What does it mean to be an eco-citizen?

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Be a environmentally responsible citizen it is important, no doubt. In fact, being an eco-citizen means exactly that, having environmental responsibility and fulfilling it on a daily basis within our role as citizens.

It is easy to understand, but the concept remains meaningless if we want to make it serve as an orientation to be so. Although it is highly interpretable, providing content with the fulfillment of this responsibility goes beyond the merely subjective.

Citizens or better earthlings?

On the one hand, concrete aspects that includes the concept are especially related to the concept of citizenship. A great little detail that fills it with practical meaning.

To be an eco-citizen, we have to understand the concept of citizenship. In effect, the concept of citizenship refers us to a sum of individuals who have in common their condition as people who live together in a context of modernity. Let us remember here that being a citizen is linked to a historical reality inherited from the French Revolution or, if you like, from the emancipation of the bourgeoisie.

Precisely that bourgeoisie that takes power and ends up leading to the current rebellion of the masses that Ortega y Gasset defined so well, is a social actor. Yes, it is true that vested interests, large multinationals And, finally, the current socio-economic model translates into many obstacles, but it is also true that the citizen is an entity that has acquired an unprecedented importance at a historical level.

Being a responsible citizen in caring for the environment, an eco-citizen, therefore, translates into being a universal concept. The term does not refer so much to the place where you live, but to that globality in which we currently live immersed. Beyond belonging to a neighborhood, municipality, city, region or country, we are citizens.

Rather, it is a concept that unites us and makes us equal. Since we are all citizens of a place called the world, as the famous slogan says, being eco-responsible is also a common duty. In this sense, perhaps it would be more appropriate call ourselves "earthlings".

An ethical duty

On the one hand, it is a duty with a part of moral obligation and another of respect for environmental regulations of a very different type, with which we can more or less agree, either actively or passively.

In fact, the obligations that the laws impose on us at the environmental level are few. Clearly insufficient for ecologists, environmental experts and conscientious people.

In the same way, on a moral level, harming the environment or the health of people or animals also has a negligible social condemnation most of the time. Again, critical voices condemn this laxity and cry to heaven.

At the individual level, no we can excuse ourselves in laws nor in morals that we do not share. We are each accountable to ourselves. Being an eco-citizen means having an active role in specific issues. Go beyond the duties that are collectively required of us.

How can I take action?

The objective is defend, respect and help the planet through actions that for the most part have become routine. An internalization that, in turn, responds to a desire to leave future generations a planet as healthy as possible.

Awareness, on the one hand, comes from the conviction that the environment is our home. Since there is no other planet than this, and we are part of it, the only way to save ourselves is by acting individually or by being part of an organization, the so-called NGOs. Here and now, without delegating to political representatives, which leave much to be desired.

Since human life and ecosystems are intimately linked for good and bad (the preservation and destruction of ecosystems), our daily actions are those steps that are making the way as we walk.

A path that seeks solutions through eco citizenship, adding grain to grain and also pressuring the public powers to act in this regard.

Being an eco-citizen is something very modern today. Both by the concept of citizenship itself and by the tendency in favor of ecology, both universal ideas established in the world in which we live.

In addition to being a very current concept, it also has a key practical side. In fact, its practical aspect is what explains its importance. Its reason for being and the reason why it is such a versatile and applicable idea.


If we want to be eco-citizens, we orient our actions to the maintenance of natural sources and, finally, to sustainability. Adopting an eco-citizen behavior, therefore, translates into endless daily acts.

This green engine should drive us to be more responsible in the consumption of water and energy, especially when they come from non-renewable and / or polluting sources. Both for the sustainability of the planet at an environmental level and to prevent global warming from advancing and, with it, the devastating effects of climate change.

Any eco friendly gesture will most likely be eco caring behavior. But not only at the domestic level, but transcending both this and the merely personal. In this regard, eco-citizenship is closely related to that leading by example that ecology so badly needs to go to more and, with it, to stop going to less the planet.

If you want to read more articles similar to What does it mean to be an eco-citizen?, we recommend that you enter our Environmental Health category.

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