Bros Can Be Environmentalists, Too

If there’s one thing all humans should give a shit about, it’s taking care of the planet we live on. Without it, we’re all dead (unless Elon Musk comes through on that whole Mars thing).


And yet not everyone is pulling their weight to keep this place habitable. It brings me no pleasure to report this, but men are kinda trash.

A group of social scientists writing in Scientific American late last year argued that based on their research, men view environmentalism as too feminine and that to make men less trash, environmentalism needs to be bro’d up. They recommended using dark colors on tote bags, logos with bold fonts, and howling wolves to make being green feel like a manly thing.

Which, sure, great. I already have a great collection of tote bags for my groceries, but would definitely love one with Three Wolf Moon so send it on over.

But it’s not just any guys letting the rest of the world down nor will sick totes bags solve the problem alone. My fellow white American dudes are the worst of the worst. They care the least about the environment and conservative white men have the highest rates of climate denial in the world.

There are dudes who care about the planet (what up), and while gender roles don’t explain everything about who is and isn’t an environmentalist, they almost certainly play some role. Changing attitudes and the underlying factors that drive toxic masculinity are perhaps the biggest things we can do to also get everyone on the same page and working to keep the planet from turning into more of a dumpster fire.

And while we work on that whole equality thing, it’s also important to remember plenty of things that are good for the environment are also manly like not showering (OK, that’s just gross), riding a bike to work, or doing woodwork with reclaimed barn wood. Just don’t forget to seal it with tung oil or another non-toxic finish.


Managing editor at Earther, writing about climate change, environmental justice, and, occasionally, my cat.



I think the research missed an opportunity to do deeper dive into the topic. I would believe that rather than just say males are bad at the environment for reason X or Y, they needed to explore the reasons why males that live in rural, suburban and urban areas have different levels of environmentalism rigor.