J500 Media and the Environment

Sustainability: Mind over Action or Mindful Action? by erinleap

Sustainability: a way of thinking that timelessly generates relevant ideas and tactics ways humans can reduce their ecological footprint on Earth.

Here’s how I’ve broken down my definition of sustainability to make it more understandable:

  • A way of thinking that timelessly generates – assessment must be ongoing in order to successfully implement the rest of the definition.
  • …relevant ideas and tactics – the plan and approach must be appropriate to the time and the situation. This necessitates ongoing and new ways of thinking as the environment and society change.
  • …ways humans can reduce their ecological footprint on Earth – minimize  human effect, minimize harm to the Earth, sustain what is still available.

To me, sustainability doesn’t simply mean being green. I believe a big part of sustainability is in the way one thinks. Sure, you can recycle, but do you know why you’re recycling? You can drive a hybrid car, but what’s the true benefit in doing so? It’s important to not only do the action but also know the benefits or consequences behind it. I believe actions can wear out over time but to change the way someone thinks has a long-lasting effect. If actions speak louder than words, does the mind speak louder than actions? Not necessarily.

I think it’s also important the mind and action work together. Many people want to be sustainable and think about doing so, but it doesn’t help matters if they’re not actually acting sustainably. It goes along with the common used phrase, “Easier said than done.” It’s easier to say you’re green than to act green. It’s easier to think about sustainability than to be sustainable. To think and put your thoughts into action is what matters but also requires a little effort.

Will too much green to be green blacken the green movement?

Will too much green to be green blacken the green movement? (Photo courtesy of Karl Brauer of Edmunds.com)

My biggest fear is that this green movement we all seem to be currently riding will eventually die out. Being sustainable is the popular culture phenomenon right now but does it have an expiration date? I know it’s an oxymoron to use sustainability and expiration in the same sentence but I have to wonder. This is why I included the words timeless and relevant in my definition. Sustainability needs to be both of these in order to successfully outlive this green wave of popularity to continue into future generations.

-Erin Pursel


you say you want a revolution? by dmdeshazer

Well, I say, it’s started.

Coming into the Media & Environment class, for me, was like putting a fish out of water. I knew nothing, and I didn’t intend on claiming any of the knowledge or experience I now have. I knew it would give me something, a new eye, a new ground, a new idea, but I didn’t know that I would now have ambition and fervor for the green movement and environmental media. I even observe journalists and media that I utilize daily and see what they have their hands in, eco-wise.

Okay, so maybe I realized that this ‘green revolution’ was something that has actually been intact for quite some time now, but the current demand for greener lifestyles, more eco-friendly healthy societies, and a wide-angle focus on climate change and the environment can hit home with us all. It’s the little steps that eventually cause the big ones. I had such a struggle understanding my part in all of this. How does refusing to buy water in a plastic bottle actually change how many are produced and how many are still purchased? It’s hard to think of the green movement in that way. But, what I learned is that the collective movement and strength is made of every individual. It has to start somewhere.

My media and environment class was eye-opening and life-changing. I feel like I walk around with green-colored glasses on, noting that every decision I make has a lasting impact on myself, my peers, my environment.

J500 gave me . . .
A starting ground. A basis for growth. Something to be proud of. A network of passionate journalists. Connection with national media. A new perspective.

–Danae DeShazer

Celebs love the earth, too! by denah
April 23, 2008, 2:01 pm
Filed under: Society + Media | Tags: , , , ,

Happy Belated Earth Day, everyone!

I know this is a day late, but a friend of mine shared with me this website (Huffington Post, for those who have heard of it or are readers themselves) that I thought would intrigue this audience. The site includes fun-filled energy saving ideas and tips that I always enjoy myself in case there is one more thing I can do in my everyday life that is green.

If you scroll down to the bottom of the website, there is a comedic video of the “Green Team”. A few celebs, including Will Ferrell, participated in the video. If anything, it is just a friendly reminder of how much pop culture, celebs and all that good jazz are influencing the green movement.

-Dena Hart

Global warming doesn’t kill people. Blogs do. by Lauren Keith

Photo by Tayseer, flickr.com

It’s 10 p.m. Do you know where your readers are?

They’re right here, you post procrastinator. They are breathing down your avatar’s neck, expectantly drooling on their keyboards, just waiting for you to hit the almighty “save” button.

You’ve been slaving away over a hot CPU all damn day, but in the world of the ever-impending deadline, readers don’t give a ctrl-alt-del.

The New York Times reported Sunday that two well-known technology bloggers suffered from heart attacks and have gone to meet their maker (presumably Al Gore).

It seems the stress of approaching deadlines is taking its toll everywhere.

Mother Nature knows for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for the (environment).

I fear the sixth great mass extinction will begin soon, this time arising from the deaths of environmentalists suffering from green fatigue.

We rush around: turning off the lights, unplugging unused toasters and TVs, digging through the garbage to find one man’s trash that’s another man’s trip to the recycling center and being a vegetarian even when your friends force you to join them for a Buffalo Wild Wings dinner.

But what satisfaction do we get, especially when we come home to find that our roommate has single-handedly chopped down the entire Amazon rainforest and transported its chipboard brothers and sisters to our living room?

The non-organic, petroleum-derived Doritos bag was my addition to this trip down the Amazon Trail.

With global warming putting an impending deadline on the survival of the human race, we need to take a step back before we hit “save” on our daily actions.

People demand news, now, never-ending. As bloggers, we need to make the climate crisis relevant but not redundant, to remember our deadline and to remind readers of theirs.

Don’t forget that you can stop and breathe for a second, but please divert your CO2 elsewhere.

—Lauren Keith

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Jesus is coming. Look busy. by Lauren Keith

Photo from HouseofDavid.

Are you there, God? It’s me, global warming.

When I logged on to Facebook yesterday, I was disturbed to see that my two least favorite things (organized religion and Yahoo! Inc.) have friend requested my best buddy, the Green Movement.

And the Green Movement accepted their friend request.

In a story posted yesterday on Yahoo! Green (which I had no idea existed until 12 hours ago), the Catholics’ second-in-command declared pollution a sin.

According to the article, the Pope has made a decent fuss about environmental problems, enough so to scare some churches to invest in eco-palms for this year’s Palm Sunday.

As much as I disagree with everything else the Pope stands for, I like seeing a major religion acknowledge and combat the climate crisis. In fact, Vatican announced plans last summer to become the world’s first carbon-neutral state. Yahoo’s article said that photovoltaic cells have been installed and that the Church has discussed the consequences of global warming.

Even though pollution is now one of the seven deadly sins, recent studies show that fewer Catholics are attending confession. It’s okay, sinners, the rest of the human race doesn’t want to own up to global warming yet either.

While Catholics only have a few new sins to steer clear of, I’ve compiled the Green Movement’s 10 “Greenmandments” to make sure the rest of us can also avoid eternal damnation.

And Mother Earth did spake:
I: Thou shalt have no other planets before Me.

II: Thou shalt not exploit resources in vain.

III: Thou shalt take a break from electronic devices and unplug them while not in use.

IV: Thou shalt recycle, even if thou must driveth to Wal-Mart in thy carbon dioxide emitting, 10-miles-per-gallon-getting Hummer.

V: Thou shalt not kill animals grown in factory farm conditions.

VI: Thou shalt not sleep with polluters to convert them to thine side.

VII: Thou shalt not steal, because then thou art consuming earthly goods.

VIII: Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor’s greenhouse gas emissions.

IX: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s solar panels, greywater irrigation system or organic garden because thou shalt soon have one of thine own.

X: Thou shalt not key thy neighbor’s Prius, even if thou would like to own one or thou knoweth the truth about its origins.

Hallelujah! Praise be with the planet.

—Lauren Keith

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