Five Thoughts

Recycling: Since hearing Dianne speak for one of our classes, I have become much more cognizant of how I recycle, whether I’m at home or in public. I make sure that my recyclables are clean before sorting them. If I can’t find a recycling bin for my paper materials in public, I’ll wait until I find one or just keep them in my backpack until I reach home and can place them in the recycling. I really believe that educating people on the importance of recycling will get them to start thinking about climate change in a way that they can personally and easily address.

Air: I often take for granted the air we breathe. When we learned that the EPA might be disbanded, I realize that I also take many government-mandated environmental initiatives, such as the Clear Air Act, for granted. The only way we can ensure a clean world is if we champion organizations that are protecting the environment and promote brands that are using eco-friendly materials and ethical manufacturing processes. The things we speak for and pay for really matter. My goal is to reuse as much as I can and support sustainable causes.

Pollution: I was shocked to hear that there were once fires on the Hudson because of all the chemicals in the river. It was fascinating to hear about The River Project and inspiring to learn that the water quality has improved drastically since then. It’s easy to forget the amazing biodiversity in the river right next to us. I also didn’t know that drainage during rainfall goes directly into the river, so I have decided to avoid showering or using large amounts of water while it’s raining.

Idling: Something that will always stay with me is the understanding of idling in New York City. It makes me relieved that I have no need for a car at the moment, because the guilt of producing such emissions is now just disturbing to me. When I see so many cars on the road, I think of all the pollution being added to the atmosphere. I’m interested in learning about ways large cities encourage more environmentally-friendly modes of transportation, like cycling.

Government: Garth Lenz emphasizes the limitations of the government in enacting laws that protect the environment and highlights the importance of the people in pushing for change. I haven’t believed so much in the impact of the public until this year, and now I really believe that this generation has the heaviest responsibility to encourage sustainable living.