I suppose I'm an environmentalist, although I prefer the term conservationist. I recycle. I freecycle. I look for products with less packaging. I don't put my two avacados or one lemon in a little plastic bag at the grocery. I represent a company that produces environmentally friendly products and I use them myself. I belong to a natural food co-op. I pay extra for my license plate to support the IDNR. I groan with my daughter when I see yet another patch of trees completely obliterated for another strip mall.
But I'm not the kind of political environmentalist that thinks you should be forced to be like me.
I'm not in favor of government telling some guy that he has to leave the trees on his privately owned land. I'm not going to try to pass laws to make you re- or free- cycle. I'm not even going to try to force you to use cleaning products that don't have nasty things in them, even though the ones I use are better, safer, and less expensive.
I'm also not tree worshipper, although there is one particular big sycamore that I've been known to hug.
I've always seen conservationism as an issue of stewardship.This view is wonderfully articulated in a great post about Christian environmentalism at The Burr in the Burgh. I would like to quote from it, but I won't because I want you to read the whole thing. He also refers to an article from this month's World Magazine by Gene Edward Veith.