This is simply a term for someone who does not act in an environmentally-friendly way. For example, an eco-sinner may waste energy, throw trash on the ground, or buy products without thinking of their environmental impact. The term was popularized by Fred Pearce’s book Confessions of an Eco-Sinner, where he investigates the environmental impact of the products and services we use every day in the Western world.
Daniel Quinn writes about Eco-sinners in his book, “Ishmael” — but he calls them Takers — a taker is one who takes something from the earth (consumes a resource) without concern for the impact his or her actions has on the rest of the planet/ species. Being an eco-sinner, in this sense, means that one does not care enough about others and the earth to live sustainably. We should avoid overconsuming more than one can replace. Leavers (all the rest of the animal species, from whence we came) are able to live in this way… still some humans out there living subsistence lifestyles are able to avoid being eco-sinners, and they would be classified as Leavers. An eco-sinner is one who harms without conscience, with reckless abandon and does not try to minimize one’s own environmental impact. Sadly, most of us do sin at times (in the eco-sense, but there need not be any distinction if we consider how an eco-sin in effect harms each and every member of the human family), but there is hope that in the future we will develop more sound ecological practices. There is hope that it will become easier to be more like a Leaver (and that more people will be aware of all they take, and therefore more thankful for what we have and more respectful, conserving and sharing of the limited resources we have).
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