Students need to start caring about recycling

Students need to start caring about recycling

Ethan Harvey, Opinion Editor

While our school may seem eco-friendly, we must go the extra mile when it comes to sustaining the environment.

The words reduce, reuse and recycle have been ingrained in our minds for years, yet the majority of people will not go out of their way to throw a plastic bottle into a recycling bin. There is no excuse for people not to recycle.

Let’s face it; most students couldn’t care less about the environment. According to a study done at Colgate University, their campus sends 1.5 million pounds of trash to the nearby landfill every year, for which they pay $50,000 in service fees. However, 30% of this trash turns out to be recyclable materials. If you do the math, the Colgate community could save $15,000 every year if each person did their part by appropriately disposing of recyclable materials. On the other hand, here in Evanston, according to the City’s website, we spent almost $2.4 million dollars on our waste services in 2015. A percentage of that expense is likely due to people throwing their recyclables in the wrong place.

Luckily, we have efforts at our school that help with supporting a sustainable and green environment. The Green Team, sponsored by Chemistry teacher Joel Weiner, has made great strides in bringing awareness to our community. The team has initiated programs like meatless Mondays and community pick-ups/clean-. Senior Co-President, Ilana Baker, believes this year could be Green Team’s best yet.

According to the City of Evanston website, each ton of paper we recycle gives 17 trees a longer life. Many teachers now double side their papers or work completely online, but the majority do not.

As students, we also have a job to do.

First, there are the no-brainers like separating your trash at lunch. It is not that hard to toss your empty plastic bottles into the correct bin. Secondly, we can eliminate excess priting by properly proofreading. Lastly, let’s all stay aware and only use the needed amount for items like food, water and paper products. Let’s not kid ourselves, we have all been that person that loads up on more than we consume and ends up tossing the leftovers in the trash without considering the environmental impact. If each of us does their part and reminds others as well, we can really make a difference. Furthermore, if our staff sets a good example for the students, then this school can really become a greener place. Teachers can do this by putting signs up in their class about what to recycle, so our students know where to dispose of their recyclable items. Like with all habits, practice makes perfect, so E-town, when you have the chance to conserve and recycle, please do so!