Social scientists have noted how radical social movements operate largely in terms of symbol and meaning, both at the level of everyday life and at that of public protest. Using examples from contemporary environmental protest, I argue that this insight can be further elucidated through applying the notion of ritualization. I argue that ritual action is used in environmental protest for a number of different reasons. First, ritual is used to link particular cases to universal meanings and values. Second, ritual is used to set up particular relationships between what is and what could be the case. Third, ritual is used because of the effects of operating through symbol, association and connotation. Fourth, ritual is used to mark out the protest community and its actions from its wider social milieu. Fifth and finally, ritual is used to carve out a 'practical environment' - a segment of space and time made suitable for certain kinds of action and experience.