Nicodemus Wilderness Project
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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Denver, Colorado, USA

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Denver, Colorado, USA
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naturade



Registered: December 2017
City/Town/Province: Littleton
Posts: 1
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My friends call me the environMENTAList as I will go trash-can diving to rescue recyclable materials. Last year, during junior year of high school, since my school did not offer the class, I decided to study AP Environmental Science online during my free time. After completing a carbon footprint assignment on Earth Day, I was chagrined to discover that if everyone lived the way I did, we would need 4.5 earths. In an effort to reduce my footprint, I began to utilize public transportation to reach the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, where I volunteered frequently. After taking the course, I realized how critical it is for society to embrace sustainable behavior and development to mitigate anthropogenic impact on the environment. Ever since taking the class, I have been continually seeking ways to reduce my own carbon footprint and to promote sustainability. As a result, I decided to do an Apprentice Ecologist project on behalf of the Nicodemus Wilderness Project this year. By focusing on recycling, my project had two components in Denver: the first part was initiated at my church while the second part I spearheaded at my high school.
Around March of 2017, I began to implement recycling at my church. In order to do this, I first contacted a few companies in order to determine our cheapest option. I then presented the price quote to my youth pastor. Due to the low price, our church then accepted my proposal and accepted recycling into our budget. Then by reusing five boxes that had previously been used by my youth pastor when he moved, I worked with him and one other friend to paint the boxes, as seen in the photo. We used paint that had been left over from a home project that I had done a few years ago. As a result of our work, the classrooms in our church have all had access to recycling since May. Additionally, the 200 or so program papers that are printed out every week for service can be recycled as well.
Additionally, during my senior year of high school this year, as the president of my school's Interact Club--a community service club with the Rotary Club as the parent organization--I decided it was time to bring my high school's recycling program to a new level. While recycling was already offered, some classrooms lacked bins, and the recyclables were only collected every two weeks. My first step of action was going around to every room in our high school--including classrooms, offices, and the library--with four other Interact officers. By speaking with the teacher/adult in charge of each room, we recorded which rooms lacked bins. Next, by asking friends for boxes and by going on an expedition to Costco and Sam's Club, we were able to acquire 12 boxes for the rooms missing bins. Additionally, by partnering with Latin Club, the current organization in charge of recycling at our school, we agreed to set up a schedule so that recycling could henceforth be collected every week with the help of Interact Club.
During our next Interact meeting, we employed our club of over 40 students in teams to both deliver recycling bins to those rooms missing them and to have Interact Club collect recycling for the first time. From then on, I set up a sign-up list so that every other week, four Interact members would go around the school to collect recyclables. As a result, we were able to decrease the amount of waste added to landfills by providing both access to recycling bins and a weekly recycling service for all rooms at my high school.
My hope is that by giving people the option to recycle at my church and increasing the access to recycling at my school, people are more actively recycling. Also, by teaming up with the members of Interact Club, I am sure that they became more mindful of how to practice sustainable actions as they volunteered for the project. By increasing the amount of materials recycled, we have also reduced the amount of raw materials that would have been expended to produce more paper, plastic, aluminum, and other substances. On top of this, we have also reduced the energy and pollution that would have been caused to create the same materials that are now being recycled. As a result, by recycling, we are protecting Earth's natural resources, improving air quality and combatting climate change. As Denver is a city surrounded by natural beauty thanks to our mountains, I am glad that we can help protect our environment that provides us with so many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.
Since implementing my recycling project, I continue to seek new ways to benefit the environment. This autumn of 2017, I recently started attending college. There, I have joined the student organization Phoenix Sustainability Initiative (PSI) on campus. Within PSI, I am currently in the project group Campus Cafés. Within Campus Cafés, we have been partnering with five student-run cafés on campus to introduce dine-in mugs, encourage stamp cards for customers to bring reusable travel mugs and to initiate composting on our campus. In 2018, I am looking forward to continue enhancing sustainability efforts with my new community in Chicago.
ˇ Date: December 31, 2017 ˇ Views: 398 ˇ File size: 19.0kb, 148.9kb ˇ : 1006 x 1136 ˇ
Hours Volunteered: 100
Volunteers: 45
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 18 & 14 to 25
Trash Removed/Recycled from Environment (kg): 250
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