Today, I am pleased to introduce you to Steve Watts. Steve is in his final year of an Honours degree in English and Communication Studies at McMaster University, and is a lover of music, cycling, and sports. Writing for the Starfish combines two of his passions: writing and the environment. Steve is a lifelong Hamiltonian who is interested in gaining environmental awareness and activism. Hamilton has exposed him to many environmental issues and debates which has encouraged him to become an active environmentalist.
When did you realize that you had a passion for the environment? What made you realize it?
The BP oil spill was a defining moment in my passion for the environment. Seeing the damage that humans are inflicting on the environment to fulfill economic needs was an eye-opener. The fact that we allowed something that catastrophic to occur again in pursuit of economic means is embarrassing.
Do you have a favourite Starfish article? What makes it so special to you?
One of my favourite Starfish articles is Dual Flush Toilets: A little flush goes a long way for water conservation by Kristina Klinovski. It focuses on an issue everyone encounters everyday: using toilet water. The article has made me rethink the ways in which water can be conserved on a daily basis. Also, I really enjoyed Kristina’s writing style. On a topic such as using the bathroom, why not use a little humour?
If you could focus your energy on one issue facing the environment today, what would it be? How would you do it?
Reducing one’s waste is an important issue I want to tackle. Especially in everyday situations, such as disposable coffee cups, how can we change our ways in order to be more environmental? How can we convince others to do the same? I think tackling this issue would involve gaining awareness and participation by the public, most importantly opinion leaders who can influence others.
Do you have any green new year resolutions for 2013?
My family uses plastic water bottles very frequently. In doing so, we waste a lot of water and create unnecessary waste. I plan on trying to convince my entire family to stop buying plastic water bottles and invest in reusable containers.
What would you like to see the Starfish accomplish this year?
I would like to see the Starfish be a catalyst in sparking people’s interests and participation in environmental issues. I hope the Starfish can create debate about certain topics and promote activism. The Starfish could showcase some not-so mainstream stories as a way to expose readers to a variety of different issues. I think that providing any viable solutions for everyday environmental concerns could also benefit readers.