The Competition Gets Green!
A few weeks ago, I heard “Class, we’re going green for the rest of the year!”
I lifted my head up from my morning desk nap, thinking that I’d see the entire class turn into the Incredible Hulk or maybe leprechauns since it is March and St. Patty’s day is right around the corner. How cool would that be? I was a little sad to find out my teacher was talking about doing stuff like recycling, emailing homework, and using water bottles instead of paper cups to cut down waste.
This was going to be boring and cause more work for us. But the teachers were sneaky and said it was a competition between classrooms. The goal: Whichever class cuts down the most waste in their room wins a pizza party at the end of the school year. Excited we wanted to learn more. This is where we had our “learning lesson”. Sneaky teachers always have lessons to teach.
My 7th grade class learned that many things we use everyday can be made from recycled materials. Cereal boxes, soda bottles, paint, tissue paper and homework paper after we turned in homework (not before, I tried) are examples of stuff that can be used as recycled material. Recycled materials also turn up in products that are very different from what you thought they’d be used for. New playgrounds use recycled rubber as part of the ground underneath the swings. You’ll know what I mean if you ever walk on a new playground. It’s bouncy. No more gravel or rocks like our parents had when they walked 5 miles to the playground!
For February, my class has recycled over 250 cans of aluminum and 100 pounds of paper. The classroom doesn’t look as dirty either because we try not to use a lot of paper and instead email our homework to our teacher. We also made one student each week responsible for shutting the lights off when the class leaves the room, to cut down on electricity waste. We’ll find out how my class does against the other grades at the end of the school year in July.
Some basic information on recycling helped us get creative with what we can and cannot recycle. Want to know more about all the benefits of recycling and what you can do, click on the link: http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/rrr/recycle.htm
Brandon’s a middle school student on Chicago’s Southwest side. He enjoys filmmaking and Whirlyball.
Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.