Throughout her life as a writer, speaker, and activist, she has been intrigued with dynamic interrelatedness, which plays a central role in each subject to which she has been drawn. She is particularly interested in 21st-century discoveries indicating that the physical world, including the human bodymind, is far more dynamically interrelated with nature and other people than modernity had assumed. Several of her books also proposed a "map of the terrain" of emergent social-change movements and an exploration of the issues involved. She has helped to create an eco-social frame of reference and vision in the areas of social criticism (including feminism and ecofeminism), cultural history, critique of technology, and women’s spirituality.
Since the mid-1980s, her books have examined the multiple crises of modernity and furthered the corrective efforts that are arising. Her book Green Politics (1984) was a major catalyst for the formation of the U.S. Green Party movement, which she cofounded in the months following its publication. Her essay A View from the Chute (2018) proposes a possible new approach in talking to climate-change deniers about climate-change action. Her book The Resurgence of the Real was named by the Los Angeles Times as one of the Best Books of 1997. In 2006 Charlene Spretnak was named by the British government's Environment Department as one of the "100 Eco-Heroes of All Time." In 2012 she received the Demeter Award for lifetime achievement as "one of the premier visionary feminist thinkers of our time" from the Association for the Study of Women and Mythology.