Remember when "environmentalist" meant… recycling?
It's not so simple anymore. Being an environmentalist today calls for a whole new level of greener thinking—from what you choose at the grocery store to how you commute to work every day.
So check out these tips from Nature Conservancy staff and leading environment bloggers on how to make personal, science-based choices to help save the planet. Then tell us your ideas for becoming an everyday environmentalist!
Food and Health
Use Reusable Coffee Mugs
"Bring your own reusable coffee mug every time you buy coffee by the cup."
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"Smaller, local breweries offer a number of eco-advantages to the consumer."
"Which would you rather do: Give up your car or give up eating meat?"
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Jonathon D. Colman
"Life is too precious to drink unsustainable coffee."
"Only put on your skin ingredients that you'd be able to eat as well."
"There aren't enough native shellfish doing the important things they're great at."
"There's almost always an alternative food that is more sustainable, local or organic."
"A shared car can take approximately 17 personally owned vehicles off the road."
"It feels good to pick up my carryout and fuel at the same place."
Haley A. Wilhite
"My personal mission has been to clean-up litter wherever I can."
"We were determined to figure out how to continue commuting by bike."
"Your boots can unwittingly transport invasive plants and disease organisms."
"Take energy-efficient compact light bulbs on trips and give them out."
Leigh Ann Evans
"If you don’t consume something in the first place, you reduce the impact in two places: production and disposal."
"Before you toss out that box, jar, container or bag, think about how you can reuse it."
"One person's closet is definitely another person's treasure."
"In the interest of not spending my kid’s college fund on good-smelling beauty products, I became conscious of the quantity of products I use."
"Switching to paperless bills is one of the easiest ways to green your lifestyle."
"It's a brave new economy, and it's 100-percent resource-free."
"Few of us know the origin of the forest products we purchase."
"The best part is: It's pretty easy to do."
Office & School
"Be as environmentally minded at work as you are at home."
"Nothing on Earth breaks down traditional plastic."
"Computer geeks can now contribute to climate change solutions."
“Small steps can lead to large environmental benefits, and you’ll be able to go home and brag about how you’ve become so responsible.”
"Any energy saved is good for the environment."
"Substitute electronically mediated meetings for face-to-face ones."
"We’ve all heard about reducing our carbon footprint — but what about our pets’ pawprint?"
Yard and Garden
"In most suburbs and even some cities, it's easy to raise chickens."
"The real cost of moving firewood is a lot higher than you might suspect."
"Think of species diversity as a way to hedge your ecological bets."
"Using plants adapted to your climate means less watering, pesticides and fertilizers."
"This great little science project never fails to amaze me."
"Honey bee colonies continue to die out — so give a home to a wild orchard mason bee."
"I didn't realize just how significant the difference was."