Recent anthropological and sociological research indicates that environmentalism harbours certain elements of religiosity. Drawing upon a revisited etymology of religio, rooted in legere and ligare, an interpretive key is proposed to meaningfully structure these, integrating notions of – inter alia – contemplation, transcendence, relationality and vocation in environmentalist nature experience. All of these appear to be part of what we will call a “life-orienting dynamics,” motivating long-lasting commitment and pro-environmental behaviour. The field of meaning, opened by this legere-ligare approach, aids in unravelling the working of this dynamics. This by no means warrants labelling the movement as “religion.” But a conscious articulation and structuring of the religious-like aspects within environmentalist thought could contribute to a better framing of some of its core motivating beliefs, benefitting the coherence and cogency of its message both ad intra and ad extra.