Saving Land O’ Lakes, One Piece of Paper/Plastic at a Time

Story by Jess Mott

Throughout the 2016-17 school year here at Academy at the Lakes, students and faculty were recycling school-wide.

AATL Recycling Bin
Students may recognize the recycling bins that were in classrooms last year.

We were only recycling paper, however, and most people didn’t even pay attention to it. Now the Green Club has come together again to get active in the community. Are we going to recycle plastic alongside paper this year instead of just paper? When will we recycling start again? Why should we recycle? Can we advertise the recycling better? Yes, the Green Club is going back into action very soon. According to Lauren Reinhart, a member of the club, on Wednesdays, the club will start recycling paper and they pushing to begin recycling plastic. This brings up the question; will the students really recycle or not? First, here are some statistics about recycling:

Statistics on recycling paper:

  • Plants take 15 to 20 years to grow into a full-grown tree.
  • Trees are being cut at a rate of 100 acres per minute.
  • For every ton of paper recycled, these are saved: 17 trees, 60,000 gallons of water,

           275 pounds of sulfur, 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space.

  • 14 trees worth of recycling results in the reduction of air pollution by 165,142 tons.

Statistics on recycling plastic:

  • Around 250,000 plastic bottles are thrown out every hour.
  • Dumped plastic in the ocean kills roughly 1,000,000 sea animals every year.
  • It takes almost 700 years for plastic to decompose in a landfill.

Looking at these statistics we can see why it makes sense to recycle more. Many people at the school also want to start recycling plastic as well because it causes just as much of a problem as paper, and a lot of the students at our school bring plastic water bottles. Then students were asked if they would recycle and support the program. Most of the people that were asked answered with “Sure why not “or “Yea it’s not hard too”. Then there was a select few that answered with “Maybe, but I’m lazy” or “Possibly?”. Overall, most students weren’t very enthusiastic about it, which was expected because it’s not the Super Bowl or Kylie Jenner’s pregnancy. Although, not one student said they wouldn’t do it. No one was against recycling. The Green Club will soon bring the plastic bins with the blue recycling logo back into the classrooms. This year the green club is determined to make the program better and more effective.

You can make a huge difference. You can recycle at school and also at home. Simply recycling one plastic bottle a day or two sheets of paper could make a difference. “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.”

 

For more information go to: https://www.epa.gov/recycle/recycling-basics

 

Works Cited:

“Recycling Basics.” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, 10 Aug. 2017, http://www.epa.gov/recycle/recycling-basics.                      

 

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