Section: Editorial

Staff Editorial: Lords and Ladies of the landfill

This Earth Day, we hope the entire campus will take the time to meander down to the KAC and enjoy the local cooking, invest in some “upcycled” wares, pet llamas and learn how Kenyon is investing in the countryside around us so that we can enjoy an unsullied, rustic Earth Day. On the way there, you might sip responsibly sourced coffee in a paper Peirce cup and reflect on the sublime glint of beer cans in the fresh sunlight on the south-campus lawn — an artistic act of “upcycling” from weekend revelers.

Kenyon’s campus talks a good game when it comes to green initiatives. At the same time, the actions of many students betray environmental negligence. Litter mars Middle Path after nearly every weekend and students waste thousands of Peirce paper cups because they can’t be bothered to return the plastic ones they’ve squirreled away. Students don’t turn showers off completely, resulting in precious water going to waste. The College advertises its use of local foods to prospective students as an example of our environmental virtuousness, yet at the same time maintains investments in companies that traffic in nonrenewable fossil fuels. All this adds up to a considerable disregard for the environment, and renders our rhetoric hypocritical.

We write this editorial or something like it at least once a year, and still some things never change. We realize that all of our readership is not responsible for the trash on the grounds or the repeated loss of Peirce cups, but there’s a good chance we know some of those who are. Before you go and feel positively about yourself for buying a recycled mailbox at Earth Day, perhaps you can address the issues of wastefulness presented when you leave the lights on in your own dorm room or see the lights on in a vacant classroom at 1 a.m. The disastrous effects of climate change are real and will only worsen if we don’t step up individually and collectively. We are lucky enough to enjoy gorgeous, bucolic surroundings, unlike many urban colleges, but we aren’t showing enough appreciation for our pastoral home. “Going green” cannot merely be for show. Eco-conciousness is not the latest hipster fad. It is an imperative.


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