FHC Students Learn the Value in Recycling

Posted on 12/23/2019
Mason Eggert stands with his project, a mat woven out of plastic bags

As human beings, we have a responsibility to take care of our Earth. As Americans and living in one of the highest waste-producing countries in the world, that responsibility is even greater. The students at FHC recently learned the importance of recycling and how it can positively impact our world. The students participated in a project in which they took items that might normally end up in a landfill and found new functions for them.

The project, initiated by Library Media Specialists Andrea Head and Tanisha LaMartina, incorporated lessons that students learned in their Environmental Science class. One lesson in particular shed light on the amount of solid waste we produce that ends up in landfills and how long it actually takes the waste to break down. “As a world we are running out of room and resources,” said environmental science teacher Kimberly Maxwell. “I think if we can talk about why recycling is important and then also transition that to upcycling, it helps kids figure out what we are doing and how we are going to sustain our world for future generations.”

Sam McDonnell stands with his project, a toy train made out of toilet paper rolls and cardboard boxesThrough the lessons and project, students gained a new perspective on recycling and came up with some creative ideas to combat the growing materialism in our world. Some students used repurposed items for house décor, Christmas gifts, and memorabilia. Others created inventive solutions to everyday problems. Junior Mason Eggert won first place for his thoughtful project, in which he wove plastic bags together to create a mat for the homeless.

Sophomore Sam McDonnell molded toilet paper rolls and cardboard boxes together to design a toy train for his mom’s daycare. “Instead of buying objects like toy trains, we can make them instead,” said McDonnell. “You can take anything from trash and turn it into something good.”

Senior Emily Jesse took an old, worn-out chair that she uses to put on makeup every morning and gave it a makeover of its own. She sewed an old scarf to the seat cover and repurposed a milk jug and bottle caps to create an organized space below the chair to hang her jewelry. “Just think about how many milk jugs you go through in a week?” said Jesse. “If you’re just throwing that away, where is it going? It’s important to be learning about our environment, because every small thing we do could make a difference.”

The students are realizing that they are the next generation of problem solvers. “They will be the ones that are solving our environmental issues and what to do with all of our recyclables,” said LaMartina. “We hope that we are getting them to think about it now, even if they are just doing it individually at home.” One simple act of recycling or repurposing can move mountains and one day, those recycled plastic bags may even keep somebody warm on a cold winter night outside.

Tables in the library display the students projects     An FHC student stands with her project, a bicycle wheel repurposed for decor to display her favorite pictures

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