There’s Irate, and Then There’s Irate
Last night, I sat through a meeting–part of which was devoted to listening to sustainability and waste management initiatives. All well and good for the most part; I can definitely see the university do better despite the financial crunch. I was never so mad as I was two weeks ago when I found out that the custodial staff now refuses to take stuff out to recycling–we have to do it ourselves. Things are totally messed up when people only look in terms of dollars and cents and conclude that recycling costs more than just throwing stuff away.
The meeting got derailed, however, when people started ranting about bottled water. Ban bottled water! Protest! Let’s chain ourselves to the vending machines to get our point across! I understand where they’re coming from, but as one person tried to sanely comment, “One small step at a time!” Use non-invasive awareness raising tactics. Sure, this isn’t going to satisfy the gung-ho, let’s-do-this-RIGHT-NOW contingent, but most people around here are not radical hippies (no matter what the conservatives around here try to make you believe). People are creatures of habit and routine. Jolt them around suddenly and they’ll become surly, grumpy, and not terribly cooperative. Slowly nudging them toward one direction would be a wiser course.