We are world class, let’s show it.
“We must not kill the planet, we would not know where to bury it…”
Writing for this blog has had an interesting effect on me; I am always trying to sound positive or I even look for ways of using vocabulary that will elicit positivity on the reader. If you read the blogs, you could say that I’m always cheerful and I never have to deal with issues of any kind. However, this is not always the case. Yesterday, a small incident occurred which made me think if there was a way to make these entries more meaningful or even to achieve certain level of impact on the readers that will leave them thinking for at least… five minutes let’s say? Perhaps five minutes is too much to ask, but then again, I cannot insert an idea to a mind that is not willing to accept it.
Anyway, let me set the context… as a student of Sustainable Energy Systems, I am continuously trying to optimize the usage of energy in everyday life; reduce my generation of trash, extend as much as possible the usage of many materials and lastly to have a cordial relation with my flatmates (believe me, it is necessary).
I understand that simply ordering everyone else to follow my rules would be selfish but yesterday… my limit of tolerance was surpassed. I was taking out the trash (as anyone would do) but when I arrived to the disposal area I found… let’s call it “sustainability’s worst nightmare”. Trash bags on the floor, recyclable materials outside their containers and the worst: general trash bins exceeded in their capacity, while others were not even half full (seems someone had trouble distributing the trash bags “evenly”). What to do? Complain on Facebook about my neighbours? Have chauvinistic views about my habits? Write a blog about the issue? Or even better… remind everyone what they have achieved so far and where have they achieved it.
Whether you’re a local or a foreigner, you are part of a World Class University: you may come from places as far as the international line of time or as close as across the street, but now my friend you are part of a University that is looking to do great things. That’s right, I said G-R-E-A-T.
Waste management? Yep, the Uni’s got it covered. There’s a full plan outlining what is everyone’s responsibilities: from the institutes to the students, i.e. everyone!. Carbon emissions reduction? OF COURSE!! 2040 is the year when the Uni will become a zero-carbon University. It may seem as a far, far away year but if you don’t look closely it may come sooner that expected. I know, I know… perhaps you think sustainability is… booooring!
But the Uni has other goals in its social responsibility policy! Fair trade? Check! Fighting modern slavery? But of course! Reuse of electronics? Believe it or not, it is there! Responsible investment?... I don’t know what that means but IT IS THERE!!
Can you imagine? Making the University of Edinburgh a beacon for fair practices, efficient resource use and zero carbon? Can you imagine transforming into a University with world class students from around the world? Can you imagine being able to say: “I was there and I contributed to the goal”? Can your imagination at least scratch the surface of such ambitious goals?
And then… I open my eyes, my brain stops daydreaming and realize that… not everyone will embrace the goals of the Uni the same way as everyone do and think that perhaps all those goals will never transcend from a platonic dream. But then again, I keep my hopes up and believe that my message will go through and eventually, everyone will always remember to dispose of their trash correctly (the reason why this blog started).
Perhaps I may have sounded like your parents, but I believe that all those years of constant “nagging” by them was for you to achieve great things. The simple fact that you are here doing a degree in whatever you are doing it, shows that you believe that even when a great deal of knowledge has been discovered, there will always be something worth saving and further perfecting it.
So for today, let’s just start by the simplest… :)