There’s no reason to oppose sustainability

by Sarah Berentson

Sustainability is a word that gets tossed around a lot, and not just at Whitworth. Some people argue that sustainability is just a buzzword thrown about in order to keep those people who adamantly “go green” happy.

I asked several students what they thought about sustainability, and the major­ity of them had a negative view of it. It was described as a hobby for the rich. The ste­reotype attached to being green was a Toms wearing, sometimes barefoot, homeless challenge, YoungLife yuppie.

It is a tragedy that such a negative reac­tion spawns from such a positive movement. Whitworth seems to be committed to being a sustainable campus, meaning we try our best to be green and to salvage the world that we share.

If sustainability makes you unhappy, your unhappiness is completely illegitimate. I know there are people out there who litter, who toss plastic into fire, who consistently destroy the earth, just to spite global warm­ing, as if sustainability were a liberal con­spiracy to brainwash the world into believ­ing in global warming.

Who cares about global warming? Re­gardless of any views of global warming, the point is we continually destroy our earth without worrying about the repercussions. We make materials that are not biodegrad­able, dig landfills to fill with our waste, and refuse to cut back on our comfortable hab­its. Argue all you want about the effects of global warming, but you can’t deny things like landfills.

What would Jesus do? What would Gan­dhi do? What would anyone do who isn’t so selfish that they aren’t worried about main­taining the earth? They would probably join forces, drive around in a hybrid called The Green Machine, and they would recommend we save the earth.

Some anti-mother earth ad­vocates (as I like to call them, though they will vehemently deny it) are so irritated by the idea of sustainability that even seeing a hy­brid throws them into a fit of rage. When someone tells them that maybe burning that plastic bottle isn’t a good idea, they want to throw you in the fire instead.

Why? I ask these people; does it bother you when someone is feeding the homeless? No. The only difference is one person is do­ing charity unto people, and one is doing charity unto the earth, our home, that we all share.

The biggest stigma attached to sustain­ability is hypocrisy. Some students com­plained that the very kids who advocate being green, also drive their car from the Hixson Union Building to Hawthorne. How­ever, I’d wager that almost everything people do is also plagued with hypocrisy. Let’s start with Christianity, or any major religion. Hy­pocrisy within this religion (though not by every Christian) is one of the main deter­rents to new believers. However, just be­cause every Christian isn’t as pure as Jesus himself doesn’t mean that the term “Chris­tianity” should induce an angered reaction. Yet, it often does. There is a strong parallel between this and sus­tainability.

Here’s what is real. We are slowly de­stroying our earth, and there are some people who are at­tempting to change it. They may not be perfect, but they are trying. Although some people just like the image of sustainability, other people truly feel like it is a just and important cause, because it is. It isn’t a conspiracy, it’s a fact. We are stuffing our world, like a turkey, with trash. Nothing about that is positive, but everything about sustainability is. So get off your high horse, and start doing a little bit more to help out.

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