One thing Hastings College can rightfully pride itself on is our beautiful campus. However, our campus has been littered with trash lately.
While many students on campus have a complete disregard for this campus and the planet, Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old, is making huge strides in activism for climate change. As an institution and a student body that claims to be the leaders of our generation, we should look to Greta and her cause for social change.
Last month on September 21, Thunberg gave a riveting speech to world leaders at the United Nations Climate Action Youth Summit held in New York City, New York. Youth activists from more than 140 countries and territories showed up to address the climate issues directly affecting their own futures.
“This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you. You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I am one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying, and entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you! For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear… How dare you continue to look away,” said Thunberg.
On campus, we have the Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC). We have a group willing to educate and push students to recycle, but barely anyone knows what they actually do or is willing to show up to events hosted by the group. Our only environmental protection group on campus is a dying club, and no one knows enough about it to care. SEAC is willing to push students to “go green and recycle,” but we have to actively partake in these moments.
Students living on campus rarely use the recycling bins offered to them in their residence halls, and use large amounts of styrofoam and plastic in the cafeteria, the Bronco Blend and the Crimson Club. Reusable cups and to-go containers need to become the most popular option and should be openly incentivised by the school. The need for plastic cups and containers by the school contributes to the litter that is all over campus.
Every time someone walks by the music building up to Fleharty there are ridiculous amounts of trash. It gets stuck in the bushes by our residence halls, and it sits in our parking lots. Candy wrappers can be seen poking out of the grass everywhere you walk.
It shouldn’t be an issue for someone to take their trash with them to the nearest trash can, but for some reason it is. We are most certainly the lucky ones here at Hastings College. We have great opportunities as college students in America. We have a beautiful campus that we get to walk through, live at and study in every day. We should be able to pick up our trash, at the very least.