Freedom High School’s environmental sustainability club is raising money to purchase and install additional blue bins designated for recycled materials, inspiring students and staff to reduce, reuse and recycle. Freedom Relies on Environmental Stewardship for a Healthy Home, known as FRESHH, is one of the school’s newest student organizations. Its mission to protect the planet goes beyond the school yard and out into the community as students plant trees, help clean up local parks and encourage recycling efforts on campus.
Freedom senior Lydia Padou, an avid recycler, was excited to hear that the school had an organization centered on taking care of Mother Earth. “I help collect recycles and sometimes grab friends and go to a park or along the Delta Trail and pick up trash or bottles and cans and recycle them,” Padou said. “I do this because that’s mostly where I hang out, and we as friends want to be in a clean environment.”
Padou said the new recycle cans on campus have made a noticeable difference. More students are not only recycling, but taking a moment to clean up after themselves and pick up stray trash they encounter on the way to garbage and recycle cans.
Sophomore Ashley Castaldi, FRESHH secretary, was inspired to join the club by her Earth science teacher, John Sierra, who also advises the club. “Mr. Sierra got me interested in protecting our environment, and his enthusiasm made me want to join the club,” Castaldi said.
“I’m a person with all kinds of ideas, and I thought I could contribute. I think people should care more about the environment because it’s doing the world a favor, and it’s a simple thing to do. You have to go out of your way only a little, and it makes a huge difference bit by bit. The more people – the greater impact.”
Castaldi said little acts of kindness toward the environment add up in the end. In addition to recycling, she unplugs appliances when they’re not in use, shuts off the water when brushing her teeth and uses energy-efficient light bulbs.
Here are some other tips for those looking to do their part to be environmentally friendly:
Turn off your computer at night
Instead of leaving your computer in sleep mode, you can save 40 watt-hours per day, which saves $14 per year.
There are 63 million newspapers printed each day in the U.S., about 69 percent of which will be thrown away. Recycling the Sunday papers alone would save more than half a million trees every week.
Rethink bottled water
Nearly 90 percent of plastic water bottles are not recycled, instead taking thousands of years to decompose. Buy a reusable container and fill it with tap water, a great choice for the environment, your wallet and possibly your health.
For more tips on how to protect the planet, visit www.50waystohelp.com.