It isn't easy being green: Reflections on becoming a recycler

Cindy Sordo
Staff Reporter

It isn’t easy being green, especially when everyone else around you is far from it. Coming from a state where practically no one recycles made it difficult for me to grasp the concept of being green.

I’m from a small city in Texas where most people believe that diesel trucks are the only automobiles worthy of driving and where recycling should only be done when needing a few extra dollars. You had to commit to driving miles away to a recycling compound, which is far too much trouble for us lazy Texans.

When I came to McDaniel I knew that the campus would be full of liberals who were gung-ho about recycling. I thought that being surrounded by activists would immediately encourage me to become a regular recycler, but it did not happen that quickly.

It wasn’t until the end of my freshman year that I really started recycling. I attribute this great turn-around to one nagging liberal who constantly reminded me to recycle, recycle, recycle! Sunita Pathik was one determined activist I regularly spent time with who constantly reminded me to recycle. If Sunita hadn’t been my friendly, everyday reminder, I never would have become green.

This year I can honestly say that I have been a dedicated recycler on my own without Sunita’s persistent reminders. When I went home for the summer, I actually felt like I had become her; as a result of my forceful nagging, my parents now recycle. I have also become aware of Greenpeace, an international non-governmental organization for the protection and conservation of the environment that Sunita worked for over the summer in Washington, D.C. I was intrigued by her stories and have been inspired to support the organization.

So, you see, it really IS easy being green; anyone can become a recycler. I admit, it does take time and influence, but if more people take the energy to enforce recycling on a regular basis, like Pathik and now myself, who knows how many people will be transformed for the better.