Yesterday I served as an expert panelist for a discussion of climate change and conservation with about 50-60 middle school students. Overall it was a very positive experience, but…
Included with the event was a ‘breakfast’. Here is a picture of our ‘breakfast’:
Even looking past the fact that a donut does not constitute a real breakfast, we can see several obvious problems. Namely, The donuts were served individually on plastic plates and coffee was served in styrofoam cups. The only other drinking option was bottled water. And there was no recycling bin in sight so all plastic plates and bottles went straight the trash.
How hypocritical are we that we can lead a discussion with children about the dangers of climate change and the need for them all to be responsible consumers, while at the same time we sit there drinking out of styrofoam cups? What type of example are we setting?
Similarly, last month I spoke at a major fundraising function to help entice donors into supporting a new tropical conservation center at my university. And guess what we all ate for dinner as we sat around discussing tropical deforestation? Beef! We were not even given a choice – beef for all! And to go along with our plates of deforestation, we were all given various pieces of literature, none of which was printed on recycled or sustainably-sourced paper.
Again, how hypocritical can we be?