Brandalyn Bickner grew up convinced she would become the mother of 13 children. Raised in a Catholic family in Wauconda, a suburb of Chicago in the US state of Illinois, Bickner nurtured this vision through Catholic middle and high school; even after university she still figured she’d have a large family, though her ambitions had grown more modest – perhaps just four or five kids.
Then, at 23, she joined the Peace Corps in Malawi, and began seeing reasons to revise her plan.
“In Malawi for four years, I got to see quite a bit of the impacts of climate change on a country that is largely subsistence farmers,” says Bickner. She saw up close how changing weather patterns increasingly dictated whether or not her neighbours and friends would be able to eat – and she found herself feeling guilty over America’s carbon-intensive way of life. “I wanted to support policies that will help, but also wanted to see what I could do on a personal level.”
Read full story on: BBC