DALLAS TWP. — Because Dorian Budziak chose a chicken dinner, Morgan Karas was given half a bowl of beans.
Budziak picked a plastic water bottle over a reusable bottle, so Karas had to sit under two heat lamps for 60 seconds.
The two Misericordia University students were not participating in a club initiation but a program called “Climate Change Simulation” organized by the school’s Campus Ministry on Thursday in the Sandy and Marlene Insalaco Hall at Misericordia.
Over 100 students participated in the free event and learned how their daily decisions affect others and the environment.
Attendees entered the room in pairs with their right arm tied to their partner’s left arm.
Christine Somers, the director of Campus Ministry at Misericordia, said one person represents a developing nation resident, such as someone from Europe or America. The second person symbolizes a citizen from a nondeveloping country.
The pair visited four stations that required the developing nation native to make a decision. Meanwhile, the second person suffered the consequences.
Budziak, a sophomore from Kingston, and Karas, a freshman from Columbia County, headed to their first station called “Food Waste.”
Budziak, who represented a developing nation, chose a chicken dinner with potatoes and vegetables. His full plate choice reflected in Karas’ meager meal of a half a bowl of beans.
The duo was told citizens of nondeveloping nations have fewer choices and eat simple foods. However, residents in developing countries, who fill up their plates and throw away leftovers, contribute to global warming.
“Throwing away unfinished foods contributes to global warming because much fossil fuels went into the production of this food, which is now added to the garbage,” a moderator told them. “So the earth will heat up, and you will have less to eat because of this.”
At the next booth labeled “Electricity,” students learned leaving electronics plugged in and lights on wastes power.
Budziak does unplug his devices when not in use, which resulted in fewer hours his partner worked building iPhones.
Karas had to use Legos to build as many items as she could with one hand in 30 seconds.
Later, Budziak faced a decision to use a plastic water bottle or a reusable bottle at the “Water” booth.
He chose the plastic bottle.
As a result, Karas had to endure 60 seconds under two heat lamps to represent the earth heating up due to the manufacturing and transportation of the bottles.
The final booth — dubbed “Reflection and Advocacy” — gave students an opportunity to write on a sheet of paper what they learned and how to make better decisions.
Budziak and Karas wrote they would reuse and recycle more frequently.
“I will reuse bottles,” Budziak vowed.
“I will be more conscious of my decisions,” Karas pledged.