Fort Bragg schools find initiative on America Recycles Day
December 10, 2010
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Is America becoming the land of the free and the home of the bag'
According to research from the Environmental Protection Agency, every individual in our nation consumes an average of 500 plastic bags annually - enough bags to circle the globe 760 times. Of all the plastic bags consumed in the United States every year, only 1 percent of those are recycled.
The materials and processes used to manufacture plastic bags can be detrimental to the environment and to our health. Plastic bags can harm animals and birds, and they can create litter on our land and in our oceans. Yet, an estimated five trillion plastic bags are still produced every year. Perhaps it is time to think outside the bag ...
Sustainable Fort Bragg and Fort Bragg Schools collaborated on America Recycles Day on Nov. 15 to Bag the Bag. For the Bag the Bag initiative, the Chico Bag ™ Bag Monster visited Albritton School and Irwin School to educate classes about recycling and the disadvantages of plastic bags.
The Bag Monster regaled the students with stories of plastic parties in the Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch as well as its affection for trees and storm drains. The students, however, were not charmed by the Bag Monster's tales. Albritton School students admonished the Bag Monster with chants of "You should be recycled!" and "See you in the recycling bin!"
During the week, students also collected plastic bags for recycling and created top 10 lists to answer questions about waste reduction and recycling.
Some students from Irwin School had insightful opinions about environmental preservation. "I think people should recycle everything that can be recycled," said Allie Medina. "It saves trees, and more trees means you can breathe better because your oxygen comes from trees."
Kyra Rushbrook explained how she incorporates environmentally conscious practices into her Family's daily routine. "We hang reusable bags in the kitchen and use them when we go to the store," she said. "We use them to carry our groceries. We have a can for recyclables such as soda cans in the kitchen."
At Albritton School, students and Families were enthusiastic about recycling.
"Students were amazed at the visual reminder of how plastic bags really add up," said Patricia Schob, principal. Schob hopes that the school can continue recycling throughout the year as well. Melinda Harrington, Fort Bragg sustainable materials planner, who organized this year's America Recycles Day activities, said that the partnership between Sustainable Fort Bragg and Fort Bragg Schools encourages individuals of all ages to be conscious of the evironment.
"Exposing children to sustainable practices at an early age fosters holistic decision making processes," Harrington said. "They will think beyond themselves and consider other things such as the community or the environment. The impact that children have on protecting the environment is massive. It's not only their voices but their faces that are a constant reminder that how we live today will impact their tomorrow."