Sarah Bourke

Sarah Bourke

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Reflecting On the First Week of Internships

It’s been a week. So… What is Green? What is Eco? Environmentally Conscious? Sustainable?

They’re buzzwords: words that simultaneously excite and fatigue, disenchant and intrigue.

            Before I started my internship, I knew next to nothing about “green.” I simply knew that I wanted to learn. The people I know in my life who are leading greener, more sustainable lifestyles were inspiring. And not just because it sounded cool. They were not only healthier and more active, but they were also far more thoughtful, passionate, and interesting than those people I know who cared very little about the environment. The people who we think of as green and sustainable are really passionate, active, healthy people who care about themselves, their families, and the environment. When it comes to the environment, I really don’t think that old saying “Ignorance is bliss” applies. The ignorant need to become aware that they are not only citizens of whatever country they’re from, but also citizens of the world, citizens of the environment: citizens of a world which so many inhabit and so few truly think and care about.  
Me? I’ve always been an outdoorsy person. I’m very active, love the fresh air and being outside. I love nature, I love the environment, and I love to learn about it; however, I’ve always felt like I haven’t known enough. I’ve never considered myself “green” or “environmentally-conscious” because, well, I wasn’t. Sure, I recycle and try to conserve water by turning the faucet off while I brush my teeth, but I always felt so superficial doing only those things. The funny thing is, I’ve never been that great at science in school. Chemistry, for example? Totally stumped me. I even struggled in my environmental science class my freshman year of high school. I mean I really struggled. But I found it incredibly interesting. So interesting that, even though I struggle in the sciences, I’ve declared Environmental Studies as my major going into college. Why? Because I want to learn. I want to be able to explain to people how important the environment is and how necessary it is for people to take the time to learn and educate themselves and those around them about the pressing, imminent nature of so many environmental issues. I want to be the first domino that falls deeply, deeply in love with the environment and all the issues surrounding it. I want to fall so hard that I knock someone else out, and the next person falls head over heels in love with the environment, and so on and so fourth. After all, that’s really how I came to love the environment so much—it’s all about passion. My parents both have a deep respect for the environment. My freshman year environmental science teacher is extremely passionate about it. High school peers of mine fell in love with the environment some time ago. The environment is something I love learning about, love thinking about, and love talking about. So, call this an internship of passion—passion for learning, for thinking, and for understanding one of the most precious, inspiring facets of life that exists: nature.

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