The Environment at School (With Mr. Self)

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The Environment at School (With Mr. Self)

William Souza-Ponce

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The new UN study that just came out on the 23rd says that we have 12 years to change how we do things before climate change gets out of control and there’s a global climate catastrophe. But, while the government (Cough cough, the president) still doesn’t believe it, we can make a difference. Even small things can make a difference. According to the USI (University Of Southern Indiana), to produce each week’s Sunday newspapers, 500,000 trees must be cut down. But, recycling a single run of the Sunday New York Times would save 75,000 trees! And if all our newspaper was recycled, we could save about 250,000,000 trees each year! In fact, if every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we would save about 25,000,000 trees a year! 

The average American uses seven trees a year in paper, wood, and other products made from trees. This amounts to about 2,000,000,000 trees per year! Not to mention the amount of wood and paper we throw away each year is enough to heat 50,000,000 homes for 20 years, or that the average household throws away 13,000 separate pieces of paper each year. Most is packaging and junk mail. 

Mr. Self, the 7th/8th grade science here at Catharine Blaine, has actually studied the changes we should be making at school, and said that Blaine is actually very very inefficient with being eco-friendly to the environment around it. But we could change that! You can bring reusable water bottles to school, bring reusable lunch boxes, recycle paper instead of throwing it away, recycle your newspapers, and more! For more that you can do, go to 

 Here’s my interview with Mr. Self. 

Q: About how much trash, compost, or recycling does Blaine produce each day? 

A: “I don’t know that, but approximately 10 years ago, Blaine didn’t recycle or compost. Therefore, everything was thrown in the trash, which ended up in a landfill in Oregon.” 

Q: What is the Green Team, and what do they do? 

A: “The Green Team is wanting to reduce our waste as a school, and pay greater attention to our energy use.” 

Q: How long have the solar panels been at Blaine? 

A: “The solar panels have been at Blaine for about 5 years.” 

Q: Is the courtyard contributing to the school’s environmental status? 

A: “Well, some people like to garden in it, and some people try to let native plants grow in it to attract native insects, birds, etc.” 

Q: What are some environmental problems are at Blaine? 

A: “Single use plastic. We are highly encouraging all parties at Blaine to not bring in single use plastic bottles, no disposable water bottles, Capri sun pouches, etc. I think that one of the things we want students talking about is single use plastic.” 

Q: What is Blaine doing to become greener? 

A: “We’re also hoping to use either real silverware or compostable silverware in the lunchroom. The idea is not to just make Blaine a greener school, but to send the message to the hundreds of students at Blaine to take and spread the word outside Blaine and in the bigger world, wherever they might go.”