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!!!
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!
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.