Elevating the environment

Ways you can help the environment in and out of school


Photo courtesy of Flickr via Creative Commons.

Lily Kardash, Author

This year at Battlefield, there are over three thousand students. As a whole, the students produce a lot of waste. Things such as using plastic water bottles and misusing the recycling bins are factors that add to the waste. There are many ways students can decrease their footprint at home and at school. In fact, there are already ways the school is trying to help the environment, but students often struggle to utilize them.

Battlefield’s Environmental Club collects the recycling for all the class rooms and removes any non-recyclable items. Caroline Petty-Kane, Co-Vice President of this club, says, “I see first hand what kids are putting in (the recycling bins)”. She goes on to talk about the misuse of the recycling bins saying that students put “literal garbage” into the bins. This does not just make the jobs of the students in the environmental club harder, as Petty-Kane also explains. “one piece of garbage ruins the whole truck of recyclables.” To help this situation, students should be mindful of what they are putting in the recycling bins. 

Students tend to be uneducated about what items are recyclable and what items are not. They commonly throw away shredded pieces of paper which are not recyclable, unless sorted into a separate bag. Website Budget dumpster says, Please do not throw shredded paper into the recycling bin. The pieces are too small and will fall through the cracks of the sorting machines and will make a mess on the floor of the facility.” Students also commonly throw away containers with food or liquid on them. Budget dumpster also states, “any receptacle that had perishable food touching it has to go in the trash. This includes pizza boxes and Chinese takeout containers. Greasy cardboard can mess up the entire load of recyclables at a center.” Teachers should be encouraged to place garbage bins and recycling bins next to each other to make recycling convenient which would improve the recycling process at Battlefield. 

Hydro flasks, usually seen decorated in stickers and friendship bracelets, may be an internet trend but they are truly helping the environment. Using a reusable water bottle is a great way to reduce the use of plastic water bottles. Website Greener Ideal says, “Bottling water releases 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually and takes 17 million barrels of oil to produce a year’s supply.” Additionally, they report that, “Water bottles contain chemicals such as BPA and antimony that cause reproductive issues, breast cancer, asthma, and dizziness.” Not only do plastic water bottles damage the environment but they can also damage the human body.

As the next generation, the environment’s health will soon be in the students’ hands. BBC News says, “there’s a growing consensus that the next 18 months will be critical in dealing with the global heating crisis, among other environmental challenges.There may not be a lot of time to reverse the damage to the earth, but there are several ways to contribute to making a difference. Making these small improvements can make a big difference in the world, especially when it comes to saving it.