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Environmentalism: A Student’s Perspective

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In the muddle of learning to be an adult, it might feel that having to weave an awareness of environmentalism throughout your life is just another burden, another thing you are going to have to bother to do, another set of considerations. But, as the cliché goes, it doesn’t have to be. We might for example implicitly acknowledge to ourselves that “we went to Lidl yesterday so the used batteries will have to be binned”, or “Uhhh but it’s all biodegradable really… Does it matter if the food waste goes in with the general waste?” There is only so much us as individuals can do, a lot is out of our control. In a sense, we don’t have to add anything ground-breaking to do our bit for the environment except to do our necessary minimum level of human chores, so to help ourselves is to help everyone, and the environment.

For those already with a basic discipline of environmentalism, you might find yourself looking for little tips and tricks to cut corners. You’ve bought your healthy basket of food, batteries have been appropriately disposed of, and now as you cross the supermarket car park you wonder how to make the most of your eggboxes to grow cress; where wind-up torches can be bought for your next camping trip; whether using more iceboxes can lower the amount of energy needed for your fridge; and that reading used books and buying second hand clothes is a greater total utilisation of resources. You’re staying mindful.

But that’s not the end of it. You’ve joined several Instagram pages with ideas for upcycling and easy tips for beginning veganism. It’s really accentuating your being. And even if you haven’t, you’re still adhering to an old principle and collecting plastic detritus into a pile for a nicer reefer on the beach.

Words by Hugh Stribley

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