Adriana,Shea, Nicolette and I attended the National Youth Service Learning Conference in San Jose from March 24th to 27th along with Mr. Hurewitz (service learning coordinator), Ms. Glaser (Librarian) and Ms. Kress. Some of the highlights included spending the day planting native plants in the south end of San Fransisco bay.

Check out the new links I put on the sidebar! They are interesting, educational and most importantly GREEN!
-Sandra

Everyone remember to invite your friends to the club day to interact as a group! It is scheduled for the 21st of February which is a Sunday. We need as many people as possible. There will be fun, games and food. It is 12 to 4 at McNeil.

On Martin Luther King Day members from our Green Club helped in our green portable building making it more energy efficient. Two local area news programs ran our story on TV.

The McNeil part starts about 1 minute in:

This video is all about the Green Club:

~ by Joyce Zuo

I want each and every single person in this room to just stop- and think. Imagine. A world filled with waste and trash. Dead weeds and dry fields. Old water bottles, crushed coke cans, last years newspapers, glass jam jars piled up miles and miles endlessly into the sky. Or what used to be the sky, now just a field of smog and dust shielding the sunlight. The waste constricts the oxygen, squeezing the life out of what was once living. It is a monster, devouring our planet and in the end consuming each and every person, including you.

That world is none other than our lovely home, the planet earth, in let’s say… the year 2100 if you don’t start getting your bums off the couch and doing something about it! The United States produces almost 250 million tons of waste every year! (“United States Recycling Statistics”.) That’s pretty much enough trash to cover the surface of the earth multiple times! So, you want to know what’s keeping you from swimming in a landfill of trash? Well that’s easy. Its only one word and four syllables- recycling! Over the past few years, recycling has reduced an average of 9 million tons of waste annually. In doing so, the U.S. has also cut back on carbon emissions and reduced the use of energy by producing plastic bottles or metal cans out of recycled material instead of “virgin” ones, which require 95% more energy to make!  (Myspace Community. Our Planet. Change is Possible.) This is all starting to sound pretty good, right? Now you ask, so what’s the big deal if we are already making progress?

Well, there is a huge problem! Although the U.S. has been taking action to recycle waste products, that’s only a minority of the population. A majority of Americans feel that recycling doesn’t really make a difference so who cares if one or two plastic bottles are thrown way instead of recycled? It’s thoughts like those that are putting the world at a serious environmental meltdown. The curbside recycling programs have reduced over the last few years and even then, there are only about 9000 total in the entire country. The average American till produces more than 100 pounds of garbage a week- of which t least 30% could have been recycled!. (“United States Recycling Statistics”.) Whether you know it or not, our country is one of the top contributors to carbon emitions and ozone depletion in the world. You might be thinking- “Well, at least we’re better than China and India. They are the biggest polluters! ” Wrong!

A recent study showed that by the year 2025, the United States will have 4 times the amount of carbon emitions than China- a country that outnumbers us by a billion people! (Our Planet. Change is Possible.) There are double sided recycling trash cans- one side for recyclable waste, the other for unrecyclable waste in every major city in China. And if you’re caught littering, you had better make sure you have your wallet because that’s one big fine you’ll be getting. In many developing countries, recycling has become a huge part in their everyday lives as they do not have the luxuries of producing new items. Being green has become essential to their survival! (“Recycling.” Encyclopedia of Environment and Society.)  Shouldn’t we make it a part of our lives too?

Recycling is just about the easiest thing you can do to help the environment, and it truly does make a difference! You can even recycle without getting out of your seat! All you have to do is aim a little. You think I’m kidding? Well, I’m dead serious. You know how people always like to crunch up their papers and aim throw it in the trash can? How about aiming for the recycling box instead? If every teacher put a little basket ball hoop or sign above the recycling bin, who knows? We could even save a forest of trees! Just stopping, even for a second, and simply thinking could make a whole worlds difference!

There are so many things that can be recycled, including food! Raw green foods like banana peels could make a compost pile that you could use for your own garden! Recycling, going green and reducing your carbon footprint at the same time sounds like a pretty good deal to me! I bet you didn’t know, but old video games and Nintendo 64s can be recycled as well! Electronics stores such as Circuit City let you trade in old game systems and consoles by trading them in instead of just throwing it away.

Simply being conscience of what you purchase can help the environment too! Buy refillable water bottles instead or a reusable lunch box in place of the brown paper bags! Use rechargeable batteries or recycle your old ones because the batteries that are thrown away in landfills could leak toxic chemicals into our soil. The next time you go to the grocery store, bring a reusable tote to bag the groceries! (Did you know that in man Asian countries to discourage the use of plastic bags, they now charge you money for every plastic bag you use at the market? It’s working and it’s saving plastic!) Re-use wrapping paper and ribbons for holidays or wrap the gifts in newspaper, something that is easily recycled. For all you ladies out there, there are tons of ways you can be green and fashionable! Cute shoes made of hemp, hand bags made of recycled aluminum cans or candy wrappers and even shirts made of recycled plastic fibers are totally in! Donating clothes is also another way of recycling! Be aware of the materials used to make the products you use. Buying more recycled products makes a lot of difference. It shows the support for recycling and benefits companies that are going green.

There are so many simple ways out there for you to recycle! It’s never too late to make a difference and even the smallest acts, like recycling a single sheet of paper count. Don’t let our planet turn into a waste land! Love the Earth and the Earth will love you back! If everyone took just a single step, imagine how huge of a leap that would be toward the ultimate goal of preserving our environment. Recycle today and be your own hero, because in the end, change is possible. It’s not re-dunkulous. It’s recycling.

Bibliography
Chait, Jennifer . “United States Recycling Statistics”. LoveToKnow. Corp. Nov. 5th 2009      <http://greenliving.lovetoknow.com/United_States_Recycling_Statistics&gt;.
“Composition of New York City Waste, 2004 to 2005.” Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Online Collection. Detroit: Gale, Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources. Gale. MCNEIL HIGH SCHOOL. 15 Nov. 2009 
<http://find.galegroup.com/grnr/start.do?prodId=GRNR&gt;.

Myspace Community, Jeca Taudte, and Tom Anderson. Our Planet. Change is Possible. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2008.

“Recycling.” Encyclopedia of Environment and Society. Ed. Paul Robbins. Vol. 4. Los Angeles: Sage Publications Inc., 2007. 1472-1475. Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources. Gale. MCNEIL HIGH SCHOOL. 15 Nov. 2009 
<http://find.galegroup.com/grnr/start.do?prodId=GRNR&gt;.

Hello everyone!

This is our blog we will be using to spread information about our past and upcoming activities. Check back soon for more updates!

-By Sandra and Karl

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