It’s Not Easy Being Green

So I think Earth Day sucks.

I know, I know. I’m a bad person, a tree hater. But don’t rush to judgment. Let me offer some sort of explanation for my hostile feelings towards such an environmentally friendly and inoffensive holiday. My dislike of Earth Day stems not from the event itself, but from the fact for that the entire day, I am forced to reflect on how little respect I actually show the Earth.

Sure, I express concern to friends and professors about global warming and Hurricane Katrina. I help pick up beer cans along Broad Street as a way to achieve philanthropy hours for my sorority (and to find the occasional full can – I’m not the kind of girl to turn down free Keystone Light). I was hoping to think of a third way that I am an asset to the environment, but I can’t.

A longer list, however, illustrates the ways in which I contribute to the rapid deterioration of Mother Earth. I can start with my vehicle. I drive a Land Rover, which as many people have brought to my attention, is not exactly a pillar of conservation.

“Blueski,” as I call my SUV, gets about 17 miles to the gallon. Furthermore, I fill the tank at least every three days. This mass consumption of gasoline is triggered by my fascination with country drives around upstate New York. Some people run, some read, I drive. Something about the winding roads, expansive farmland and toothless gas station attendants really helps me clear my head. So in addition to the five-hour drive from my home in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA to Colgate, I needlessly waste gallons of regular unleaded throughout the small farming communities of Madison Country.

Next, I have an extreme issue with laziness when it comes to recycling. Despite the fact that two of my suitemates are deeply involved in Colgate’s Outdoor Education program, I cannot seem to gather up the energy to take cans, boxes and Smirnoff bottles to the recycling bin. Don’t get me wrong, I think about it from time to time. But the recycling bin is all the way outside my room. I really don’t think I should be held accountable for copping out of such a labor-intensive activity.

Finally, I may or may not have on certain occasions found the smell/sight of something in my car so offensive that I felt the need to dispose of it, and not in the proper receptacle. I’m not exactly a “litterer,” but, as I said before, I like everything to be in order when it comes to country driving. Consequently, if there is a half-consumed latte in my cup holder, it might not make the cut on the list of “acceptable items to keep in the car.” I know it’s bad and I really do not litter much. I’m not entirely sure why I am trying to justify such a needless act, but hey, that’s human nature.

Now that I have confessed my environmental sins, I have resolved to do at least one thing for Earth Day. Various Colgate student groups are putting on events throughout the weekend to make it easy for me to achieve my goal. I think “Walk Up the Hill Friday” should be pretty easy to follow as it is 70 degrees and sunny. Additionally, SEA is holding a barbeque on the quad today to promote environmental awareness. And on Saturday, there’s Springfest, an all-day family event on Hamilton’s village green. There will be food, music and activities for all ages. If a gas-guzzling litterer who doesn’t recycle is willing to try to go green, then we can all give environmental awareness a chance.