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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Life-Long Commitments on Earth Day

What are students doing for Earth day? Are they enjoying the sunshine in Kendall Square? Yawning their way through “An Inconvenient Truth”? Having outdoor sex? Or maybe they will stop in the UMB plaza to sign a petition to send to Representative Stephen Lynch, listen to some Earth Day tunes, and participate in some games and activities any of the tables hosted by student groups.Here’s a collection of thoughts from UMB students about Earth Day:

Nathan Buckley

What does it take to be green?”In its simplest form, “being green” is simply about valuing the future on a timescale longer than your own. It’s about making decisions to reduce wastefulness, lessening the negative impact we have on our environment, and striving to not only think of our responsibilities but to take action on those responsibilities so that future generations may enjoy the same green earth (or better!) that so many of us take for granted.”

Why does being green matter to you?”It’s important because this is the only Earth we have! The closest planet we’ve discovered so far that might potentially be able to support human life is about 20.3 light years from Earth; that’s approximately 119,333,546,000,000 miles away. Even using our most modern space shuttles of today, it would take over 774,375 years to get to there (one-way) and require over 1,935,003,966 trips to bring over the entire population! I think if we’re serious about our future in the long run, we need to take care of what we have, and not just for us, but for all the life on our planet.” Do people care about Earth Day?”I think overall it is not a concern on people’s minds. Other issues, such as the economy, and even the “War on Terror”, have taken precedence. The economy, in particular, is felt by everyone and as such it is paid more attention to.”What are some of the complexities about global warming?”The problem with global warming is that there’s no one single event that can prove that it’s occurring or not. Sure, the ice caps are melting, but anyone who’s not completely naive on the subject of global warming will also admit that the Earth goes through periods of heating and cooling as a natural cycle anyways. The point is, it’s simply much harder to pull fact from fiction and I think a lot of people–while they have heard ‘global warming this,’ ‘global warming that’–aren’t really convinced it’s a threat they need to worry about any time soon.”Is there a solution?”The simplest solutions are often the most effective. When cooking something in the oven, try not to open the door as much, as doing so lets heat out which means the oven has to reheat itself, using more energy. Use less cling-wrap for your sandwiches and instead use sealable storage containers. Cling wrap, like all plastic, is made from petroleum, isn’t very biodegradable, and could even be releasing Dioxins into your food! Turn off your computer when you are done using it, or, if you absolutely can’t stand how long it takes to start up, at least put it in sleep mode – you will save a lot on your energy bill. Stop drinking bottled water – the non-biodegradable bottles quickly become trash and are simply thrown into landfills where they can leak chemicals into the soil. There are thousands of little things we can all do–even as students–to help reduce our impact on the environment. Thanks to Google, you can now find all these handy tips in seconds.””Having an Earth Day is a good start to raising awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s environment. However, I can only hope that it does not teach some people the wrong idea – that is, we should only be concerned with our planet’s well-being on one day. The truth is, the celebration should be “Earth-Life”, because taking steps to reduce your environmental impact is not about achieving some goal, like reaching the end of a race or finding your way to some destination. It is a journey and should rightly be a life-long commitment.”

Kayleigh Oberbeck What does ‘be green’ mean?”The best definition I can come up with for “being green” is being able o act and think in a way that leaves as little of a negative impact on the globe as possible.”Green” reminds me of growth, newness, and regeneration. To appreciate and foster these things is being green.”Does it matter?”Being green is important because it requires people to think and act in a way that is most beneficial for not only their lives but the lives of their children and the members of their community as well as the lives of people around the globe. Being green is important because it’s a personal investment in the posterity of our whole planet.”Are there a lot of people committed to being green?”I can’t say for sure, but I know it is difficult for me and many people I know to be concerned about global warming because, unfortunately, we’re so consumed by living day to day, getting by with our classes and jobs, traveling to and from school and work, worrying about establishing our careers once we graduate and about whether or not we will be able to afford to pay our bills and start the next chapter of our lives. We simply to not have the time, energy or resources to concern ourselves with global warming at the level to which it is required of us. It is also very expensive to change from a conventional lifestyle to one that is Earth-conscious.”How can UMB be more green?”UMB students are on the right track, as a campus community, for neutralizing the effects of global warming. Our recycling program is great! The motion sensors on the lights in our classrooms conserve a lot of energy, and, as cold as some of the classrooms can be in the winter, we know that heating is one of the quickest ways to waste energy and our hard earned money. Of course, creative and innovative people can come up with more for us to be able to do and I feel that UMB students will be enthusiastic about embracing those ideas.”Christopher Pond ‘Be green;’ what do you think?”To me, being green means living with an awareness of how your actions affect the environment and the world.”What are the most important things people can do to be green?”Although I think small lifestyle choices are an easy way to be green, I think that the most important steps for being green need to come at the federal or statewide level, in terms of regulation and initiative.” Do students care?”I think students in general realize that global warming is a big problem. At the same time, I think we’ve heard about the problem for so long that many students can just shrug at the mention of the term. Overall, though, I think students see green solutions as practical and understand their importance.” What are you doing for Earth Day?”I’m celebrating Earth Day with MASSPIRG and the Sustainability Club. We’ll be hosting fun and activities all day to highlight the many different ways you can be green, with games and info on different problems like global warming. Earth Day is a time to recognize that all of us share one planet, and that most environmental problems don’t recognize borders. It’s important to understand that we all have to do our part on both the small scale and the large scale.”

Amal Elmi

What do you do to be green?

“Being green for me is recycling, being aware of the amount of waste I use…”

Why does it matter to you?

“I believe it is vital for humanity that we take our environmental health seriously.”

Do other UMB students care about global warming?

“I believe students think global warming is real. However, it isn’t a solid reality many believe is happening but are not proactive in their own lives.”

What should people do for Earth Day?

“I hope that there can be an event put in place for Earth Day that gives students an idea about where they can begin to help out.”‘

Kathleen Inandan

What does being green mean to you?

“Being green is being environmentally-friendly. It’s trying to be consciously aware of how you impact the environment.”

Why does it matter to you?

“Earth supports our life here. We need to do the same.”

“I think we [UMB students] all are [concerned about global warming]. It’s just that we have limited resources and there’s only so much we can do. It seems to me that environmentally-friendly products are, more often that not, out of an average student’s budget.”

What should UMB students do on Earth Day?

“I think the first step that UMB students can do is educate themselves. I think you need to really comprehend it first before you can dedicate yourself to the cause.”

What will you do on Earth Day?

“Subtract all the school work I need to get done by then, I am looking forward to it. I don’t think I can do anything big (given the time and work constraints) but I think supporting my favorite charities is a good start.”

Can students be green?

“Let’s just all try! haha It’s hard and all. But I think we all need to be accountable for how we live our lives.”