Monday marked the beginning of Boston College’s annual Green Week. Throughout the week, BC’s EcoPledge hosts events that include seed plantings, panel discussions and a movie screening in order to raise awareness and precipitate conversations regarding sustainability and reducing our environmental impact. However, the BC community must continue and go beyond the efforts of Green Week in order to make a difference.
There is no doubt that the BC community is taking extra initiatives this week to educate itself and to promote sustainability. But what is the significance of Green Week when such initiatives are lacking the other 51 weeks of the year? Sure, every dorm room comes equipped with sticker that serves as a friendly reminder to “Turn off the Lights – BC Conserves.” Yet the importance of conservation and other green initiatives tends to get lost when it is more convenient to leave the water running, use disposable utensils or throw recyclables in the regular trash can. When environmentally unfriendly practices are all too common throughout campus, are five days of sustainability-focused events really enough?
I’m not saying that these generalizations apply to all BC students, or that they apply only to BC students, nor am I bashing Green Week. I am a firm believer in the importance of giving environmental initiatives more attention on campus. However, it is important to remember that our actions have an environmental impact all the time. The BC community must avoid compartmentalizing this week’s events into the time at which they take place – a trap that we are so prone to falling into as we become wrapped up in the demands of our everyday lives.
I don’t expect this week’s events to spark a radical revolution in sustainability on campus. At the very least they should offer a few takeaways of the little things we can all do to make our school a little greener, day-by-day. Raising awareness is important, but putting awareness into action is what really makes a difference.