We and Our Only Home!


We as individuals need to seriously think about our lifestyle. What we consume, how we consume it, and how and where do we dispose it.

By Umer Sultan

Last week I wrote “Why Ann Arbor is so awesome” about how some people make conscious decision, and collectively it produces a good environment and a better place to live in.

There are however, many amongst us who live a care free life. Informed decision is many times absent because they don’t understand the consequences of their decisions and their actions.

A simple decision: Should you walk down a hall way and throw the plastic bottle in a recycling bin, or should you just throw it in the trash bin near you? The answer to this, in fact the very thought of this question defines your life style, and whether you make conscious decisions or not.

Based on the fact that ‘We are what we make ourselves to be’  it is easy to shape our habits, our attitudes, and our thinking pattern- in short our lifestyle to what matters most to us.

I didn’t think of writing this post when I was writing about “Why Ann Arbor is so awesome” but by the time I finished that post, I thought to myself that not everyone in Ann Arbor make such conscious decisions. Proof of that were the photos I had taken few weeks back. They have been uploaded to my Flickr profile.

Not so conscious decisions:

Last month I was with my friend at the Gallup Park in Ann Arbor, Michigan. So I took out my camera and tried to find some interesting shots. Among those was this “Plastic Bottle.” Lying below a wooden bridge, side lined by the flow of water, ruining the calmness of nature.

Photo Courtesy: UmerSultan

My first respond upon seeing it was “What the heck are you doing here!” Then I tried to picture how this bottle could have landed here: A dude sneakily throwing bottle here in the corner, because he was too lazy to carry it and throw it in a trash bin just a minute walk away. Or the bottle was thrown far away and has traveled floating Huron River and through the roughness of the stream.

I quickly concluded that picturing how it came here was just a waste of time and energy, I decided to preserve it to be a lesson to be taught some other day.

Then, few weeks later as I was passing by the College of Business of EMU in Ypsilanti Downtown, I noticed the perfect ruining moment of the nature (preserved here).

Now I am thinking over our consumption habits or call our consumer attitude. Plastic bags and plastic bottle have penetrated our lives. I remember when I was a kid just learning to do groceries (back in Karachi), I used to see elders use tote bags to carry groceries, hazardous black plastic bags were mostly common; now totes are almost extinct in Karachi. In U.S. the growing demand of reusable totes is back, but I have come to know from friends that these bags require immense energy to be recycled.

I think we as individuals need to seriously think about our lifestyle. What we consume, how we consume it, and how and where do we dispose it. Earth is our only home, and it is already being ravaged by wars. What we can do is change our consumer habits to lower the use of precious scarce resources in the production of environmentally hazardous products- by making conscious decisions in our daily life.

About that I will be writing soon, Inshallah (God Willing). Till then, throw the trash in a trash bin, bottles and papers in appropriate recycling bin even if that means walking a little further. Don’t be lazy, consider Earth your home, it’s a very precious and valuable home.

“Without the environment, we’re all dead – so the total value is infinite”Ian Bateman, an economist from the University of East Anglia. BBC Environment

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1 Comment

Filed under America, Pakistan, Umer Sultan

One response to “We and Our Only Home!

  1. asqfish

    Asalaam oalaikum!
    Plastic trash from North America is seen as far south as Belize…….. somehow we need to cut the habit. I grew up in Pakistan, I don’t remember drinking water from a bottle all the time and I never passed out.
    Keep up the good work!

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