An environmentalist will typically make efforts that contribute toward environmental goals or work for businesses and organizations that further environmental efforts toward conservation of natural resources. Within the context of promoting environmental goals, there are a wide array of potential jobs and efforts that someone can have or put forth. An environmentalist working at a large corporation might make efforts to promote environmental efforts that also save the company money, ensuring greater likelihood of acceptance of such ideas, while someone working with an environmental organization might distribute informative fliers or protest the destruction of a natural park or body of water.
While many people may label themselves as environmentalists, a professional environmentalist is typically someone who works professionally in a way that furthers the various goals of environmental preservation and conservation. Someone with these attitudes and goals could simply recycle materials he or she uses, reduce the amount of energy or water he or she consumes, and reuse various household objects rather than disposing of them. While these would all help promote environmental causes, they are not necessarily the same as what someone working professionally in an environmental career would do.
A professional environmentalist would likely work for a private company or an environmentally oriented organization, or as an individual activist. Corporate environmentalists may initially seem like something of an oxymoron, considering the view of many environmentalists toward major corporations. This type of environmentalist will typically work for a large company or corporation and look for ways to reduce that company’s impact on the environment. He or she could work with various departments in a company to reduce paperwork and convert systems to digital storage and mail, find ways to reduce pollution created by manufacturing plants, and work to utilize space for offices in a way that does not negatively impact the environment.
An environmentalist could also work for an environmental group and take a daily role in promoting environmental awareness. This can involve anything from distributing leaflets and flyers to pedestrians, to writing up press statements or organizing concerts to raise awareness about a particular issue. An environmentalist working within an organization might also help arrange a protest or appear on news programs to spread the message of his or her organization to others.
Lone environmentalists can also work in ways similar to a professional environmentalist within an environmental group. These individuals can also take somewhat more extreme measures, however, such as sabotaging construction equipment involved in deforestation and trying to stop whalers through direct interference. While these people may produce noticeable results, they often work in ways that are illegal and so may be viewed negatively by others working to spread an environmental message that is more moderate in tone.