Can you be an environmentalist without being a hipster?

Last week I got accused of being a hipster. Apparently knitting is a sure sign of the hipster (possibly if I was actually a hipster I would have already known this).  So I started to run through the list of hipster cliches and a lot of them were things environmentally conscious people would do too. It used to be that you were labelled a hippie if you cared about the environment but now the big question seems to be can you be a greenie without being a hipster?

Are you a greenie or a hipster?After a bit of analysis, environmentalism seems to be a gateway into the hipster lifestyle. If you think one of your friends might be crossing the line from recreational environmentalism into hardcore hipster behaviour, here are some warning signs to look out for:

Op shopping

If you like your clothes second hand, you’re an environmentalist. If you call them vintage, you’re a hipster for sure.

Music preferences

If you’re buying vinyl you’re a hipster. There’s nothing environmentally friendly about pressing vinyl when you could just be downloading an mp3. If it’s second-hand vinyl you could claim to be both an environmentalist and a hipster.

Reading literature

Reading your Hemingway and Sartre on a tablet? You’re a hipster. Surprised? Slap on the wrist to early adopters everywhere. Endless consumption of the latest gadget, not environmentally friendly, no matter what spin Apple puts on it. Still borrowing from the library? Environmentalist. Of course in five years time reading paperback books will be retro, tablets will be mainstream and this will switch (see music preferences above).

Takeaway coffee preferences

If you use a KeepCup you’re an environmentalist. You also clearly drink lattes, cappuchinos, flat whites or some other milk tainted abomination.  If you drink espresso you can shot down your single origin while chatting with your barista. No need for a KeepCup for the hipster.

Bike riding

If you commute to work on a bike and get changed once you’re there, you’re an environmentalist. If you ride a fixie and wear a skate helmut, there’s no way to avoid your hipster status. Only an inner urban dweller would buy a bike that forces you to pedal non-stop. The possible exception to this is if you also have a coffee cup holder attached to your bike (see takeaway coffee preferences above).


If you compost and recycle, you’re an environmentalist. If you upcycle, you guessed it, hipster.

Food shopping

If you get your food at a regular market you’re an environmentalist. If you buy your food at a farmer’s market, you’re bound to be a hipster. If you buy your food at CERES, you’re so much of a hipster, you’re probably on one of those websites that posts photos of hipsters.

Food preferences

If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan you’re an environmentalist. If you’re an ecotarian/locavore or some other made-up term you’re definitely a hipster. What could be more hipster than making a political statement about your food without actually giving up any of your foodie favourites like slow cooked lamb tagines?

So Carrotmob readers, are you an environmentalist or a hipster? In this time of national Census, please share your status and help us with this important demographic profiling of our target market.


One response to “Can you be an environmentalist without being a hipster?

  1. Gawd, I had no idea I was either, but it appears I’m both. I knit, shop at farmers markets and ‘real’ markets, drink espressos sometimes from my KeepCup. Sheesh. Might just go back to doing it and not worrying what it’s called. And I am NEVER growing a beard like in the cartoon in your post. That’s just too much!

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