One of the pleasures of being an academic is that you can have really long lunches. Just came back from lunch with a group of graduates and students, a few of them having volunteered with Kampus Sejahtera. Best part of it was they paid for the lunch at Queensbay. Happy Birthday Chern Chung (did I spell it right) and thanks to 350.org for the lunch.
Over lunch I sat with a second year computer science student and tried to pick her brains about sustainability. Yes, she and her friends still occasionally tau pau with The White Coffin. Sometimes cannot help it, she said because it is so inconvenient to bring the tapauware. Of course, she is being much more influenced by her boyfriend (that Abe guy) and so she sometimes tries to "preach" green with her friends (she admits she is not as green as the BF), about not using polystyrene for instance. Initially, her friends give her the wield look. Then they will start avoiding her. She is also one of the first year students who last year got a free GoFlex collapsible tupperware container. Has she used it? Yes, once or twice (in one and half years). Her advice is, don't give people free gifts. They don't understand what it is for.
And I think that is true for probably 90% (I am exaggerating of course) of the staff and students. What's this thing, "sustainability"? Why can't we use polystyrene containers?
The unfortunate thing about me is that I am too observant. At about 11 am this morning, I walked over to see my old pal at CenPRIS and while waiting for the previous visitor to leave, I saw one of the staff walked into the pantry with a white plate full of food. My antenna immediately went hyperactive. I could not sit there anymore. I walked through the door (from where the staff had just come in), noticed the crowd downstairs, saw all the people eating happily away and stacks of polystyrene plates on the buffet spread. I walked down, bump into VC's steno. I asked, who's the organiser? "Koperasi USM. There, the Chairman is over there", she pointed. I took one of the plates, confirmed that it was polystyrene and headed for the Chairman. By the time I got close he was already sitting down with a big group of members of the cooperative. Many "big shots" were there, including the Chief Librarian. I didn't bother to do a head count. I did a backtrack and let them enjoy their lunch. Back at the office I asked my clerk whether she was at the lunch. She said yes. Did you eat at the lunch? Yes!
First there was the Raya Open house at Chancellory, then Chemistry, then Mechanical Engineering and then Computer Science. Now it even more blatant. I have detected used polystyrene containers outside the studio at HBP and in the rubbish heap at Education.
So, start the count down! To what, you asked? 2010. Still don't get it?