The Place that Grows Green
Joy Fan STAFF WRITER
St. Patrick’s Day celebrates the patron saint’s life, which is why we deck out in green, drink, dance, and celebrate St. Patrick. How fun and eventful! The day, March 17, marks a day of celebration, luck, festivities, and did I mention drinking? But all that luck, what does it translate into?
While it’s a myth that people drink more beer than water, the very thought that beer could be less damaging to our health than water of all things is terrifying. The only thing that makes the thought scarier is that maybe one day we won’t have the same access to clean water as we do today. Maybe our homes could be sitting under water, sunken into the ground, places we’ll have to show our grandchildren pictures of, but they’ll never be able to visit. It may not seem possible, but to me, it’s a very real feeling.
Imagine yourself as a child on a beach. The water rolls in waves, dancing closer and closer to your feet, until the tide begins to rise, tickling your toes, and then, before you know it, it covers your feet. When the water continues to rise, you run away and can giggle about it like a child. You can wait until the tide recedes to approach the shore again. But what if low tide never came? Imagine the water creeping up and having nowhere to go. Looking at the waves and knowing they’re coming but deciding to do nothing about it. Can you imagine just drowning because you didn’t avoid the high tide?
Climate change isn’t about luck. It’s about seeing high tide come in, and watching it stay. The feeling of getting tickled by the waves is no longer. Climate change is about irreversibility. it’s about working with what we’ve got, and saving the future generations from the consequences.
Unlike if you were a child on a beach, there’s no guardian to pull you away from the water when it’s not safe. We’re not children anymore. We’re not the child on the beach, that’s the next generation, and our children and our grandchildren, and theirs. So, the question is, do we pull them away?
It’s a rhetorical question, of course. But it’s been so hard to just follow the obvious recently, that I’d like to present an action plan; St. Paddy’s Day themed.
First, you wear green. Not the colour (I get it, green isn’t my colour either), but what I mean is that you a) buy less new clothing, b) buy more used clothing, and c) buy less clothing in general. Picking clothes made from sustainable materials, etc. is also encouraged, but following steps a) through c) will honestly save you a lot of green and also do good for the planet.
Next, you drink… green. Yes, drink green smoothies if that’s your thing, but it’s not mine because I’m much too lazy to clean out a blender, so the other option is to drink lots of water, out of a reusable water bottle. Always use a reusable water bottle, and for the rare occasion when you do use a plastic bottle – use it either a) as if it were a reusable bottle, or b) recycle it.
The next thing on the list would be dance, but we’re just going to take this as a mode of transportation. Move green, and try to a) walk, b) bike, c) take public transport, d) carpool places as much as possible, in that order of preference (Uber doesn’t really count as carpool, unless you get UberPool).
And celebrating life definitely doesn’t seem to fit… right? Wrong. The last point is to eat less meat. Don’t get me wrong, I love to eat meat, and every now and then I will indulge myself. But overall, cutting back on meat consumption is a good way to reduce your carbon footprint, and cutting back on red meat is good for your health, as long as you’re finding other ways to get the protein you need!
And of course, reduce, reuse recycle! We got lucky with this planet in the first place, but we can’t rely on luck to keep it liveable forever.