How To Tell If You Are A Hard Core Greenie

Many of my posts lately have been analysing the differences I see around me and how different it is to the way I now perceive our society.  However, one of the things I haven’t done of late is to analyse myself.  Now, those who have met me would say that I am fairly hard core green, if you know what I mean.  This blog is a testament to the green changes I have managed to achieve in such a small space and time.  It is all about small changes in behaviour that add up to a big impact.

So, how do you spot a hard core greenie or tree-hugger?  Well I did some thinking on the way home and came up with a list!

1. You know the intricate details of every green issue.
There isn’t a single environmental issue or piece of environmental legislation that has escaped your grasp.  From NGERS to the CPRS (now defunct), you have read them all. You know a little more than just, say, that climate change is a bad thing. You can describe the process of the greenhouse effect and can count carbon emissions using the National Greenhouse Factors book.  In fact, you took a course on how to count carbon emissions!

2. You’re an active member of environmental organisations or green community groups
You take an active role in the environmental protection of your community and beyond, by protesting the destruction of forest land, planting trees where they previously have been destroyed, and love educating others about the perils of abusing the environment.  Extra hard core points for starting your own group!

3. You’ve boycotted businesses that have harmed the Planet
You stopped buying food made by Nestle because of their use of unsustainable palm oil and deforestation.  You shudder when you have to buy petrol from BP, and think of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico when you see their logo.  When you open your pantry, there are more eco-labels than plain ones, all fully researched to ensure that there is no greenwash in their marketing.  You even wipe your bum with recycled toilet paper as your own personal protest about Gunns and old growth forests!

4. You keep it natural when it comes to food and clothing
When you open your pantry or fridge, all that stares back at you are whole foods bought in bulk.  Processed foods rarely touch your lips, and a fair proportion of your food comes from your garden.  You rarely eat meat and if you do it is ethically raised and slaughtered. You aren’t a stranger to hemp, and wear clothes made from the fiber.  Organic cotton also features heavily in your wardrobe.  Hands up those of you with hemp socks and undies?

5. Your home is entirely eco-friendly
Your home is equipped with all kinds of eco-friendly upgrades, like low energy appliances and light bulbs, dual-flush toilets, low-flow showerheads and perhaps solar panels and solar hot water. You use your air conditioner and heater sparingly, and they’ve never been on full-blast. You ensure that your home doesn’t waste any energy, and its CO2 footprint is minuscule compared to others around you.  Extra hard core points for owning a PowerMate or similar device to measure individual appliance consumption!

6. Your rubbish bin has never once held a glass, food waste, plastic or aluminium
You have four bins stationed in your kitchen, and each one holds nothing more than its designated material – Recyclable materials, Compost, Worm Farm, and landfill with the latter being almost empty.  You are 100% consistent when it comes to recycling all items, so absolutely no exceptions are made when guests are over. All of your friends know that when they’re in your home, they better put their waste in the right bins- or else.

7. You recycle for other people
When out and about, you stop to pick up recyclable materials in the street, and become incensed when people aren’t properly utilizing public recycling bins.  Your work colleagues think you are a fruit loop when you sort their rubbish for them because it is just too farking hard to put that can in the co-mingled recycling bin.  You ask your neighbours for their lawn clippings for your chickens and compost bins!

8. You own a hybrid vehicle (if you own a vehicle)
If you own a vehicle, you own a hybrid vehicle. And it might be adorned with a variety of bumper stickers that advertise your greenie style personal beliefs. The rear of your car tells people to “Think Green” and “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” In short, you fit the stereotype of hybrid drivers.  When not in your hybrid, you walk or ride your bike and take public transport everywhere else!

9. You abhor energy wastage
From Four-wheel drives to friends who run their air conditioners on full-blast, you can’t help but shun the energy guzzling arseholes who seem to have little regard for the environment. Perhaps you’ve even lost friends or made enemies because of such lifestyle differences. You just can’t fathom their ignorance pertinent to such an important issue.

10. Walk Against Warming is one of your favourite events
You attend eco-events and protests any chance you get so that you can set an example to others, and so they know that you understand and care about our home, the Earth.   In fact any eco-fair is just a wonderful place to be.  It is the perfect place to meet other like minded people, spreading the message of environmental responsibility, our effect upon our world and doing your bit to lower your environmental footprint – things greenies or tree-huggers care about.

So what do you think?  Have I missed any (besides cheese or soap making), or have I described all of you, and/or myself, down to a tee?


  1. says

    Hi Gavin
    A good post.
    On the clothing thing,for the last 3 years I have only bought second hand (except underwear and boots)
    As well as growing food, I forage and hunt/fish locally (taking breeding season etc into account) and I feel that this helps put one “back into the landscape” and really re-connect.
    I have also started making baskets from “waste” afrter coming across the work of Lois Walpole ( and they make great gifts etc.

  2. says

    Oh, good list :-)

    But I’ll add some:

    You choose to be vegetarian, eat meat rarely, or prefer your own animals for consumption.

    There ain’t enough of us doing this! Our hens are (hopefully) bringing up a “next gen” of chickies as we speak, and then my not-so-great layers will be getting the CHOP and going to friends for the pot. Ditto for our lambs.

    You eat seasonally, locally, and low on the food chain. Local is just the start. Eating seasonally and low on the food chain complete the trio :-)

    You favour public transport. PT wins out over individual car, almost always :-)

    You avoid overly packaged foods. And you boycott companies that refuse to package appropriately.

    You share skills, learn from others, encourage the Creative Commons, and understand that there’s more to life than making a Quick Buck. Sharing knowledge freely is the best way to re-skill our communities. Do it freely, and do it often! :-)

    You’ve chosen to limit your family size. You understand that population is a BIG issue, the elephant in the room. And you believe the buck stops with you, and your own responsibility to limit family size.

    You care about the underprivileged. On the flip side, you understand that the best way to reduce world population is to help provide good health, nutrition, and education to the developing world, and you give generously when you can :)

    That’ll do for my addition…I could go on.

    But in the end, as Captain Planet might say, The Power Is Yours! 😀

  3. says

    1 word…amazing! You are amazing :) I like this article so much. It shows how passionate you are of what you are doing. I believe that you should be a role model to most of us. thanks for this again.

  4. keeping it real says

    Committed yes, hard-core? No.

    You’ve done a lot of good things Gavin but here are some real “hard-core” green activities by way of comparison.

    1. Serious protests Make a real personal protest against Gunns by chaining yourself to a tree (or living in one for a month) instead of just using recycled toilet paper. Alternatively spend a couple of months chasing Japanese whalers around the Antarctic or similar.

    2. Get off the grid for good Sure pumping solar power back into the national grid is good, but you could also disconnect yourself from the water supply/sewerage treatment system and do it yourself on site.

    3. Work for a green co-op/organisation The pay probably isn’t great, but that shouldn’t matter to a “hard-core greenie”.

    4. Ditch the car altogether This will save you from breaking your boycott when you “shudder when you have (?!) to buy petrol from BP”. Plus all the bumper stickers in the world won’t counteract the emissions from a hybrid.

    You’re doing alright, but don’t kid yourself that there aren’t more things to be done.


  5. Anonymous says

    I beg to differ, Gav, on the clothes and car. I prefer not to buy stuff to save the planet’s resources, but when I do I purchase second-hand if at all possible. There is already so much crap lying around unused! We rent in a fairly affluent area and the amount of new stuff people give to the local op-shops is astounding.

    Re the car, we have an old clunker that runs well and is used sparingly, and a hybrid would put us in debt which we simply won’t do. The train station is across the road, and we can walk to almost everything needful.

    No 9 made me laugh – so true. :)


  6. says

    Good article, but I do have one point – having lived, for over 10 years, in a place where it is regularly below -30 C in winter, and often below -40 C, not having your heater on full blast simply isn’t an option :)

    Of course, air conditioners weren’t required in the summers there!

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