Focusing on two case studies of environmental activism in Brazil, this paper argues against theories that consider local and global activism as two separate realms. Instead, it is argued here that transnational activists circulate across the two spaces. In the global spaces, they build alliances with foreign groups, and in the local ones, they deal with the national state, other organised groups and ordinary communities living inside environmental areas they aim to protect. Activists live in both spheres and as they move, they carry with them local and global meanings, knowledge and forms of action and organising, mixing them through the continuous action of two mechanisms: adaptation and emulation. In this way, activists’ biographies – their lived experience, their meanings and strategies – intermingle with both spaces in one single trajectory of activism. Discussing the existing literature on transnational social movements, I will argue that they forge hybrid identities in the sense of being at the same time local and global.