Environmental Club pushes for less plastic

Photo+courtesy+of+Stevie+Williams
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Environmental Club pushes for less plastic

Photo courtesy of Stevie Williams

Photo courtesy of Stevie Williams

Photo courtesy of Stevie Williams

Photo courtesy of Stevie Williams

Ana Oelen, Staff Member

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  Plastic, an item we subconsciously use for five minutes everyday, that will take more than five hundred years to decay.

  Everything from water, soda, plastic bottles, to plastic fast food drink cups including coffee cups, plastic silverware, plastic mechanical pens and pencils, plastic grocery bags, and electronic packaging are thrown away without a second thought about how these items may impact our environment and future.

  That’s exclusive of the food, paper, styrofoam, fabric, aluminum, and cardboard waste we are using and disposing of everyday.

  One student wanted to make a difference and began by founding the Environmental Club to help make a small change that will have a big impact. That student would be Liza Williams, Founder and President of BHS Environmental Club.

  “The mission of the Environmental Club is to both educate students about the importance of sustainability and work on projects (like the recycling program) that will help to make our school and community more eco-friendly,”  Williams said. “In the US, and especially in Oklahoma, we are very disconnected from our waste. What we don’t realize is that many of these things (mostly made of plastic) then are dumped somewhere else, where they sit for hundreds of years as they decompose, releasing toxic chemicals into the air all the while and polluting the water and soil and everything that comes into contact with these things.”

  Reduce, reuse, recycle, respect. Respecting the earth and the resources it provides for humans, animals, and plants. Only 23% of the plastic bottles we use are recycled leaving a massive 77% of plastic to our oceans and sea life.

  “I actually started the Environmental Club at the beginning of this school year.” Williams said. “I started it because I wanted to help spread awareness about the importance of the environment and sustainability at BHS. I feel that we (and many schools in our region and nation) are lacking in environmental education.”

  Williams has taken it upon herself to educate others at the club meetings.

  “The Environmental Club has a few meetings each month (most Tuesdays during Tutorial and some evenings) in which we discuss current and general environmental topics and issues. We also now have the responsibility of running the recycling program at BHS,” Williams said.

  Nature is negatively affected by our carelessness. Taking responsible action could prevent the pain and harm we blindly cause. Pollution is a major issue which causes harm to many people world wide.

  “From killing off animals and plants integral to our ecosystems to contaminating the food and water people eat and drink to infiltrating the air we breathe with harmful chemicals that are linked to cancer and other diseases, pollution is around us everywhere. The best thing we can do is reduce our consumption of plastic and other pollutants,” Williams said.

  Williams also has some ideas on how to limit plastic usage.

  “If each of us can take small steps–recycling, using a refillable water bottle instead of a plastic one and bringing your bottle to restaurants and other places where they only have plastic cups, bringing reusable bags to the store instead of accepting plastic ones, saying no to plastic straws, opting for reusable containers instead of plastic baggies (reusing the containers that our food comes in is a great way to do this), minimizing our water usage, shopping at second-hand stores instead of buying into fast-fashion–we can help reduce our negative impact on the environment as a whole; its animals, plants, and entire ecosystems; we can help preserve the world for ourselves and future generations,” Williams said.

  Easy swaps for plastic bottles are stainless steel bottles, stainless steel straws instead of plastic straws, and real reusable silverware instead of plastic ware. Biodegradable items are easy to decompose and good for the environment since they are organic and will not release toxins when decaying. Keely Laurence is a Senior and is actively involved with the Environmental Club.

  “Picking clothing that are made out of organic cotton or linen rather than other fabrics such as polyester or nylon are better for the environment because both materials are sustainable.” Laurence said. “Composting is also great for any garden or soil in general that are lacking nutrients. Many food scraps such as vegetable and fruit peelings along with plant clippings make excellent items to compost.”

  “Choosing biodegradable materials rather than plastic are imperative to reducing the humans carbon footprint. When biodegradable items are placed in the landfill they are broken down naturally by microorganisms,” Laurence said.

  The impact of our action will reflect how the earth survives. We can take action by simply living consciously and respectfully.

  Join the Environmental Club! New members always welcome. Our first big project was establishing the recycling program at BHS and we hope to continue to make a difference and educate ourselves and our community. Follow us:

Instagram @bhsgreen

Remind 101 text @aa3f9c to 81010

 

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