I joined the waste-free challenge because I thought it would inspire my colleagues to rethink their habits in the workplace.
I already live a mostly waste-free lifestyle: recycling, composting, avoiding products with too much packaging, unplugging electronics when they’re not in use, turning down the heat when I’m away, turning off my computer screen when I leave the office, etc. This isn’t to say that I’m perfect or better than anybody. The point is that I make a conscious effort to reduce my share of waste. Sometimes it’s a hassle, but I do feel a sense of responsibility for my actions.
Let’s be honest. There’s no such thing as a completely waste-free lifestyle. Humans live on this planet. We have a right to use our fair share of its resources. Sadly though, I’ve come to realize that a large percentage of people I meet simply do not think or care about using their fair share. My last job was at an environmental non-profit here in Ottawa. I was living in a bubble. All the things that my past co-workers cared about seem meaningless here at the University. Waste, sadly, is everywhere.
I know, I know. This sounds like just another tree hugger ranting about saving the planet, right? Blah. Blah. Blah. I guess what I’m trying to say here is this: make a damn effort. There is no “away” when it comes to waste. It all ends up somewhere—whether that’s a landfill or polluting our kids’ future—and it’s everybody’s responsibility to think about their choices in an adult manner.
I’m watching you.