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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Riverdale High School, Riverdale, Georgia, USA

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Riverdale High School, Riverdale, Georgia, USA
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Registered: December 2013
City/Town/Province: Riverdale
Posts: 1
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I faintly remember the days when I could run around in my front yard without wearing shoes. Nowadays, I am afraid to walk my dog on the sidewalk because the broken glass littered along the streets can seriously injure her paws. My younger sister actually cut her foot because the glass penetrated through her thin sandals. For three years now I have walked to school, and each year the pollution gets worse. Aluminum cans, candy wrappers, glass, and plastic grocery bags and bottles constantly litter the urbanizing town of Riverdale, Georgia.
Riverdale is a densely populated town located only 12 miles south of Atlanta, the capital of Georgia. Although it was once an area full of vibrant vegetation, much of the land is currently being developed into housing complexes. As more people move in, more garbage ends up on the street. It hurt me to watch my hometown become a dump, so together with three dedicated friends, we organized a public relations project to encourage the community to take responsibility and recycle.
The project focused on our high school, Riverdale High School. Our goal was to start a recycling revolution in the school and community, and thus create a collective mindset that grasps the importance of recycling. We knew that four teenagers could not do this alone; therefore, we partnered with various local organizations.
We initiated the project in September 2013, near the beginning of the first semester of school. As a group, we approached our Advanced Marketing teacher with our idea, and she allowed us to work on the project during class time in conjunction with the DECA club at our school. (DECA is an organization of marketing students.) We brainstormed ideas with several members of DECA in order to create a plan of action. My partners and I developed the campaign theme, “Recycling the Past, Preserving the Future”, with two main objectives:
1. To inform Riverdale High School and the surrounding area about the benefits of recycling.
2. To encourage students, teachers, and faculty to actively participate in recycling by establishing a recycling system in Riverdale High School.
Our promotion tactics included a press release, which we sent to local newspapers. We also used the school’s radio station to dispense information regarding recycling facts and upcoming events. Furthermore, we were able to utilize the giant display window in the school store to create an informative diorama, which we decorated with recyclable items.
We contacted SP Recycling, a waste management company, and they were able to help us in our campaign by giving us fliers, banners and other incentives that would encourage students and staff to recycle. A recycling specialist from SP Recycling worked closely with us as a guest speaker for our community informational forum. On World Recycling Day (November 15, 2013) we set up a table in the school cafeteria, and encouraged at least 212 people to pledge to recycle.
The best part of teaming with a local recycling firm was that they gave us official recycling bins to place in key areas around the building. When the boxes filled up, we notified SP Recycling to pick them up. To help us collect recyclable litter around the school, we partnered up with the school’s chapter of Future Farmers of America (FFA), another environmentally active group.
Toward the end of the semester, we needed to determine the effectiveness of the campaign. Surveys were distributed throughout the school population. After compiling the data, we realized that students were aware of the benefits of recycling, but unaware of the methods to do so. Therefore, we are in the process of revamping our campaign for the next school semester, and focus on distributing information to small businesses, churches, and other community hotspots.
We organized all of our efforts into a manual that we are taking to state competition for public relations, sponsored by Georgia DECA. Our aim is to be able to spread our message through participation in this contest. If we win, we can advance to a national competition, and gain media coverage for our objectives. We are initiating a project that will keep our school clean for years to come. We intend to pass on the program to the students behind us.
After gazing upon all the aluminum cans, paper, cardboard, and plastic bottles that we have collected, I felt so proud. At first, I thought that I could do nothing but complain about the rampant pollution in my town. Now I feel that even four dedicated teens can largely impact the environment. Yes, it takes a great deal of work and dedication, but it strengthened the bond between my friends, and it made the world just a little greener.
· Date: December 30, 2013 · Views: 1905 · File size: 16.5kb, 1864.1kb · : 3264 x 2448 ·
Hours Volunteered: 300
Volunteers: 4
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 18 & 17 to 18
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