When I was younger, I would consider myself as an environmentalist in some sense. I didnt like to use hairdriers, wanted to run the toilet on rain water, used a retractable pencil instead of one made of wood. Little things that felt good and are probably the right thing to do.
Today, I still use retractable pencils because I like them more, and when its summer I normally dont use hairdriers because I dont like them, but the reason has changed from environment protection to convenience. For example, I dont care what water is inside my toilet, because I live in a flat where I cannot change anything about it anyway. Meanwhile, I am even using tumbly-dryers, at least in the winter, since it is too dangerous to dry them inside my flat because high humidity may cause fungi.
I think an important mistake environment protection has made was to tell people that they have to give up life quality for the sake of environment protection. Turning off the light in rooms that are not used or turning off the faucet while brushing one's teeth are little tips that will not decrease life quality, but hairdriers, laundry-dryers and water coming from one central place is easy, and trying to avoid it makes life more complicated, which causes frustration and rejection.
So, the preferred way is encouraging the usage of energy saving technologies, make them affordable for everyone, and always try to keep up the quality of life, or even increase it.