Environmental Consciousness in Schools


Bella Slattery, Staff Writer

Have you ever thought about how your actions can help revamp our Earth´s messy environment?  

Students nowadays usually need to be made aware of the amount of trash that they can forget about when they are done eating lunch and not think about how the leftover waste is affecting the environment. Many people are unaware that their actions, like putting the wrong type of trash in the recycling bin, are slowly causing the health of our earth to decline. For example, improper placement of waste can lead to non-recyclables becoming mixed with the proper recyclables and none of it can be used.  However, many organizations, like the World Wildlife Fund, are motivating people to make wiser decisions that can help improve our atmosphere. Though sometimes it can be hard to reach multiple places all at once. Surprisingly, the best place for cultivating environmental consciousness is at school. This makes sense because the sooner younger individuals can learn about the environment, the sooner they can take action to devote time to safeguarding our earth. 

A quote from Planet People explains, ¨When it comes to raising awareness about environmental issues, a good place to start is by including lessons about the environment in school curriculums. All schools can learn something from the Eco-Schools Initiative. This global initiative, operated by the Foundation for Environmental Education, began in 1994 and encourages young people to become environmentally conscious. They’ve assisted in establishing environmental education programs in schools in 68 countries.¨ Planet People is an organization that informs and encourages environmental awareness all around the world. They recognize that schools are a key component in helping organizations, like theirs, reach their goal of getting to as many people as possible. 

Many students are already aware of the state of our earth and feel a need to help, they just do not know where to start. An organization that many students are involved in is the Go Green Club. They specialize in taking care of the recycling on campus and create environmental projects each month that can help kids become more invested in recycling. Erin Long is the leader of The Environmental Club. When asked what actions the environmental club takes to help with environmental awareness, she explains that they focus on “Helping kids in terms of what is recyclable and then being conscious of what things are recyclable and what we can do with them.” Since Thunderbird is a larger school, a larger amount of students will evidently create more trash and waste, and helping kids figure out what to recycle and how to do it properly allows Thunderbird to stay cleaner.

It is clear that not everyone is in the Go Green Club but students should still have a chance to help with the school’s environment. However, not everyone knows where to start. When asked what students can do to become more involved in helping the environment she states that, “The biggest thing is just knowing what is recyclable so that our recycling doesn’t get contaminated. If we have certain types of plastics or milk cartons, for example, that are not recyclable in there, the city will eventually not pick up our recycling.” It is important that students, teachers, and janitors at our school know the difference between the certain types of recyclables that can and cannot be put into the recycling bin because if the city stops taking our trash, then we will start to continuously build up waste and that is clearly not healthy for our school or the students.

When organizations like Planet People and the Go Green Club inform students who are starting to learn more and more about the environment, a fire can spark that will begin to grow in the students as they continue to be exposed to the happenings of our world and the issues that need to be addressed.