Cash for New Rochelle Columbus Students Essay Contest Winners

New Rochelle Columbus Students are diving deeper and deeper into sustainability education and they are loving it.

We Future Cycle in collaboration with the St. John’s Episcopal Church on Wilmot Rd in New Rochelle sponsored a “How Do Plastic Bags Affect Our Environment” Research Essay Contest, open to 4th and 5th grade students.

Science Teacher Elizabeth Zahn taught in Science Lab the life cycle of plastic. Students learned that it took millions of years for minerals to be compressed to become oil, which is the basis for plastic production, whereas it only takes 3 seconds to make a plastic bottle. And this plastic bottle will take 1000 years before it goes away.

Ms Zahn skillfully walked the students through the realization, that saying it takes 1000 years to go away is really  a way to say forever. And that is truly what it is, plastic will NEVER biodegrade, it only photo degrades into smaller pieces of plastic that make it  into our food chain and are impossible to clean up.

Students researched the topic, wrote an essay about their findings and the judges Irene Schindler and Jennie Talley had a hard time choosing the top 8 entries among the record breaking 90+ participants. Nearly all 4th and 5th graders took the opportunity to enter. They knew from last years writing contest that Cash could be won!

DSCN2262Ms Nunez, Principal shared nuggets of wisdom from each winner’s essay with the applauding crowd and the students were very proud to receive their certificate and envelope, get a hug from Ms Owens, AP, and have their picture taken.

Here is a profound observation by Valeria Mendez  5th Paradiso.
“Did you know that only 5% of plastic is actually recycled, the other 95% is in the streets or the sea. Plastic bags are not the best choice to go shopping. THey end up in the sea, harming marine animals. And this is happening because of us!”
DSCN2271Naydelin Garcia Alonso, (5th Paradiso) understands that it takes all of us to solve this problem.
“Have you ever seen plastic bags stuck in trees or polluting oceans, lakes and rivers? Well, they got there by people throwing them out in the garbage or littering. How are we ever going to help the Earth? We all need to do our share to help”
Evelyn Madrid (5th Paradiso) understands the basic underlying reason for this problem is within us and how we value money.
” People and companies have been putting profit, laziness and convenience ahead of public safety. Companies don’t care about public safety and what’s good or bad for the environment, they just care about making money”
Jason Zheng (5th Paradiso) knows that nobody is too little to make a difference.
“Even though the world is already polluted as it is, we can still make a difference. Recycling correctly instead of mixing up trash and being lazy. Volunteer for shore cleanups. Don’t think your help doesn’t make a difference, because if everyone thinks that, nobody will decide to make a difference. Even the littlest thing, like using a reusable bag instead of a plastic bag will make a difference”
DSCN2274Valerie Schellenbach (4th Watkins) was blown away by the sheer number of plastic bags every year, and she shares :
“We Americans use between 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic bags per year. Did you know it takes 1000 years for plastic brake down, and only 1% of bags are recycled? All this misuse of plastic is causing severe pollution to the environment”
DSCN2275Darien Chen  (4th Guadanini) understands that every little bit helps, and what might look small for us, is a big thing if everybody does it.
“There are many negative impacts in the environment by plastic bags. Plastic bags harm the world and the living things. It is very important that we reduce, reuse and recycle. This may be a small thing, but it benefits the world that we live in”
DSCN2276Mia Torres (4th) has done some research on the long term effects of our current consumption projectory and she encourages all her classmates to let their voices be heard. You go, girl!
“Scientists predict that if we don’t start caring for our oceans that by 2050 there will be more plastic then fish in it? But you can make a difference by instead of plastic bags use reusable one. Make your family well aware of the issues and see if you can help out in any way by reducing, reusing and recycling.”
Arianna North (5th Pomerantz) is realizing that littering is not just bad for the environment but it also costs us all a lot of money. Money we could find much better uses for.
“All over the world we are having problems. The entire eco system is at risk. All because of plastic bags, that are thrown away. Thrown away but never gone. Did you know that each time you litter, you throw away money? “

 

 

 

 

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