Sustainability goes beyond environment
In terms of sustainability, Tech is finally starting to get the hang of recycling. There is still a long way to go, but it has accomplished a lot already. So what comes next now that Tech recycles? I would suggest that learning to reuse more and share what we already have is the next natural step. Unsustainable behavior is marked by excessive individualism and insatiable materialism, finding empowerment through possessions and not the love and company of others. These thoughts were brought to my mind when I read about the bill for the SGA camera. As simple as it seems, surely someone in SGA has a camera that they would be willing to lend out for duration of the academic year! My personal camera sits in one of my drawers, to be used only once or twice before it is packed up again and I move on.
At the heart of all of this is creativity and community. Sharing and borrowing require sharing a bond with someone and establishing trust. You can think of interesting ways to return favors, or you can simply express your gratitude. In the same way, reusing old fabrics to make clothes, old papers and rubbish to make art and old school supplies to serve your academic needs for the current semester are exercises in imagination and asserting that we can think for ourselves. I would also posit that doing these things would widen our horizons and bring us into contact with new people we would not have met otherwise. Wouldn’t that be good for encouraging the diversity that Tech seems to be talking about so much lately? To better understand and appreciate diversity, one has to share others’ cultures while maintaining one’s own culture and teaching others to appreciate it. Creativity, community, imagination and diversity: aren’t these the things we all want more of at Tech? Sustainable lifestyles encourage and foster them, and I have found that it brings me great joy and hope in my own life.