Readers’ Forum: 7/16/19


Refill, don’t kill

Every day, BYU students choose to poison the Earth that God selflessly gave us. We accept mistreatment of the Earth by carelessly placing plastics into a system that leaves them stranded in dumps or watery graves. Once in their resting places, plastics take at least 1,000 years to finally disintegrate. We know plastics can be recycled, yet as BYU students, we somehow rationalize placing plastics in a location where they become destructive.

As members of the Church, we believe in respectfully using what God has given us spiritually, yet we often forget to do the same with our physical blessings. Our bodies are gifts that we respect and avoid polluting by following the Word of Wisdom, and the same principles should be applied to the Earth. As we choose to make BYU a campus full of easily accessible recycling bins and faithfully recycling students, we will shine as an example and spark the interests of others.

Although stopping pollution entirely is out of our grasp, we can spark change in our community by refilling our water bottles. Thanks to BYU, there are lots of bottle refill stations on campus that will not only help us save the environment by not buying packaged drinks, but will also leave more precious money in our empty student pockets.

To bring things into perspective, the amount of plastic America disposes of in the ocean is equivalent to throwing 60-160 cars into the ocean daily. As a university, we can’t stop or remove all these “cars” of plastic waste, but by recycling our bottles properly, we can rest assured that one of those “cars” didn’t roll off our campus.

Next time you find a plastic bottle in your hand, choose to show your love and recycle rather than bury the Earth in plastic.

—Oliver Zaugg
Ramstein, Germany

The Caffeine Catastrophe

It’s half-past one in Intro to Psychology, and I groan as I check the clock and realize I still have over an hour left of class. It’s a Thursday afternoon, and my motivation has been drained. To save myself, I instinctively turn to the bottle of Dr. Pepper sitting by my feet. Once the caffeine kicks in, I am able to cruise through the rest of the class with energy to spare. My problem is solved, or so I think. As my utilization of soda increases, I find that I am starting to depend on it. This dependence leads to a drop in my grades, and I have to limit my intake to bring them back up. Although soda can be useful in the moment, it will inhibit an individual’s academic progress.

In order to be successful, students must get good amounts of sleep, but caffeine will negatively affect their sleep schedules. The use of caffeinated beverages conditions the body to get tired during the day rather than at the normal bedtime, leading to fatigue. More often than not, people will turn back to soda to solve this problem, and the cycle will continue to worsen. This is why soda is so addicting. Despite being helpful initially, soda will limit academic output.

This is not a problem for “somebody else.” It is an issue that affects a large chunk of the college-aged population. For some, the addiction has reached a point where they can’t stop immediately; they will instead need to slowly decrease their intake. This scary situation is what should drive the students at BYU to spread the word and end this epidemic. We are in a caffeine catastrophe, and in order to end it, everyone must spread the word to stop drinking soda.

—Samuel Isaak
Waukee, Iowa

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