|Have you ever written/read a book|
with an environmentally-minded character?
Vocation to Lifestyle - 50 Shades of Green:
There are are so many different kinds of environmentally oriented folk, which means that there are an equally abundant amount of opportunities to highlight green character traits in your novel! From the deep green super-advocate, to the quirky eco-eccentric to the weekend environmentalist, there's a lot of possibilities to work with. You can find inspiration just about anywhere, including lot of great examples in literature, movies, tv shows, and real life!
Environmental Novels || TV's Greenest Characters
YA Book List - Environmental Twist || Teen Environmental Reads
When we think of a greenie, the green superhero might be the persona that comes to mind. Like Captain Planet, eco-warriors are on a mission to save the world from certain doom. But not all green superheroes need invoke other-worldly powers to avert an environmental apocalypse. The eco-warrior could be an everyday character with a cause. There's the environmental lawyer, the marine biologist, the rainforest ecologist, the vegan chef, the reporter investigating the compounding factors behind a natural disaster.
In YA, it might be the president of the environmental club, the editor of the high-school newspaper, the kid personally investigating their asthmatic sibling's illness/death.
Personally, I think the eco-warrior character is a really tricky one to write. It's very easy to over-do things and start sounding preachy. And I'm not a fan of preachy novels because I think they can sometimes have the opposite-of-intended effect. That said, when well done, I think these can be really great!
Some Examples of Eco-Warriors: Pelican Brief, Erin Brockovich, Lisa Simpson
|Ok, so the Lorax is more of an Eco-Warrior|
but he's also so cute and quirky!
Those are great, but instead, why not try a few green quirks to add depth and a little fun to your characters?
Quirky greenies aren't your run-of-the-mill yuppie environmentalists who do boring things like recycle and retrofit their house with solar panels. Maybe quirky greens don't have the extra cash, or maybe they just want to take things one step greener.
Here are some ideas w/ links! (Some of them I'm totally going to try in real-life! ... and some already describe me, haha)
Energy Fiend: Refuses to use [insert electric appliance] // Moves into single room of house in winter // Retrofits chest freezer into eco-refrigerator // Reroutes excess heat from fridge into hot water heater // Insulates fridge with shag carpet // Must unplug everything in house before leaving // Removes backseat from car to lessen weight // Refuses to use hot water // Bakes only in a solar oven // Refuses to visit anyone outside walking/biking radius // Eats food sourced only within a 100 mile radius // Goes Vegan! // Replaces meat with insects //
Water Guard: Collects bathroom sink water in bucket to flush toilet // Only eats food with a low water footprint // Turns off others' sprinkler systems in summer // Only drinks from one water glass a day (to avoid washing) // Goes on a no-shower stint // Dry shampoos // Reuses vegetable/noodle cooking water to make soups // Brushes teeth and/or washes clothes while showering // Joins the Pee Outside movement //
Real Life Green Superchef!
Zero Waster: Makes art out of trash // Makes useful stuff out of trash // Keeps all bags, bottles, plastic containers for future reuse // Dumpster diver! // Insists on eating leftover food off of other's plates so it doesn't go to waste // Keeps reusable containers/cutlery in purse at all times (in case at function w/disposable plates) //
Eccentric Ecologist: Wakes up in middle of night to study nocturnal creatures // Goes on midnight beachwalks in winter just to catch the lowest tide // Keeps notebook at all times to record sightings of a certain type of beetle in the city // Updates a map of all honeybee hives in the city // Rogue Seed-Baller ... Like Miss Rumphius //
Have you ever read or written a story with a 'green' MC? Or a character with green quirks? What do you think are the key challenges when writing a character on a moral mission? What are your eco-quirks?