Going Green in XXXXXXX XXXXXX School*
A project by InspirationalButterfly & VanessaAshstrider
*=The XXX's are in place of the school's name. I have done this for the safety of VanessaAshstrider, the school, and me-with the world how it is these days, you can never be too careful. The X's are NOT substitutions for curse words. InspirationalWriting is a completely safe and child-friendly site. Thank you.
Reduce, Re-Use, and Recycle
Have you ever looked in the trashcans at lunch hour, or the wastebaskets in the classrooms? They’re full of garbage-or are they? Actually, most of the things in there are recyclable, like the graded worksheets, outdated notes, paper lunch bags, plastic water bottles, and even the empty milk cartons. Also, why are there still three fans on in the seventh grade hallway? The air conditioner is back on and the air is perfectly cool. XXXXXXX XXXXXX School wastes so much-it’s time to stop that.
Out of all the things students and staff throw away, paper is discarded the most. We use paper all the time-for worksheets, notes, book assignments, field trip forms, newspapers, essays, memos, letters, detention slips, agendas, etcetera. All of the classrooms have recycling bins in them, but they’re not always used. When students are given their graded worksheets, tests, and quizzes, they often dispose of them. Although the recycling bin is right next to the trash cans, the busy students seem not to notice them. As a result, each grade often wastes hundreds of papers each day.
It’s not just the students that are wasting papers-staff does it, too. Most worksheets are one-sided, when the other side could be used. Instead of giving us one worksheet today and another tomorrow, put one on each side. It’s quite simple, really. No offense intended. Some teachers have small wastebaskets by their desks, but none have recycling bins. In effect, all of those messed-up worksheets, old assignment keys, incorrect or outdated notes, and extra hand-outs and forms are all thrown away. Even in the office and kitchen, paper is wasted. I’ve only seen one or two recycling bins in the office, and they use a lot of paper. Almost all of it eventually ends up in the trash. To my knowledge, the kitchen doesn’t even have a recycling bin. Once, as I was helping the hard-working cooks prepare our lunch, I asked where the recycling bin was. I had just emptied a cardboard Pop-Tarts box and wanted to recycle it. One of them smiled and said,
“Oh, we don’t have one-just throw it away. That’s good that you want to recycle it, though.” She was very nice-all of the cooks are quite kind-but the box could have easily been recycled, if only there was a bin. Instead, it was thrown away and sent to a polluting landfill.
Although we waste a lot during class time, the amount students throw away after eating is absolutely ridiculous. As mentioned before, the large trash cans in the commons are always stuffed full after lunch. Granted, you cannot recycle things like chip bags, plastic spoons and forks, foam trays, or chewed-on food, but the rest is either biodegradable or recyclable. The milk cartons we use are made of a thin type of cardboard-the empty ones can be recycled. If they still have a bit of milk inside, there’s a sink next to where we dump the food from the plastic trays-they can be dumped out. Empty Propels and other water bottles can be recycled, too, as well as the paper lunch bags we occasionally use. We need to have a large recycling bin next to the trash cans. We would waste so much less.
Styrofoam isn’t biodegradable or recyclable. It really hurts the environment, yet we still use it. It would be much better to just use the plastic re-usable trays that we have. If there’s not enough, buy more. It may seem more expensive at first, but in the long run, it’s way cheaper. Instead of buying hundreds upon hundreds of polluting foam trays every year, just buy a few plastic trays and be done. It saves money and it’s good for the environment.
The plastic spoons and forks are also unnecessary. We have stainless steel utensils-why don’t we use them more? As I said before, they seem to cost more money at first, but we actually save money because it’s only one purchase, not hundreds. That way, the school has more available money that can be used for educational matters.
That’s not all we waste, though. Electricity is overused in XXXXXXX XXXXXX School, too. Classrooms often have lamps on, even though the ceiling lights are already giving enough light. We use the most electricity during the warmer months. We have many fans on all day, but we really don’t need them. When the air conditioner broke down, the fans were necessary, but we no longer need the three huge fans in the hallway, not to mention all of the smaller ones in the classrooms. They can be turned off.
We give off air pollution, too, and possibly overuse natural resources. The cooks prepare hundreds of meals each day, but not all of them are eaten. The ovens, stoves, and other means of cooking either use electricity (electric stoves/ovens) or reduce our depleting supply of natural resources (gas and wood-burning stoves/ovens) as well as contaminate the air. We cannot completely stop this, as the cooks need to be able to make our food, but we can decrease it. In the younger school, they take lunch count. That way, the cooks know exactly how many of each meal to make and food isn’t wasted. If we were to do this, then the amount of pollution we give off would be greatly reduced.
XXXXXXX XXXXXX School does waste a huge amount; however, not everything we do is bad. Some teachers do make double-sided worksheets, and a few even use the same test papers for every class. As long as the students don’t write on the papers, teachers only have to make about twenty-five copies, instead of almost two hundred. That’s a big difference! Also, not all of the students’ discarded papers are thrown away. The recycling bins are used, just not as often as they should be.
Although we are more ecologically aware than some other schools, we need to make more of an effort to protect the environment. XXXXXXX XXXXXX School should decrease the use of things like plastics and Styrofoam, and increase the use of re-usable and/or biodegradable items, recycling bins, and other environmentally friendly products. Humans are slowly destroying the Earth’s natural beauty. We can make the world beautiful again, but we have to start now. You know what they say: “One thing you can’t recycle is wasted time.” Let’s make a difference!
How Often Do You Recycle?
By Vanessa Ashstrider
Hi! I wanted to find out how many people actually recycle. We waste way too much! How many students and teachers are contributing to that? Well, I asked a few people, and here’s what they said:
“I actually recycle all of my papers,” Micah XXXXXX stated proudly.*
“Um…I would have to say half the time,” Mrs. Haag, teacher, responded.
Alex XXXXXXX hesitantly replied, “I…recycle…plastics.”*
Mrs. Blew, teacher, admitted, “I recycle very little.”
“I really don’t recycle at all,” confesses Alyssa XXXXXXXX.*
“Um…I don’t recycle my papers-I just stuff them in my folders.” An anonymous person answers with a shrug.
“I recycle all my papers.” Madison XXXXX responded casually.*
“Um…I…I just throw them away,” a boy replied sheepishly (we didn’t get his name).
*=The X's are in place of the last names of the people surveyed. This has been done for their safety. The X's are NOT in place of curse words. Thank you.
As you can see, very few people make an effort to be “green.” Don’t you think we should change that? Come on-if we all work together, our school can be turned from a polluting, wasteful school to an environmentally friendly one that loves the Earth!