• The Lance

Recycle, it's not Hard.

By Tylor Brackett

At La Follette, we have mixed efforts when it comes to recycling. Some students don't understand its benefits or its surrounding issues, and they choose to ignore it completely. As a result, our school, like many others, is a part of the world’s large pollution cycle.

There are many benefits to recycling, such as reducing exploitation of natural resources, saving money, saving energy, creating jobs and boosting the economy.

Most of our planet's natural resources are finite and by definition limited and with bounds. We can reduce the consumption of natural resources by using recycled materials to make new products and packaging. Preventing waste through source reduction before it is disposed of can further reduce the need for disposal and save more resources.

Recycling also plays a role in the economy by ensuring waste is being reused and reduced. “It has been estimated by the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive that recycling and remanufacturing industries create more than $1 billion in revenue and hundreds of thousands of jobs in manufacturing. Jobs range from high-quality product manufacturing to handling and processing materials, employing low, medium, and highly-skilled workers,” the RRC reported. The RRC is the Renewable Resources Coalition, which is an online publication of recent news, research, and information on renewable energy and green living.

Recycling has also been able to reduce energy. According to Stanford University, the amount of energy that is lost by throwing away recyclables such as aluminum cans and newspapers is equivalent to the annual output of 15 power plants.

At La Follette, our Green Club has been working to help raise awareness about the importance of recycling and what can and can’t be recycled. “Currently, we are trying to spread awareness of the fact that La Follette does not recycle in any capacity. At Green Club, we have been making informational posters regarding what can and cannot be recycled. We also have a presentation in the works that we are hoping to show classes very soon. Our overall goal is to show the La Follette community the importance of recycling and reiterate the fact that it is necessary in order to provide an eco-friendly school environment. The biggest issue we face at La Follette is the fact that too many contaminants [trash] are being thrown into the recycling bins. The end result of this is nothing being recycled. In the wake of a pinnacle point in our environmental existence, we must begin to engage in simple acts such as recycling,” Green Club member Ben Blazel (11) said. The Green Club, also known as the Sustainable Action Club, is a club that discusses climate change, recycling education, and other activities to raise awareness about the environment.

It is our responsibility to ensure that as much as possible is recycled and to protect the environment for future generations. By instilling the morals of recycling into our school, community, and lives we can create increased awareness of the necessity to prevent waste and recycle.

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