What does it really mean to be an environmentalist?
We didn’t really think about it when we started this blog, but a Twitter follower @thegalonthego posed an interesting question to us: “I read on your blog that you are ‘not environmentalists’ and wonder what’s the distinction?” For such a simple question, we stammered for an answer. What is an environmentalist, really? What does it mean to be an environmentalist? Are we in fact environmentalists? These were the questions we were left asking ourselves.
Prior to the challenge, we both had very different understandings of what an environmentalist was. Our answers really speak to our different personalities.
What is an environmentalist?
Mrs. GGCs pre-challenge conception was that an environmentalist was was a barefoot, hippie dippie treehugger.
Mr. GGCs pre-challenge conception was that an environmentalist was someone with a professional science background who publishes in scientific journals.
You can see based on our preconceptions why we wouldn’t call ourselves environmentalists.
In reality though, the definition is much simpler.
The dictionary definition is :
- An expert on environmental problems.
- Any person who advocates or works to protect the air, water, animals, plants, and other natural resources from pollution or its effects.
What Does It Mean To Be An Environmentalist?
If you recycle, you are an environmentalist. If you are a vegetarian, you are an environmentalist. If you buy products not test on animals, you are an environmentalist. If you eat one less meat dish a week with the planet in mind, you are an environmentalist. In reality, if you care about leaving this world in a better condition than you found it, you are an environmentalist.
People might be scared to call themselves environmentalists because they are afraid of the negative connotations of being called a “tree hugger” or a “granola” (who thought that would ever be a derogatory term).
Nowhere in the definition does the word hippie ever appear. Nor does the word treehugger, or granola appear (seriously – granola)!
We need to change the perception of the word environmentalist.
The way we change the meaning of the word environmentalist is to accept it, to wear it as a badge of honor, and to own it. Being an environmentalist is not a Scarlett letter anymore. More than half of the U.S. believes climate change is real and that it is man-made. If more than half of a group believes something, that’s a majority people!
Are The GGC Environmentalists?
If you met us, you would never call us “tree huggers” or “granola”, or even a environmentalists. We are normal people with normal lives just like all of you. But you know what?
WE ARE ENVIRONMENTALISTS!! We care about the environment, hence the blog. We recycle, are vegetarian, and buy palm oil free products. And the purpose of this blog was to learn more about how we can help the environment, definitely something an environmentalist does. What’s more, we started this blog to inspire others to live a greener life; to show people how easy it is to help the environment. Encouraging others to care about the environment – that’s a true hallmark of an environmentalist.
We only have one earth, and it has to last. Being an environmentalist means being a shepherd of the earth for future generations. Are you a shepherd?