Revisiting Abandoned Ideals on Earth Day 2015

I interned at TerraCycle in college. It’s an extremely cool company that collects, recycles, and upcycles materials typically considered hard-to-recycle like Capri Sun pouches and Solo cups. They have a focus on “increasing environmental awareness and access” which, along with an interest in upcycling, drew me to work there.

A number of the student businesses that take part in the “school-day” economy ran by my current organization have businesses that either support or focus on environmentally-friendly and/or sustainable products and services. I was thinking about them today with a colleague and we gave some of them a shout-out on Twitter.

I love nature walks. My favorite days are the ones I spend far away from a computer screen and on a beach, or in a forest, or by a lake, or by a mountain or some other rock formation. I take advantage of these outdoor opportunities far less frequently than I’d like.

Nowadays, the prospect of a world with parking lots instead of forests, polluted oceans, a radically-shifted climate, and other telltales features of a fucked environment all feels less important to me. For some reason I feel more impending doom from a self-selected deadline to post words on the internet. Maybe I’ve lost touch and I need to get back to remembering the beauty held within our planet and play my part in ensuring it stays aesthetically-pleasing and legitimately habitable for future generations.

I know, with Interstellar’s recent entry into the public consciousness, and with the continued efforts of real-life scientists searching for feasible exoplanets, there is an underlying hope that no matter what happens to the Earth, we’ll persevere by leaving this rock just as it explodes in the background like some sort of epic action movie set in space.

I don’t have too much of that hope. Sometimes it’s easier to fix things than replace them. I live in a shared apartment in Manhattan now and a lot of what I see is litter, concrete, and a seclusion from natural settings. Yes Central Park is nice, but no I don’t want that to be a precursor to a future world in which the splendors and bounties of the natural world are reduced to a rectangular area enclosed by manmade objects.

I want to help save this world, but I need to remember that this takes consistent, deliberate, informed, and public action, and not occasional bursts of thought when I reflect and realize the grand ideals I used to have are slowly eroding away because of new priorities and apathy.

Deadlines won’t bring much anxiety when the Earth’s temperature makes it too hot to get a decent breath and our words will be impotent if our whole home is a shrine to neglect and decay.

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