In the most basic form, environmentalists focus more of their life with conscious thoughts on the world around them. This effects all aspects of life, from what things they buy to what types of cars they drive. While most people would buy things on what’s cheapest and tastes best in terms of food, an environmentalist would probably think about the carbon footprint, how many miles that food product traveled to get to the grocery store, how many trees were cut down for the packaging and how the packaging will break down over time. This of course is a generalization, but it’s just some of the ways an environmentalist differs from other people.
In theory, environmentalists live their lives in such a way as to minimize their negative impact on the world. This can manifest in many, many forms. Some may refuse to eat meat, for example, because a lot of deforestation occurs to raise cattle. Some may make efforts to communicate with others the importance of sustainable energy. Some may limit the number of children they have to reduce overpopulation risks. However, “environmentalism” isn’t necessarily designed as a moral system; it isn’t meant to provide the same decision-making framework as, say, utilitarianism. The term “environmentalism”, rather, describes a broad philosophy and social movement, with the uniting goals of conversation and finding a way to improve the state of the environment.
Typically, environmentalists are simply advocates for the preservation of the earth. They are more conscious and practice things such as recycling, carbon emissions, and other sustainability like actions more so than those who do not consider themselves environmentalists.
This ties in with that thread about whether Americans are “too lazy to be sustainable.” Its true that environmentalism isn’t meant to be a moral code, just a personal set of beliefs about how an individual should live and interact with the natural world (you can see how it can easily become a moral code).
Think of environmentalism the same way you think of…feminism. For the individual, it governs their daily life to some extent, and environmentalist attitudes help an individual make informed decisions about their greater participation in society and the world.
This is a huge topic, I’ve obviously come at it from a very personal perspective.
First of all, they think differently from other people — that’s where the seed of the difference lies. Environmentalists care about and are aware of the environment and are concerned about the things that threaten it, and in their lifestyle and actions do their best to reduce their ecological footprint and ensure that they are not harming the environment. They also look for ways to help it and in some cases, involve the community in the pursuit of this lifestyle and measures to protect the environment.
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