Jen Gale & Sustainable(ish), Eco Champ–Colette Pichon Battle, Taproot Earth!

by | Feb 3, 2023 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

Jen Gale & Sustainable(ish), plus eco champion, Colette Pichon Battle, and Taproot Earth!



Meet Jen Gale. She’s like us here at The Climate Daily, just one person on this vast planet, trying to make sense of climate change and share the sense she’s made of it with you, and you, and you. She is the British-based creator of Sustainable(ish). The aim of the website is to empower you to just get started. To take one baby step, and not worry about being ‘perfectly sustainable’. It’s a website where you’ll find practical inspiration for small easy steps to get started living a more sustainable lifestyle, and to consume more consciously. Steps that we can all take, without having to shun the shops, and live off grid in a yurt in the woods (not that there is anything wrong with living off grid in a yurt in the woods if that is what floats your boat).

The website evolved from Jen Gale’s blog, My Make Do and Mend Year, an accounting of when her family and she spent a year Buying Nothing New. It was initially a method of documenting the journey, but along the way this wonderful community sprang up, and Ms. Gale knew she had to keep the community going, after the year of Buying Nothing New came to an end.  The website and its author, have evolved. She’s written The Sustainable(ish) Living Guide and The Sustainable(ish) Guide to Green Parenting.

Why does Jen Gale and Sustainable(ish) matter to us? As she said in an interview, “I learned that in the face of climate change, resource depletion, fast fashion and a throwaway culture, one person’s action really do count.” Oh, and 71-thousand members of her community proves she’s doing something right. Plus, she’s proof of what we always say: “You have to try. You have to try.”

DEEPER DIVE: Sustainable(ish)



According to COLETTE PICHON BATTLE, TAPROOT EARTH VISION, & INITIATIVES PARTNER, “Climate change is not the problem; climate change is the most horrible symptom of an economic system that has been built for a few to extract every precious value out of this planet and its people. To survive this next phase of our human existence, our social, political and economic systems must be transformed to regenerate the earth and advance human liberty globally. We must transform from a disposable, individual society into one that sees our collective long-term humanity, or else we will not make it. We must acknowledge that the only way to survive is for us to figure out how to reach a shared liberation together.”

Who is Colette Pichon Battle? For starters, she’s the Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy (GCCLP),now known as TapRoot Earth, working on issues of global migration, community economic development, climate justice and equitable disaster recovery.  As a generational native of Bayou Liberty, Louisiana, she has prioritized working with local communities, national funders and elected officials around equity in the post-Katrina/post-BP Gulf Coast disaster.  

In 2014, Pichon Battle was selected for the Young Climate Justice National Fellowship based on her work with coastal communities of color. She was a lead coordinator for Gulf South Rising 2015, a regional initiative around climate justice and just transition in the South. She is a 2019 Obama Fellow for her work with Black and Native communities. In 2021, Pichon Battle chaired the Equity Advisory Group of the Louisiana Governor’s Climate Initiative Task Force. She sits on the boards of the US Climate Action Network, Center for Constitutional Rights, Highlander Research Education Center, and Healthy GulfShe is also a 2022 recipient of the William O. Douglas Award- recognizing individuals who have made outstanding use of the legal/judicial process to achieve environmental goals, particularly those with national significance.    

Why does Colette Pichon Battle, a super impressive person matter to us? Her TED Talk. 13 minutes that will clarify your life.

DEEPER DIVE: Colette Pichon, TED, William O. Douglas Award, Taproot Earth



Taproot: the central element in a line of growth or development; the point of greatest resistance. Reaching deep underground, taproots absorb water and nutrients to withstand drought and anchor the plant. Every tree starts with a taproot that provides stability and absorption — then over time, other roots outgrow the taproot. According to its website, US gulf-coast based, Taproot Earth began after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. That’s the first time mainstream media relayed stories of how Black and Indigenous communities were both most impacted by the storm and failed by recovery systems, unable to receive resources to secure their homes or restore their livelihoods. But it would not be the last.

Since then, frontline communities from the Gulf South to the Global South have witnessed even more damaging storms, worsening droughts, deadly wildfires, debilitating heat, and devastating land loss. The founders of Taproot first formed the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy to provide disaster and legal assistance to Katrina survivors across the Gulf South. Through that work we learned that the solution to the climate crisis is much bigger than recovery: we urgently need a just transition to an economic, political, and social system that values people over profits, and the collective over the few. 

In 2022, recognizing the need for bigger, bolder, broader strategies, we transformed into Taproot Earth: an international organization on a mission to advance global climate solutions rooted in, and accountable to, the frontlines. Some of TapRoots projects include movement building (Gulf South for a Green New Deal); Law an Policy (creating the Just Transition Lawyering Network) and developing Global Climate Reparations. That means Focusing on conversations such as loss and damage, global finance, and climate migration, we continue this work by building solidarity, alignment, and people power across the globe to create pathways to reckon and account for harm and resource a just path forward.

Why does TapRoot matter to us? In addition to the good work it does, TapRoot’s Climate Disaster Recovery network. The reality is millions of Americans will be part of the 180 million people globally projected to become climate migrants in the next two decades. What they’ve assembled as guideposts is truly impressive stuff.