLeader Continuous Learning and Leadership Model:

Learn: Learn about the campaign and why it’s important to get involved
Act: Choose an action(s) you’d like to take from a list generated by the NWF campaign staff leads
Communicate: Choose a method to communicate about the campaign and the action you are taking
Sustain: Choose an action to take that will help to sustain your effort on this campaign
Reflect: Take time to reflect on your experience, what you have learned and how you will carry it forward in your life

Earn the badge

Environmental Justice Resources

Please note, this list of resources is intended to serve as a starting point to begin to understand and explore environmental justice principles, examples and actions. This list is not intended to be a comprehensive resource library on environmental justice. We encourage you to explore these resources below as a way to begin to understand environmental justice and then continue with your own exploration and research. If there is a resource you think we should include in our resource list, please let us know by sending a message to  

What is Environmental Justice  



What is Environmental Racism  



Examples of Specific Environmental Justice Challenges and Actions 

Resources for Taking Action 

Environmental Justice Careers