Wednesday, June 08, 2005

My environmentalism.

Once again, my history class has prompted a blogging session. This time, in response to the incredibly narrow views of environmentalism being expressed by classmates:
  • "He's a hunter... he can't be an environmentalist!"
  • "He eats meat... he can't be an environmentalist!"
  • "She's praying... she can't be an environmentalist!"
  • et cetera
Such statements betray a fundamental lack of understanding as to what environmentalism is. Rather than requiring that all practicioners be "tree-hugging hippies," environmentalism is about doing something for the environment, regardless of one's rationale. Want to hunt more? Then hunt sustainably so that there will be something to hunt. Want to eat meat? Then make sure that there will be lands to graze upon. Want to serve your God? Then protect His creations.
Of course, protection can be a very broad idea, ranging from the stereotypical image of a tree-hugger wrapping him or herself around a tree to keep it from being cut, to Ducks Unlimited working to keep lands developed that they wish to use for hunting, to recycling one's waste. If you feel that the environment is worth protecting, even in some small way, and even if only as a means to another ends, then you, too, are an environmentalist. With that, let me list some of what I do. It's not much, but every little bit helps, eh? I'm not trying to brag... trust me, this isn't much.
  • I recycle my aluminum and glass.
  • I don't buy lots of small plastic junk.
  • I use packaging as packing materials when I move.
  • I turn of the lights, and my monitors, when I go to bed or leave my room. If I remember, I also turn off my speakers.
  • I use resusable containers (like Tupperware) rather than lots of plastic wrap.
I'm sure that there are some other things I do... I just can't think of them off the top of my head. Still, though, this little bit does help, right? I'm sure that my room still draws a lot of power, with my 480W computer, my two monitors, 6-piece speaker system... so I'm no saint by any measure. On the other hand, even such a small thing as recycling aluminum can have a huge impact. Aluminum, while not rare, takes a lot of energy to smelt: fill an aluminum can with gasoline to get an idea of how much petroleum is required to smelt that much aluminum. Recycling cuts down the waste by quite a large amount, and thus saves a lot of oil.
At any rate, hopefully you can think about whether you are an environmentalist or not. I wish to show people that the label doesn't have to be anywhere near as narrow as most people think. Are you an environmentalist?

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