What best completes this sentence?

Joe, in opposition to environment-friendly sentiments, has decided to go ____.

  • 3
    Does "Going Brown" conjure the wrong imagry? – Rikon Aug 15 '11 at 18:37
  • "redneck"? Though I'm not a native speaker. – starblue Aug 15 '11 at 19:02
  • 1
    @Rikon: Yes. It sounds like rotting. – Daniel Aug 15 '11 at 19:29
  • 1
    How about neerg or ungreen? :) – Pratik Deoghare Aug 15 '11 at 20:22
  • 3
    A good two word answer is environmentally irresponsible. You sentence would look like: Joe, in opposition to environment-friendly sentiments, has decided to engage in environmentally irresponsible behavior. – Jay Elston Aug 15 '11 at 21:26

The best way to complete the sentence is to rewrite it. The only meaningful English word in common currency is anti-environmentalist, but using that simply exposes how trivial the sentence actually is in the first place.

Joe has decided not to endorse environment-friendly sentiments would be an acceptable rewrite. I think Joe has decided to become an anti-environmentalist sounds odd, but maybe that would do.


Sometimes the best way to describe the opposite of doing something is by not doing it.

If Joe is just not letting it factor into the equation, I would say this:

Joe, in opposition to environment-friendly sentiments, has decided not to go green.

If Joe is actively intending on choosing the most harmful products he can find, ...

Joe, in opposition to environment-friendly sentiments, has decided to go to Hell.

;-) Kidding, sort of. Although I don't have a way of saying that.


I would go with polluting, environmentally hostile (or unfriendly), antiëcological (or antiecological, or anti-ecological; see here).


As the context is already clear, why not a more general term? For example...

Joe, in opposition to environment-friendly sentiments, has decided to go to the opposite extreme.

  • In this you are loading the statement with implication that anybody who is green is also extreme. – v010dya Oct 11 '18 at 6:01
  • @v010dya - I don't think so, though I guess I can see why you think that. To me it just means (1) there's two opposite views (pro- and anti-), though naturally with huge variation in degree and detail on both sides of that dividing line, (2) one person has decided to go to the extreme version of the anti- position, and (3) maybe in that persons opinion, the green position is entirely extreme, which isn't surprising for someone making a point of going to an opposite extreme to reject it. But this is adding something to OPs original intent, so something like ("the other way") may be better. – Steve314 Oct 11 '18 at 14:59
  • @v010dya - Actually, going beyond the context of the question and my answer, my position is that anyone taking an anti-green position is an extremist, since taking that view means rejecting and ignoring so much scientific evidence. – Steve314 Oct 11 '18 at 15:09
  • I see what you are saying in (2). But i still think that if i were to hear the sentence as you have worded it, i'd assume the person meant that both positions were extreme in their nature. – v010dya Oct 12 '18 at 7:46

A lot of answers which provide better style, but if you really wanted to complete THAT sentence, I think synthetic or extravagant might fit, depending on whether he's rebelling against the "natural" concept or "minimal waste" side of environmentalism.


Joe, in opposition to environment-friendly sentiments, has decided to be as unfriendly to the environment as he can, given his spiteful streak.


Environmentalists picked the color green as a descriptor because it is associated with nature and growing things (plants, trees, grass, etc.). Since you want a parallel structure, I would pick a color which invokes the opposite idea. I'd use black due to its connotations of death.

The urban dictionary, for example, has an entry for "black thumb" as an opposite for "green thumb." http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=black%20thumb

If you feel it's needed you could qualify the expression with an explanatory parenthesis.

Joe, in opposition to environment-friendly sentiments, has decided to go black.


Joe, in opposition to environment-friendly sentiments, has decided to go black (i.e. anti-environmentalist.)

  • 4
    You wouldn't want to say go black unless you're trying to reference the saying once you go black, you never go back. – Jon Purdy Aug 15 '11 at 21:10
  • 1
    "Going black" implies Joe has taken up some nefarious undercover activity for an un-named government agency taking out troublesome greenies. – Bill Aug 16 '11 at 4:09
  • 1
    @Andrew - I assume this Joe character is rebelling because he doesn't believe the green claims - not actively trying to destroy the world, but just showing his disrespect for a view that he disagrees with. BTW - I'm not expressing my views here (I'm kinda light green), but I assume the goal here is to describe Joes motives, behaviour and character. "Going black" would suggest to me that he wants to be destructive and is using environmental vandalism as the method - he believes the green message - that his actions have real damaging consequences to the environment - but his goal is to destroy. – Steve314 Aug 16 '11 at 9:44

I would say that you could say that he had gone right, in reference to those in right leaning political spectrum that rebels from the green movement. This is likely to be neither insulting nor incorrect.

  • 2
    Using "right" in this context would be misleading and confusing. There are "right-leaning" people who support environmentally friendly techniques, so it is not an unequivocal antonym. Furthermore, "right" in this context can be mistaken for its use as a synonym of "accurate" or "correct", which is clearly an incorrect interpretation of the author's intent (he is clearly going for the more subjective meaning). – Beofett Aug 15 '11 at 19:46
  • @Beofett hmm interesting way of looking at that. Though environmentally friendly does not mean the same as green anymore. – Chad Aug 16 '11 at 14:18
  • unfortunately, I have an eye for puns ;) "Environmentally friendly" is the phrase used in the question. – Beofett Aug 16 '11 at 14:20

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.