Environmentalists: What are they? Am I one? Can I be one?

According to Merriam-Webster, environmentalism is advocacy of the preservation, restoration, or improvement of the natural environment; especially:  the movement to control pollution.

I am always up for advocating for those whose voices are not heard.  The Earth is a special case because she has been trying to warn us with rising temperatures, mass extinction, and increased infections/illnesses due to smog, but we are not listening!!!

tree-hugger

me hugging a very big tree

When someone says “environmentalism,” many people think about tree-huggers, “extreme” vegans, bicyclists who don’t shower, “hippies” who don’t shave, a crazy lady who yells at you for not recycling, and any other stereotype that may or may not be true about me.  It turns out plenty of people fit into those categories who aren’t concerned about environmentalism and plenty of environmentalists don’t fit into those categories!  You don’t have to be all (or any) of these people in order to start on your path to advocating for the natural environment.  Your path does not even have to be towards these descriptions!

 

tree-hugger

me hugging a not so big tree

Questions have circulated such as “Can you call yourself an environmentalist and still eat meat?” and “Can you call yourself an environmentalist if you have kids?”  I definitely think you can and I think you can do a lot of good!  I am not arguing that reducing meat consumption and population would not have a positive impact on the environment.  It definitely would, but that should not stop someone from having access to the environmentalism community.  There are so many more things we can do together such as recycle, take shorter showers, not buying fast fashion, reduce storm water runoff with bioswales, grow fresh food, reduce energy consumption, research renewable energy options, use reusable shopping bags, plant trees, and literally so much more!  You don’t have to do everything as long as you’re not doing nothing!

As an environmentalism community we should ask for change from each other and expect change from ourselves. We should advocate for a shift towards environmentally friendly actions, but also be welcoming and accessible to those who are not ready or even able to make big changes. Each positive action or reduction of negative actions add up!  No two environmentalists are the same so our goals may not be the same.  Regardless, we need to support each other!

Let me know your current goals below!  And let me know if you agree that meat-eating, children-having, car-driving, (anything else-doing) people are members of our community.

51 comments

  1. Great!

    The question of what it means to be an environmentalist also depends on the country and culture you find yourself in.

    When I did some research about orangutans in Indonesia, I found that their view of environmentalism is a blend of Islamic natural philosophy and indigenous paganism – wherein the things that you do to the “environment” is a reflection of how you treat Allah’s creations – and that manifest in the environment is a “spirit” or “power” that is divine (which is a remnant of their ethnic paganism, I think).

    It was a whole lot different from the approaches and beliefs of the other Asian countries I’ve worked in. Needless to say, they do all have one common theme. It’s a great subject to ponder on, really. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It definitely is subjective and cultural! This is what my experience, hopes, and opinions lead me to think!

      I did not know this about Indonesia! That is so interesting and I’d love to go there!

      Like

  2. I love your article so much, I can’t even tell you. It just makes me happy. My friends back home always think I’m weird because I do many of the things you mentioned above – but you don’t have to be a vegan or a lady shouting at people for not recycling to be an environmentalist 😉 You are so right!!! Your positive tone really encouraged me and I think so it does for other people. Keep up the good work and thanks for bringing a big smile to my face this morning xxx verena
    PS: Love the tree-hugging picture 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I love making people smile! I definitely think I can intimidate people because they think I’m doing sooo much, but literally every little thing helps!
      PS: Tree-hugging is my favorite activity and this is my favorite picture of me 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this! Every little step is a step in the right direction. “We should advocate for a shift towards environmentally friendly actions, but also be welcoming and accessible to those who are not ready or even able to make big changes.” …This pretty much sums it up for me. Excellent post! Looking forward to reading more of your blog. Greetings from Germany!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi there!
    I wanted to take a moment and stop by to read your work. Thank you for reading the Finding Who We Are post and for the follow! I hope that you were blessed by what you read.
    Environmentalism is a great cause and one that should be taken seriously. Thank you for the article. I look forward to reading more of your work! You definitely have a passion and zeal for this topic.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. great way of thinking. I really appreciate your views and ideas. Please keep it up. One of the main problem the people facing the south is the depletion/dilution of genetic resources for food and agriculture. The giant companies who are almost controlling the animal and plant seeds business are pressing the native genetic resources to dilute and later on replace.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Having children is bad for the environment? This is a new concept for me. Recycling, check. Driving less, check. Walking to errands, check. Planting veggies, check. Gardening, check. Teach my kids to care about the earth and nature, check. That will have to do for me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think that’s quite alright. It’s simply because each additional child will cause more demand for electricity, food, resources, etc. I personally plan on adopting because you give a kid a home who otherwise wouldn’t have one, don’t cause extra demand, and have a child! But I don’t think it’s for everyone! I’m glad you check off a lot of great things!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I have to admit, I have a hard time giving myself any official classification. I write, but I’m not a writer. I clean up my river, but I’m not an environmentalist. It is partly that I fear I don’t fit others’ definitions of these terms. It’s also that to accept such identifiers would be to pigeonhole myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like it even though definitions may be different, I like connecting with other runners (even if I’m slow) and other environmentalists (even though I drive a car). But I understand your point of view as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks so much for finding — and following — my blog. It’s always great meeting a new friend online, especially another Rebel (Hotty Toddy!). I’m fascinated by what you’ve written here and glad to see alma mater taking some positive steps toward protecting our earth-home. Best wishes for much success!

    Liked by 1 person

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