Do You Call Yourself an Environmentalist?

By Kelly Powell 

May 3, 2017

After taking multiple environmental science courses at the university, I desperately want to be an environmentalist. However, there is one problem with this declaration. I love steak. I also take hot showers, often leave lights on, and use way too many disposable plastic items to call myself an environmentalist.

 I have been like many other Americans, who continue to engage in our current meat loving and water wasting ways. It is our accepted cultural behavior.

 Through academics, I have been shocked to learn what is truly happening in our ecological cycles. We humans are interjecting loads of solid waste, creating toxic air emissions, and causing rampant pollution in our freshwater resources.

 I now cringe at the sea of plastic that fill the shelves at our groceries stores after learning about the plastic problem in our oceans. Meat and dairy consumption are out of control all over the world, and my household is no exception.

 Here I am, still eating and serving hamburgers on the grill, despite my knowledge that cows are emitting toxic methane gas into our atmosphere. (A primary factor in climate change.)

 Until I change my eating behavior, make different purchases, and reduce my families carbon footprint, I cannot call myself an environmentalist. As the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words. I dream of joining a group, or participating in an environmental based expedition someday. However, I must “walk the walk.”

Maybe someday, I will morph into a true environmentalist.

Until then, I will be shamefully eating steak dinner, and drinking chocolate milk, with all the lights on. As I sit in my overly warm apartment, I will continue to ponder how we can solve these environmental problems.




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