This does not have to be about climate change. This does not have to be about tree-hugging. This does not have to be about giving things up.
Rather, it can be about caring about what happens to you.
Caring about the environment is synonymous with caring about your health, your home, your politics and even your pocketbook. The reasons to care, in fact, are endless.
Here are just a few brief facts under these wide categories to argue the point.
Health: Pollution exacerbates and creates health problems ranging from asthma to neurological damage, and this does not just include outdoor urban-smog pollution. BPA and other chemicals in plastics, carpeting, paint and other materials that can be found inside your apartment are also pollutants, and many are carcinogenic.
Politics: You have probably heard this before. Reduce our dependency on foreign oil. Almost everything we use runs off of oil, or is manufactured in a foreign country. The idea of self-sufficiency is not just for individuals, and can extend to manufacturing, energy, food or just about anything else.
Pocket Book: Being more environmentally caring does not mean you have to make sacrifices. If you can go organic or fair-trade, more power to you. If you are not up to that, then do what you can, because if everyone acts just a bit greener, the environment will be better. Turn the light off when you leave the room. Unplug your cell charger when you are not using it. All those little things you keep hearing about really do make a difference. When you move off campus and are used to turning off lights and electrical appliances when you are not using them, your electric bill will be a good deal lower.
Similarly, if you eat good food and try to avoid some of the myriad of environmental hazards around us in our day-to-day life (for example, try to avoid plastic water bottles and microwaving food in plastic containers), your health will benefit, and the money you pay in medical bills will be considerably less.
Home: You have heard it until you are sick of it, but it is true. You live here, on this planet. Do you live in filth in your apartment, with trash piled up everywhere, with rotting food up to the cabinets in your kitchen, with oil in your bathtub? Most of us keep our apartments cleaner than that, but we all live in those conditions in our larger home. You should care because what goes on throughout the world does affect you, really and truly. If you doubt that, answer this: If your roommate set fire to the apartment, would it affect you? It is the same thing, except that the college could provide you with somewhere else to live.
There are plenty of opportunities to get involved on campus, from environmental groups to social work groups.
The RSCO fair is coming up – go check out the Green Team and other clubs you might be interested in! If that is not for you, at the very least you can remember to please turn off the lights when you leave a room.
If you have any questions, want to know more, or want to know where this information came from, please feel free to contact me.