Thursday, July 12, 2007

Feeling the Curse of Knowledge in Puerto Rico

Don Luis was right: Although it's easy to eat local foods in Puerto Rico, it's not easy being green in other respects. For instance, I couldn't help but notice all the trash strewn along the beach when we went to El Bañario del Isla Verde. I actually tried to ignore viewing the ugly sight, but my little brother Joel made a comment about seeing the trash. *sigh*

I've also been feeling guilt recently. I know my carbon footprint has grown with all this traveling (i.e., driving, flying) and increased usage of disposable products (i.e., water bottles). But don't get me wrong; it hasn't been all doom & gloom....I've been using my resuable bags in Puerto Rico. And to be sure, I've received my fair share of weird looks for using these bags!! :0)

Anyway, this is a tough post to write. Who wants to consider these environmental issues while on vacation? And who wants to write about seeing eyesores while visiting a beautiful island? Not me. But there's no turning back now. I feel guilt because I see the world in an environmentally-conscious way. And though feeling this guilt is not fun, I wouldn't return to my former state of ignorance.


Experimentaholic said...

I've always wondered why if ignorance is bliss, why are so many of my students unhappy? Don't tell them I said this.

I think this goes back to the perceptual readiness hypothesis proposed by Jerome Bruner in the 1950s...your expectations, desires, goals - all these higher level processes, influence attention so that you perceive the world differently once you acquire these goals. Now that you have adopted the goals of being environmentally concerned, you can't have your old ignorant eyeballs back. And maybe bliss is over-rated. I tend to think so, but then again, some of the folks who write course evaluations of me tend to say I'm pretty damn ignorant.

Meghan said...

I feel your pain. I took heightened awareness on my vacation with me. I didn't have to pay for an extra seat, thankfully. ;)

I refused a couple plastic bags & re-used when I was able to. I sure could've done better.