While I didn’t grow up in Chicago, moving to the city made me realize the conscious decisions I make that directly affect the environment. Since I don’t live on UIC’s campus, I as well as a majority of the students in attendance, commute every day to get to class. I also commute to work multiple times each week. We know that cities, as opposed to suburbs and rural areas, are the most energy using areas (Alberti and Susskind, 5). Taking public transportation, while convenient, is quite harmful for the environment. In the summer when I took classes on campus I rode my bike because I live within a reasonable distance to do so. In the spring when it gets warmer it will be my responsibility as an ethical person to try and be as green as I can be. I know that it is common for us to believe that many earth changing things, global warming and unnatural human exteriorization of the earth included, will not affect us in our lifetimes (Meadows, Meadows, Rander, et. All, 52) . The environment is not an immediate human concern for most, but it is important that we improve things while we can before it is too late.
Another thing I do that impacts our environment is responsibly recycling. Rummaging through the trash to pick out the plastic and paper that my roommates toss in the garbage is something I find myself doing almost without a conscious thought. I was actually socialized to do this by my parents in adolescence and the actions have stayed with me all the way into adulthood. I think it’s important for me to recycle because while there is no easy way we can individually take the carbon dioxide output from vehicles back into the earth, it is relatively simple to separate garbage from recyclables for the reuse of materials. The average person is using 650 pounds of paper a year, and every ton of paper recycled has ability to save 17 trees, 7000 gallons of water, enough energy to heat a home for an entire year, and reduces air pollution by 60 pounds (Massachusets Institute of Techonology). That means about three ecologically responsible people have the ability to make these changes by recycling just their paper. This is something that anybody can do and it has profound positive effects for our depleting environment.
Where I am employed I noticed a wild waste of paper. In a lot of closing tasks require us to print out dozens and dozens of papers daily and in the long run, it is an incredible waste of paper. The facility I work in also has no recycling within it and what we as a company can do is attempt to digitalize our records to stop the waste. It would be in the best interest of the planet for me to look into persuading my work building to implement a recycling program.
Alberti, Marina, and Lawrence Susskind. “MANAGING URBAN SUSTAINABILITY: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE SPECIAL ISSUE.” Environ Impact Assess Rev 6 (1996): 213-21. Web. 29 Jan. 2016.
Meadows, Donella, Dennis L. Meadows, Jorgen Randers, and William W. Behrens III. Perspectives, Problems, and Models. New York: Universe, 1972. Web. 29 Jan. 2016.
“Recycling Facts.” Web.mit.edu. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <http://web.mit.edu/facilities/environmental/recyc-facts.html>.