MSU football season has arrived and this past weekend the banks of the Red Cedar were filled with students shouting "GO GREEN!" With the environmental revolution on the rise, students are finding another reason to shout their school color.
With a new school year comes new beginnings, new classes, new home, new friends, why not new outlook on environmental issues? Might as well add another new right?
For me the new school year is a fresh beginning almost more so than the actual new year in January. So this year I made a new 'school' years resolution: be more environmentally conscientious and work on shrinking my ecological footprint.
This new endeavor of mine came from my summer ISB 202 course, with Gabe Ording. Of course I was aware of the environmental movement, how can you not be now with famous musicians including Sheryl Crow and Dave Matthews behind it? However, after this course I was genuinely shocked by some of the information I discovered.
Including, the uneven distribution of wealth. 20% of the population controls 80% of the wealth. To me that statistic was so staggering it made me want to jump on a plane fly to Africa and feed the all hungry. Why should I live such a easy life when millions of people struggle for food and water and other basic staples I take for granted? How can this be? How is the world like this?
Throughout the summer I could not stop talking about issues like this and what I learned each day in my class with my friends and family, and anyone who would listen for that matter. At that point I decided I needed to be heard. I wanted to shout GO GREEN, like I was cheering on the Spartans in the Final Four game.
On the last day of class before the final the professor asked us three profound questions:
- What do you think the biggest problem in the world is?
- What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?
- How are they connected?
He told us that when he asked himself those very questions he said the biggest world problem was the impact we as humans have on the environment and what he saw himself doing in 10 years was teaching about this issue. Then he filled the PowerPoint screen with a picture of a pond, he explained that teaching this class was his way of being heard, and by teaching us he was tossing pebbles into the pound and he hoped each of us, as pebbles would make ripples in the pond and take what we learn out into the world.
When I ask myself those three questions I am not positive of any of the answers, but I do know human impact on the environment is depleting our resources before the earth can renew them and this is one extremely large problem in our world. I also see myself writing in the future and why not kill two birds with one stone and write as a way get my voice heard about an important and extremely timely issue. So exploring environmental journalism seems like the next logical step.
Calculate your ecological footprint at: www.myfootprint.org