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Friday, June 21
The Indiana Daily Student


Party until the end of time

If you arrive in Bloomington on any given Saturday, you will be welcomed by streets of broken glass, smashed Styrofoam and discarded plastics. The students have been partying, and they haven’t cleaned up after themselves.

Because in Bloomington, accountability for the environment is reserved for the dead and the elderly.

Yes, spend a few hours in the city, and Bloomington’s rancid charm will ?eventually find you.

Fortunately for such a responsible community, our town, along with the rest of the world, can soon litter non-stop without any fear!

Proactive researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have developed a response to less-than biodegradable plastics.

Chitosan, one of the more abundant organic materials on the planet derived from shrimp shells, combined with a protein found in silk produces the cleverly named shrilk.

The new bioplastic is durable, biodegradable and can even be utilized in traditional casting or injection-molding, which means it can be ?mass-produced.

This is excellent news for crustaceans, who might soon join the other 50 percent of animal wildlife wiped off the Earth in the past 40 years, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

Together, we can mass-produce shrimp out of existence. But we may not have to.

As it so happens, a quarter of all carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere gets absorbed back into the ocean, so says the National Oceanic and ?Atmospheric Association.

Functioning ecosystems are so 20th century.

There’s a concept called optimism bias, which is also known as “it won’t happen to me” syndrome.

As if none of us could possibly have any influence on such a vast world.

The party culture in this town wouldn’t be so problematic if being reckless and wasteful weren’t so celebrated.

At the very least, people could use their trashcans.

Of course, not everyone who likes to party is completely irresponsible, but the collective attitude toward holding oneself accountable is still very much a high school approach.

It’s the idea that, “Someone else will clean it up, but even if they don’t, it doesn’t really matter.”

Never fear though, as Bloomington is just one of many college towns in America, so it’s not as if the problem could get much worse.

Ah, the persistent ignorance of the American way.

It is truly a feat of mankind to destroy something so critically essential to life, all the while convincing ourselves it was bound to happen anyway.

But that’s OK. Everybody knows being proactive is only necessary when there’s instant gain to be had.

So let’s all hold hands, close our eyes and pretend Earth is still just fine, no matter what takes place.

If planting trees and maintaining clean water somehow produced money naturally or heightened one’s social status, we would probably save the planet.

Too bad we all just live on this big, filthy rock.

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