Recycling at FHC could be improved

Recycling at FHC could be improved

Reduce, reuse, recycle. Three words you’ve probably all heard as children. Words that don’t really have a meaning to some, but could definitely change the world.

Out of 224 million tons of waste produced by Americans each year, only 87 million tons have been recycled. That’s only 34.3% of waste. By recycling more here at FHC, we could reduce the amount of garbage that goes into landfills from Grand Rapids each year.

FHC only has a paper recycling program, Paper Gator. You may have, however, seen the brightly colored bins for cans and plastic in the cafeteria. The school ends up throwing those things away, unfortunately, and we could make a difference by recycling those things.

Having a recycling program advertised in our cafeteria makes me angry. Students continue to recycle but the materials are not recycled properly. This is completely unfair to students who choose to recycle, and the things they are trying to change are not even being noticed. As a student that cares about recycling, I find that this is completely unfair to me. I try to help the earth, and instead, the earth gets punished for that? That is not okay.

Now, I’m not saying, “Hey, recycling is the only way to fix the earth,” because that is not true. But, what if one day, we woke up, and there was more air pollution from landfills? This does not only affect the environment. This, as a whole, impacts us and our daily lives as well by dirtying the air we breathe in, bringing in a plethora of health conditions with every breath. We could reduce the number of landfills by recycling. If the school took time to make sure everything was recycled properly, the students who would like to make a change on our planet actually could.

Reduce, reuse, recycle. Three words that you’ve probably all heard as children. Words that don’t really have a meaning to some, but could definitely change the world.”

Each student, on average, goes through 88 kilograms of waste throughout all of high school. That’s approximately 194 pounds per person over four years in school alone. I know not everything can be recycled, but I do know that we could reduce the number of things that go in the garbage if we would recycle. We have 1300 kids in this school, and we are trying to find a way to save the environment by recycling, and we try and can’t? That is just sad. On average, our school goes through 63,050 pounds of waste PER YEAR. If our school did a better job of recycling, we would be very environmentally friendly, and we could even possibly reduce a landfill in Grand Rapids.

When we choose to neglect the earth, we choose to neglect the issues that come with it. Recycling is like a chain. If you don’t recycle, this is what can happen:

  1. More garbage reaches landfills.
  2. When the landfills get disgusting, as they normally are, they can release horrible smells and pollute the air.
  3. With polluted air, the environment has a harder time, and we do too. The chemicals released into the air can make us sick, giving us things such as decreased lung function and even the possibility of cancer.

With these facts underway, I strongly believe FHC can make a change. Recycling is something that can not only help the environment but help ourselves as well.

Now, some may ask why recycling is important. For example, a trash can may be placed in a more convenient spot. Well, based on the chain recycling creates, I not only prove that recycling is important, but it is good for you and the people around you.

If our school and district improved its recycling policies, we would all be able to make a change in the number of landfills and an increase in overall health within Grand Rapids.