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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Creekside Retirement Home, Folsom, California, USA

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Creekside Retirement Home, Folsom, California, USA
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Registered: December 2010
City/Town/Province: Folsom
Posts: 1
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For as long as I can remember I have cut up plastic soda can rings to ensure they didn’t end up around a helpless animal’s neck; my efforts to preserve what I love most has continued to this day. I grew up exploring the outdoors. So it’s not surprising to those who know me that the environment and wildlife have become such strong passions of mine. It wasn’t until this year when I started taking an environmental science class at my school that I recognized my calling to pursue a career in the environmental field. The class changed my life and made me even more aware of the world we live in and how my actions can have a positive or negative effect.
One day last summer while I was taking out trash at Creekside retirement complex where I work, I noticed the residents had no way to recycle. Seeing this as an opportunity to possibly make a difference, I decided it was time for Creekside to “go green”. After making flyers and purchasing bins, it was time to educate the residence about recycling. I had to keep in mind that they grew up in a time when the “three R’s” were not a major priority and prepared myself that they might not be as enthusiastic as I was about the idea. A week after I set up the bins, I went to check to see if there was anything I could take. Out of six bins, six were full. Although the residents did not grow up in a time when recycling was deemed important, most did grow up during the depression when belongings were never taken for granted and reducing consumption of products was necessary; which is why I believe they were so willing to start recycling.
In July 2010, the news was flooded with updates on the Gulf oil spill. It became a desire of mine to go down to Louisiana and get my hands dirty. Being a teenager with obligations at home I, unfortunately, didn’t have the opportunity to help first hand but that did not stop me from contributing. I decided to take the money I received from the recyclables and donate it to the Audubon Society to be used in their effort to help with the spill.
Each week after I empty the bins the sorting begins. Only certain types of plastic bottles, aluminum cans and glass can be traded in for money. The rest of the recyclables, ranging from soup cans to laundry detergent bottles, need to be removed from the others, which I then recycle at my home. So far I have gone to the recycling center four times receiving over one hundred and fifty dollars.
Awareness is often the key to environmental issues. Most of the residence at Creekside retirement home had little knowledge about recycling, let alone that it was worth money. The program taught them it was just as easy to recycle as it had been to throw away their trash. Many residents have thanked me and mentioned how my idea was the best they have encountered at Creekside. I am very humble when it comes to responding; although the program takes up a couple hours out of my week, I receive self-satisfaction from doing so.
By recycling, I can help prevent the trash from ending in the sea and endangering wildlife, provide more jobs then trash would, reduce the need to use up more land for land fills and most importantly, help make the world a greener place. Dr. Seuss once said, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not”; I took his words to heart.
Date: December 29, 2010 Views: 6468 File size: 9.5kb, 562.0kb : 2917 x 3635
Hours Volunteered: 10
Volunteers: 150
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 17 & 65 to 101
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