We Future Cycle just implemented its recycling program in Graham Elementary School. Students learned about what happens to garbage and where it goes. They saw pictures of landfills and garbage filled lakes and coastal waters. They also learned about how personal choices in what we buy and what we consume make a difference, every single day.
I usually share with students my personal dislike for single serve juice pouches. The sandwiched material of plastic, aluminum foil and plastic is non-recyclable and such a terrible waste of infinitely valuable aluminum foil.
Most people do not think about the environmental cost of the materials they touch every day.
What does it take to make a water bottle, what does it take to make aluminum foil?
We are usually too busy to just get our days organized and it is so convenient to grab something single serve wrapped. And our language of casually saying “I am just going to throw this away”, as if there was a magic poof that made garbage disappear.
Mount Vernon students are learning that there is no away, when it comes to garbage. It goes either to a landfill or to the incinerator, neither is a good place for our environment, and both have lasting damaging effect to all communities around them.
On day two, after learning about how their actions count and make a difference, I was approached by a group of 4th graders proudly displaying their new reusable water bottles, and saying that -from now- they will make a difference every day !
It was very heart warming. Changing the heart of children is what it takes to make generational change.