A Guide to Becoming a Tree Hugger

Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)
Why be a tree hugger? Because, you get to eat granola, miss a shower or two and wear vegan shoes! Well actually there is more to being a tree hugger than that. The phrase tree hugger is usually thought of as an extreme environmentalist who dresses like a hippie. However, a little tree hugger attitude can go a long way if you want to reduce your carbon footprint. So, if you are looking for ways to become a tree hugger there are a couple of basic rules that to follow. You can start by trading in your gas guzzling SUV for a hybrid, spend your free time hiking, lay off the animal products and be sure to always have an emergency stash of granola handy. After you have the basics down you can upgrade to vegan clothes and the ability to identify tree species. Maybe you cannot commit to the total make over yet, but at least be sure to recycle and carpool when possible. Having some appreciation for nature and making sustainable choices will help trees, animals, and humans.

Follow these resources to learn more about the tree hugger way of life:

Recycling Basics

Recycling Basics
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) describes the basics of recycling, including the benefits and steps of getting waste back household pantries without harming trees or the air we all breathe.
7 Surprising Ways to Recycle Plastic
Organic Gardening shares an article that offers seven surprising ways to recycle plastic. In fact, these ideas may blow the average tree huggers’ mind.
10 Things in Your Fridge You Can Reuse or Recycle
Earth911 shares an article that will have tree huggers digging through their fridge for recyclables.
Recycling Facts and Stats
Read this fact sheet as motivation for recycling ordinary stuff around the house to save a tree.
Save Trees by Making Your Own Recycled Paper (PDF)
Take tree hugging one step further by making your own recycled paper.

Electric and Hybrid Cars

Benefits and Considerations of Electricity as a Vehicle Fuel
The United States Department of Energy addresses the personal and environmental advantages of owning an electric or hybrid car. Stop suffocating your friends with nasty carbon emissions and purchase one of these nifty bad boys.
About Owning a Hybrid or Electric Car
What tree loving hippie still drives a gas guzzler? No excuses exist anymore. The National Geographic explains the benefits of owning a hybrid or electric car.
How Hybrid Cars Work
HowStuffWorks explains the engineering behind hybrid cars, which run solely off an energy storage device. Ride with confidence knowing that simply going to work will help save a tree.

Ready, Set, Hike

Hiking 101
The Washington Trails Association shares a basic introduction to hiking for the blossoming tree hugger.
Hiking Resources
The American Hiking Society provides multiple resources for the avid hiker who loves to get out into the wild, including general information on preparation, outdoor skills, gear, first-aid tips, and trails.
Trails.com: Find a Trail
Trails.com offers a vast database of trails found throughout North American, even for those interested in other sporting activities. This essential resource will have the die-hard tree hugger salivating for trails full of “sappy” like-minded people.
Get Ready to Hike!
The National Wildlife Federation provides these tips for parents who want get their kids’ into the tree hugging spirit.
Hiking Tips: Hike Smart (PDF)
The United States National Park Service stresses the importance of hiking safely to avoid getting side-swapped by a tree branch looking for revenge on those who have devastated its territory.

Vegan and Vegetarian Recipes

Vegan and Vegetarian Recipes
The Vegetarian Resource Group provides a helpful list of recipes for plant-based diet enthusiasts.
3ABN Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes
The Three Angels Broadcasting Network provides their collection of delicious vegetarian and vegan recipes.
Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes Around the World
The International Vegetarian Union (IVU) shares roughly 3,099 vegan and vegetarian recipes from around the world.
Vegan Action: Recipes
An organization dedicated to advocating, educating, and living a vegan lifestyle. It shares these delicious recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack-time in between.
The Why’s and How’s of Vegetarian Eating: Foods and Recipes
TryVeg offers a wide database of how-to tutorials and recipes for a successful transition to a vegetarian lifestyle.

Granola Recipes

PBS Food: Fast and Easy Granola
The Public Broadcasting System (PBS) shares a granola recipe that any tree hugging hippie would love to enjoy.
WHFoods: Granola with Fresh Fruit
The Worlds Healthiest Foods provides an easy granola recipe along with its nutritional profile.
Groovy Recipes That Are So Granola
Eve Turow of National Public Radio shares her funky granola recipes straight from her very own kitchen.

Animal Friendly Lifestyle

Find Endangered Species
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service shares a list of endangered species within the country. Take advantage of volunteer opportunities to prevent the extinction of these wonderful animals.
The Wildlife Conservation Society
Wild men know how to save wildlife and wild places. Take the conservation challenge at the Wildlife Conservation Society to have a wild time.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
Calling all tree-hugging vigilantes: join the PETA to help curb animal abuse in domestic homes and multiple industries.
50 Ways to Save Animals
Save the forest and save the animals. Use these fifty unique ideas to help animals who have lost their homes due to deforestation and other environmental destruction.
Save the Animals Foundation
Volunteer at this organization to save animals. Adopt a furry friend at this no-kill shelter.

Name that Tree

What Tree Is It?
The Ohio Public Library Information Network offers a tree identification guide that will help tree huggers identify their specimen by leaf, fruit, and name. Spend hours sifting through the amazing varieties of trees and go buy one for your backyard!
Tree and Shrub Information Guide (PDF)
Print, grab a camera, and head to the outdoors to find the trees listed on this color-coded chart. Prepare to gaze in awe at the towering splendor.
Arbor Day Foundation: Tree Guide
Enroll as a member at the Arbor Day Foundation to start planting, nurturing, and celebrating trees. This tree guide will help you select the right tree for the right location at the right time.

Now do your homework: Green Reading List

Sara Snow: “Fresh Living” and more
Sara Snow has authored several eco-friendly books that help transition to green living.
Jonathan Meritt: “Green Like God: Unlocking the Divine Plan for Our Planet”
Jonathan Meritt explains a different perspective on green living while advocating sound ways to transition for those who do not share the same religious beliefs.
Nancy Sleeth: “Go Green, Save Green.”
Nancy Sleeth divulges her easy-to-implement steps towards green living.
Carleen Madigan: “The Backyard Homestead”
Carleen Madigan explains how to produce all of the food a family needs with just a quarter acre of land.
Raleigh Briggs: “Make Your Place: Affordable and Sustainable Nesting Skills”
A how-to manual for converting factory homes to affordable sustainable nests.
Crissy Trask: “It’s Easy Being Green: A Handbook for Earth-Friendly Living”
A green-living handbook that offers a variety of social changes that can be made without major sacrifice.
Michael Bower: “The Consumer’s Guide to Effective Environmental Choices” (PDF)
A consumer’s guide to make smart choices that will not impact the environment in a negative way.
Grist Magazine: “Wake Up and Smell the Planet”
A unique perspective on green-living that may leave you thinking.
Josh Dorfman: “The Lazy Environmentalist”
A motivation guide for those too lazy to make changes in their life, or may find themselves doing it too slowly.
Annie-Berthold Bond: “Clean and Green”
A book that shows how to clean the house without toxic substances.
Goodreads: Popular Green Eco Friendly Books
An extensive collection of green eco-friendly books for those interested in the lifestyle.

Other Popular Articles on Tree Removal

Guide to Tree Conservation and the Environment
Plant a Tree and Celebrate Earth Day!
Tree Identification Guide


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