Saving the Planet, One Step At a Time

Sophie Jeffery, Editor

In honor of Earth Week being celebrated at Pingree (and around the world), I thought it would be nice to provide you readers with ways to be more eco-friendly. You may already know the drill about reusable straws, cups, and bags as seen in the previous edition of the New Columns, but there are always more ways to help our environment.

You have probably heard this many times in your life, but please take the two seconds needed to turn off the water and the light after you have used them. Leaving the faucet on is such a waste of water, and believe it or not, studies show that water will become a resource that humans will end up fighting over. Just like with money, save water. As for lights, although Pingree has movement sensors that automatically turn them off and on (which is awesome), you could save a few minute’s worth of electricity by turning off the lights if you were going to leave the room for longer than 15 minutes. Creating electricity can be incredibly harmful to the environment because most of the world’s electricity comes from burning coal, and coal plants release large volumes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. As you probably know, greenhouse gases are responsible for trapping heat in the Earth’s atmosphere and causing global warming, which causes melting ice caps, rising ocean levels, stronger storms and the destruction of many natural habitats. Just by flipping a switch, you can help reduce the amount of greenhouse gases released into the air and therefore help reduce global warming.  

Speaking of reducing greenhouse gases, carpool or take the bus to school! If your parent drives you to school, save them the time by taking your local bus if you live far away from school. Or, by carpooling, you can help reduce the amount of gas emission by reducing the number of cars that go to school. Besides, the parking lots will be more spacious

In order to save some trees, also make sure to print double-sided. It only takes a few extra clicks on you printer settings to reduce your paper usage by half. Also, if you have the option of using a hand dryer instead of  a paper towel, please do so. Also, do not use more paper towels and napkins than you need to. Many people just love to grab as many napkins as they can, but that ends up being a waste of paper. If you spill something, clean it up wisely rather than dumping a bunch of paper towels on your mess.

It is important be mindful in the commons. Make sure you are recycling and composting at every chance you get. There are signs on the recycling and composting bins in the commons if you are unsure of what items belong in which bin. Also, please do not waste food. 40% of food is wasted in America – a staggering amount – and that food could be given to people in need rather than dumped into the trash.

Happy Earth Week, and please make an effort to be greener at school!