You might say I’m a born environmentalist. Growing up in a Navy family, we moved every couple of years, and our moves were always from one coast to the other (coasts being where Navy bases tend to be found). Mom & Dad turned our cross-country moves by car into extended field trips; we’d camp at national parks, national monuments, state parks. We were taught to respect wildlife and nature but never fear it. By learning and adhering to basic rules of safe and respectful conduct (same as you would if you were visiting someone else’s country, city, or neighborhood), we were freed up to enjoy being out in nature.
From the deserts to the Grand Canyon to the Appalachians to the beaches of both coasts, I have seen so much raw unfiltered beauty from an early age that I don’t enjoy being in artificially lit, climate-controlled indoor spaces, and I find it excruciatingly painful to witness our daily casual violence against nature, such as our psychotic landscaping practices or our obscene explosion of single-use plastic junk.
I don’t protect the environment out of a sense of duty; I protect it out of love. That makes it easier for me to practice self-restraint (limit consumption of resources): The fact that I’m helping to protect something I love.
What about you — What got you into caring about the environment? And does your concern stem from early childhood experiences, or from something more recent?