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Leilani Münter
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Leilani Münter is biology graduate turned professional race car driver and
environmental activist. Discovery's Planet Green named Leilani the #1 Eco
Athlete in the world. She is a recipient of ELLE Magazine's 2012 Genius
Award and Sports Illustrated named her one of the top ten female race car
drivers in the world.

Leilani holds a bachelor's degree in Biology specializing in Ecology, Behavior and Evolution from the University of California San Diego. Since 2007, Leilani has been adopting an acre of rainforest for every race she runs. She is politically active and has made several trips to Capitol Hill to speak with members of Congress on behalf of clean energy legislation. Leilani is an almost lifelong vegetarian and was one of the first activists to arrive at the 2010 Gulf oil disaster. She’s been to Taiji, Japan three times to document the dolphin slaughter depicted in the Academy Award winning documentary "The Cove."

Leilani races in ARCA, a development league of NASCAR. She is the fourth woman in history to race in the Indy Pro Series, the development league of IndyCar. She set the record for the highest finish for a female driver in the history of the Texas Motor Speedway when she finished fourth in 2006. Her accomplishments have landed her on the pages of USA Today, Italian Vogue, The New York Times, Washington Post, Reader's Digest, Esquire, Newsweek and a national ad campaign for Lucky Brand Jeans. Her tagline read "Leilani Münter, Saving Rainforests One Race at a Time." Glamour Magazine named her an "Eco Hero."

With family ties in the music community – her brother-in-law is Grateful Dead guitarist and singer Bob Weir – Leilani's motto is "Never underestimate a vegetarian hippie chick with a race car." She documents her efforts to go green on her eco site http://carbonfreegirl.com.

Entries by Leilani Münter

The Loneliest Frog in the World

(46) Comments | Posted October 7, 2014 | 3:23 PM

Every morning when Mark Mandica opens the door, he feels a pit in his stomach. He knows that today could be the day that he discovers the last Rabbs' Fringe-limbed tree frog has passed away. When that day comes, his species will be extinct forever - another in a long...

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It's On: Oil Versus Electric

(16) Comments | Posted December 13, 2013 | 6:42 PM

Something suspicious is going on in the media coverage of car fires this year. Three Tesla Model S cars caught on fire this year, all due to high-speed impacts. Not a single person was hurt. By comparison, the U.S.A. has had more than 250,000 gasoline car fires in the past...

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King Abdullah: Let The Women Drive

(2) Comments | Posted October 24, 2013 | 12:32 PM

Imagine what your world would be like if, simply because of your gender, you were not allowed to drive a car. Every day, you would have to rely on a male driver to take you anywhere you need to go - school, work, the grocery store. You must spend money...

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Why We Need to Fight for Tesla

(524) Comments | Posted May 23, 2013 | 4:47 PM

I spent last weekend driving a Tesla Model S from Washington DC to Atlantic City and back. Never before in my life have I driven a car that has started so many conversations. People were gathering around the car as it was parked at the supercharging station in Delaware. "Is...

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Like Taiji's Cove, Daytona Breaks My Heart -- Again

(2) Comments | Posted March 15, 2012 | 4:58 PM

I haven't been able to write about my experience at Daytona this year yet, even though my race was almost a month ago. I think I needed time to heal. Daytona has not been kind to me. My first trip to the historic track was in 2001, the day Dale...

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Why We Race: Reflections From a Driver After Dan Wheldon's Death

(7) Comments | Posted October 19, 2011 | 3:17 PM

In the wake of the recent tragedy in which the racing world lost one of our champions, IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon, my inbox has been flooded with messages from people I know personally -- as well as others I don't -- asking me to reconsider ever setting foot...

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The Cove Continues: Diary From Taiji

(0) Comments | Posted September 14, 2011 | 10:08 PM

I am happy to report another day of peace at the cove. No blood was shed in these waters today. In fact, since Sept 7, the day they slaughtered the first pod of Risso's dolphins -- there has been no killing. They did capture of a large pod of bottlenose...

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A Look Inside the Taiji Slaughterhouse

(10) Comments | Posted October 15, 2010 | 1:49 PM

I am currently in the little town with the really big secret: Taiji, Japan, made famous by the Academy Award winning documentary The Cove . I am here as a volunteer for Save Japan Dolphins and Earth Island Institute. This is my second trip here since the killing season began...

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What Do Veterans and Race-Car Drivers Have in Common?

(0) Comments | Posted September 30, 2010 | 7:36 AM

As a race-car driver and a veteran of the Iraq War, it may seem like we do not have a lot in common... but we have found a mission that we need to work together on. Each day we are disturbed to watch as more than $1 billion is sent...

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Blood Still Flows at The Cove

(3) Comments | Posted August 26, 2010 | 5:03 AM

There are many recorded incidents of dolphins saving human lives throughout history. This Saturday, I am going to Japan to try to return the favor.

A little over a year ago while traveling, I ordered a movie called The Cove in a hotel room. Since...

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Pro Athletes Visit Oil Spill, Say "No More Drill Baby, Drill"

(9) Comments | Posted July 23, 2010 | 12:39 PM

I am back home from my second trip to Louisiana since the oil spill. This time I was joined by other professional athletes to take a tour of the massive environmental catastrophe that is the Gulf oil disaster. Having been there before, I can tell you from experience that until...

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Thirteen Dolphins Ready, Waiting to Go Free

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2010 | 12:41 PM

With dead dolphins washing up on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, wouldn't it be great if you knew you could help save a few? Thirteen, to be exact.

If you have seen the Oscar winning documentary The Cove then you already understand the direct connection between dolphin...

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This Is Our Clean Energy Wake Up Call. Will We Answer?

(8) Comments | Posted May 24, 2010 | 1:09 PM

After spending a week in Venice, Louisiana getting an up close view of the BP gulf coast oil spill disaster, talking with locals whose livelihoods are over, and seeing dead wildlife, I am trying my best to look at the positive side. Keep in mind that I just got off...

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My Race to Save the Planet

(3) Comments | Posted August 11, 2008 | 2:16 PM

The latest issue of ESPN the Magazine describes me as "an oxymoron: a tree hugging race car driver." I am an avid environmentalist -- I have a degree in biology, I am a former volunteer of a wildlife rehabilitation center and a long time vegetarian. I recently became politically active...

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