What does an environmentalist look like? If you’re reaching for stereotypes, an environmentalist looks “crunchy,” the type who wraps their wild hair in a dingy bandana and stomps around in old Birkenstocks, a steel water bottle clattering around in the burlap bag on their shoulder.
Of course, it’s not as simple as all that. Environmentalists are young and old, male and female, self-identified hippies and credentialed scientists. They don’t all rock organic cotton T-shirts, either — in fact, some wear starched black habits.
Nuns have increasingly become champions of the natural world, and that doesn’t just mean adding solar panels to their convents. They’re working with conservationists to save the endangered Lake Pátzcuaro salamander. They’re holding prayer vigils outside landfills. And when energy companies announce pipeline plans, they’re building makeshift chapels right in their paths.