Tips for recycling

Bianca Caputo names many small tasks that students can do every day to limit our toll on the earth.


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There are many different ways someone can recycle.

According to a study organized by the Minnesota Pollution Control agencyOver 78% of school waste could be diverted from the trash to organics composting and container/paper recycling collection programs.” These are staggering numbers. Schools are producing exponential amounts of waste every day, and whether people believe in global warming or not, the Earth is suffering due to human consumption of resources. As a society, we could be doing far more to stop it then we are now.

When I asked some students about their feelings on recycling, the results gave me hope. It seems that most students are optimistic about the environment and want to help–but they aren’t sure how. A freshman, Ali Buck says “Recycling is good, and I’m trying to do it more, but I always forget.” While Ali expressed concerns about the difficulty of remembering to recycle, I wondered if there was more the school could be doing to teach elementary students about the benefits of recycling.

With this in mind, I decided to ask a few students about their feelings on recycling. First off, before I talk about my own and other’s experiences with school eco-friendly policies, it is important to note that people do not want to hurt the Earth, but they are not doing much to heal it. It’s a lot like caring for any houseplant in the sense that by not watering it, people are preventing it from growing to its true potential. So, what can people do to help the environment as a high schooler? Well, there are a few simple ways students can help the environment that do not involve cash.

use reusable drink containers instead of plastic water bottles”

— Bianca Caputo

First, use reusable drink containers instead of plastic water bottles. There are water bottle fillers at several water fountains around the school so students should not have to buy a disposable water bottle. Second, people can print less often. We all are given Chromebooks, and unless a student needs to have a physical copy, do not print. Third, remember to recycle! I know this has been drilled into students heads since elementary– but it is very simple. Even if the recycling bin is eventually dumped into a trash bin, at least someone tried their best. Fourth, don’t leave lights on in rooms people aren’t in. Unless someone happens to have a ghost friend living in your room (in which case, hook me up), the only thing you’re doing is racking up electricity bills. Lastly, carpool with your friends when possible! Not only does it limit carbon emissions, but it also means spending less money on gas while spending more time with friends.

All of these things are small, low cost options to deviate from environment hurting decisions, and there are still things people can do even if they don’t have a ton of money. But if people want to make even more of an impact on the environment, they can choose to take a stand for our Earth to keep ourselves and our descendants healthy on this Earth for years to come.