Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad opens up about climate strike, living sustainably

Nike(NEW YORK) — As global climate strike events take place globally this week, Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad sat down with ABC News’ Good Morning America to discuss the significance of this movement and how it has personally affected her lifestyle.

“I think that climate change has an impact on all of us,” says Muhammad. “Whether or not we like to acknowledge it. I think as athletes we’re more aware of it because it directly affects our training schedules, even as an indoor athlete.”

“As a fencer if I want to go running or if I want to do my plyometric workout outside, I have to consider things like smog living in LA or even heat index,” she continued.

In conjunction with her strong feelings on climate change, Muhammad has found ways to incorporate sustainable practices into her daily routine.

She admits, partnering with an organization such as Nike has made it more accessible for her to incorporate eco-friendly finds into her wardrobe.

“Well, I have all these cool, sustainable 720s, which I actually really like,” Muhammad says as she smiles and points to her sneakers.

In addition to the green footwear, she also practices daily habits such as using less plastic or buying larger containers of yogurt as opposed to smaller, individual ones.

“I always use reusable water bottles when I go to the gym,” she says. “I hate when people leave the water in a faucet running because I know that there are people within the walls of our own country who don’t have access to clean drinking water.”

Muhammad explains that many millennials and Gen Zers are approaching sustainability with a different mindset based on their upbringing.

“If I think about my nephew or my niece, they live in places that have banned plastic. You have to bring your own bags to the grocery store. Otherwise, you have to pay,” she said.

“Also they’re the generation of social media,” she adds. “They have real-time access to so much all the time. I think that’s their way of always feeling connected and always feeling a part of a movement just via hashtag, or a comment or a like.”

Muhammad plans to continue to advocate for more sustainable lifestyles. She started a charity named after her late sister, Brandilyn, which donates 100 percent of proceeds towards clean water to the people of Uganda.

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