Environmental Citizenship

n. 1: an idea that we are an intregral part of our environment. 2: recognition that our future depends on how we care for our ecosystems. 3: a sense of responsibility that leads to action on behalf of the environment.

Environmental Citizenship is an idea that each of us is an integral part of a larger ecosystem and that our future depends on each one of us embracing the challenge and acting responsibly and positively toward our environment. It's about making changes in our daily lives to be environmental citizens all day, every day.

The idea of environmental citizenship was first developed by Environment Canada. It is now spreading around the world. It is an idea similar to and compatible with environmental stewardship in the Christian, Islam, and Judaic traditions, but is not committed to or associated with any particular religious or cultural tradition.


Citizenship and ethics are one. Ethics is from the standpoint of the individual. Citizenship is from the standpoint of the group. The moral character of an ethical person is the same set of characteristics or virtues needed to be a good citizen.

 Aldo Leopold:

. . . a land ethic changes the role of Homo sapiensfrom conqueror of the land-community to plain member and citizen of it. It implies respect for his fellow-members, and also respect for the community as such.

 Mark Sagoff:

We are citizens, not just consumers. Our environment requires citizen preferences, not just consumer preferences. As citizens, we need to protect nature, not just buy, sell, and consume it. It has a dignity, not just a price.

Links to Environmental Citizenship Sites


CEP - January 30, 2001