As part of a school lesson on recycling, more than 60 students composed letters to the editor at the Johnson City Press that addressed reasons why people should recycle.
In his letter, Isaiah Neal discussed how recycling can save energy.
“Recycling saves energy because the manufacturer does not have to start with new, raw, natural resources,” Neal wrote. “So we can use the same material to keep production costs down.”
Many of the letters even included statistics related to recycling.
“Recycling just half of your annual recyclable household waste saves 2,400 pounds of CO2 being released into the atmosphere,” Sadie Beck wrote. “You can recycle paper, glass, rubber and cans that some people usually throw away.”
Another student, Hannah, noted that Americans disposed of 83 million tons of paper products in 2003.
“According to the EPA, by recycling nearly half of that, we saved 705 million trees and 290 billion gallons of fresh water,” she added.
Brennan said simply that recycling is good for the planet, as well as conserving energy.“Recycling saves energy because if you recycle one can, that’s three hours of T.V,” he writes. “That is pretty cool.”
An observant Hope Roberts started her letter with a big concern about area lakes. “I have seen a lot of trash in them. The trash in the lake is making pollution,” Roberts noted. “Bottles can be reused into something more useful. Also, I have heard that animals are losing their homes and trees are being replaced by malls. Plus trees give us oxygen and squirrels are losing their homes, which are trees.”
Lauren Lehrfeld wrote about how reducing the amount of trash can help the environment.
“Recycling produces considerably less carbon (dioxide), which reduces the amount of unhealthy greenhouse gas omissions,” she wrote.
A student named Major pointed out where many recyclables currently end up: in landfills with the rest of the trash.
“Landfills with trash take up land. Landfills are very stinky. Nobody wants to live next to a pile of stink,” he said. “Landfills take up habitats. Animals might eat trash from landfills. Animals can die from eating trash.”
Ella Sanchez emphasized the preservation of resources and protection of wildlife through recycling.
“Our wildlife is in danger! Animals are getting stuck in our trash! Ducks and fish are getting stuck in can holders. Animals are dying! They need your help!” she wrote.
Going a step further from the recycling facts and figures discussed in her school readings and textbooks, Annie sourced a popular animated movie to get her point across.
“In Disney Pixar’s ‘Wall-E’ the whole earth was covered in landfills. We would not want Johnson City to be that way,” she notes. “We also should recycle paper because a lot of wild animals would lose their homes and we wouldn’t have any air to breathe.”
Letter after letter, the students delivered numerous thought-provoking arguments about recycling, as well as examples on how everyone can make a difference.
Perhaps summing it up best, Hansini concluded his letter by writing, “Earth can be clean if we recycle.”