Tackling the trash: Students vs. pollution

More stories from Libby Reach

A kickin’ summer
April 22, 2019
Tackling the trash:  Students vs. pollution

Saving the environment can be as simple as picking up a piece of trash, to starting an organization to help clean up the planet. Millions around the world are making a point to be part of the worldwide clean-up. Students at Etowah can make their mark on the world by joining this movement in making Etowah well-known for being an environmentally-friendly school. 

“The biggest way to make a change is to evaluate your output and cut out what you don’t need. As great as recycling is, there is so much of our life that we simply don’t need. Make sure you only buy what you need, and reduce your use of what you can. It will have an immediate impact,” Ella Stewart, senior, said. 

As many know, teachers frequently print out multiple-page packets and endless worksheets for each student to complete. Despite having an electronic opinion, some teachers still prefer to print. 

“Printing may help lower school costs, but I don’t think it would hugely affect the environment,” Alexis Sasser, sophomore, said. 

Recycling is another way to help protect the planet. Instead of throwing out plastic bottles and scrap pieces of paper destined for the landfill, recycle them. Preventing recyclable items from polluting the Earth, like garbage does when it sits in landfills, is very easy for everyone, even busy students. Plastic can take up to 450 years to decompose.q 

“We should set up those cool bottleshaped recycling bins around the school so we can have students put their plastic bottles in them,” Zack Nunez, junior, said.  

Carpooling is not only efficient, it is very earth-friendly. Cars release carbon into the air which damages the ozone layer. The more cars on the road, the more emissions damaging the planet. Riding the bus is an even better option. This would eliminate most of the emissions from cars if no body drove. 

“I 100% agree with carpooling to school because it causes less traffic; it’s better for the environment, and I get to hang out with my friends in the car, “Amelia Ryan, freshman, said. 

Teachers are also being proactive with recycling at Etowah. Lara McDonald has had recycling bins in her room all year. Jeremy Armstrong is also trying to make an Earth-friendly impact. Armstrong is planning on starting a club next year geared toward making Etowah cleaner and more environmentally-friendly. 

“Use reusable water bottles and wash out and recycle soda cans, water bottles, and Starbucks cups,” McDonald, science teacher, said. 

Another staff member at Etowah attempted to start an Earth club, but things did not go as planned. The costs were too high in order to provide the whole school with recycling bins and make clean-up efforts around Etowah. 

“I failed miserably at Earth Club.  I was not ready to hear how much money it would be to start a recycling club at EHS,” Travis Schmid, counselor, said. 

With simple changes like reducing printing, recycling, carpooling or riding the bus to and from school, and being a leader influencing others to clean up the school, students can begin to change the world.