How did the hippies of 1960 start the environmental movements?im doing a thesis paper and i need to know

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the most important elements of the hippie movement, as proven in the last post, was the ability to envision a world of what can be, as opposed to what is.  Part of what made the 1960s so powerful a decade is that it envisioned this notion of change on multiple levels, of which the environment was one such level.  "Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson was a work that really galvanized the belief that things need to be done differently and better in terms of the environment.  A reexamination of this theme in American thought was also evident.  Thoreau's writings on nature and understanding of the natural world was also embraced.  As American Culture expanded its own sense of self by looking to other cultures for methods on living, discovery of Native American, Indian, and Eastern cultures, in general, helped to develop an environmental ethos or awareness about how our practices need to be reflective of what can be and away from what is.   The previous posts reference to capitalism and its impacts on the environment were also brought out in the time period, suggesting that in moving to a new social order, environmental understanding will be a critical component of this new vision for it was not deemed as important under the capitalist status quo.

mapriem eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Since I was one, I can relate the mood and values that led to the environmental issues started in that era.   The attitude of peace , not war (Vietnam) prevailed on college campuses as the greatest revolution generation began in the 60's. The introduction of living a simple life with natural foods and ingredients was a sign of rebellion against the commercial, capitalism that prevailed and repulsed many in that time. Living against the establishment perpetuated individualism and a new health consciousness that led to organic products, being concerned about air and water pollution, and stopping the war, and promoting a peaceful lifestyle. Smoking cigarettes became dangerous to our health according to the Surgeon General in 1964 so many quit to improve their health and the environment.  Not everything was healthy with the promotion of illegal drug use and sexual freedom with many partners was widely accepted.  But fitness and a healthy lifestyle prevailed as the 70s and 80s booster-ed a social revolution to be environmentally aware of what can damage our health, the earth, and all that is living on our earth.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
A lot of our ideas today were started by hippies. There were magazines back then that told people how to compost and use methane to make gasoline. They also used hemp for more than smoking, and were anti-materialistic and opposed consumerism in general.
paiding | Student

Dear Sirs:

I am from that era myself.  I am a believer in the environment and the outdoors, because I grew up in a small town of 1800.  Where are all of those environmentalists today?  There were alot.  Most did not follow through.  They were all-out and caught up in everything and made signs and were outspoken and brave:  they went back and got their and the money and forgot about the environment.  Do you know what I mean?  The world today is 3 times or more worse that then.  Their little efforts were vain, because the majority of them forgot about it, settled, and they got their comfortable lives, right?  Right!!!!  Many went into politics themselves, but they can't and won't change the world.  They are hypocrites and you know it.  They copped out and had a bark bigger than their bite.  Just look at the world today----come on!!!!   Thank you.  T.D.