Why Recycle?


Carolina Smith , Writer

 Throughout the day, trash accumulates. A mistake is made on a math paper, which results in buckets being made from across the classroom with a paper ball. A granola bar is found by some sort of miracle in the bottom of your backpack when you are about to starve during fourth period, and the wrapper inevitably ends up in the trash can. Somehow, there are 14 water bottles in your locker from the past couple weeks of ordering lunches, and you are forced to carry them to the closest trash can in shame. Seemingly insignificant items are used daily, but the culmination of waste from the entire school, the entire state, and finally the entire world piles up.

Single-use plastic and other forms of trash plague the environment for hundreds of years, but people do not take the time to think about what is truly necessary for day-to-day life. The mantra “reduce, reuse, recycle” can be applied to most situations involving garbage. For example, buying snacks packed in one giant container verse individual packets helps reduce the amount of plastic wasted. Getting a plastic bottle every day with a school lunch can easily be replaced by bringing a personal, reusable one. If someone packs a lunch every day, reusable containers can supplant plastic baggies. Small changes truly add up overtime. For example, if a student orders lunch every day but decides to bring a water bottle from home, they’d save about 170 plastic bottles. 

If waste cannot be avoided, recycling presents the next best option. Recycling lessens the amount of garbage that ends up in landfills, saves energy, prevents pollution, and helps create jobs for Americans, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. 

This year, recycling bins for paper started showing up in classrooms at Collegedale Academy. The process began when Mr. Blackburn noticed the bland cardboard boxes used as recycling bins in the teacher workroom. He then turned to Mrs. Nafie, who said,

 “If we are going to get new bins for the teacher workroom, we might as well ask what other classrooms would be willing to use them!” 

Several teachers agreed to have the new bins indoctrinated into their classrooms, and Pastor Litchfield agreed to take the bins to the Collegedale Recycling Center whenever necessary. Our faculty’s passion for recycling was responsible for a small step toward big changes. 

 In Psalms 24:1,2 (NIV) it says, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.”

We are responsible for taking care of God’s planet, and there are countless ways to help, including recycling. The fact that our school is making strides to help the environment should be celebrated, but there is still room for improvement. Maybe one day bins for recycling plastic can be added, or compostable containers for the lunches. The possibility for a better world rests in the hands of individuals wanting to make a difference.