East needs more active role in turning “green”

Eastside Editorial Board

We’ve all witnessed the new “green” fashion statement, producing attire spreading the message to saving the world by stopping global warming,  However, no matter how many “go green” T-shirts a student or teacher may own, it is the action we take that truly affects the world:

REDUCE

Print double sided: Paper accounts for more than half of all municipal waste.  Instead of using tons of paper when printing that ten-page research paper, reduce the amount of paper used by printing on both sides of the paper.

 Print less: Reading from the computer screen can become dizzying, but instead of printing out pages and pages of research, make the font larger on the computer to make words easier to read.  Then copy down only needed information.   

Use smaller page margins: Talk to teachers about accepting assignments printed on smaller margined documents.  It drastically cuts down unnecessary paper use.

Turn off/unplug electronics not in use: Turning off and unplugging electronics not in use saves energy.  For example, teachers: turn off the air conditioner and unplug computers when leaving school for the night.  Just because electronics are turned off, doesn’t mean they are not using energy.       

Use compact florescent light bulbs:  Compact fluorescent light bulbs can easily replace normal bulbs and save more than two-thirds of the energy of a regular incandescent bulb.  Changing every bulb to a fluorescent bulb will make the school’s lighting carbon free.

Invest in more projectors: Projectors, such as Smart Boards and overheads, easily display handouts on screen, saving paper.  Though some might believe projectors to be expensive, unneeded purchases, they are worthwhile in the end when pounds of paper are saved.

REUSE

Use reusable lunch boxes: PB&J, potato chips and juice boxes have been packaged in those neat brown paper bags since we were kindergarteners. However, as high school students, we need to be aware of the large amount of paper wasted because of the increasing use of paper bagged lunches. The use of reusable lunch boxes or bags is a perfect solution. Another way to reduce waste is to bring food in reusable containers instead of plastic bags, tin foil, etc.

Use reusable water bottle: Walking down the halls of Cherry Hill East, one  can easily see that many people carry around water bottles. Bringing water bottles makes the consumption of plastic  skyrocket. Reusable plastic water bottles, such as Nalgenes, are great to refill every day without having the need to buy mores cases of water bottles.

Use scrap paper: Before asking someone for their number, screen name, etc., make sure that person is not handing you an entire sheet of blank paper simply for a word or two. Ripping off a piece of useless scrap paper makes much more sense: blank pieces of paper are not wasted and it is one way to clean out your book bag.

RECYCLE

Recycle bottles, cans, paper, etc.: Recycling reduces supply and demand of products. The act of dropping a single bottle into the recycling bin may seem small, but when it all adds up, one bottle or piece of paper really makes a difference. Recycling saves space in landfills and cuts down on the need for plastic, which is mostly made from our rare, natural resource: oil. 

Instead of only sporting the “green” fashion statement, taking action on even a few of the aforementioned tips will contribute to reducing East’s carbon footprint. Today is the crucial time for you to take action, one step at a time.

Let East set a precedent for other schools to follow.