Op-ed: School needs to be more environmentally aware

Rosa Parks
Feature Editor

school needs to be more friendly
A recycling can that features ripped instructions sits isolated on the third floor. Materials that can be recycled include plastic, paper, aluminum and many others. Photo by Rosa Parks

Earth is dying. Contrary to the beliefs of the 45th President, global warming is real, and it’s killing the earth at a petrifying pace.

According to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), “16 of the 17 warmest years in the 136-year record all have occurred since 2001, with the exception of 1998.” This is a frightening and shocking statistic, but sadly, it is true.
Webster Groves High School may be small, but it still leaves a giant carbon footprint. The high school needs to do more to conserve energy and greenhouse gases. There are many things the community at the high school can do to help out.

Inside the cafeteria, there are much fewer recycling bins than trash bins. Recycling helps to reduce the amount of pollution and diminish the amount of trash that gets dumped into landfills and water sources. “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” is a saying that has been pummeled into student’s brains since first grade; it is about time the students begin to follow this mantra.

Materials that can be recycled include plastic, paper, aluminum and many others. As easy as it may seem to just throw all food remnants or containers into the recycling, putting items such as glass and candy wrappers actually hurt the environment and can cause the other recyclables in the recycling container to be thrown away.

Senior Kevin Drexl said, “There are parts of the school that are overheated. I think the energy usage between the old and the new building is really not good. We aren’t using [energy] properly. There is also a lot of food wasted.”

The school has a budget but spends money on expensive and unnecessary things, like the new soccer press box, new weights in the weight room and other things that are wants and not needs. Being more eco-friendly is a need that is not being addressed or focused on.

The school needs to put more emphasis on taking care of the earth. The school currently has some solar panels, a roof garden (that is rarely used) and various plants around the school. The earth is going to die even faster at the rate the high school is wasting materials and energy.

Composting, using recyclable dishes and school supplies and even starting a garden will help. If a student wants to do something simple to help the environment, using a reusable lunch box, or even having meatless Mondays each Monday can help.

Science teacher Greg Wieland said, “The district, and especially the high school, tries to be environmentally friendly. During my time here, it has made recycling simple for students and staff, has encouraged teachers to use less paper and installed solar panels. The entire mind-set of the school has shifted from considering recycling a hippy fad to it being accepted and promoted by all.”

The school, students, and staff must do better to protect the existence and well-being of the earth.
Although Wieland thinks the school is improving, he said more can be done. “More education about what should and shouldn’t be put in recycling bins would help. Also, I think there’s room to improve in the cafeteria. One thing students could do to increase the school’s ‘green-ness’ would be to reestablish an active Environmental Club.”

There is always room to improve, and the high school has a lot. Students who care about the future of their own lives and others need to start paying more attention to how their lazy and clumsy actions cause havoc on others.

The time for change is now, but nothing is going to change unless someone actually tries to change it.

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