STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK
Ketchum part-time resident Diana Kapp showed up at Sun Valley Community School last week wearing a robe made of soda tabs.
It’s an interesting way to draw attention to the creative ways used goods can be recycled. And it’s an even more interesting way to draw attention to her new book, “Girls Who Green the World: Thirty-Four Rebel Women to Save Our Planet”
Kapp told the audience that the book’s origins came from his three children, including his youngest daughter Emma, who attends Sun Valley Community School.
Diana Kapp divides her time between Sun Valley and San Francisco.
“They really care about the environment—that’s the only problem,” he said.
Kapp notes that environmental anxiety worries young people so much that a new niche is emerging for therapists dealing with climate change.
She has written a book highlighting female entrepreneurs entitled “Girls Who Run the World” after noting that Forbes’ list of the top 100 innovators included only one woman. And he started doing the same for the women who are fighting to save the planet.
The inspiration: Susan Solomon, who works in minus 40 degrees, measures light in Antarctica while she studies how the Antarctic ozone hole develops.
Diana Kapp gave some Pulp Chips for those attending her lectures to try.
The 34 Kapp women included in her book include one who makes barbecue free of grains, sea salt, jalapeno lime and “Pulp Chips” salt and vinegar from vegetable waste fibers that would otherwise be thrown away.
These include a San Francisco woman who recycles what she calls “cosmetically challenged” cucumbers and other products that would otherwise be discarded to produce the “Ugly Pickle” line.
Kayla Abe followed the same trail of starting a business called “Ugly Products” that resells stained fruits and vegetables that were not considered pretty enough to meet supermarket standards. He even opened a pizzeria called Shuggie’s Trash Pies in San Francisco whose menu contained leftovers.
Emily Stengel co-founded Greenwave to teach regenerative marine agriculture. Rihanna Gunn-Wright, Michelle Obama’s former intern, is the architect of the Green New Deal, which is designed to transform the economy to mitigate climate change.
Kayla Abe made up Ugly Pickles to cut out some of the leftovers.
Mary Anne Hitt, director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, closed or prevented 339 proposed coal-fired power plants. Lisa Dyson leverages an old NASA experiment to produce chicken and bacon from carbon dioxide.
University of Michigan alumni Nana Britwum and Janice Newsom are turning invasive weeds into black hair extensions as they try to keep people away from carcinogenic plastic braids. Lynn Jurich of SunRun has installed more than 600,000 solar panels on the roof, while Kathy Hannun has pioneered home-based geothermal energy.
Others extend the life of avocados to keep them out of landfills and still others turn the fungus into skin.
Kapp notes that if Americans replaced eBikes with just 15 percent of their car trips, carbon emissions would drop by 12 percent. Choosing a bicycle over a car only once a day reduces the average citizen’s carbon emissions from transportation by 67 percent.
Diana Kapp has written two books designed to inspire young women.
He also noted that half the world wore blue jeans at one time, but the dye used for blue jeans was highly toxic. One woman, she said, took hers from the indigo plant to fix the problem. Another thing is to design fashion dresses from styrofoam packaging.
These innovators demonstrate the importance of changing our mindsets, he says.
“Most of these women know nothing about what they are getting into when they enter. Many just have a personal problem they are trying to solve. Find an issue that interests you and talk to as many people as possible,” he said.
Kapp challenged attendees to do something good for the planet, whether that’s committing to no meat for the next five days, bringing used blankets and towels to an animal shelter, starting a compost pile or volunteering for a climate-friendly candidate.
“Just do something, even if it’s small,” he said. “People don’t realize how much influence they have on their friends. Good ideas can spread.”