Everyone’s talking about global warming, depletion of natural resources, and how we could all do our parts to conserve. Global warming may or may not be the issue, but it is certain that over-consumption is. Thinking seriously about consumption levels can be alarming. According to a recent story on NPR’s Marketplace, if every citizen of the world lived as the average American does, it would take six planet Earths to support us. The average child in a developed nation consumes 30 times more than that of a child in a developing nation. Despite the fact that we’re in college and live in communal housing, walk most places, and buy fewer groceries, as well as do less shopping in general, we still have significant ecological footprints. It is easy to become a passive consumer, buying individually packaged products and keeping our computers running, mobile phones charging, and lights on. These simple daily activities are easy to dismiss, however we must recognize that they have a considerable cumulative impact on the environment.
We at the Lawrentian understand that you’ve heard this before, and that it is easy to forget about personal accountability; nevertheless, we exhort all of us to be conscientious about our consumption. By remaining passive, we are accepting the inevitable destruction of our environment. As Paul Hawken urged in his recent convocation, “What we need to do is fall in love with the world we live in.