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Real World

The Foundation of the Green Revolution

The Foundation of the Green Revolution

By Alison Hemphill

For as long as I can remember, the Environmental Revolution has been present in my everyday life. You might not know off-hand what that is or how it became a part of your life, but one life event teaches you.

This lesson is learning not to leave your garbage lying around everywhere you go.

 “Oh no, you can’t throw trash on the ground!” you often hear parents saying to their child, a foundational lesson in a world where consumerism (a society highly centered on buying and selling products), and materialism (our desire to purchase products in order to show our economic status) are king. This became a more common rule as science advanced and it was discovered that refuse, or trash, has ill effects on our health. We created landfills to deal with this, but production of disposable packaging and products have only increased. This is what is wrong with the system.

 This is a small-scale example of why trash has a negative effect on the environment. Usually, the systems proving this are much larger, and much more complicated. One example involves the decomposition of plastics. Variables such as the decomposition time of the plastic, the complexity of the food web, and how long it takes to get into our food chain are what need to be studied.

Overall, I believe the take-away from this is that trash is not good. Landfills are not good. It seems to be common knowledge for many, but wasteful practices continue to be produced. At ANEW, we are working to do our part in preventing waste from reaching landfills. We are trying to bring more awareness to the issue of preventing waste.  As the Iroquois have long believed, “In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation.” We must leave our earth the way we would want it to be for our children, our children’s children, and so on and so forth.

 

- Alison Hemphill is the ANEW Intern -

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