Happy Equinox my friends! Now it is officially spring, although it still quite cold in the city of Chicago. The days are however already getting longer and the sun shines through the skyscrapers of this beautiful city. The equinox marks that moment when the day and the night have the same length. At this point in time, the earth goes through a moment of balance which for the ancient people of my country (Malta) meant so much that thousands of years ago, they built a megalithic temple aligned with the sun’s path on this particular day. (Here’s a photo – It’s called Mnajdra Temple)
Surely by now you would be asking, what does all of this has to do with my experience here at Loyola, as an international student. Well, one of the interesting classes I’m taking this semester is about sustainability. This has made me think a lot about the fine balance that exists in nature, and how through our actions we risk seriously compromising it.
In this class, we have discussed about many of the day to day issues in our everyday life which are having an effect on the planet. Have you ever thought about what happens to your rubbish when you throw it away? Or where the water you’re drinking comes from, and that this is a finite resource too? And have you ever thought how much energy we consume and the pollution this creates?
When speaking of such a subject there’s a risk of becoming overly pessimistic and thinking that there is no hope for a sustainable future. Yet what I like in this class, is that for every issue we discuss we also look at positive initiatives which are taking place and which are changing the way many people behave, in favor of a more eco-friendly living.
In this class I have come to realize that concern for the environment and the world’s resources is not just an ecological issue, but also a justice issue. The more careless we are with the natural resources we have, the less these can be used by future generations. Hence if we are not careful future generations will have to suffer the consequences of our actions.
This class was definitely an eye opener for me, and I promised myself that I will be less wasteful and more careful of how my actions are affecting the planet. Yet Loyola not only provides such classes which enlargen your vision in such fields, but is also taking steps to become a more sustainable university, itself. Soon the university will be inaugurating an institute and dorm which were designed with this in mind.
This new building has been designed to use energy efficiently, reducing drastically wastage. Geothermal energy will be also used. As the name implies this energy is obtained from the constant hot temperature beneath the earth’s surface. The café will serve fresh food grown in the greenhouse by students, and the residents will live in a sustainable manner.
Seeing that Loyola is taking such a position on the forefront of sustainability, makes me proud of being a student of this University. A University which is not interested in achieving mainly profits, but most of all interested in the serving of the community by advancing new ways of thinking and living, and I am proud to be part of all of this.