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Opinion

Steps toward a healthier environment are simple, thoughtful

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October 10, 2008

Global warming, carbon footprint, whatever. Call it what you like, one could rightly say that we’ve been treating the environment like crap for ages and should maybe suck it up and be less of a collective jerk to our planet.

We are indifferent, we are negligent and we are greedy. We over indulge, we waste and we whine. Finally, our explosive toll on the environment is being recognized and some people are taking small steps to change their ways. Let us enlarge the proportion of people driving the change and let us widen our stride. It is high time we start giving back to the planet we’ve taken so much from, and it is time to quit whining about it.

I really don’t understand why people gripe about it so much. It is seriously not that big of a sacrifice for the belligerent among us whose heels remain in the dirt. For those that plan on completely re-evaluating the way they live to start giving back, great. But not everyone needs to save up for a hybrid car, slap solar panels on their roofs or spend their weekends picking up litter on the side of highways alongside jumpsuit-wearing mustache-sporting convicts to make a difference.

Simple things can be done to reduce your being an overall ass to the planet. Don’t leave the TV on when you aren’t watching it. Turn your lights off when you leave the room. Get off your lazy butt, leave your car keys at home, and bike or walk to school. It produces less wear and tear on the environment and, if practiced regularly, could help throw a couple extra years on the end of your life or drop a few extra pounds from your waist.

I, for one, am tired of holding up the foam finger cheering on the world’s chunkiest nation. Also, quit throwing away food that could be mauled by your garbage disposal. It doesn’t cost anything, and it makes a pretty sweet sound.

Stop taking 50-minute showers. No one has so much body mass that they need to be cleaning themselves for that long. Even I, who shave my legs at the speed of smell, cannot manage to drag out my showers for more than 10-15 minutes

If you don’t care about this kind of “liberal hooey” because it won’t affect you in your lifetime, maybe you could do the upcoming generations a solid and not waste their resources by doing 80 in a 55 in your Hummer while throwing your Big Mac wrapper out the window.

And for those of you who think all of this is a bunch of bunk, it might be a good idea to put the muffler back on your car just to hedge your bets a little… and also, because someone may or may not splatter it with eggs in the near future.

So, River Falls, resist the urge to be a drain on the planet and on the rest of the population. I encourage you to open your eyes and your mind, and realize that not that much is being asked of you. Don’t make others suffer for your bad habits or obstinacy. Do your part, or at least explain to your kids and grandkids during their time of scarcity that running the car for 20 minutes in the winter to “warm it up” was TOTALLY worth it.

Katie Heimer is double majoring in international studies and history, with a German minor.