Advanced search

to think that "environmentalists" should actually care about the environment??

(40 Posts)
LewesHamilton Fri 15-Mar-19 10:23:43

We have a new, very vocal anti-plastic group in our town. They post on FB to tell everyone about cutting down on plastic, have given radio and newspaper interviews as "environmentalists", hold events about reducing plastic and tell local shops to stop serving things in plastic. All of which is fine, who doesn't want less plastic in the ocean of course. BUT - a couple of the most vocal members live near me so I see them driving to the gym even though it is literally 800m away, they talk about their many holidays (by air, not train) on FB, live in big houses that must cost a bomb to heat and are under-occupied as they don't want to downsize, multiple cars parked on drives. AIBU to think that they are picking the easiest option to salve their consciences?? Up to this point, all the people I know who call themselves environmentalists are also no-car, small living, not consumerist mentality, wouldn't fly on holiday, vegetarian or vegan.

What really annoyed me was when the group started telling people to shop at a new shop 8 miles away because it lets you serve yourself out of bulk bins - ignoring the fact that they are all driving there in their cars to get a few items, then driving to the supermarkets as well.

DH says at least they are taking the first step. I say they are hypocrites and should stop lecturing people who actually take the bigger, less convenient/fun steps to help the environment!

TheHolySmirk Fri 15-Mar-19 10:27:45

Well perhaps you should post on Facebook to tell them how much beetter you are at saving the world.

That'll surely encourage loads more people to start with one small step. hmm

DianaPrincessOfThemyscira Fri 15-Mar-19 10:30:01

I agree. I absolutely hate all these social media warriors who are so quick to point out what other people need to be doing while keeping quiet about their own hypocrisy.

RockyFlintstone Fri 15-Mar-19 10:33:57

YANBU, I know a few people like this: several cars, drive everywhere, multiple long haul holidays, always buying 'stuff' and are always posting on FB about climate change and plastic in the sea, and how switching to bar soap instead of shower gel is a really good way to save plastic. I find it really hypocritical.

Look at the celebs, especially Hollywood stars. Talking about climate change in Oscar speeches, how we must all do more blah blah blah, when their own carbon footprint, what with all the constant flying they must do, the resources needed to make any big budget film, their massive houses, multiple cars, is probably way bigger than the plebs they are preaching to.

cantbearsed1 Fri 15-Mar-19 10:34:58

I have mixed feelings. I can see your point, but then again we all have to start somewhere. Otherwise, people feel like they can't do anything.
Every little bit really does help.

sackrifice Fri 15-Mar-19 10:35:54

I call them:
Ego-warriors or Eco-tists.

Or wankers.

LewesHamilton Fri 15-Mar-19 10:37:01

Yes it is the hypocrisy that annoys me, I think thats the thing. If people quietly got on with their own business no one would bat an eye but by being so out there and vocal, they almost invite people to look closer at what they are and aren't doing. And driving to buy some expensive rolled oats that you can put into your own packaging isn't going to save the environment.

MIdgebabe Fri 15-Mar-19 10:42:59

I must admit that the current focus on plastic, whilst good in itself, is rather missing the bigger problem of climate change which seems to be caused by things like agriculture, transport and building heating/cooling not plastic. People focussing on what they can see and what they can signal to others ( look at my reusable cup) not what will really help save the planet

So a bit less beef and diary, a little more trains and walking, get a jumper and vest on before the heating, please. No one can be perfect, we all have an impact,.

WarpedGalaxy Fri 15-Mar-19 12:08:59

If people quietly got on with their own business...the irony.

You don’t have to like these people but at least they are doing something no matter how small. It all adds up. If they live in big houses chances are those houses are better equipped with more energy efficient heating systems, better insulated etc. Their big cars are more likely newer models with again lower emissions and better fuel economy.

I mean, sure they could go live in a tent in a field, grow their own veggies, collect rainwater in a barrel, only ever buy secondhand clothing, knit their own lentils etc, walk everywhere but so could everyone of us including you OP.

What they’re doing is not enough so they shouldn’t be talking about it, but the problem here is very few of us are doing everything we absolutely could are we and yet we talk about what we do. Maybe you’re doing more than they are but there are those who are doing more than you are that could say you’re a hypocrite for talking about your contributions to environmentalism because you don’t do more.

teyem Fri 15-Mar-19 12:15:22

I'd be desperate to ask them what their holiday plans are for this year.

cantbearsed1 Fri 15-Mar-19 12:21:08

Plastic is a massive problem. Yes there is also a massive issue with climate change. But plastic has been found in the deepest oceans.

WarpedGalaxy Fri 15-Mar-19 12:28:11

Again, teyem, if you tell me you’re living as close to nature as possible and reducing your carbon footprint to the barest toe smudge I’d be tempted to ask you why you have an electronic device with which you are able to post to the internet. Have you any idea how much environmental damage is caused by the production and usage of cellphones, tablets, computers, tvs etc?

We need to quit telling people they aren’t doing everything they can when we’re not doing everything we can.

teyem Fri 15-Mar-19 12:31:52

Yes but with some disposable cash you can adopt non-plastic options and shine your eco halo, no sweat. But it's a bit rich to make out that other people should up their game too.

Now, if their environmentalism was of some inconvenience to them - if they'd also swapped their international flights for a tent in the Lakes, then I'd be more inclined to listen instead of cynically thinking that they were just doing the minimum effective dose to call themselves environmentalists.

kennelmaid Fri 15-Mar-19 12:32:46

I've just got a copy of Viva!'s report "Envirocidal - How Livestock Farming is Killing the Planet". Fascinating, frightening, informative and inspires you to action, all at the same time.

cantbearsed1 Fri 15-Mar-19 12:35:01

I would rather people do a bit to improve things, than feel there is no point doing anything.

teyem Fri 15-Mar-19 12:38:42

I have three kids, I take international flights, we have a car, a van and we all eat meat. I do avoid as much plastic as we can but it would be a joke if I started preaching about making environmentally sound decisions based on, well, my first sentence.

Ali1cedowntherabbithole Fri 15-Mar-19 12:50:34

Ah, environmental activists asking other people to make the sacrifices for them.

Total respect.

JustTwoMoreSecs Fri 15-Mar-19 12:53:50

My work colleagues are like this, boasting about the small efforts they are making (fine) and openly criticising/shaming the ones who don’t (not fine).
I wind them up from time to time by saying actually I am the most eco-friendly here, why?? they ask indignantly, well because my household doesn’t own a car and only uses public transport.
Very good to make changes, but funny how the ones that are vocal about it are making easy changes (recycling, re-usable cups? etc) but refuse to make the changes that matter 100x more: no more cars, no more plane rides, etc

Moanymoaner123 Fri 15-Mar-19 13:03:08

Environmentalism and other worthy causes seem to be pushed on everyone by the wealthy who don't have real life things to worry about, and are blind to their hypocrisy. It's all an affectation to salve their guilt, I'm certainly not going to be lectured on the environment by someone who flys regularly and drives unnecessarily. I have a few acquaintances who spout all this shite and endlessly post on social media about their latest worthy cause while flying out to Bali/India/Africa multiple times a year for jollies and some pictures for their Instagram of them clutching impoverished brown children. I do a lot to try and reduce my impact on the planet, more than most people I know other than my organic farmer friend, but I don't feel the need to tell all and sundry about it to make myself look good.

user1480880826 Fri 15-Mar-19 13:13:09

It annoys me too. They are massive hypocrites. Plastic food packaging is nothing compared to the damage done by long haul flights and driving everywhere. Plastic is an easy thing to get people on board with because the photos are so shocking - turtles with plastic straws stuck up their noses, whales cut open with plastic bags spewing out of their stomachs. It’s all very headline grabbing. But it’s not the number one issue facing this planet. Global warming is a real and imminent danger and most of us do nothing to address it save recycling a few things each week.

I hope the next generation are far more responsible and vocal than we are.

WarpedGalaxy Fri 15-Mar-19 13:25:02

teyem the point you’re overlooking is that it’s not hypocritical of these people to advocate for less use of plastics unless they themselves are still using plastics. If they were lobbying against taking longhaul flights on vacation while blithely jetting away to the Caribbean then they’d be hypocrites. It has to start somewhere for everyone; sniping at people for taking baby steps and telling them they should be running marathons isn’t conducive to getting them onside.

OliviaBenson Fri 15-Mar-19 13:25:02

I know what you mean but then it's surely better than them not doing anything at all....

One of the biggest environmental effects is having children......that goes down like a lead balloon though.

The planet is basically fucked.

teyem Fri 15-Mar-19 13:27:00

I didn't say their behaviour was hypocritical, I said that their behaviour represented the very easiest and convenient way to wave an environmental flag.

FlossieTeacakesFurCoat18 Fri 15-Mar-19 13:58:10

I would absolutely post what you've said on the fb page. Not in an accusatory way, just "Hey don't forget all the other small ways we can help the environment, like walking instead of taking the car, and putting on another jumper instead of turning the heating up." If it's never occurred to them you'll be genuinely helping them in their quest for eco warrior status....

LewesHamilton Fri 15-Mar-19 13:59:50

Totally with you @teyem. And while I have no problem at all with people hating plastic and doing something about it, going public to preach to everyone as an "environmentalist" while taking zero other steps than reducing plastic just doesn't work for me.

@warpedgalaxy who's to say I'm not a eco-warrior? Well, I'd be the first to say actually...but we aren't rich enough to live in a house and can't afford to run a car so we're accidentally living a lower carbon lifestyle. Like thousands of others in the UK and around the world. Funny how the people with the larger lifestyles get a bit tetchy and roll out the "lower emission car(s) & house(s)" argument every time. But so long as you don't ever call yourself anything close to an environmentalist when you take your own coffee cup to Waitrose but take no further action, then I've no problem with you. Like I've said, it irks when people label themselves very incorrectly and take to FB and any other platform that will have them to tell us how amazing they are for not using clingfilm anymore.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »