Amira Odeh

Amira Odeh
Environmentalist, activist, leader
Puerto Rico

"A key motivational force in my work is disseminating a sense of not being alone on the planet and the fact that there are billions consuming the same resources."

The Visionary expresses some of the sentiments that many activists encounter as they begin to get involved in their cause. This interest to act upon a problem is a very powerful description of each of their personalities, as well as the feeling of wanting more people to see the power of their individual actions and notice how much everyone can do for the better of society, the environment and many other causes.

Working as an environmental activist has allowed me to explore many wonderful things that I never imagined I would get the chance to. I have had the opportunity to learn about the science and real facts behind the work that I do, learn about the variable social reactions and opinions on particular environmental causes; I practice and teach methods to succeed in organizing and the importance of collaboration between groups and individuals. Among these, I have also learned how important it is to let people know their power on how they can impact nature and all the possibilities that exist to prevent a big environmental footprint while preserving the resources that everyone, in the present and future, needs. For this reason, a very important and motivating part of what I do is the sense of urgency, of needing to make a difference in the present to prevent large scale effects of problems like water scarcity, climate change, and pollution, among others.
Spreading the sense of not being alone in the planet and that there are billions consuming the same resources is also a key motivational factor and one that I use on educational efforts on the campaign I’m currently working on, related to the excessive plastics consumption.
Working with this campaign and these ideas has not been an easy undertaking, since many efforts have been put in planning, educating, searching for options, creating connections and many other tasks that have sometimes felt like there is a long path yet to be crossed for our organization. But the motivation to make a real difference has always been stronger than any other feelings and this motivation is the thing that has helped this work succeed in the phases that it has been through. This drive has also been what got me to be involved in the environmental movement from the beginning, seeing how environmental issues were a concern for many, but an issue to take action on for fewer than the concerned. There are two phrases in The Visionary that remind me of how it feels to need to act on something of importance to me: “We see everything, we see it all, but we see nothing but ourselves” and “Remember not to take your sight for granted.”
Envisioning the future and seeing how present actions can make a real impact on the resources you and many more depend on, is a challenging yet inspiring act that can lead a person to want to make a positive difference and work his/her way to make this dream a reality.
~ Amira Odeh

Amira Odeh has had an interest in the environment since childhood. She has worked as a volunteer in several community efforts in Puerto Rico, helping and also leading events such as coastal cleanups and activities to protect the natural resources of her country. At the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, she was president of the Eco-Environmental Society, an organization dedicated to environmental education, research and promoting recreation in natural spaces. She spearheaded large educational events, research projects, and outreach activities, designed workshops and conferences, and conducted various initiatives in environmental education and the development of sustainable activities on the campus.

Her biggest project has been a campaign titled No Más Botellas (No More Bottles), which promotes sustainable water consumption and  the reduction of plastic use and waste at the University. The first of its kind in Puerto Rico, No Más Botellas has been honored with an award from the US Environmental Protection Agency. Amira has also been recognized for her leadership with a Brower Youth Award from the Earth Island Institute and attended the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Warsaw, Poland.

Learn more about Amira and her work at