Climate Conference of Madrid, Spain
This past week, there has been surplus of scientific studies showing the increasing urgency of global climate change:
Call me naïvely optimistic, but these frightening statistics contain hope.
Like most, I stumbled upon the climate change movement and inadvertently found myself enthralled and engaged. I grew up in Crystal Lake, IL: a bustling suburb of Chicago. It just so happens that AptarGroup’s international headquarters and one of their North American factories is located in the neighboring town. It also happens that they have a robust and serious internship program, which I have been fortunate enough to be a part of for the past three summers. What is Aptar you ask? Aptar is a $2 billion publically traded company and the world’s leader in the dispensing systems industry. They manufacture pumps, aerosols, closures, and other dispensing solutions. I worked for their Beauty + Home sector in the applications laboratory, where I was responsible for bench work and directly testing products for some of the largest distributors in North America (sorry I can’t name drop).
I am bet some of you think that I am playing for the other team due to the fact that I have interned for an aerosol company, where I actually had to fill cans with liquefied gas, hydrocarbon, and blended propellants. I want to assure you that this cannot be farther from the truth, and I look forward to discussing the beauty and home industry in the future for its strengths and its flaws.
Currently, I am attending Aquinas College located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where I am a chemistry major with mathematics and biology minors. One of the most wonderful aspects of my school is its commitment to sustainability. In conjunction with the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, the college is actively working towards having zero municipal solid waste by the end of 2014. This is not just a few really enthusiastic students working together, but rather students, staff, and administration working together towards eliminating waste and making a commitment to better the environment.
These two experiences instilled a passion and vigor to do something to truly help make a difference in the climate change movement. One of the most important aspects of this journey is the pursuit and acquisition of knowledge.
As terrifying as this is to admit to you, I do not know everything about climate change and nor will I pretend to. That is what is so remarkable and unique about this project; we can learn and change together. I invite you to join me in this (somewhat) fearless crusade in trying to make sense of lofty environmental studies and cutting-edge green technology.
What comes with this is responsibility. I am not talking about life-shattering changes wherein you boycott all motorized transportation. Instead, try making small changes, such as using Tupperware instead of plastic baggies or recycling a can instead of simply throwing it away.
Climate change is always talked about in the future tense, but you need to realize that climate change is having real impact on the world here and now. Never forget that you have an impact, you have a voice, and you can make a change. Therein lies the hope from the above terrifying reports, remembering we can and will make difference to this world.