A high school economics class is where I first heard the title of my post. “There is no such thing as a free lunch” we 16-year-olds were told, our teacher trying to transfer our head spaces from entitlement to reality. We were taught that all things have a literal cost, influencing the economic realm in one way or another. Economy is, however, just one of the three spheres of influence that must be thoughtfully maintained in order to reach sustainability. Humans across the globe must keep in mind costs and resulting impact of our lifestyle choices in the social and environmental realm. According to “The Limits of Growth”, written in 1972, our planet has an expiration date, unless action is taken to achieve a more sustainable way of life.
I personally have struggle grasping the fact that my single little life has any effect at all on social and economic environments, let alone the physical environment. It’s oddly validating, knowing that by keeping myself alive I actually yield a massive amount of power. As a force of life and a self-proclaimed “good person,” I strive to use my power for good! It’d be great if everyone took on this sort of super-hero complex, because we have a lot of cleaning up to do. Regarding my sustainable ambitions as a student, I either take the blue line or am driven to school. If I’m driven, I get an extra half hour of sleep (an obvious perk). However, I read that “leaving your car at home just two days a week can reduce your greenhouse gas emissions by an average of two tons per year.” Little things like that take a very small amount of intention, but if maintained, they are what will end up extending the global expiration date.