J500 Media and the Environment

Baby Steps by Sarah
January 22, 2008, 4:50 pm
Filed under: Society + Media

So, it is refreshing to hear that my footprint of 12 is half of the average person. But what is not so refreshing to hear is that we would need 2.7 planets to support a world of Sarahs.

To tell you the truth, I expected a warning box to pop up at the end of my Ecological Footprint Quiz telling me that I am one of the people who are specifically responsible for the destruction of the rainforest; and because of this I am going straight to hell. Luckily, that was not the case and it sounds like I was spared.

I will be the first to admit, I have not been the most environmentally friendly person up until recently, and my results were not shocking to me. When I say “up until recently” I mean for example, I was that person who didn’t recycle because I was lazy to take it somewhere, the one who grabbed a new water bottle instead of reusing one, and I’m the same person who used a roll of paper towels to clean up a mess instead of the washable towel sitting next to them on the counter. Obviously, I needed to make some changes. After taking this Ecological Footprint Quiz, my assumptions were reaffirmed. I need to continue to change my lifestyle, and so does the rest of the world.

So far, I am proud of the small changes in my life that I have made. I’m trying to take it one step at a time, and slowly recruit my friends to do the same. I purchased my own reusable grocery bags at Hy-Vee the other day and have vowed to stop using the thousands of plastic bags I probably used last year. I took my first load of recycling up to Wal-Mart as well, and let me tell you, it felt great. My proudest moment so far was stopping by Local Burger instead of making a mad dash through the McDonald’s drive-thru last week.

-Sarah Nelson


5 Comments so far
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The WalMart recycling center is well-operated (though not by WalMart, I found out recently) but does anyone know where you can recycle number 5 plastic (Dannon Yogurt containers, specifically)?

Sonya E

Comment by sonyae

There is something very important in what you are saying about this stuff “feeling good.” The field of ecopsychology suggests “that there is a synergistic relation between planetary and personal well being; that the needs of the one are relevant to the other.” The field gets a little new agey in some of its languaging but I think we all know we feel better when we are doing right by Mother Earth or getting out into nature.

Simran Sethi

Comment by j500


I was the Health and Science reporter for the University Daily Kansan last spring, and wrote two stories about Local Burger. I truly admire everything Local Burger strives to be and actually is. Hilary Brown, the owner, is a smart woman who knows her stuff. Her personal story about what local, natural foods can do to your body (i.e. getting away from processed foods that break you down, and eating foods that give you the nutrients you need) makes me want to eat there everyday. The truth is, though, I have yet to even try it. Everytime I see it, I want to go in and try it, but I guess I’m scared. As you can see, I’m still in the developmental stage of environmental awareness, and not yet making those big changes in my life toward efficiency. I hope this class brings me new perspective and new grounds to make change.

Danae DeShazer

Comment by Danae DeShazer

I seriously never thought I would be satisfied eating a “bison burger,” but last semester when I first was introduced to Local Burger by Bob Basow, who was introduced by Simran coincidentally, I was pleasantly surprised! Their food is all natural, I believe, and very good. Not only is it good for the environment, but it’s good for our health too. One small step, but a first step. You should definitely try it.

-Sarah Nelson

Comment by snelson33

I would have to say that I relate to this blog on a personal note as well. It seems that not only for us who are consciously aware, but for the world, are going to have to take those baby steps. My only concern about it all is that by the time our world takes a stand to change our everyday habits that worsen our enviornment, I hope that something horrifying doesn’t happen before. I find one of the most important parts of being enviornmentally friendly is the warm feeling you get inside when you do something good for the enviornment. I would think that everybody in this world would love to have that warm, do-gooder feeling inside.

Dena Hart

Comment by denah

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