How to Become an Environmentalist

One Methods:Becoming a Radical Activist

Becoming an environmentalist is fun and fulfilling. There are many ways in which the Earth needs your help, so find one that suits your skills and passions. Environmentalism is not a religion - it is a passionate understanding of how the world works and how human beings are preventing nature from working the way that it should by our activities. Be knowledgeable about how the world works and the exact ways in which human activities are interfering so that you can present sensible explanations.


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    Do your research and discover your passion. There are a seemingly unlimited number of interconnected environmental issues out there for you to tackle. Through environmental activism, you can help protect endangered species, clean up pollution, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, encourage conscious usage of resources, help the shift toward renewable energy, restore native landscapes, protect the rainforest, promote sustainable dietary habits, reduce landfill waste, establish recycling programs, or any number of other good deeds. Find out what calls to you. In particular, look for environmental issues in your local region and groups you can get involved in.
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    Consider your talents. There are a variety of ways to be a committed environmentalist, each of which caters to different sets of talents. Are you a people person? Consider becoming a docent and leading nature walks at your local park. Or perhaps you're an introverted writer? You might prefer writing letters to congresspeople about your issues of concern from the comfort of your own home. Can you play the banjo, bake banana bread, paint faces, or juggle? Volunteer at a local Earth Day fair or environmental fundraiser. Just about any skill can be used to contribute to environmental awareness campaigns.
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    Be knowledgeable. Read books and magazines and visit websites about nature's beauty or environmental science. Take as many notes as you can. Figure out what your favorite animal or plant is. A good place to start is National Geographic.
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    Contact important environmentalists. Certain people have become leaders in the environmentalist community and serve as figureheads for other environmentalists. Write or email people famous for being environmentalists, such as Jane Goodall or Jeff Corwin, about any questions you may have. Different environmentalists will have different areas of expertise - for instance, Jane Goodall is an expert on primate society, while Jeff Corwin is a good choice if you want to know more about a certain animal.
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    Go outside to a local park or wildlife sanctuary. Environmentalists have an appreciation for natural beauty. Try to foster this appreciation with activities that allow you to experience this beauty first hand. At the park or sanctuary, spot wildlife and take notes on their behavior, size, population, etc. Talk to the people who work there about them. Keep a notebook of activities.
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    Pick up litter. Litter is everywhere. It can be found on roadsides, at big outdoor events, and in busy places, such as gas stations. Litter sullies the planet's natural beauty and can even harm and kill wildlife. Help keep our home and environment clean by picking litter up and disposing of it properly. Left on the ground, litter may eventually end up in the ocean or in an animal's stomach.
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    Attract new members with fun events. Environmentalist movements are most successful when they are socially active and community-centered. You might, for instance, make an endangered animal club at your school, organize an Earth Day rally, or teach a workshop on composting. To make the biggest difference you can, get out there and start making allies!

Becoming a Radical Activist

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    Research radical environmental activism. Warriors for environmental justice must keep their most important weapon - their mind - as sharp as possible to be effective activists. Activists may need to debate supporters of industrial capitalism and/or sway undecided moderates, both of which will require convincing knowledge and persuasive rhetoric. Try to read environmentalist publications and stay abreast of relevant news so that you're knowledgeable and well-informed when it counts.
    • For starters, try to read books such as Endgame by Derrick Jensen to familiarize yourself with why industrial society itself, rather than individual consumer choices, is the root of most environmental problems. Once you've read books like this and wish to proceed to more radical material, you can move on to books that actually lay out a strategy for dismantling key parts of industrial infrastructure (such as refineries, interstates, electrical infrastructure). One great example of this kind of book is Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet. For extreme environmentalists, some select U.S. military strategy manuals, such as Counterinsurgency, can help illuminate the methods by which the capitalist system will attempt to defend itself from radical environmentalist movements.
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    Share your ideas. The goal of an activist is not to change modern industrial society on his or her own, but to build wide grassroots support for serious, radical reform. To begin, try sharing your new stance with your friends and family. See what they think about doing whatever it takes to save the planet and gauge whether or not they would be willing to make sacrifices to preserve the planet that gives them the air, water, and food they need to survive. If so, you have found your first supporters.
    • Next, you might try attending local political forums, street fairs, and the like to share your ideas with a larger audience. Be prepared for resistance - not everyone will share your love for mother nature.
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    Organize a political movement. Once you've managed to recruit supporters and have formed a core group of dedicated activists, identify people and/or agencies that are facilitating the greatest amount of ecological destruction on a local level. Once these points have been identified, decide amongst your group how best to stop these things from happening - you might try planning protests, gathering signatures for a petition, or a more radical solution.
    • If you can, directly lobbying politicians may be the most effective way to enact environmental change. The capitalist system encourages politicians to give disproportionate attention to their financial backers at the expense of the larger community and the planet as a whole. Leading a targeted lobbying effort aimed at those in power or, better yet, financially backing a politician with sympathetic environmental beliefs, can be a way to confront the forces of industrial capitalism on their own playing field.
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    Be persistent. If you haven't had immediate success recruiting a group of committed environmentalists to help you with the struggle against the industrial economy, do not fear. It will take time, patience, and hard work to gain enough solid supporters to start to enact change. The struggle against global industry lasts as long as it takes to end the exploitation and pollution carried out against the planet Earth every day.
    • Environmentalist literature can be a recruiting tool and a morale-booster for already-committed environmentalists. Hold discussion groups to review the material in books like Deep Green Resistance and Endgame. Screen resistance-oriented films such as End:Civ or The Wind that Shakes the Barley to grow the spirit of resistance in viewers. Pass out educational flyers that show that industrial civilization is the root of environmental destruction. If you have the time, resources, and energy, you might even want to organize a speaking tour to educate people about being a real environmentalist.


  • Start the awareness from home with your family and then encourage friends and your community.
  • Put on plastic gloves when picking up litter.
  • Stay safe! Go places with a buddy.
  • If you're starting a club, only invite people that you know would be interested in ecology.


  • Always be alert. A lot of things could harm you in the woods. Be ecosystem friendly.
  • Be friendly. Some people become overly bossy when they become environmentalists. Don't let this happen to you. For example, if you see someone littering or not recycling, remind them gently, not bossily.
  • Do not pet any wildlife! Some of them might have rabies or other diseases.
  • Do NOT do any "direct action" activities at all. See Operation Backfire article. It states that the FBI has begun action against "Eco-terrorists" and that the law enforcement operation is still active. They'll even have an agent pose as an Environmental activist as part of a [ Scam, Re.:Sting Operation, examples of sting operations in the Sting.
  • Don't pester or feed animals.

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Categories: Environmental Awareness