We tolerate a truly weak recycling program that I am striving to improve. I didn’t grow up in California, and I am shocked at the amount of recyclable material that is thrown in the trash or simply discarded for people’s convenience. For example, only 33 percent of newspapers bought are recycled. Americans use over 67 million tons of paper a year, or 600 pounds per person. Recycling one ton of that paper saves 17 trees, three cubic yards of landfill space, two barrels of oil, 7,000 gallons of water and 4,100 kilowatt hours of electricity. By being more considerate of our environment, and taking an extra step to ensure we are recycling, we will begin to fix the damage we have brought upon our earth.
It is up to mine and future generations to make a change and put an end to the harmful habits we have developed as a society. To do so, we must draw attention to the damage we have inflicted on the environment. Students, if your school doesn’t recycle you need to voice your opinions. It starts with you. Make a change.
Jenna Greene, age 12, Ustach Middle School, Modesto