Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Respect

On February 20, 2014, the Jamestown Community College office of sustainability held a featured movie in the Lenna Theatre. Called Comfort Zone, the movie revealed biological problems in today’s society that are nothing to feel comfortable about. Three strangers came together and filmed Comfort Zone in the Buffalo and Rochester areas, mainly focusing on the rapidly growing threat of global warming.

The movie highlighted that the universe, nature, and all that resides in nature are “equal.” Each segment of nature contributes to another and reacts to the changes and adaptations of each segment. However, according to one speaker, “the human being is the factor that creates chaos.” Humans are a very intelligent and adaptive species, and we do, in fact, have the power to physically change environments to meet our needs. Sadly enough, we have done just that. We haven’t lived amongst the world, the world now lives amongst us. Our species has created masses of trash and toxic waste, and has killed many other species and healthy environments in the process.

According to John Tyndall, we have created the “greenhouse effect.” The planet is undeniably getting warmer and pretty soon we will lose some things that are near and dear to our hearts, including apples, birch trees, elm trees, corn, grapes, and chickadees. Not everything is made for warm weather, and that may also include people. It’s obvious that we need to do something about global warming. But how do we inform people that it is necessary to recycle? How do we prove to people that global warming is going to affect the world that our grandchildren will endure? How will we potentially “save” the planet?

Recycling is a great first step. Most plastics and tins can be recycled and reused, which would eliminate *literally* tons of waste. Also, reusing or donating items that you have lying around your home or apartment/dorm is a great way to eliminate trash build-up. Most things that people simply throw away could be reused or recycled to make something new. And, what about traveling? Many of the greenhouse gases created are from vehicles, trains, and planes. If all of us took a bus at least once a week, imagine how many cubic tons of waste we could eliminate! Last is food and food production. Meat is one of the most costly and gaseous foods to produce. Try having “meatless Mondays” every week, and you could reduce your carbon footprint immensely.

I know that in my busy life, recycling and saving the planet aren’t the first things that come to mind after studying for exams and writing essays. However, after watching Comfort Zone, the movie really inspired me to become what one would call “a tree hugger.” I absolutely love the environment I live in. It’s so entirely beautiful with the smell of pine, blue valleys in the distance, and deciduous forests to have warm spring picnics in. Knowing that all of this is in danger breaks my heart. It seems farfetched, but one person truly can help the planet, one minuscule step at a time.

Image Credit: Ian and Taylor Kickbush, 2014

About the author

Taylor Kickbush

Aspiring fashion journalist, freelance photographer, and lover of running-my name is Taylor Kickbush. Being a 19-year-old sophomore at Jamestown Community College, I find it hard to believe that my associate’s degree in communication is in sight and adulthood rests just beyond the horizon. At this point in my college career, I have discovered that JCC offers wonderful opportunities to create friendships and network with valuable career professionals from (literally) around the globe! As a prospective internship awaits my attendance in London, England this spring, I plan to trek the UK and represent JCC with all of the workplace etiquette its classes have taught me. Every day I feel one leap closer toward successfully achieving my dreams, and one day I hope you can say the same. In closing, I thank all those who read these words as I write about the everyday obstacles we all hurdle on the route to our becoming who we want to be.