By Kyle Jackson
Sustainability is something that I never really knew about or understood the importance of until I got to college. I wasn’t completely like that person who thinks global warming was a myth and that the environment just takes care of itself, but I definitely lacked an understanding of the pressing environmental issues that are at our doorstep. Since learning the basics about living responsibly and sustainably, I have made some efforts to live my life accordingly.
Growing up my family always recycled whenever it was available, but this was mostly out of convenience since a lot of times recycling is free and trash services cost money. In Michigan, almost all products in disposable plastic bottles and aluminum cans cost an additional ten cent deposit which can be retrieved by recycling them at the local grocery store. This in particular has served as an extremely effective method of cleaning up the environment because people are less likely to throw their cans and bottles away and definitely less likely to throw them out of their car while driving. Even if cans and bottles become litter, there is incentive for random strangers to pick them up and cash them in, which many do.
One other way in which I live a more sustainable life is by hunting and consuming the meat from the abundant whitetail deer population. As opposed to industrial farm raised beef, pork, or chicken, venison is a much leaner and cleaner meat to consume. Plus, the lack of effective natural predators in this region of the country has spawned massively overpopulated communities of deer. By humanely hunting and consuming their meat, it can both help control the deer population as well as keep money out of the pockets of the corporate farms responsible for so much animal abuse as well as meat contamination.
By Bea Indurain
Many years ago, at my home in Spain, we started recycling. At home we have five different trash receptacles. The brown one where we throw away food, the yellow one where we throw away plastics and cans, the blue one where we throw away paper, the green one which is just for glass, and the grey one where we throw away things that cannot be recycled or composted. There are two reasons we started doing this: first, the town where we live has mandatory recycling, and, second, because of my mother.
Anyone that does not recycle in our town gets a fine from City Hall. There is a company that stops at each house every day to pick up a different kind of trash. Mondays and Wednesdays are plastic day, Tuesdays and Thursdays are organic day, Fridays are glass day, Saturdays are paper day, and Sundays are for all other trash. Also, if someone takes out the wrong trash, the company does not pick it up, and they leave a note saying “wrong trash”.
My mother is a biologist and she cares about the environment. I like recycling because it is one thing that humans can control and do for nature and for the environment. I think everyone should recycle. When people do not recycle, we waste a lot of material that could be reused. Also, not recycling leads to cutting down more trees and using more natural resources. When I recycle, I feel like I am helping the environment. Recycling is something that everyone should do. It takes very little time or effort. Instead of putting all of the trash together, you only have to separate it!
By Alyssa Adamowski, senior Ursuline College nursing student
Lately I’ve been noticing the amount of plastic and other materials used for packaging. Everything we buy comes in a package: food, electronics, clothes, and the majority of other products. Most of this plastic isn’t recyclable. According to the World Watch Institute, humans produce 1.3 billion tons of garbage per year, most of which ends up in landfills. Most of this packaging is unnecessary. But more importantly, why can’t all packaging just be recyclable? Why does my new printer need three pounds worth of packaging? Why does my toothpaste bottle need to come in a shiny unrecyclable box?
Over the past few months I’ve been collecting a list of everything I buy and seeing whether or not the packaging is recyclable. If it’s not I try to abstain from buying it, but I’ve come across problems. Toothpaste, for example, comes in a bottle and a box; is the box really necessary? The box doesn’t contribute to the sterility and cleanliness of the paste! But, I can’t live without toothpaste.
So, I wrote to Colgate and other companies asking them why their packaging isn’t recyclable. Not only have I written to corporations, I’ve written my congressmen asking them to pass a law requiring all businesses to only use recyclable packaging. Well, Colgate was the first to write me back! I found out that the plastic toothpaste bottle is recyclable but the cardboard box is not. They are working on making more of their products and packaging more environmentally friendly. They also sent me a coupon for my interest in their products!
I encourage you to write to your congressmen and tell them to vote for environmental change. Write to corporations and tell them you want them to revamp their products. The more people they hear from the more change we can make! Encourage your friends and family too!
Read more on this topic here.