BIOLOGY GRADUATE, BOARD OF OCEANIC PRESERVATION SOCIETY, CARBON FOOTPRINT, DISCOVERY CHANNEL, ECO ACTIVIST, ELECTRIC CARS, EXTINCTION, HIPPIE CHICK, HUFFINGTON POST, LEILANI MUNTER, RACE CAR DRIVER, RACING EXTINCTION, RAINFOREST, SOLAR, SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL, technology, TESLA, THE COVE, THE SOLUTIONS PROJECT, UNITED NATIONS, vegan
By Beth Doane & Kelly Gibbons, Features Editors
Mix one part biology graduate and one part race car driver, and the result? An environmental activist. In 2001, Leilani Munter began racing and three short years later caught the world’s attention when she set a new record, qualifying fourth at the Texas Motor Speedway.
Since 2006, Munter has taken advantage of her voice in the racing world to fight for environmental issues. In 2007, she became the first carbon neutral race car driver when she made the commitment to adopt an acre of rainforest for every race she runs to offset the carbon footprint of her own race car. She has continued this commitment ever since. Munter recently played a role in the new documentary, Racing Extinction, from the Oceanic Preservation Society. The film is from the team who produced The Cove, the most winning documentary in history— including the honor of receiving an Academy Award. Racing Extinction premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2015 to a standing ovation and rave reviews. In the film, a team of artists and activists expose the hidden world of extinction with never before seen images, which will change the way we see our entire planet and how we are treating it. Using covert tactics along with state of the art technology, the Racing Extinction team exposes issues we need to see to understand, while providing a powerful call to action. “If I could tell the world just a few changes we could all make to change the state of our planet it would be to go vegan, buy electric cars and go solar. These are things we can all strive to do in our daily lives,” states Munter.
Racing Extinction aired in 220 countries and territories in 45 languages on Discovery Channel in December 2015, and is now available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and DVD.
When Munter’s not racing, writing, featuring in award-winning, world changing documentaries, delivering key note speeches (80+ to date including speaking at the United Nations in Geneva in 2015), visiting the White House (she’s been three times), she is sitting on the Board of Oceanic Preservation Society, on the Board of Advisors of The Solutions Project, or is writing for the Huffington Post. Her next project is the launch of her vegan fashion line later this year. As she herself says, “Never underestimate the power of a vegan hippie chick with a race car.” Watching Munter blaze a trail as she raises awareness and inspires change around the world, we say that’s an understatement!