ByHaley Shapley

Nov 25, 2016

As the four-part Gilmore Girls revival debuts on Netflix today, countless fans are tuning in to answer the burning questions they’ve had since the series ended in 2007. How are Lorelai and Luke? Who is Rory dating? (For the record, we’re on Team Single.) And just what job is Kirk up to these days?

While we’re curious about all that, of course, we’ve been pondering a perhaps more important question: Are Lorelai and Rory environmentalists? Sadly, this is unlikely to be directly addressed in the movies, but we’re pretty sure that they are. Call it a hunch, but ladies with the worldly knowledge to reference The Little Match Girl in one breath and Leonardo DiCaprio’s penchant for dating models in the next are generally hip to caring for the earth.

Consider these five supporting points of evidence for our theory:

1. They were totally cool with recycling characters.

Remember when Drella, the harpist at the Independence Inn, came back as Emily’s personal stylist Miss Celine? Or when Jess’ dad’s bohemian girlfriend Sasha later became the despised Anna, mother of April? The girls never batted an eyelash when seeing the same actors recycled into new characters, so we have to imagine they’d be equally accepting of recycling objects.

2. They read eco-books.

One of the 339 books referenced on the show was Walden by Henry David Thoreau, considered to be one of America’s first environmentalists. He advocated for conservation and exploration of nature before that was a popular thing to do, and in Walden, wrote: “We need the tonic of wildness. … We can never have enough of nature. We must be refreshed by the sight of inexhaustible vigor, vast and titanic features, the sea-coast with its wrecks, the wilderness with its living and its decaying trees, the thunder-cloud, and the rain which lasts three weeks and produces freshets. We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.”

3. They (gasp) re-wear their clothes.

Sure, Gilmore Girls is largely a parade of fashion choices (wrap dresses and knit sweaters galore), but it’s one of the only shows we can think of where the main characters actually wear their clothes again, the way real people do. For example, Rory sported the coat in this scene several times — and very kindly passed it on to Doyle (reusing for the win!).

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Plus, Lorelai is a handy seamstress who crafts some of Rory’s best looks — and that’s a much more eco-friendly alternative to the incredibly wasteful industry of “fast fashion.”

4. They associate with eco-friendly people.

Logan mentions recycling newspapers in the season six episode “Driving Miss Gilmore,” Arbor Day is widely celebrated by the residents of Stars Hollow (there’s a tree planting involved in season two), and who is a better example of the “reduce, reuse, recycle” mantra than Mrs. Kim? The owner of Kim’s Antiques is certainly not one to waste anything, and by reselling already-created pieces, she’s reducing the need to mine the earth’s resources further to create new products.

5. They talk (really fast) about recycling.

And now, for the definitive proof that the Gilmores recycle, it comes straight from Lorelai’s mouth:


Even though Stars Hollow is a small town, it’s a progressive place, with curbside recycling. And the Gilmore girls are progressive people, with a taste for the retro as opposed to the new — take their vintage collection of Charlie’s Angels plates, for example. Sure, they rack up entirely too many takeout boxes and disposable coffee cup containers, but we’re pretty sure the girls do what they can for the earth — and we’ll be watching the revival to find out.

What do you think? Are the Gilmore girls recycling aficionados?

Feature image courtesy of DFree /

By Haley Shapley

Haley Shapley is based in Seattle, where recycling is just as cool as Macklemore, walking in the rain without an umbrella, and eating locally sourced food. She writes for a wide range of publications, covering everything from sustainability to fitness to travel. Read more of her work here.