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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - College Road, Wilmington, North Carolina, USA

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College Road, Wilmington, North Carolina, USA
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alex1226



Registered: July 2013
City/Town/Province: Wilmington
Posts: 1
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My name is Alex, and I am a dedicated student in Wilmington, North Carolina and the Vice President of my school’s National Honor Society chapter. As a collective whole, the council members and I decided that cleaning up the growing trash problem along the highway that extends out of our school would not only beautify the landscape, but would also create a big change in our local environment. We chose to do this project not only to show leadership and responsibility in our community, but because we truly care about making our environment cleaner and more aesthetically pleasing. I completed this specific clean up while running on only two hours of sleep, but enjoyed every minute of it. As a collective group, we combed the side of the road looking for trash discarded by drivers. We are always quite successful on these combs, and this time was no different. As a group of about 50, we found trash that included tossed beer cans, paper waste, batteries, rusted metallic components, and even pool tubes that were lying alongside the road! We all looked diligently for trash, and no one person came out of the cleanup empty – handed; each person carried a full trash bag. The litter that filled mine ranged from empty bottles to cigarettes and even to metal knives! It was obvious that many people respected our efforts to clean up the environment, as many drivers honked appreciation at us as we walked. Many people in our class dread these cleanups, but by the time they are done, everyone is smiling and having a great time. Not only do we get to cleanup and beautify our landscape, we also receive vital cardio exercise as we walk up and down the highway. We all get to socialize and talk amongst another as we clean up trash, and this helps time go by faster as we excitedly search for trash. I always feel good after I clean up the trash alongside the road because I know that this makes a difference to our environment, even though the change seems small. I hope that as the drivers see us clean up the trash, they feel obliged to stop polluting and littering onto our beautiful highways. This can hopefully cause a snowball effect that could take hold in all of Wilmington, turning our town into a greener, happier community. No matter how sore or tired I am near the end of the cleanup, I always can smile because I know that I am truly making a difference not only to Wilmington, but to our world as a whole.
Littering can cause many adverse effects to our environment that we must work to prevent. Much of the litter that we carelessly throw out our windows is inedible, and many of the animals we love to witness in our town choke and die on a piece of litter that could have been thrown out safely at the next pit stop; simply waiting several minutes and throwing out our trash safely can save many animals’ lives in the long run. Also, many of the litter that is thrown out of our windows could be recycled or reduced, and discarding it out the window is simply a waste. Instead of hurting our environment, we could work to live greener by reusing or recycling common waste. For example, the majority of the litter I found was made of aluminum, a metal that is easily recycled. The processing of aluminum requires extensive amounts of energy, water, and electricity to extract and process. The smelting of aluminum also releases greenhouse gases such as perfluorocarbons. The mining process to extract aluminum can cause aquifer contamination and habitat loss as well. If we could recycle more aluminum and reduce the amount of aluminum that needs to be extracted and processed, we could greatly reduce our impact on the environment. Finally, much of the litter, such as the batteries and some metals that are discarded, contain toxic chemicals that can leach into the soil. When these chemicals leach into the soil, they can either severely damage the soil or work their way into our water supply. Damage to soil would cause decreased fertility or even poisoning of the soil, and would cause plants and vegetation to cease living there. Also, if these toxic chemicals work our way into our water supply, they could poison us and greatly increase our chances of illness, or even death. Overall, this opportunity has taught me that my efforts to clean up the environment, no matter how small they seem, can truly make a difference to both our society and our world’s health in general.
Date: July 11, 2013 Views: 5124 File size: 9.2kb, 122.1kb : 1136 x 390
Hours Volunteered: 150
Volunteers: 50
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 17 and 15 to 18
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