Opinion: It is easy being green

The planet is facing a downhill slope in regards to sustainability and the result will not be a fun situation for anyone. 

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, between 1960 and 2013, the amount of waste each person generated in the United States rose from 2.7 to 4.4 pounds per day, and most of this waste is not recyclable. Only 9 percent of plastic waste actually gets recycled. The rest is sent off to landfills, burned, buried or released in the oceans. These plastics create green-house emissions, resulting in the intensification of climate change. Results of climate change can look like, hotter warm weathers, colder cold weathers, irregular weather patterns, lack of water, intense floods and so forth. 

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data suggest that 2015 was the hottest year on record to that point, with average temperatures across land and ocean surfaces 1.62 degrees above the twentieth-century average. 

Corporate companies are producing more plastic, oil companies continue drilling oil, and governments still do not take climate change as seriously as it needs to be taken. Even though we require serious fundamental changes at the core of the system, we can still do our own share to help reduce the effects of climate change. 

One of the many ways we can do better is by being conscious of what we use and how much plastic we produce. 

On our campus, we have two options of boxes to carry food in, the Green-To-Go boxes, which are reusable, and the non-reusable, non-recyclable plastic boxes.  Many students prefer the latter one, unfortunately.

If you were to stand outside the Maize on our campus on a regular Tuesday around 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm, you would probably see at least 40 students going in and out of the building carrying food in non-recyclable plastic boxes. Not only that, but some carry snacks from the Corn Crib in plastic containers. Some go the extra mile and carry all these plastic wrapped items in a nice, disposable, one-time use plastic bag. 

Something Concordia can do better is to advertise the Green-To-Go boxes better, and to make them more accessible and easy to deal with. Concordia needs to implement fundamental changes in how the Dining Service operates regarding plastic. In the meantime, I encourage you to use the more sustainable option and encourage your friends and acquaintances to do the same.

Concordia students can do better, we should do better, we do not have a choice and to assume otherwise would be irresponsible, hurtful to the planet, our future, and mainly, already vulnerable communities.


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