I adopted a hypothetical stance, and asked them, "Why should I care?" I said, I'll speak for someone who is not in the room, (of 12 or so of us today.) "Once I let go of my trash, in my dumpster behind my building in South Beach, why do I care; it doesn't affect me..." I said. If you don't care about recycling and the earth, "You're just a bad person..." they finally informed me. (I do care... but am trying to figure out more about why without sounding didactic.)
Maybe not directly, they tried to explain, do you have pets? (I do, two cats,) but students next to me said no and were honest and shared that this was how they actually felt. Why do they care? They've heard lots of lectures and lots of facts and moral high ground, and I just don't think we respond well to that......"Oh, I'll be gone by then..."one added. Apparently some of my students really do care, and maybe more than I thought. They need the reasons for caring, though, and without sermons. "Education" was mentioned, being educated about our products and what they do to the environment... so glad this statement came from them!
We talked about how some businesses are making earth-friendly choices in cases where it is more economical, for the dollar reasons; we talked about how consumers are making choices based on eco-friendly companies. I just wanted them to vocalize why it really matters, to tell their classmates WHY they should care about this topic... they said they'd get back to me, and we have another person presenting on "Green" in Business tomorrow---we'll see what happens.
By the way, I did tell them about the Rumpke Dump/Landfill I passed each time I was driving to Miami University as an Undergrad, and how it quadrupled into mountainous proportions over night... and how someone was killed working in the landfill, and about the water pollution from the dump, etc... I asked them if they had ever heard of "NIMBY", not in my backyard... they hadn't. I told them what I remembered of being 10 or so and hearing that term in the news...
The Greener Grass Organization seems to help with some answers for my students and me...: "It absolutely makes no sense to accumulate waste. GGO: 'Is zero waste really possibly today?'
LL: It’s not a matter of it being possible—it’s vital.
LL: Unless we find another planet to live on, we’ve got to do something. Frankly, in my opinion, attitudes have been changing of course, but there not going to take a sharp turn until the environment really begins to collapse. As the environment begins to collapse were going to have to re-assess what were doing and why were doing it." Lynn Landes-- Zero Waste America
That requires a really hard look at civilization that bases its decisions on what makes money and what doesn’t make money. So we have people running around trying to develop products with no thought as to their impact on the environment – they’re just thinking what will make them money, what constitutes as a job and that sort of thing. Lynn Landes-- Zero Waste America
LL: That’s not only foolish and wasteful in terms of importing clothes and food from half way around the world. Even if the transportation was ‘energy free’ on a solar ship—still this society has lost the skills to survive. So basically were becoming over time more and more ignorant of what it takes to really survive in the most basic sense and to survive in a technology world.
LL: Waste is more than just what you may think of as trash.
Zero waste is just a recognition that what were doing isn’t going to work and doesn’t make sense. You cant be a secure nation, city or town if you rely on food clothing and shelter from far away.