Earth isn’t free


By JEANETTE GENSON, scene editor

I love the environment. Really, though, you can’t beat clean air, clean water and a recycled bottle on a nice spring day.

Which is why it’s easy and even fun to celebrate Environmental Awareness Week.

I try my best, as often as possible, to follow certain guidelines for a cleaner and better environment. The only problem is that there are just some things that are good for the environment that just really grind my gears. Sometimes it’s not just the guidelines, it’s the people that follow them.

My biggest problem with environmentally aware people are the safety violating, red-light running and road rule-breaking bicyclists. It’s true. Even though I live with one, and socialize with many, I truly, to my core, despise bicyclists.


Sorry, that was out of line—but valid. I mean really, if you’re going to get in my way going a comfortable five-to-10 miles under the speed limit (it’s OK, I don’t expect you to be able to keep up…without the proper equipment…LIKE A SPEEDOMETER,) at least try to stay in one lane the whole time.

Oh, and when a light turns yellow, it often turns red immediately after, so you should probably contemplate slowing down when that happens. Also, when it does indefinitely turn red, don’t veer to the sidewalk like you enjoy being treated like a pedestrian all of the sudden. And one more thing: four-way stops exist for everyone involved. Don’t exclude yourself for our benefit.

Another issue I have with being environmentally aware is the idea of reusing cups. I’m all about keeping it green, but honestly, what we don’t know about germs accumulating on the rims of cups could kill us. It’s not the idea of saving my water bottle and refilling it a couple times that bothers me, but when discounts are offered for bringing in your own cup, does anyone else wonder if the person with the refill just fished that cup out of the garbage? It’s possibly a disgusting problem within our society.

Many of my friends know that I am a die-hard driver. I don’t care if I have to get to the gas station or my mailbox, I’ll hop in my trusty Pontiac Vibe and drive there. Yes, I know it’s not financially or environmentally sound, but hey, if I don’t mind putting 1,000 miles on my car in a month, neither should you. Though it does make me feel slightly horrible about myself. First off, because the walk wouldn’t kill me, and second, because watching what is happening to the earth’s air quality is terrible, and knowing that I am part of the problem is embarrassing.

I honestly do try to do my part in the cause. I reuse plastic bags all the time, I recycle in the actual recycling bin, not the garbage that many people mistakenly think is recycling, and I try to go green every day. But I’m not alone in this fight. I believe my generation seriously has the power to turn things around, to finally clean up the thoughtless and careless mistakes of our elders, and try to refrain from littering or running the water while we brush our teeth.

It all begins with a little bit of effort, and ends when the wrong bicyclist gets in my way.