Yesterday, something small happened that brought into the light just how big the problems are. I was walking back to my apartment when a gust of wind came through the street. It knocked down a garbage pail right at my feet and its contents – namely a one-off plastic bag filled with remnants of someone’s lunch – went tumbling down the street. This is unfortunately a normal occurrence, but how do we abolish the root of the problem?
Living in a major city, the pollution really isout of control and it’s sad to see how little people really care. There’s been such a big movement toward using reusable bags and it’s good to see how much that’s picked up, but what about the people that simply don’t care? What about the people that stopped at a bodega for a sandwich and the cashier wastefully put it in a bag? The solution really should be to ban plastic bags (and for that matter, plastic in general). How is it 2013 and we’re still using all these horrible materials? I would have thought we would have a solution to this by now.
When I was in Europe, you had to pay if you wanted a bag, this would be a very easy way to help, if we could have an alternative to plastic bags that were biodegradable, that would be even better. You’re simply not going to convince everyone that this is a problem, so we have to think bigger. I know there are alternatives, but it seems to be inhibited by cost. How do we make things like this a priority? How do we make something like this a national or even better, world-wide change?
I’ve been thinking a lot about the power of one person to impact great change. I always felt like I had some bigger purpose in life and it’s strange and all-too-common how when you’re young and still have that sparkle in your eyes, you have these lofty goals somewhere off in the distance and then graduating college and getting a job that doesn’t do you justice really conditions you into the jaded masses.
As Gandhi said, ”Be the change you wish to see in the world.” The change really has to start with you, you can’t wait around for it. Lately it’s been nagging me that I’m not really making a difference. Overall, I’m enjoying my life, which can be a challenge in itself, but I don’t feel I’m really contributing enough. I’ve been thinking about what I should do. I have plenty of things I feel really need to change in the world, some major ones: environmental, animal rights, civil rights – really any injustice, but where do you start? I don’t want to be just another volunteer in some sludgy corporate non-profit and there are countless activists that are doing their best, but we need the next wave of change.
How do we overhall awaiting bills to pass for problems that are happening today? And are the problems too far gone?