Being ecologically friendly has become a more common virtue instead of the purview of socialist hippies. However, it is important to know your Green Personality to better facilitate the ways you will naturally be more green. Because we’re talking about human personality, I think they can best be summed up by four types and no more.
Any chance you have to buy something is a chance to prove your commitment to the environment. Packaging on any product should have no fewer than three of the following: a cheerful green leaf, the recycling symbol, the declaration that the product is free of something, a symbol stating that the product is organic, the words “pure,” “local,” “natural,” “vegan,” or “raw,” the homey names of the company owners, or undyed brown paper that is not necessarily post-consumer. When friends enter your home, they will see that you only choose the best gluten-free, natural, glycerin hand soap and that you have eschewed the cotton towels you already have for new eco-friendly, sustainably-sourced bamboo towels. You will invest thousands of dollars to save a few bucks on heating and cooling each year. In the warm glow of your retail therapy, you know you’re doing your bit to save the earth.
Technically, your passion for reducing and reusing is environmentally friendly. However, the waste you fear most is anything that could be called a financial waste. You don’t spring for disposable plates and cutlery, choosing instead to bring your own flatware and silverware from home to company potlucks, counting it all carefully before letting coworkers leave. You compost because paying for dirt, even really good dirt, is morally reprehensible. You tap into your inner Ebenezer Scrooge, and inhabit a cold, dark domicile in the winter and a sweltering, dark domicile in the summer. You’re the kind of person who sends ecards from the public library to save on both postage and internet service. You clean your countertops, floor, and hair with generic baking soda and vinegar. You have the means to do otherwise, but, to you, frivolous spending on things like branded toothpaste is anathema.
The Social Activist
Being green isn’t just about what you’re doing to reduce your impact on the earth, it’s about sharing what you’re doing with everyone. Of course, sharing is about fostering community and raising consciousness, but it’s also about showing people your sweet DIY project through the right Instagram filter. You don’t need to show how you ended up gluing your fingers together or the tens of failed DIY projects you threw out, though. You start hashtags for your community’s toxic waste disposal day, your friend’s composting toilet, Arbor Day, and whatever chemical is found to be particularly bad lately. While you know you’re creating more of an atmosphere of eco-friendliness instead of a revolution, you take comfort in your 800+ green friends, especially when you see that clueless receptionist throw out yet another perfectly recyclable soda can.
The best thing about being green is being away from people – far away. You’re off the grid using rain barrels and a windmill in the middle of nowhere. You see more coyotes than family members, and that is perfect. You make your own bread, cheese, sausage, clothes, and soap. You don’t own a car because that would indicate your desire to be somewhere with enough people to necessitate paved roads. You don’t even own a mirror; you have no desire to see another person, even yourself. You look out over the rugged landscape, devoid of trash cans, traffic, and air pollution, and feel a sense of serenity in knowing that this is how the earth was meant to be: barren of humans and their shitty civilizations.