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What is a tree hugger?

Published: Thursday, February 09, 2012 by: Drew

tree huggerFollowing along the lines of Jeff Foxworthy’s dialog of “You might be a redneck if”, well this is how we say it here at the Green Blog.  “You might be a Tree Hugger if”.

Someone in the past 9 days has called you a “Greenie”, “Green Freak”, “Dirty Hippy” or “Crunchy”…

You wear bell bottoms, call yourself a hippy, especially like the fact that you have never harmed anything living and you have a massive garden growing in your backyard enough to supply the local Wal-Mart…

You have been called one of the following shades of green “Bright Green”, “Light Green” or “Dark Green” as if it was the color of your skin…

I have heard the term many times in the past and I had a general idea of what the world perceives a tree hugger to be, but never really explored it too much beyond the general idea of someone who is going green in their ways.  It wasn’t until I was speaking over the phone to a potential partner organization for the reGives Network that I was confronted with the term head on.   So I decided to do a little research to find out.  

The term Tree Huggers is actually a derogatory term to most people who value the idea that we all should work toward preserving the resources that we have on this planet, especially our trees.  On the other hand, despite being called a Tree Hugger, some people still take pride in the term.   It also has taken on a number of different forms depending on who you ask.  Some people believe that a tree hugger is in general someone who takes environmentalism to the extreme, regardless if you are talking about preserving trees, recycling, reuse, water conservation, pollution, reduction of landfills or another environment related topic.

Let’s talk about being called “Light Green” or “Dark Green”.  Is that like being called a Tree Hugger?  Well it’s a bit different but it could be one in the same. Let me explain.   The difference between a dark green and a light green comes mainly down to how much impact these people want to have outside of their own lifestyle.  Light Greens actually believe the way forward is through new technology, better designs for living and social innovation and what’s more important to note is that they believe it’s a personal lifestyle choice.   Dark Green people actually believe the same thing, it’s just that they want other people to believe what they believe to be true by pushing Washington and other organizations to do something about this mess the human race is creating and to overthrow wasteful capitalism.  It’s very similar to people’s take on religion.  Some people have just made a lifestyle choice for them to follow a particular religion and they don’t really care what the next person thinks about their choice, whereas there are other people who want the world to follow them in their steps because they believe it’s a better way. 

None the less, I think we can all agree that some form of going green in your lifestyle could be a good thing for you and certainly it’s going to be a good thing for those around you.  Come join us in the Tree Hugger waters, it’s not that bad in here.




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