I recently celebrated my first decade in the United States. Not surprisingly (to Gonzaga Grads at least), my celebration entailed episodes of reflection – reflection of an entire decade. The day I landed in Louisiana on a hot and humid August day in 2006 to a present day in the pacific northwest – the holy place I call my second home. In retrospect, one of my achievements that I am most proud of is that I have managed to live comfortably in the United States for this long without owning a car. I often rent or zip a car, but I have yet to own a car. I believe not owning a car significantly contributes to one’s lifestyle and relationship with the environment.
I audited Prof. Henning’s Environmental Ethics and Ethics of Climate Change courses back in 2012. As a graduate student auditing undergraduate courses, I didn’t have to worry about assignments, tests, and grades, which introduced me to an exciting realm of academia where I was free to learn without any academic stress. Through a combination of excellent course material and riveting class discussions I became aware of how seemingly ordinary decisions we make impact the world around us. Although I do not regularly calculate my carbon footprint anymore ;), I am mindful of my daily activities and how they impact the environment around me. My decision to live without owning a car is one of the many evident results of this mindfulness. There’s a constant battle in my mind about things I need and things I want. Looking at this battle in the light of my environmental ethic – a work in progress, I have accepted that I do not need a car at this point in my life.
To fellow Zags, I would like to request you to share your mindfulness and awareness in relation to your environmental ethic and how it influences your daily activities.