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Q&A | on the environment and voting

I’m waiting on all my current Meet the Reader submissions to come back, so we’ll do a Q&A today in lieu of a Meet a Reader post. This Q&A is about the environment, which is relevant because I often write about avoiding waste and reducing trash output.

(There’s a lot of overlap between frugality and environmental responsibility!)

A snow, sunny morning scene in the woods.

Here’s the question:

I’ve off and on read your blog throughout the years. I think I stumbled across it back around 2012 when my husband and I were on a quest to pay off $60,000 of student debt (yikes!). I really enjoy your gentle approach to blogging and how you foster a welcoming and kind environment that attracts all different types of people.

I realize I don’t know you personally but something that I’ve been curious about through the years is that it seems like you care deeply about the environment with your passion for reducing waste but I remember a post where you said you tend to vote Republican and I was surprised by this.

It seems like the Republican platform tends to steer away from supporting legislation to protect the environment. There were several environmental protections that the Trump administration actually rolled back.

Especially now that I am a parent, I find this to be so devastating. I am so sad to see the effects of climate change and I wonder about the kind of planet we are leaving behind for our future generations. I am glad that on one hand some Republicans care about the environment but on the other hand I am having trouble figuring out if it makes much of a difference if they are voting people into office who refuse to take action when it comes to protecting the environment and slowing down climate change.

Anyways, I know this is a personal question but I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on it if you are open to it.


Hi Maddie!

Politics are a tough area for me, as they are for many people, probably. I’m going to answer your question, but first a caveat to everyone reading:

I’m going to share a little about my own political beliefs, and you are welcome to comment after reading. Disagreement is welcome, but please keep your comments kind and not inflammatory, or I will delete them. And as always, if you do not share my political opinions or thoughts, you are still welcome here.

Never fear: politics will not become a regular topic on my blog because heaven knows there is PLENTY of that on the internet already.


The post you are referring to was probably one from quite a while back; I would consider myself more of an independent than anything else at this point. I don’t want to get too deep into this, but I am pretty distressed by a lot of what I see from the Republican party.

I know that politics has always been a rather dirty game, but as a Christian, I am disheartened to see evangelicals in general not just tolerating, but enthusiastically supporting people who are relating to others in a downright rude, immature, and disrespectful manner.

And having grown up in the era where evangelicals were extremely hard on President Clinton for his moral failings while in office, I am utterly confused as to how so many are now saying, “Well, someone’s private moral failings don’t need to be relevant.” It seems like such a double standard.

Kristenm, looking nervous

I also find myself looking at both parties and disagreeing with at least part of their policies.

It’s kind of like with the pandemic; I have cheerfully worn a mask when requested, and I’ve gotten vaccinated and boosted (which would distance me from a lot of conservatives).

On the other hand, sometimes I look at the politically liberal reaction to this pandemic, and I think it’s a little bit overboard…like, at some point, I believe you have to make peace with the fact that experts say this is going to be endemic, and you have to go live your life once you have taken the appropriate precautions.

There’s no such thing as zero risk.

(And that is why I did not cancel my plans to attend FinCon this past September.)

Kristen and Whitney with masks on.

My friend Whitney and me at the airport


There are aspects of both parties’ policies that I agree with and disagree with, and environmental protection is definitely an area where I think conservative policy falls short.

As a Christian, I think that there are lots of reasons to take good care of our planet.

For instance, we’re supposed to be good stewards of what God has given us. And as people called to love our neighbors, we should be interested in doing things that make our planet a healthy, sustainable place to live. 

Snow on winter trees.

If you love people, then you should love the planet and take good care of it. 

On the other hand, I think some hardcore left politics go too far, and concern for the earth begins to eclipse concern for people. 

snow on branches.

My approach to voting at this point is to take an honest look at each candidate and pick the one that most lines up with what I believe is important, based on my Christian worldview. Like, who stands up for the downtrodden? Who makes laws that best love our neighbors? And so on.

Thus, I do not vote a straight party line, because I don’t think Christianity falls on a straight party line. 

And that’s the end of my answer. 😉 

Got thoughts? Share ’em in the comments!

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Friday 4th of February 2022

This was a really good post! I appreciate your nuanced view and your willingness to share. I am in Canada so our political parties are not the same but I am also not a straight party line voter, more for practical reasons than anything else. There are better and worse politicians in any party, and there's also the question of wasting your vote if the party or individual you like best has no hope of getting in. I think the best voting takes many things into account.

I share your dismay regarding the Republican party. It seems to have devolved in recent years into something much darker and more sinister. I've been learning lately about something called "accelerationism", which is the desire to break down the system in order to seize power. It seems to line up with what I see happening in the US, and coming up here too (our current truck convoy being a good example.) There's a willingness to deceive in order to hide the desire to destroy the system which I find frightening, because people don't necessarily understand what they are agreeing to or supporting. I would much rather live in an imperfect democracy than under whatever is planned (using that term loosely) to replace it.


Thursday 3rd of February 2022

I sadly also feel “religiously homeless”. I am Catholic. I just cannot fathom the priest molestations and political preaching from the American bishops. No other church feels “right”. It is a tough place to be.


Wednesday 2nd of February 2022

Kristen, your answer was very classy and non-provocative. The common misperception of Republicans not caring about the environment comes from a lack of truth in reporting, resulting in a sweeping generality of conservatives as insensitive jerks.

Media bias purposely sugarcoats environmental legislation, ignoring the damage that will result from many of the proposals.

It would be helpful to those who are "politically homeless" to delve a bit deeper into the topics that are causing ideological confusion and find the truth.

For example, in California there is a huge push toward electric cars. Yet there is no talk about how those batteries are manufactured or disposed of. There is no mention of the fact that electricity is getting harder to come by, with the shutting down of things like coal, nuclear power, natural gas, and even the foolishness of calling power from rivers "non-renewable".

No one wants dirty air and dirty water, including the "far right". They just tend to look at consequences of environmental legislation rather than the veneer of "saving the planet".


Tuesday 1st of February 2022

Thank you for tackling these tough political questions! I often find myself confused about politics, when both sides let down our faith. You may be interested in a book called "I think you're wrong, but I'm listening." It's a great read about building bridges across the political divide through friendship and conversation, not arguing over the internet.


Tuesday 1st of February 2022

Thank you for the thoughtful post and all of the kind and respectful commenters. It gives me a lot of hope that there are many of us who are still willing to listen and not vilify anyone who doesn’t agree with us 100%. I think voters expecting politicians to pass purity tests is another reason why it’s been so hard to find common ground on important issues.

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