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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Olathe South High School, Olathe, Kansas, USA

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Olathe South High School, Olathe, Kansas, USA
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Registered: December 2010
City/Town/Province: Olathe
Posts: 1
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My name is Bryce, I live in Olathe, Kansas and I am seventeen years old. I have grown up playing all kinds of sports, but excelled in soccer, and I try very hard on my school work as it is very important to me. This year, my senior year at my high school, I am taking an AP Environmental Science class. Before taking this class I wasn’t very aware about the environment or what I could do to help, but since taking this course, I have become inspired and got involved.
The achievement I have accomplished was starting and establishing a plastic bottle recycling program at my high school. From providing six large Recycle bins for the lunch area to distributing bins to every classroom in the school, the recycling program has taken off this year because of these efforts.
In my AP Environmental Science class we learn a lot about the environment, problems, and solutions to these environmental problems. But as well as learning about the environment, we also try to come up with and develop programs or projects where we can make differences at our school and in our local communities. Realizing that we have over 2,100 students in the school, there is definitely a large amount of trash produced at lunch, and something needed to be done. Brainstorming different programs that I could start, I realized that there are tons of bottles purchased from the school every day, which simply get thrown away and fill up the landfills. The school was able to purchase six large blue recycle bins to be spaced around the lunch area and are used a lot. Aside from these bins in the commons, earlier this year the administration also agreed to help purchase tubs for every classroom in the school to promote even more recycling, where we use those tubs for both paper and plastic bottles. Every couple days, the big bins fill up and I have to dump them in our big recycling dumpster outside. At the start of the year I was probably emptying them about once a week, and I have a couple others that help me out and we have to do it at least three times a week. The response to this plastic bottle recycling has been great. In early November I ran a test and collected all the bottles recycled at lunch from one day at lunch. After weighing the bottles, I ended up collecting 53.8 pounds of bottles that the school produces, just in one day at lunch! With this data, and taking the average size of a bottle collected, the school recycles 847 bottles a day. Providing that these rates remain constant, our school recycles 4235 bottles a week or 154,154 bottles a year! One school recycling over 150,000 bottles a year is unbelievable. We are saving almost 10,000 pounds of bottles going into landfills a year. These efforts are helping my high school to go green and have an impact on the community. This is only one of the many recycling and eco-friendly programs we have going on at my high school, and these programs are making a huge difference in our school.
It is important to take care of our high school, and make sure that we are doing our part in helping the environment. Taking care of the high school is just a starting point. Once people see what has been done here, and the impact it is making on the environment, the students may get inspired to get involved and at least possibly start recycling at their own homes. Also taking care of the high school shows that we, as a school, care enough to do our part to help now and in the future. If we set the standard for how all schools should handle recycling plastic bottles, then we know we are just the beginning of a big picture, by getting all schools to recycle in the future.
As stated above, by simply recycling bottles, my school will now saving almost 150,000 bottles or 10,000 pounds of bottles from going into landfills, just in one school year. The community recognizes the high school’s efforts in our recycling program. The school newspaper and city newspaper has written some articles on what we do, as well as the school district web site is putting up pictures and an article to allow the city and community to recognize what we do. Our environmental science program at the school has won many awards in the past three years including most recently a Bridging-The-Gap award for our overall efforts with helping the environment. The community recognizes what we are doing to make strides and help the environment. By reading our success stories, we hope to inspire people to get involved and help the environment in their own ways.
This Apprentice Ecologist Project has had a great impact on me personally. After realizing that I can accomplish something if I really put my mind to it, I have gained a lot of self respect and confidence in myself. I have never been involved in a program, let alone start one where I have seen this much of an impact, and that feeling is priceless. After being exposed to recycling and the environment more, I am now inclined to go to college and major on environmental sciences/environmental engineering and pursue a career in the environmental science field, wherever that may lead me. Hopefully my career leads to recycling or developing more eco-friendly and recyclable products. It is not just about the awards or feeling good that I am “recycling”, but to know that I’m doing my part and making a difference, not only now but to try and help out for life in the future, is where I know I am doing something right and worthwhile.
Date: December 31, 2010 Views: 5857 File size: 13.9kb, 2510.1kb : 3264 x 2448
Hours Volunteered: 60
Volunteers: 2
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 17
Area Restored for Native Wildlife (hectares): 2
Trash Removed/Recycled from Environment (kg): 65000
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