Campus Wastes Away…

April 3, 2008 — by Tiffany Tung

A lone newspaper gently rolls across the vast desert of the quad, never to be picked up, and never to be recycled. Like tumbleweed, the newspaper continues its lonely journey, bumping into the occasional student who is too occupied to pick it up and recycle it.

Recycling is a problem on campus. Because the students do not feel motivated to recycle, clubs like the Environmental Management Society (EMS) feel a need to hold competitions to encourage them to help the environment.

Students should not need such competitions to be motivated to recycle. With adults instilling good recycling habits from childhood, students should already know right from wrong. Making recycling a “game” may help, but once the game is over, students too often revert to their old habits.

Which brings us back to newspapers. According to the California Energy Commission, if every American recycled his or her newspaper once a week, approximately 36 million trees would be saved a year. Imagine how many trees would be saved if Saratoga students recycled once a week.

The question is, “Why don’t students recycle?” It’s simple: they are too lazy to find recycling bins to recycle soda cans in and opt to throw their empty soda cans in trash cans. Janitors spend hours picking out plastic bottles and aluminum cans from trash cans instead of spending their time doing more useful things like cleaning and fixing classrooms.

However, instead of using games, recycling can be gradually introduced at Saratoga High if the school has more recycling bins available on campus, rather than regular trashcans.

Because accessibility is necessary in a student’s life, if recycling bins are placed in accessible locations or simply right beside the trashcans, students will recycle their plastic water bottles, instead of throwing them into the regular trash cans.

It is a matter of convenience, because that is what students thrive on. If the school does try to institute this, then it will undoubtedly work. Students will throw their empty soda cans into the recycling bin rather than in a regular trash can.

Students should recycle and it’s hard to see why they don’t. After all, recycling is something everyone should do to help better the earth.

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