The Eighth Page

My Sustainability Is Way Bigger Than Your Sustainability

Since the days of Captain Planet, two truths have remained evident. First, that the environment is the most bountiful resource mankind has or could ask for. Where else can you find bubbling brooks to drink from, and rocky mountain passes from which to gaze? I get excited just thinking about it, the environment. It’s so majestic and beautiful and conceptually vague! The other truth, however, is one that has apparently made itself more evident to me than anyone else: the rest of you have made it your mission to gum it all up with your unsound, supposedly sustainable practices! What makes it so difficult for you to take the extra couple of hours out of your day for the good of preserving the environment for our kids, and their kids and the kids that their kids would have if their entire generation weren’t left sterile by a nuclear holocaust catalyzed by the discovery of the ape-men who had been living on Neptune all along? Conventional wisdom tells us to cut our plastic, six-pack container rings into little pieces so that dolphins don’t get their noses caught in them. I, however, take it upon myself to cut the waste plastic into the shape of little seahorses. This way, the dolphin’s noses are safe, the crabs are happy because their property value isn’t affected by a ruined view, and the concept of “sex doll” is introduced to the seahorse population. Given that fancy trick that seahorses can do with their sex organs (Wikipedia it, you pedantic dunces!), one can only imagine the things that are going on under the sea now that I’ve come to town and started recycling in a truly environment-conscious way. I’ve come to find that the average Joe thinks of himself as environmentally aware when he shuts off the lights when he leaves a room. I’ll tell you something, Joe, I haven’t turned on a light in my home since 1998, and that was only because I had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and was not interested in my mother urging my father to give me another lesson on how to “aim” my stream with greater precision. Hell, I’ve developed a lazy eye from trying to read Pride and Prejudice in the dark. I’ve nearly burned my house down while making a fifth-grade “About Me” collage by candlelight. Electricity is a thing of the past in my home. I might as well be Amish (plus a couple of zippers, and minus a beard and chastity). In fact, my energy bill would come to a grand total of $0.00 if it weren’t for my weekly, repeat viewing of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. What a great man. What powerful statistics. What sad looking polar bear cubs. So you may be thinking to yourself, “Hey! This guy isn’t being fair! He doesn’t know how hard it is to be sustainable in today’s age of high-octane automobiles, foil-wrapped Mr. Goodbars and aerosol-sniffing-induced highs and potential seizures!” Well, to this I respond that I was like you once, driving myself from the Chapel to GW, all the while tossing the remnants of my morning Mr. Goodbar out the window and huffing a big full of orange spray paint. But I have changed. Let me serve as an inspiration, a model for you to admire and imitate. It isn’t easy to live as environmentally aware as I do. But the next time you want to litter or destroy the ozone, let me remind you of the snowy eagle, or the blue-finned orchid, or the Chilean mountain fox. If you can’t live more sustainably for yourself, at least live more sustainably for me. And them. But mostly me. Sam Weiss is a four-year Senior from Andover, Massachusetts.