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Greens Farms Academy is a PreK-12, coed school in Westport, CT

Lucy Biggers ’08: Activist, Environmentalist, Journalist

Lucy Biggers

Lucy Biggers’ life was forever changed in Stockholm, Sweden, standing outside of Swedish Parliament, interviewing a 16-year-old. This moment catapulted her into success.

Before she was known as a viral sensation, Biggers began schooling at Greens Farms Academy in sixth grade. Immediately she didn’t hesitate to take advantage of a wide variety of what the school had to offer, including the Harbor Blues, serving as President of the Improv Club, and captain of the girl’s soccer team. Biggers jokes that she’s forever grateful for how GFA encouraged her to pursue her passions, “no matter how random they may have seemed at the time.”

 “[GFA] didn’t put me in a box,” Biggers explained. “I tried anything I wanted and more. They empowered me. I did it because I wanted to do it, and I never had to worry about being labeled.”

It was on GFA’s campus that Biggers found that passion for both climate issues and for history — setting the foundation for her now-booming career. “It’s funny looking back,” she said. “I took courses like AP Environmental Science and AP Biology, and it was my first real introduction to the climate crisis. I found it interesting but I didn’t revisit the subject until so many years later.”

Post-commencement, Biggers took New Orleans by storm, double majoring in History and Political Science at Tulane University. Immediately after, she entered the then-unknown world of television and entertainment, following in her mother’s footsteps. She interned at a local news station, WDSU, and eventually moved smack-dab in the middle of Mississippi to another local station, where she credits all of her on-camera, production and journalistic experience. After two years, she seized the opportunity of a lifetime — to work for NowThis, a fast-growing media company based out of New York City, which continues to have the “social media viral video” movement down to a science.

At NowThis, Biggers currently works as a Sustainability Producer. “I started covering the environment when I started working here, simply because I always found it so interesting. There are so many different trends and companies who are doing new things,” she said. “From there, it became my beat!”

While she has spent the last four years at the company, gaining incredible experience and learning constantly, the past year forever changed her course. Biggers was asked to host a new series, named One Small Step, focusing solely on addressing the climate crisis, sustainability, and environmental issues she cared so much about. Biggers said the offer was surreal, “It was so unexpected, but from following my passions and what I was interested in, this amazing series came to life.”

Biggers always considered herself an environmental activist in many ways, but it’s her passion for telling the stories of like-minded advocates that catapulted her into opportunity. “There’s always been a blurred line for me between the protestor and the producer,” she said. “I cover these topics, but I really believe in the cause of protecting our planet and in a lot of my coverage, it comes through that I’m actually sympathetic. Protests where a lot of the mainstream media won’t even be there to cover it... I’m in it.” 

After several months of reaching out and pitching stories, opportunity struck when she was asked to fly to Stockholm, Sweden to interview the viral sensation Greta Thunberg — a 16-year-old activist who has ignited a global, youth-led, environmental movement. Thunberg gained national attention and praise at just 15-years-old when she skipped class to protest in front of the Swedish Parliament to raise awareness about climate change. 

Lucy Biggers, Greta Thunberg

Lucy Biggers and Greta Thunberg

“We met her outside the Swedish Parliament, where she now holds a weekly Friday protest. [Thunberg is] such a professional — she had five different press events lined up that day and interviews with outlets like BBC Australia,” Biggers said. “She was all business. Media can be such an important part of getting your message out there. It’s really cool to see such a young person have such a huge grasp on the bigger picture.”

To prepare for what could be her potentially career-defining interview, Biggers watched every single speech of Thunberg’s. “I really wanted to go into this interview and understand her perspective,” she said. “We’re both young and from the same generation — she didn’t need to convince me that climate change is real. I think it immediately put us both on this level of understanding of one another. That was our hook.”

Biggers’ interview was a viral sensation and to-date, has over 500,000 views.

Lucy Biggers and U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Lucy Biggers and United States
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Interviews like these continue to inspire Biggers to be more environmentally aware and to personally reduce her carbon footprint. She has since begun composting, minimalizing in every way possible, and says she is thrilled to be an alum of a green campus.

The field of journalism has taken her many places and she says it is in these opportunities where she has learned the most. “I’ve met so many people from different backgrounds and gotten so much access to pursue what interests me,” she said.

“It’s such an exciting time to go into journalism and media because you’re so empowered to take that first step and create your own content,” Biggers explained. “You have a phone, sitting in your hand with a way better camera than I had in upper school. You can post something in under 30 seconds. There are a million things you can do and create.”

It’s this exact phenomenon that has made Biggers an internet sensation. “If you cover things you care about, you’ll do a better job because you’ll want to spend the time going deeper,” she explained. “I’m creating and storytelling as much as I’m covering, and always trying to leave people with something that’s meaningful to them.”

If Biggers could leave one piece of advice to current students, it’s not to compare paths and to collaborate as much as possible. She said further, “Look at where you are presently and act on that place instead of trying to emulate somebody who isn’t you.” 

“Look at what’s around you — what can you work with right now? Do you have a friend who likes to write, and you like to do videos? What can you make together?”

Biggers is currently living in New York City, with her newlywed husband, Sam, and visits Connecticut often to see her seven best friends and GFA classmates. She continues to host One Small Step at NowThis, sharing environmental advice (on her Instagram @lucybiggers and website, traveling extensively, learning and following her passion, as far as that will take her.