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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Albertville/Boaz Recycling Center, Albertville, Alabama, USA

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Albertville/Boaz Recycling Center, Albertville, Alabama, USA
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Registered: December 2020
City/Town/Province: Boaz
Posts: 1
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Having grown up in the rural mountains of north Alabama in the city of Albertville, I have always been surrounded by nature. My parents have ensured that they instill within myself and my siblings an appreciation for Earth, and at every chance made sure that we saw the beauty laid before us - from learning about the plants in our area such as the pecan tree to animals such as the common crappie. We have also, as a family, tried to do our part in preserving nature as well - in fact, we have planted over twenty different types of plants by ourselves in this year alone. For my own part, I made the decision in conducting an Apprentice Ecologist project because I feel that it is both my privilege and duty as a citizen of this country to ensure that its natural components are in optimal condition for future generations. Little did I know, however, that I would be able to do so in a place no other than my school.
Oddly enough, it began with food. Grabbing my tray in the lunch-line of my high school last year, I could not help but see a previously unnoticed object to me. A blue bin was sat in the cafeteria, meant to be used for students to dispose of recyclable material. Something about the bin intrigued me though, and as days turned into weeks, then to months, I noticed that the blue bin was desolate. Students rarely visited it, and when they did they often disposed of the incorrect waste. Each bottle that did not go in the bin was one that took off years of the Earth's life. Plagued with this, I discussed my concern with my school's Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) advisor. After learning how the recycling initiative previously instituted at my school was diminished, she agreed to let me create a subcommittee in FBLA to help preserve Earth's beauty. Titled SAVE (Salvation Association for the Vitality of the Environment), our goal was to provide information and then activities for the student body to understand the great impact that they leave on this world. Though the pandemic halted most of our efforts, the officer team was able to create informational media and visit the Albertville/Boaz Recycling Center to find out more about preservation in the community (while there, the team also participated in sorting recyclable materials with the facility's employees).
The primary goal of SAVE is to educate, act, and then communicate. First, we desire to teach about the importance in environmental conservation; then, we aim to actively demonstrate in real-life how one can participate in helping their world; finally, we wish to spread this knowledge to others in order to repeat the cycle and allow for nature to further prosper. I found this process extremely helpful in helping people fully understand why environmental assistance is necessary - it allowed them to connect with what they were doing and the benefits it brought. Because of this, SAVE was able to give me the opportunity of bettering my own area while also demonstrating to others the importance in doing such, which is how the program was able to benefit my communal members in addition to the obvious benefactor of the environment. Community members (myself included) learned how to improve day-to-day activities to uphold appreciation for their surroundings. Therefore, as SAVE is able to keep the Earth from experiencing additional harm, it is additionally able to serve the community by increasing the value of this area's members. This is the prime reason that created my objective in undertaking this program - for Earth can only take care of people so long as people take care of the Earth. In other words, if we demonstrate appreciation for nature and preserve its beauty, it will in turn work toward sustaining the human race. I want the future generations of humanity to have the capability of discovering natural beauty in an even greater light than I have; I want them to see the Alabama that I have had the pleasure of enjoying (from the shady walnut trees to the strong bass to the native black bear and more). We have a beautiful and unique realm of abundant wildlife in this area that deserves the right of being protected - and I believe that this program is a step to ensure that happens.
As I continue into adulthood, moving on from my high school and the organization I will leave in my wake, I look to the future and how I plan to contribute further. My Apprentice Ecologist project, SAVE, has given me immense opportunities that have created a greater person of its product than prior to my involvement. I am drawn to take in my surroundings and am constantly thinking not "I have no time to contribute," but rather "Where can I make time to contribute?" I have developed a love for the world that has taught me that change can only happen if you prioritize it and develop a passion for it - it is submissive and passive behavior to change that is its primary oppressor. While I move on to a university setting, I plan to take part in programs like SAVE or establish my own if one is lacking. Furthermore, I will keep in mind as I help the environment that this commitment is lifelong - it is a job that is never complete. However, though this may seem discouraging, I think back to all that I was able to accomplish this year. Societal change can come from anywhere - even if it is just from a blue bin sat in a high school cafeteria in Albertville, Alabama.
Date: December 31, 2020 Views: 3273 File size: 24.4kb, 234.6kb : 711 x 960
Hours Volunteered: 35
Volunteers: 15
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 17 & 14 to 18
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