The Eighth Page

Sustain or Die

I come to you today with an important message. This message affects us all, and it is essential that you read it carefully before the feds come and erase all knowledge of what I am about to tell you (Like in the Ben Affleck snooze-fest “The Paycheck”). There is a massive conspiracy that has been spread down through the US government and is infiltrating work places and school campuses across the nation. Subject: Sustainability. Have you ever noticed that after someone says something about “going green” they disappear and are never seen or heard from again? Maybe not, but imagine if that did happen. It would probably be pretty creepy. Anyway, enclosed beneath this paranoid introduction is a letter I received from my future-self at exactly 7:32 a.m. yesterday regarding sustainability and its effect on our world. I noticed it on my door as I was leaving my room and saw clearly that it was written with the red pen that my brother always uses for his homework. Turns out future me is a thief. Anyway, if you have not already gotten my message that we must be more eco-friendly, please read on: Dear Past Greg, I am writing to you from the year 2020. My letter must be brief, as I am currently dying from global warming. It is 500 degrees outside, and I have just run out of SPF 350 sunscreen. It appears as though I am doomed. Although it is too late for me to save myself, I believe you can save me and the world. Over the past 11 years the human race has ignored countless signs that we need to protect the environment. Ten years ago, in an effort to preserve the rest of the oil on the planet, Ford introduced new Ozone-powered cars. Scientists warned us that it would cause a catastrophic increase in the temperature of the earth, slowly leading the planet towards imminent destruction, but it had been an unusually cold winter that year, so we went for it. Then in 2014 when the Atlantic Ocean dried up, scientists again warned us that if we didn’t preserve what was left of the Earth’s natural environment, we would seal our fate for sure. Naturally we ignored them, and a record high 13,266 forest fires occurred that year. How could we have known that all of our fun was actually harming us in the long run? Things got worse in 2015, when the Supreme Court declared that all food types below dairy and proteins on the food pyramid were unconstitutional. Besides the fact that the total oxygen levels of the planet reduced dramatically, everyone got really fat. Completely unrelated, I know, but still odd and pretty funny. In 2017, after three years without rain, we sacrificed all of the scientists to the gods, which probably wasn’t a good idea. But the world did get a lot quieter after that. And dumber. This is why I come to you, past-self, in my final hour. I need you to spread the news about sustainability to everyone you know. Sometime during the spring term, based on popular demand, Paresky Commons will reintroduce trays into the dining experience. This may sound like a good idea to many students, but bringing trays into Paresky Commons, which is specifically designed for trayless dining, triggers a massive ripple effect across the rest of the New England Prep Schools, and consequently the rest of the world. People soon stop caring about saving the environment. Species start going extinct left and right. When Mosquitoes go extinct in 2013, you will think it might have all been worth it, but they somehow reemerged into the environment in 2015, so it’s really no big deal. The fate of the world rests on your shoulders. You must do whatever you can to make sure that trays are not used in “Da Parskizzle” (Paresky Commons). You must give the human race another chance to survive. Plus, Rocky 18: The Return of Mr. T is coming to theaters next weekend, and I really want to live to see it. Good luck. Luvzz, Future Greg As you can see, we must not let the world slip away from us. If we have learned anything from future Greg, it is that the longer we wait to save the environment, the increasingly stupider we become about all things sustainability related. I have been given my mission: stop trays from entering “The Parskizzle.” Now it is up to me, and the few of you who haven’t tried several times to admit me into an insane asylum, to make sure the mission gets completed. Greg Hanafin is a three-year Upper from Andover, Massachusetts