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Margate Elementary Seeing Green

An act to save the environment

By Juliette Johnson | April 21 , 2008
Paper waste bundles against blue sky. (Photo courtesy Corbis/Veer)
Paper waste bundles against blue sky. (Photo courtesy Corbis/Veer)

Everyone is trying their best to save the environment. But one school is going to the extreme to help out in a very important way.

It's Earth Day, and everyone is trying to help in any way they can. We tell people things like "Clean up your local park!" or "Recycle soda cans!" But at my school, we're doing much more!

About a week before Earth Day, our student council supervisor, Ms. Weisbaum, started a Going Green campaign at my school, Margate Elementary. Now, if you look throughout my school, you will see cardboard containers telling students, "Recycle plastic bags here." I thought, "What a great way to help the environment," but I also wondered why plastic bags?

During my busy school day, I got to interview Ms. Weisbaum, and I asked her a few questions. Perhaps the most significant one I asked was, "Why do you think Earth Day is important?"

"It's important because so many things like pollution and crowded landfills are destroying the environment, and we need to dedicate a least one day to help out," Ms. Weisbaum said. "In my opinion, we should help the environment every day."

I then asked why she decided to start recycling plastic bags instead of newspaper or soda cans. "About 380 billion plastic bags are consumed in the U.S each year, and only about 5 percent of those bags are recycled," Ms. Weisbaum answered. "And also because it takes plastic bags a thousand years to decompose. They were also a good [choice] because they are light and easy to carry to school to be recycled."

Ms. Weisbaum said she had no idea how many bags the school might collect during the two-week recycling period. But she did say that after the first two days of recycling, the response was overwhelming. She believes that she has already collected more than 300 bags!

My final question was also the one most asked around school: "What will you do with all the plastic bags? "Well," Ms. Weisbaum said, "I will take them to a recycling facility, where they will take the bags and make sure they are recycled correctly." She also told me that she is going to begin recycling paper at school.

Besides recycling plastic bags, our school is also helping clean up around town for Earth Day. But thanks to Ms. Weisbaum, our school is recycling more and more.

EARTH DAY

Celebrate Earth Day with Scholastic News Online! Learn more about how you can help take care of our planet in this special report.

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About the Author

Juliette Johnson is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

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