Opinion, Staff Editorial

Going green is for you, too

On Earth Day, “going green” is a phrase as polarizing as it is vague.

Since we don’t have a clear consensus on what it entails – is it enough to reuse your shopping bags, or should you grow all your own food, too – it’s easy for us to cling to whatever fuzzy definitions float our way, such as the ones that tie elitism to environmentalism.

In 2015, one RetailMeNot survey suggested that 81 percent of shoppers considered green products to be more expensive. That some of the most visible proponents of environmentalism are incredibly wealthy doesn’t exactly quash the association between going green and having green.

Sometimes, it’s true. It’s often easier to bike to work if you live in a central (read: pricey) part of the city, for example. But to write off this kind of lifestyle as a purely wealthy pursuit tricks us into thinking we can’t all do more.

We can. In fact, some of the simplest ways to reduce your footprint are free: swapping paper towels for cloth ones, for instance, or taking shorter showers. Simply using less paper in class (and asking your professors to do the same) is worthwhile.

These changes certainly won’t save the world but can at least help to normalize a way of thinking that’s long been seen as us (Gwyneth Paltrow types) versus them (everyone else).

Similarly, one’s choice to be vegan or not can be seen as a polarizing lifestyle decision – you either love the Earth and its animals and are “committed to the cause,” or have a cool disregard for all things living.

But when we brush off the other side with absolutes like “Vegans/meat eaters are always so …” or “I could never do that,” we distance ourselves from the kinds of conversations that could help us better bridge the green divide. Weekday vegetarianism is a happy medium, for example.

If we took the time to listen, we may realize we all pretty much want the same thing – namely, a healthy planet.

We should want the same thing, anyway, especially in a county so seriously threatened by the changing climate. Some projections call for a sea-level rise as high as 12 feet by 2100; this could sink significant chunks of Miami and turn Stanford Drive into one big swimming lane.

As students, though, we’re uniquely able to run with campus-wide causes. ECO Agency’s solar-powered charging umbrellas embody the sort of initiatives we can rally around: Though small, they benefit the whole school and serve as the perfect starting point for a less polarized way of thinking, a commitment to embracing your green side no matter who you are, or think you aren’t.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

April 19, 2018

Reporters

Editorial Board


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Tuesday: ▪ Hurricanes fans aren’t the only ones exasperated by t ...

If Saturday wasn’t a turning point for N’Kosi Perry, it was maybe the start of one — at least this i ...

The question for Manny Diaz was simple, and the defensive coordinator’s answer was simple, too — sor ...

The University of Miami’s popular turnover chain was spotlighted in a promotional video for February ...

The evidence was glaring. On Monday night, Miami true freshman running back Lorenzo Lingard posted o ...

New student organization’s mission is a movement to return to the ‘roots’ of natural hair. ...

A University of Miami professor discusses the dynamics of this trend. ...

A mobile museum coming to UM this week will showcase relics of the African-American experience. ...

Get set for a whirlwind of information on critical issues facing the planet and how to tell those st ...

Professors and staff from UM are offering students an in-class introduction to gardening and food pr ...

Ebuka Izundu had a career night as the Canes took down Stephen F. Austin, 96-58. ...

The Canes have two games left in the 2018 regular season and they have one goal in mind: finish the ...

The No. 24 Miami women's basketball team will host No. 19 Marquette in a top-25 matchup Thursda ...

Director of Track and Field/Cross Country Amy Deem announced the University of Miami's 2019 tra ...

The Miami women's basketball team moved up one spot to No. 24 nationally in this week's As ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.