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When did you first become interested in the environment?

Growing up in California gave Eleanor plenty of chances to observe sea life.

I grew up in northern California in a neighborhood where houses had solar panels to make their own electricity. The nearby streets only had one lane to encourage people to ride bikes instead of driving their cars. I always loved animals, and my mom and dad took us to places like Monterey and Big Sur, where we'd watch the sea lions. We'd go on camping trips to a dwarf pine forest and see how the local geology affected how the trees grew.

My sixth-grade teacher was my earliest inspiration. She showed films about animals and nature and took us on field trips. After one class trip to a veal-producing farm, I became a vegetarian. The main thing this teacher taught us was that we all make choices that affect the world around us.