September 29, 2020

BY KRISTEN MILANI
It amazes me that people who are environmentally insensitive believe the world will just go on the way it always has despite their abuse. I could care less if someone called me an annoying tree hugger because, the truth is, I’m one of the people who help keep the world revolving. I’m not asking everyone to mimic what I do, I’m asking people to stop being lazy.
In the past few years, I’ve started to see a lot more sorting bins in public places for recyclables and garbage. They have four sections for different trash items – waste, compost, paper and plastic – but some people still don’t get it. The lights are on but nobody’s home. I once saw someone go up to one of the sorting bins with two plastic bottles. She threw them in the garbage section instead of the recycling one conveniently placed five inches to the right. That is the height of ignorance.
People excuse it by saying, “Who cares? It’s just one bottle.” Wake up and smell the roses because it’s far from it. There are over seven billion people in the world. If half the population threw a bottle in the garbage each day, that would be close to 3.5 billion bottles that could have been recycled, or 24.5 billion in a week.
Let’s not forget that many places in the world have limited recycling. My mom once told me that she walked around Chicago and it took her over a day to find a recycling bin. That’s just pathetic. I am losing faith in humanity due to things like that. What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong is a beautiful song but the lyrics couldn’t be any further from the truth.
The world isn’t invincible and people need to stop treating it like it is. I don’t believe the world is going to end on Dec. 21, 2012 like the Mayans predict, but if people don’t figure things out, it will eventually happen. The environment can only take so many beatings before it throws in the towel. It’s time that people took a look around and realized that the world may still have a fighting chance to become a better place.
If you honestly think that changing your ways won’t make a difference, you are mistaken. It’s simple. Go a little out of your way. Laziness isn’t acceptable especially when it determines the future of the planet we live on. If you feel good about yourself when you lay down at night knowing you did nothing to help, then so be it, but when the world starts falling apart, give yourself a pat on the back for contributing to that.
If the reason people don’t care is because they believe the end of the world won’t happen during their lifetime, they should be ashamed. Who cares about future generations who will live in peril due to pure negligence, right? That thought makes me sick. Why should they suffer because of other people’s lack of intelligence? Let’s give future generations and the environment a fair shake instead of being so selfish.