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Generation What?

Dear World,

Living in London has given me some public transport-etiquette. I don’t speak to people on tubes or buses nor do I sit next to them if I can avoid it. Non-Londoners may regard this as rude but in reality, it’s just an example of Georg Simmel’s blasè attitude that comes with city life (yes sometimes I do pay attention in my lectures…). Consequently, I was somewhat surprised when, on an almost empty train to Brighton, a lady sat opposite me. Fearing I would be subject to small-talk about the weather, I hastily began to reach into my bag for my headphones.

Unfortunately I had completely forgotten that ‘Thou Shalt Not Sit Silently On A Train’ is the 11th Commandment. Indeed, my seemingly passive companion frowned, muttered ‘bloody millennials’ and angrily marched off.

Whilst happy to be alone again, I was admittedly somewhat shocked. Of course I had read the numerous articles blaming the twenty-somethings for the destruction of civilisation, but I had not actually been subject to such opinion myself.

It got me thinking for the rest of the journey. Those born somewhere between 1980s-2000 (I myself am 1996) are called ‘Millennials’ or ‘Generation Y’. Despite the fact that we have been left to clean up the environmental, political, and economic messes that our parents and grandparents kindly left us, we appear to be blamed for every problem that arises. For example, according to Tim Gurner, the reason Generation Y struggle to buy houses is because we eat avocado on toast and drink coffee. Right…nothing to do with buy-to-let landlords or inflation – just our eating habits. Thanks for clearing that up Tim.

If you’re interested, a quick google search will find millennials are also to blame for creating barbaric baby names that will ultimately ruin the fragments of society, disrupting traffic whilst campaigning for our silly human rights, and worst of all, creating the downfall of napkin sales. We truly live in terrible times.

I would just like to remind all you lovely people of the brilliance that millennials bring to the world. Not only do we help you with your technology qualms but let us not forget that 532,300 of us have entered UK higher education,  24% of us volunteer and we had a 72% voting turnout in the 2017 election. Not too shabby for the most entitled and spoiled generation in history.

Although that being said, I am writing this whilst currently on a train to Brighton to see my best friend because I was sad that a lawyer didn’t like me.

 

T.

 

Plastic Palava

Dear World,

As your typical university student, it may not be surprising to hear my weekly shops do not tend to occur at stores such as Waitrose or Marks and Spencer.

That being said, after an 9 hour waitressing shift, not even my pitiful bank balance could persuade me not to ‘accidentally stumble’ into M&S in search of something to satisfy my Veggie Percy Pig cravings. (come on, I can’t be the only one…?)

Unfortunately my pursuit into pinky paradise was cut short by my arrival at the vegetable aisle. Now we all know vegetables are scary at the best of times but what I saw that day was truly terrifying.

Those that know me well will be aware of my slight soft spot for the environment, hence why I chose to be vegetarian all those years ago. I’m sure some of you will be rolling your eyes in despair as yet another person moans about Earth’s incoming annihilation due to human ineptitude. Admittedly, it can be quite boring to think about the world, or lack of one, that we will leave to our innocent children. But, someone has to do it, and today lovely people, that someone is going to be me.

As you can see from the photos below, M&S feverishly attempted to win the race of plastic consumption, choosing to wrap virtually every vegetable known to mankind in plastic. I ask you, why on earth does a pepper need a plastic case? Indeed, last time I had checked neither potatoes nor broccolis needed plastic protection. We may have introduced the plastic-bag charge (which I am a big fan of), but what’s the point if M&S are going to use all their saved plastic to make sure the courgettes have their own personal space?

All jokes aside, seeing the amount of unnecessary plastic was a shock. I’ll try not to bore you with statistics but environmental researchers estimate over a million plastic bottles are produced around the world per minute. Furthermore, a 2015 study found that only 9% of the seven billion tonnes of plastic waste generated is actually recycled.

Perhaps M&S had seen the rates of environmental debris from with negligent Nestle or slimy Starbucks, and jealously tried to compete. If so, kudos to them, but at what price? 10p? £1? The complete dismantling of the ozone layer as we know it?

I know we all use plastic but come on Marks, try a bit harder.

 

 

T.

 

Sources:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/28/a-million-a-minute-worlds-plastic-bottle-binge-as-dangerous-as-climate-change

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/19/plastic-pollution-risks-near-permanent-contamination-of-natural-environment

http://www.zmescience.com/science/nestle-company-pollution-children/#Nestle_and_Water

http://www.businessinsider.com/starbucks-environmental-record-2014-5?IR=T