As Greenfire kicked off its annual Clean Plate Challenge last week, it was met with some opposition as well as some negative feedback. As a member of Greenfire, I wanted to know why people felt so compelled to leave comments such as, “Just another way for Greenfire to show that they are better than the world.”
I spoke with some peers on campus and it was apparent that many people find the Clean Plate Challenge to be pretentious and overbearing. I guess I just fail to understand why raising awareness for the environment is seen as such a “pretentious,” “overbearing” thing.
It is unfortunate that people who are associated with such terms as “eco-friendly,” “environmentalism” or “go green” carry the weighty baggage of being eco-terrorists or tree-hugging, dirty hippies that frown upon everyone else’s wasteful way of life. It appears there is a failure to recognize the greater meaning behind Greenfire activities such as the Clean Plate Challenge.
Am I in Greenfire? Yes. Do I try to live as green as possible? Yes. Do I sometimes leave a large portion of wasted food on my plate when I eat at Andrew Commons? YES. And guess what — sometimes I leave my room with the light on, and I don’t turn off the power strip, and I use too much toilet paper, and I take long showers!
The whole point of the Clean Plate Challenge is to simply make people more aware of not putting more food on your plate than you’re going to eat. I am wasteful too, but I try to be aware of it. Through this awareness, hopefully, changes in my lifestyle will occur. That’s all we’re trying to do. We’re not Big Brother watching over all of you eat and waste your food to reprimand you. We’re simply trying to make a statement in the hopes that people will be more conscious about the beautiful environment in which we live.
I’m sure many of you don’t even know where Sabin House — Greenfire — is located. It’s that lovely yellow house on the far-east corner of the quad. That being said, you should come by sometime — our doors are always open and some of the most magical, loving people live there who are always down to boogie. Hopefully opinions of Greenfire will change.