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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Almont High School, Almont, Michigan, USA

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Almont High School, Almont, Michigan, USA
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Registered: December 2008
City/Town/Province: Dryden
Posts: 1
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It was in a moment during that one day that I decided something needed to be done—now. I had just realized in that waking moment that the waste paper I seen being thrown out should have been reused or recycled. It was time to take action. It was time to begin recycling at Almont High.

I was a senior in high school when this all went down. Being a senior in high school, I felt some sort of responsibility to really uphold the leadership role that I knew I inherited coming up to this level, essentially the pinnacle of high school. This was exacerbated too by the fact that I had applied and was accepted as an officer in the National Honor Society for the current year. I was ready to lead. The project began in October by talking to administrative officials to determine if they would be willing to participate and what their thoughts were on the subject manner. For the most part, teachers said: If you’re willing to manage and care of it, feel free to put a box in my classroom. I soon started to do so. I found a few boxes at home and put them in a few classrooms. By January, I found that I had collected really too much to hold, but saw that this effort was truly worth it. Indeed, there was a problem: Who would recycle this…which company? It was some religious or forsaken act—both the PTA (Parent-Teacher Association) and myself researched and contracted the same company: Abitibi Recycling. Though I suspect it was by a greater act of the PTA, the company came. In just a few weeks, a metal bin (the ones like garbage companies use outside of companies) was found nearby my high school. This really ramped up my efforts and the efforts of the high school and community in general. I found it was pertinent to put boxes in all classrooms. As the boxes needed labeling and emptying, I found that my labor was falling short. Fortunately for me, a good friend, Rachel, came to my side and we really saw the project lifting off. By March, we had boxes (all colored, decorated, and well displayed) located all classrooms. Soon after, others got involved. It was a hit-sensation. Still, nearly two years after my graduation, I returned to find that the project is continuing. I’ve calculated, being an engineer, that with the given volumetric flow rate (about 1000 ft^3 per month) and time (just less than two years), we’ve (everyone who helped out) saved about 10 tons of paper waste from the landfills!! Almost as remarkable was that what I found during this project was that one of my teachers had secretly been recycling; he was conserving paper waste by reusing paper that had only one side printed on or written on. This specialty was of course integrated into our efforts. I had truly seen how a deep desire for doing the right thing can spark a flame of justice…justice for our environment.

This entire episode triggered my chosen career path. Currently, I am enrolled at Michigan Tech, and I am majoring in environmental engineering. As an active member in the Society for Environmental Engineering, I continue to help out with recycling efforts, and once every year, I participate in Adopt-A-Highway along our stretch of the highway. I have also partaken in a new enterprise (Green Campus Enterprise) whose objective is to help reduce the carbon footprint of our campus. Today, I continue pursuing my efforts of sustainability through conservation (saving energy on campus, reusing paper) and recycling (composting, recycling paper/pop cans) at Michigan Tech and remain ambitious about what future projects I can participate in.
· Date: December 31, 2008 · Views: 4400 · File size: 15.4kb, 106.9kb · : 1024 x 768 ·
Hours Volunteered: 30
Volunteers: 5
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 16 to 19
Trash Removed/Recycled from Environment (kg): 9000
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