I spent the last few months in a university setting. I often had my lunch in the canteen where I had the opportunity to witness how the young and the old alike consume. This particular School is famous about its commitment to sustainable development and sustainability in general. Students protest for and against every possible cause if they see that basic human rights or the future of our globe is at stake. Still, many of the students and the staff do not seem to grasp why it would be important to live life sustainably.
In the canteen there is a water tap to refill your glass or bottle, free of charge. I saw it on a daily basis that people fill two or three plastic cups so they do not have to stand up during lunch. I have seen a few who did this regularly. On the last occasion a young student, maybe a fresher, filled four cups but struggled to hold them all so he left the fourth one there. No, they did not do it to share the cups with friends. Just think into it. If a staff member eats in the canteen five times a week then s/he uses up ten plastic cups per week, forty a month. It is a striking number, don’t you think? And all this because of extreme laziness. It is surely cannot be a big thing for healthy young or even less young people to stand up and walk a few metres to refill their cups or invest into a reusable water bottle. The other issue is that hardly anyone cares about where they put their waste. Food, paper and plastic go to the same container despite clearly visible signs on and above the bins. There are a few other basic issues like over-consuming or buying food then throwing it away that is not entirely their fault but surely, having the luck to attend a university that represents the mentioned values, everyone, staff and students all should make a bigger effort to live up to its reputation.
I am certain that many of these people attended the Climate March last month. That is great. But it would be even better if they did what they preach. We tend to think that this or that is a must, something basic without which we can not live. But when you start watching your daily consuming habit you will see how much you waste. In case of the very young I could say that with time they will understand where they study since many things come with experience. But I believe that we have reached the point where we have no more time to wait for people to wake up. We need to keep certain rules today otherwise there might not be tomorrow.