J500 Media and the Environment


Feet Fi Fo Fum by julianat
January 21, 2008, 9:56 pm
Filed under: Society + Media

… I smell the blood of guilt conscious environmentalists !

In order to sustain my lifestyle, we would need 1.6 more of earth than we already have, my acreage being 12, half of what is “an average American lifestyle”. I am neither appalled, surprised, nor proud.

What does this mean? These numbers don’t have much weight or meaning to me because the validity of the quiz is uncertain to me. The questions are vague with a double-edged sword . If i don’t use public transportation, does that imply that I use my car instead, when in reality I bike or walk most places?

I remember taking this quiz about 5 years ago in high school, and upon taking this quiz then I was surprised, I was average. This was one of the few things that encouraged me to become more knowledgeable in environmentalism and pursue an eco-friendly lifestyle. At the time I felt that I had no control over my lifestyle, and things would change once I was on my own.

Admittedly, I was (and still am) always looking for the future for change, I figured it was something I would get to eventually, living a more eco-friendly lifestyle and taking action in trying to change the way things are.

Even though, my “footprint” is substantially less than what it was when I was in high school, it is still not enough, I feel there will always be room for improvement in my life to become more eco-friendly. I don’t do anymore than what is common sense to me, I bike or walk, I cook fresh organic food as much as my pocket can afford, and I maintain the triple R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle). This is my lifestyle, and for some people these little lifestyle changes would be terribly difficult to adapt to, but to me it’s definitely not enough.

It makes me wonder, no matter how much we change our lifestyle, even if we all become “uber environmentally hip” and all change our incandescents to CFL’s and wear recycled belts, will it ever be enough to save the world? Will it be enough to cut through the BS?

I am optimistic enough to say that it will, through necessity and eventuality .

-Juliana

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3 Comments so far
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Juliana, Your high school response was exactly what I was hoping for: “I remember taking this quiz about 5 years ago in high school, and upon taking this quiz then I was surprised, I was average. This was one of the few things that encouraged me to become more knowledgeable in environmentalism and pursue an eco-friendly lifestyle.”
It’s great that, as we get older, we question the methodologies employed and assumptions that are made. What I view the quiz as is a quick and dirty assessment of where we are. . .and where we can go.
It worked for you in high school, right?
What could inspire people to action in the realm of what we do in this class? Or is that outcome of action even appropriate for communicators to strive for? If not, what is?

Simran Sethi

Comment by j500

I think that your response and skepticism of this quiz and being eco-friendly in general is a long the same lines as my personal feelings. You’re right, I think that the more we mature and grow older (especially in my case), the more aware we become of the serious issues that the world is facing. I too wonder also that just by living a somewhat eco-friendly lifestyle, am I even making a difference? Probably not. But, I also stay optimistic that the more we grow and the more we influence our peers, the bigger difference we will see. Since becoming familiar with the imperative changes that the world needs to make, I have slowly noticed myself talking more and more about it, and doing more and more things differently in my everyday lifestyle. Even something as little as turning off my computer more frequently and using a reusable water bottle are things that I’m doing without noticing. My next step, getting my two roommates to do the same. Maybe starting to recycle at our apartment won’t make a huge difference in the big picture, but it could lead to more change in my friends as I have experienced.

Sarah Nelson

Comment by snelson33

Sarah, You say, “. . .am I even making a difference? Probably not. But, I also stay optimistic that the more we grow and the more we influence our peers, the bigger difference we will see.” I am confused, do you think you are making a difference or not? In the shadow of MLK Day, I have to say I think that individual changes DO matter and add up to collective transformation. Or as anthropologist Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Simran Sethi

Comment by j500




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