The evolution of an “Environmentalist” – Part 2

Continued from Part 1

So, as I declared my major in Environmental Economics, I became a Consumer Activist, even though I had no more money than every other starving college student. What this meant was that I started shopping at Wild Oats/Whole Foods Markets, buying organic food, cooking less meat, and thinking long and hard about purchases of new items. The idea is that when we buy products that we believe in, that are good for the environment and society, even though they may be more expensive, we’ll create a demand for those products, and eventually the supply will increase, the price will go down and more people will be able to afford the healthier items. AKA voting with my dollars, putting my money where my mouth is. I was out to save the world with shopping.

After college, I moved to California, got a job in fundraising, then as an office manager, then fundraising again and now as an executive assistant. You can read about these experiences in a previous post.

During the 2004 presidential election, I realized, along with many other people, that more than just environmentalists had a problem with communicating their issues in a way that could be heard. All liberals and liberal issues tended to have this trouble. I read Don’t think of an Elephant by George Lakoff and went to the Spiritual Activism conference in Berkeley. I began to see that a more integrated, thoughtful and inclusive approach to all of our issues was needed.

Around this time, the controversial essay Death of Environmentalism by Michael Shellenberger and Ted Norhaus was released. Shortly thereafter, Adam Werbach gave his speech Is Environmentalism Dead? at the Commonwealth Club. He concluded it was and I agreed, so I didn’t pay it much attention.

I’m paying attention now.

Next up…The Birth of Blue…

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