• Give a Gift
  • Customer Service
  • Promotions
  • Videos
  • Blogs
  • Win
  • Games

June 29, 2007

More Than a Pretty Face: Beth Galante

eco friendly house

One of the eco-friendly houses built by Galante's organization.

Special Offer

Age: 40
Location: New Orleans
Marital status: Married
Notable quote: "It's hard to get people to focus on the long-term impact of building when all they care about is having someplace — anyplace — to live."

In the months following Hurricane Katrina, Beth Galante left behind a successful career in law and joined forces with Global Green USA, a national environmental organization working to rebuild New Orleans in an eco-friendly and energy-efficient way. Galante, now head of the local Global Green office, says things are off to a good start — last year, architecture buff Brad Pitt signed on to help sponsor and judge their competition for the best new green-housing design in New Orleans. Galante talks with MC.

Q: From lawyer to advocate — how did that happen?
After Katrina, I called a mentor of mine to find out where I could volunteer my legal services. She said, "I have the perfect job for you." Global Green's main goal was to open a public resource center so people would know about green building. They were advocating a mind shift toward a new reality — that we can't continue to be so terribly wasteful because we're running out of things to waste, and we're damaging the planet. It's a shift in perception.

Q: That seems reasonable. But some people resisted. Why?
We have people living in cars here. The homeless shelters are packed, and thousands of people are displaced around the country. There's a desire to build housing as quickly as possible — people desperately need homes.

Connect with Marie Claire:
daily giveaway
Go to the Beach

Go to the Beach

enter now
You Know You Want More
More From Inspirational Women
Somaly's Story: 'I Didn't Lie.'

"I didn't lie. I was not silent. I had so many lives to fix. For me, it's not about fighting with everyone. My priority was the girls. That's not silence."

post a comment

Special Offer
Link Your Marie Claire Account to Facebook

Marie Claire already has an account with this email address. Link your account to use Facebook to sign in to Marie Claire. To insure we protect your account, please fill in your password below.

Forgot Password?

Thanks for Joining

Your information has been saved and an account has been created for you giving you full access to everything marieclaire.com and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your username and/or password or complete your profile, click here.

Your accounts are now linked

You now have full access to everything Marie Claire and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your settings or profile, click here.