Old Things Become New

Oklahoma State prides itself on a lot. Whether it be America’s biggest homecoming, or the world brightest orange; OSU does not disappoint. When I visited the Sustainability office along with the upholstery shop and the recycling center I knew right away this was another success Oklahoma State deserved. I never knew just how much went into a college campus…that is sustainability wise. It requires so much more than a good idea; it also needs willing and open-minded students. When I heard that just by turning off unused lights OSU saved 50 millions dollars…I was blown away. Then, it really got me thinking. What if we encouraged so much more than lights? What about water? OSU has truly shown that one small act can create a chain reaction. Its truly remarkable to see a campus that want to be so involved in every aspect of the word recycle. Whether it be furniture that has more life in it than just the fabric, or tons of paper that can be reused. It really changed the way I saw how the campus worked. OSU does not only want the students to succeed and thrive, but also the planet.

The idea that the earth is full it a very hard concept to wrap my mind around. The earth is so large and so vast; it almost seems like an impossible idea. However, this is a very true and unnerving statement. I do not believe there is a real solution to the problem. However, I do believe that people need to be more mindful. There is only so much earth. There needs to be a balance between populating and how much space is left. Now that does not mean go wipe out an entire rainforest….It simply means be mindful.

The Ester Islands was a peculiar case. People used to be able to walk the entire island in one day…one day. There should have been some form of insight as to what was happening or what would happen. However, I believe greed and human nature was the driving force for what happened. They did not see the big picture. They old looked at the here and now. Unfortunately that is exactly where our world today is headed. We want to overlook the real issues of what our actions are doing to our world. We want to say “things will work out” or “its not our problem right now.” It is selfish and inhumane to leave a mess for the future generations. Our mind set should be to leave the best possible generation for futures to come. Sadly, we don’t see it that way. We want to make money, be successful, enjoy our life right now. We don’t want to have to make sacrifices for the next generation because “they will figure it out”. I believe that was the same mindset that the people of the Easter Islands had. They did not see a problem in what they were doing, and since they did not get repercussions right away they continued until their actions became their demise.

My wicked problem is difficulty to say the least. I want to write about something that true is an issue and does effect us now. I’m hoping to explore the idea of using foreign companies as our way to move production out of the U.S. I think its wicked because we are forcing many third world countries to work for little to nothing, however, because we are paying them they are doing better than if not. On the other side if we did end up moving our companies back into the U.S it would be very difficult to keep the products at the same price. Cost would go up and it would send the economy into a downward spiral. No matter what we do about this issue there will always be a loosing side.

It was very moving to hear that if I make a small change; it could completely shift a generation. If I stop using plastic straws, if I used cloth bags instead of plastic, or if I turned off my lights when I am not using them… I could be shifting a small piece of the world. I’m a firm believer that humans follow by watching. If I choose to be more mindful I am sure many of my friends or people just watching me would shift as well. Getting one person to purchase reusable straws reduces the chance of finding that same plastic straw somewhere along a coast. If you change the mindset you change the person. If you change the person you change the world.

The wildest thing activity in class really got my brain thinking. I remember a Ted Talk I had watched several years ago about a woman who had a constriction company that made every thing out of bamboo. At first watching it I thought how crazy of an idea that was. But the more she talked the more it made sense. Bamboo grows relatively fast, it is cheap, and it substitutes many things the eventually could be harmful to the environment. It’s all natural and a safer alternative to many things that are not biodegradable.

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