When considering what to write about this week concerning the topic of sustainability, I felt woefully unprepared. The environment is a difficult thing to joke about, unless you are South Park talking about Al Gore. Comedy is always my go-to when writing about something I know little to nothing about.
Sustainability is not something I consider daily or really think about. This is not an excuse for my lack of concern for the future of our planet, but it is, I believe, a common standpoint of young adults. Why think about tomorrow when everything seems fine today? In fact, the only time my mind turns to sustainability is when it affects me directly through gas prices, and I send up a quick prayer for my car to somehow start running off water.
As sustainability week is upon us, it gives us all an opportune time to reflect on our habits that are hurting the environment. This planet is a gift to us and we need to be good stewards of it. Google searching pictures of pollution, images of smokestacks spewing dark clouds and cartoons of the earth sneezing are prevalent. The image that comes to my mind about the future, however, is from the movie “The Book of Eli.”
In a world that has been devastated by a nuclear war, the opening scene is a forest with ash steadily falling from the sky like snow with Denzel Washington wearing a gas mask. Though this is a bit of a stretch, from the amount of waste we produce and put in landfills, I’ve got to acknowledge that the earth is probably not doing too well.
I know that in the coming week I’m going to investigate the different programs this area has set in place to reduce pollution and promote sustainability. Not because I have a deep desire to, but rather because it is my responsibility as a member of the youngest generation to consider what the world is going to look like for my children and grandchildren if we continue on this pace of destruction.
I’m not asking you to become a hippie, start wearing tie-dye and homemade shoes made out of burlap. Nor am I saying that we should all convert our Volkswagen vans to run off vegetable oil and drive around talking about mother earth and father sky. What I am saying is that we should consider our habits and possibly change them in order to make a small difference.
When eating at West End, don’t order your food to go then sit down; eat it and throw your container on the dish return. When you leave your apartment or dorm room in the morning for class, be conscientious and turn off the lights. Ride, walk or carpool to campus. Whatever it is you decide, just try and stick to it and form a sustainable habit.
Sorry this article wasn’t funny or witty or what not. As I write it, I’m not feeling that humorous — more sad really. Google search images of pollution or landfills, and get a glimpse of what we’re doing to the earth. In the end, it’s really not that funny at all.