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May 14, 2012 | by  | in Opinion |
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VUWSA Environment Officer

(THE DIFFICULTIES OF) MAKING IT EASY TO BE GREEN 

In a time when the typical student eco-activist looks more like a hipster than the hippie of decades past, it can seem more of a challenge to pick him or her out from the masses. Yet, today’s activists can be still distinguished by the following traits:

For starters, you’ll more than likely have heard them. Coupled with the fact that environmentalists are generally well practised at bellowing protest songs, this year there has been an increase in the number of environmental groups on campus, the number of people joining them, and the number of events being held. These activists can be spotted juggling placards and posters, mini-whiteboards and a video camera in one hand, and a smartphone to help remind their friends to get to the next meeting or rally when they’re on the go.

Finally, your everyday greenie will doubtless be showing slight airs of overtiredness. They’d have every reason to—environmental friends I’ve spoken to talk of returning from weekend conferences in Dunedin by bus rather than a thirty minute plane ride, and waking up in the middle of the night with brilliant ideas for campaign launches involving underpants, bikes, and public transport.

Don’t get me wrong, environmental movements are an awesome, invigorating, and downright important thing to be a part of. But after fifty-odd years of environmental activism, “sticking it to the man” can still be an overwhelming task.

Luckily, here at VUWSA we’re also pretty keen on ol’ Mother Earth. This year we’ve lent a hand to environmental clubs by promoting events, helping to organise a flash mob, endorsing the acquisition of a High Commissioner for Future Generations, and writing submissions to the city council promoting student concessions on buses.

For students who want to reduce carbon emissions in their own lives, we’ve created a rad carpooling database for the trip back home for the holidays. Email environmental.officer@vuwsa.org.nz to register your interest, and look out for the Facebook page to find people with whom to share the cost of petrol, reduce emissions, and fall privy to a two-hour long game of I Spy. Win Win Win, I say!

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