After reading your post "What's Important to me", I thought this would be an interesting response of my own. It was something I wrote on one of my own blogs but thought this a better forum to share.
I recently turned in two term papers for the summer classes I have been taking. Walking home after class (something I have really come to enjoy as it saves energy and money!), I breathed in the fresh, warm summer air and sighed happily. "Ahh I thought, finally some free time to work on my own projects and live a little easier."
Later, sitting in front of my computer, attempting to write a report about Bagfest, an event which took place at IU South Bend and aimed to "Raise public awareness on the consumption of plastic bags and instill personal responsibility that inspires behavioral, environment, and economic changes." We raised 72,440 bags to be recycled in only one day and the event was a huge success, not only with students and faculty, but within the local community who showed up in droves to donate their old, used plastic bags. During the semester that our class worked on this project, students, myself included, were inspired to increase their own environmental awareness and change their attitude towards waste and recycling habits.
I was one who definitely caught the 'green' bug. Although I live in an apartment which doesn't promote recycling, I bought my own bins to separate my glass, plastic, and paper recyclables and I made an attempt to decrease my own waste footprint by using dishtowels instead of paper towels, printing two pages per sheet or using both sides, and reusing what I could. I was truly inspired to take action and did...for a while. Then finals came and life got hectic. Instead of making my own food, I was now eating on the run which meant buying food and throwing away the wrappers and containers that they came in. Instead of taking the time to make sure I brought my recyclables in when my bins became full, I my attention was on what I had to do next and my previous efforts fell to the wayside. Not to say I didn't continue to make the best effort I could. But it got me to thinking. Granted, the smallest effort is better then no effort at all but how do we increase and sustain an attitude of activism and environmental concern on a daily basis? Is this something that has to be done individually or are there ways that we can stay encouraged to continue to fight for a better environment even when life throws us curve balls?
For myself, I continue to think of it as a new year's resolution that I make every year. It goes well for a while and then commitments and deadlines and stress take precedence and it isn't until I can sigh and take a deep breath of clean air that I remember how much more I could be doing for the environment.Still it is one step at a time and Bagfest was at one point referred to as a "grassroots movement." It takes time for change but change is the only constant in life. As for me, I continue to take at least one small step a day and as time goes on perhaps that will increase to two steps a day and after that...who knows.
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