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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Youthink! International Youth Day Essay Contest

/ On : 12:22 AM/ Thank you for visiting my simple blog here. If you wanted to discuss or have the question around this article, please comment bellow.

Jakarta(confuzzled.blogsome.com)-1st place: Lusia Nini Purwajati, 23, Indonesia
Lusia combined lively personal anecdotes with a wider look at how our attitudes can help shape our planet's future. Congrats, Lusia!

"Dare to be Uncool: Don't Let Our Earth Die Before Our Eyes"

By walking or cycling maybe we need 15 minutes more to get to school, but we can extend the age of our Earth.
  —Lusia Nini Purwajati, 23, Indonesia

Advance of Technology

Life has never been easier. With the advance of technology, now people can do things which were impossible in the past. Motor vehicles help us commute, and trains and airplanes even more so. In daily life, the advent of plastic diapers helps mothers and fathers; their sleep isn't bothered with having to change their babies' cloth diapers frequently.

Too Much

Technology really helps us, but in my opinion the use of it is sometimes too much. Here is one example from my neighborhood: I saw my teen neighbor going to a local shop by motorcycle. And how far is her house from the shop? Only 300 meters! She only bought one pack of instant noodles and also got a black plastic bag for free. Since she used her motorcycle, she needed the plastic bag because she couldn't hold the noodles while driving. So, the plastic bag with its carrying handler became the solution. If she had chosen to walk to the shop, she wouldn't have needed the plastic bag, as she could have carried the noodles in her hand.

This little example shows that technology is sometimes inappropriate, and too much. We become dependent on it for simple tasks and worse, we become lazy. Moreover, we human beings are consuming too much, and this consumption is unsustainable. Humanity is consuming over 20% more natural resources each year than the Earth can produce.1

Yes, it makes our life easier right now. But imagine a few years from now. Higher pollution, more waste, and decreasing green areas will make our Earth die. As youth, of course we still want to do a lot of things, and fulfill our dreams. But maybe our Earth will die before our eyes. And maybe we'll have no time to reach our dreams.

Following the Trend

I cried in middle school when my parents didn't allow me to ride a motorcycle. The age limit to drive a motorcycle in my country, Indonesia, is 16; of course I was still around 13 or 14 at that time. But all of my friends were allowed to ride a motorcycle, their parent even made them fake driving licenses! I'm left, I'm the uncool one. I was using the bus back then.

During college (and until now), I always brought my own water bottle everywhere. One day, another neighbor who was still 12 years old found about my habit. She commented, "You bring a bottle every day? Ah, just like a kindergarten student!!" Again, I'm the uncool one, even for a preteen kid.

I survived my adolescence with being uncool and now I'm thankful for that. But, I remember back then it was quite hard, seeing my friends could do what I couldn't do.

According to Erikson development stage2, age 12–20, or adolescence, is the stage where the adolescent is concerned with how he or she appears to others. If they don't follow the trend, they will be the uncool kid. Their appearance is their identity and of course they want to be the coolest kid among others. During those ages, the adolescent is also easily influenced by peer pressure.

Unfortunately, what is trendy usually is something that they actually don't need. Unnecessary consumption can have big consequences in the future as shown from my neighbor's attitude mentioned before. Adolescent youth should aware of the long-term consequences of their actions, in order to survive and reach their dreams in the future.

Make it Simple and Start from Small Things

So what should we do for the sustainability of our earth? The solution is simple. Probably we don't even need new technologies that are environment friendly. I'm not underestimating new technology such as bio-fuels or solar powered vehicles. But in many cases, the solution is already there, and has been practiced since long before.

Let us go back to the good old days. The era when we used bicycles or brought our own bag or case when going shopping. The era when we wanted—or needed, since it was the only way at that time—to work out a little bit more than now when doing something. By walking or cycling maybe we need 15 minutes more to get to school, but we can extend the age of our Earth. Think about the future, think about sustainability.

And how to start? Start from the small things. For example, bring your own bottle. With this tiny little "green" habit at least we can reduce the daily consumption of plastic bottles. Next, find some friends that share the same awareness. It doesn't matter if there is only one such friend in the beginning. At least there are two to support each other. Like I mentioned before, during adolescence, peer pressure is something we can't ignore. When other people see that we are "weird," we need to have someone else to share our feelings and experiences.

Also, we can't expect to change our surroundings drastically, or for everyone to follow our way. Start from the small things, and make it happen slowly but surely. We can make people around us aware of our "green" habits; show them that "this way" is also working. And then start to influence them. Introduce them casually to the risks the Earth is facing now. The same way they are influenced by peer pressure to follow the trend. We can make the "uncool" become the new trend.

So, let's dare to be uncool for our Earth. We still young. Don't let our Earth die before our eyes.



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10 comments:

Anonymous said...

congratulations

Claudia said...

Interesting articles!

Djakarta News said...

@Claudia, thankyou..

narti said...

nice article...
thanks you for the visit.

Djakarta News said...

@narti, terimakasih kembali.

Gugun 7 said...

Oh Lusia, she's my friend, we called Nini. She was always pleasant, jadi kuangen nih....

Djakarta News said...

@Gugun 7,oh ya...? She's my cousin. thx ya atas komentarnya.

Gugun Tu7uh said...

Woke... titip salam buat dia ya. link sudah terpasang. kembali merapat.

Fenita said...

wew,, bagus banget nieh artikelnya

Loker Jakarta said...

terima kasih atas informasinya

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