Greening schools: Do people take care of their schools well enough?

Take Care of Your Earth

Is your school green? Let’s hope so! I don’t mean painted green, environmental green. That’s the way to go! There are many places on earth that could be greener. Research shows that greener school environments can improve children’s health and learning. You may have never thought about this, but one of these places is schools. In green terms, you never want to pollute, use plastic or chemicals. Sound familiar? No wonder! Schools all over the United States are doing these things in a non-friendly way that nobody should be proud of. American schools consume a great amount of paper, energy, and rarely use environmentally –friendly products

Cafeteria Yuck!

Yuck! Have you ever tasted cafeteria food? It is usually made with microwaves. Microwaves are terrible for your health, according to my dad. Colonial School, located in Pelham New York, has Chartwells. Ms. Green, a lunch lady that helps out with Chartwells says, “I eat Chartwells all the time. I think our food is good.” Chartwells uses microwaves which is extremely bad for your health.   Even just thinking about any cafeteria food, makes my stomache feel like a monster hula hooping. Also, plastic is used often in this kitchen. The water bottles, fruit cups, forks, spoons, etc. Cups are bad enough, three hundred; million of them are used every day in the United States. Sometimes, people bring reusable lunch and snack bags. But unfortunately many people also, bring paper bags to school which is even worse for the environment. But plastic is brought to lunch too, which isn’t all that better. Sixty million plastic bags are consumed in the United States every five minutes. People, like Michelle Obama are encouraging others to make eco choices. At Colonial School, located in Pelham New York, four out of nineteen students use paper or plastic bags. People first started using paper bags in San Francisco, California, when plastic bags were banned. For snack and lunch, people throw out apple cores, banana peels, stuff that could be recycled. You may be thinking, you can only recycle plastic, paper, etc. Well, you are wrong. The process of food being recycled is called compost. If schools had compost, they would be a step ahead of helping the school become greener.

Can Phones Affect Your Ears?

Rrrring! There it goes, again. Can phones affect your ears? Of course they can! Especially cell phones. Kids bring them to school all the time, which does not only interfere with learning, but is not friendly to our earth. The longer the call lasts, the worse. Dr. Afshan recommends limiting kid’s access to cell phones. “It would minimize their potential health”, she explains. Cell phones are a cause that are electromagnetic fields and creates radiations. In my opinion, I think they should be banned in schools. You never know what might happen in the future, either way; everyone needs to able to communicate. Some drivers talk on their cell phones while driving. It could cause an accident. For example, car crashes. 5, 00 people die each year because of talking on their cell phones when they are not even supposed too. In some parts of Russia, you can only have a cell phone if you are 18 or older.  5 Cell phones are probably one of the most common ways to communicate. There are many other ways of communicating, but the least healthy way is by using cell phones. Why not use a computer? It’s not only healthier, but also better. By this I mean, you can speak to someone on a computer and see them at the same time too, and it doesn’t even matter how far the distance of the call is. An example of this is “Skype”.

Cleaning Disasters

Schools need to be kept clean. What if the custodians never cleaned the classrooms? People would tumble over scattered pencils, step on goldfish and other snacks. The custodians use many supplies for their cleaning. It’s just the ingredients that aren’t the best. Sometimes they contain harmful chemicals that “give off” the whole school. They are probably not organic, biodegradable, or safe to the environment. Even if they say natural or green, it still may contain ingredients that can cause health problems. A lot of the supplies can affect the eyes and throat and can also cause serious headaches. Other products release dangerous chemicals, including volatile organic compounds. Other terrible ingredients contain ammonia and bleach. Even natural fragrance such as citrus can react to produce unsafe pollutes indoors. Not only that, but every once in a while lights may be forgotten to be turned off. Let’s talk about heat. Poor indoor air qualities at school are linked to asthma and other problems. In the winter you come in all bundled up and trembling under your fluffy winter clothing. But schools turn the heat up really high. As soon as you feel a pinch of heat, suddenly your body feels like summer again.

Do Schools Recycle Enough?

A lot of schools recycle, but do they recycle enough? They waste up to 80% recyclable, so it makes a huge effect when schools recycle. Recycling is also cheaper than trash disposal, so it helps the environment AND your budget!  Paper is used for projects, homework, schoolwork, notes, textbooks, books and workbooks. Imagine how many schools are in the United States! All that paper isn’t always recycled. Plastic can also be recycled. Paper is not the only thing that is used a lot in schools. Only thing that is used quite often. The chairs, for example. Most schools have about 300 students. That’s a lot of chairs!

One school in America can make a huge difference, to help the environment. There is a school who you can definitely tell cares about their earth, because they have shown a great amount of process. At that school of 500 students, they were able to conserve 170,561 sheets of paper, 14 mature trees, 5,970 gallons of water, and 417 full trash bags of waste and storage. Over five years, the average for this school has been 781,169 sheets of paper, 72 trees, 29,848 gallons of water and 1,956 trash cans from landfill! It would also save 15,999 kilowatt hours of energy-which is enough to power up 1,920 flat TV screens for a month- and reduce the weight of its cafeteria waste by 70,034 pounds. That is more than 35 pounds… the weight of fifteen SUVs!

I think that the earth is a great home for all living things, and that everyone should try to take care of it. A big part of our earth is schools, which are one of the many places on earth that could use some help. From cafeteria kitchen use, phones, cleaning disasters, to recycling more, our earth and school could be a much happier place to be in. These are all very simple things to, and I recommend following my suggestions, so your school can be a lot greener and healthier than before.