I was talking with Greg Marshall on WKMT radio about green living and retail issues the other morning. At one point I mentioned I was a “rabid environmentalist”. When he came back from his commercial break he replied that he did not see me that way.

He went on to say that in his mind a rabid environmentalist was a long haired person who would chain themselves to a tree to save the tree. He jokingly claimed they were a bit stoned, or out of touch with reality in their thinking. I took it a bit further to mean that a rabid environmentalist is an activist and goes to great lengths to make a point.

Based on that conversation I've realized I'm not rabid. I clearly do not have long hair! I do not chain myself to things, or live in tree canopies, to make my point.

I am passionate (and strive to share that passion with you). I'm dedicated. I walk my talk. I study, research and learn as I go. I'm not afraid to say I'm wrong about an issue I took a stance on. I'm not willing to chain myself to a tree, spotted owl, or whale. I'm not even willing to go to jail for my convictions (so far nothing has been that important, anyway).

Walking my talk means I do as many things as I can to be green and environmentally sensitive. I tackle as many areas of action as I can, not just one or two, like:

  • water conservation
  • energy conservation
  • waste reduction
  • reducing my use of chemicals
  • eating locally sourced foods
  • pre-cycling
  • use of low VOC products

I've also thought about saving endangered species. I'm of two minds on the topic (does that come from being a Libra and having balanced ideas?): Plants and animals go extinct all the time, and always have, so why sweat over the natural cycle; human activity is speeding the demise of species, not part of the natural cycle and something to be concerned about.

It seems to me that plants and animals that disappear through natural cycles represent survival of the fittest, or demise of the unfit. And it further seems to me that if humans exacerbate that cycle, killing off species which time was not typically here, that we are detracting from life on the planet in ways that hurts us beyond our comprehension.

So, while I'm not going to defend endangered species in radical ways, I will continue to speak for their protection and excuse caution. It's not so much the planet I'm concerned about, it's the people on the planet I worry for.

I'm going to now call myself a Sensible Environmentalist.