How to start saving the world today


By Sury Rawat

Alice Yu

Lessons of conserving material and sustaining the Earth are punctuated throughout society. They’re folded into the story of the Lorax, hiding on the labels of water bottles and dotting the hallways of buildings. But their appearances are greatly overshadowed by the consuming and materialistic habits of humans.
According to, the average human generates four pounds of trash each day and 1.5 tons of solid waste each year. Over 75 percent of waste is recyclable, yet only 30 percent gets recycled. While these figures are appalling, not all of the blame should be pushed on people who don’t recycle.
Even at RBHS, where students spend eight hours in each weekday, plastic recycling bins are sparse. More often than not, the paper recycling bins are overflowing, the haphazard stack of papers ready to topple with every new addition. Many times, it’s not that people are not recycling, but it’s that they can’t.
Starting from seventh grade at the latest, students in the Columbia Public Schools system learn about reducing, reusing, and recycling along with renewable and nonrenewable energy sources. In some classes, they even calculate their global footprint on

By Sury Rawat
By Sury Rawat
Then in biology, most commonly taken sophomore year, students learn about environmental sustenance as well as the benefits of reducing, reusing and recycling in the ecology unit. It’s fair to say that the dangers of overconsumption have adequate exposure, but with such a lax and inconsistent recycling system at RBHS, students aren’t given much of an opportunity to be a part of the recycling community.
There have been clubs in the past, such as Student Environmental Coalition (SEC) that took care of the recycling, but SEC disbanded for the 2014-15 school year. They’re starting up again this year but sounds history repeat itself, there should still be a system in place to make sure the future generations continue keeping the world green.
Instead of waiting for the recyclable goods to disappear by themselves, each club at RBHS should be assigned a week to consolidate the recycling. For one of their meetings, student clubs can go on rounds around the school, dumping the papers from each classroom into the larger, green recycling containers. With 13 large paper recycling containers and 11 large plastic recycling containers, students can split up into groups, which would not only get the job done faster, but would also provide an opportunity to build relationships.
By dispersing the recycling responsibility equally amongst clubs, it becomes more of a community effort rather than an underappreciated job. Not only can participants continue the bonding experience promoted by their clubs, they can also participate in community service and contribute to keeping RBHS green and clean.
By Alice Yu