I claim to be green but what I realize is that I am only one type of green. There are different types of green people that I have come into contact with, so let me attempt to break it out for you.

Un-Green: These are the people that don’t care to go green. They won’t recycle and have no desire to learn about the energy alternatives and definitely are resistant to change. They may be aware about what they could do, but really don’t plan to change their lifestyle anytime soon. These are the ones that you don’t need to bother, just let them be.

Eco-Wannabe: This one has a desire to become green and starts to learn about ways to do it. They have not actually done anything, but they talk about it how much they want to do it. They may express resistance, such as lack of curbside recycling, or vent the challenges. They may never reach the next level, but they sure can’t stop talking about going green. My suggestion: shut up and just do it!

Random-Recycler: The name defines it all, whereas this person does recycle occasionally and sporadically. It just depends what is going on in their life. They recycle some items, but not every single bottle. For example, if a recycling bin is not available at the park, they will just choose to throw it away. They may or may not practice other green activities.

Hybrid-Hippie: The Hybrid-Hippie is active in the basics, such as recycling and waste reduction. They may venture into backyard composting and/or saving energy and water. Their heart is in it, but they don’t do everything green. They may still drive an SUV (because its paid for), use Styrofoam and randomly recycle. They live life halfway-green, but they do care about the earth.

Borderline-TreeHugger: This person is very close to becoming a real TreeHugger, but they still aren’t there. They compost, save water/energy at home and are conscious of their eco-footprint. They have very dedicated recycling habits, almost to the point of annoyance with friends. They are the ones that bring the recycling bin to the cookouts and keep their empty bottles until they find a recycling center. However, some of the choices are close to being green, but not every single one is the final green decision.

Extreme Greeners: The Extreme Greener is a fully involved activist and has dove right into the green lifestyle. They live their lives totally green from organic shopping to the CFL switchout. They may drive a Prius or even bike to work, while at the same time they ban Styrofoam, plastic bags and excess garbage from their lives. They watch their packaging and think about everything green in a proactive approach. Extreme Greeners believe that recycling is just basic kid stuff. They probably have watched all the environmental films and are addicted to Planet Green and all green websites.

Which one are you? I consider myself a Borderline-TreeHugger – I do nag my friends about recycling and I am also known to some as the “trash queen” or the silly recycling girl.

the author

Originally from Virginia, Jennifer C. Sellers is passionate about sustainability and conservation in South Carolina and throughout the world. She earned her BA in English from Coastal Carolina University and her MAS in Environmental Policy and Management from the University of Denver. She is a university sustainability coordinator that implements programs and teaches people about going green and being sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @MyGreenGlasses

2 Readers Commented

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  1. dpal on June 27, 2008

    So…. you never said which one YOU were…

  2. Jennifer on June 27, 2008

    Read the “About Me” section ;)

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