Earth Day in Kirkwood

photo courtesy of Google under the Creative Commons license

photo courtesy of Google under the Creative Commons license

Zack Deutschmann, Writer

Imagine a world where the sky is always grey and the grass is always a dark brown. Imagine never having sunshine that brings warmth inside your house. Imagine never getting to breathe the clean air and feeling refreshed after each breath.

All around the world, people celebrated the 48th Earth Day, on Sunday, April 22. Earth Day was first introduced in 1970, its primary goal to provide information and teach others how to protect against the dumping of plastic in our environment. The environmentalist movement began in the early 1970’s with growing concern over how humans are affecting our environment in a negative way. KHS offers a class called Environmental Sustainability, which encourages the protection of the environment from harsh conditions and promotes safety measures. Mandy Melton, biology teacher, teaches the class and believes that it has a beneficial effect on the community.

“My class educates everyone in our school about the negative effect of plastic in our community,” Melton said. “It is important for everyone to follow the small steps to contribute to the safety of our environment.”

The Environmental Sustainability class encourages KHS students to participate in ways to help the environment. The increased use of recycling and the introduction of composting bins in the cafeteria allows students to not waste food from school lunches. Posters around the school provide basic information on how to recycle and compost appropriately.

“[Around 64] percent of what was in trash cans was food waste that belonged in the composting bin,” Melton said. “18 percent of the waste in the trash cans belonged in the  recycling bin. Only 18 percent was legitimate trash. That’s why we are implementing composting bins.”

The class also participates in community-based events. Besides encouraging environmental safety, Melton organizes trash pickups for her environmental sustainability and biology classes.

“This past week, students from all of my classes participated in the trash pickup,” Melton said. “They all contributed to make a safer environment in Kirkwood.”

Lindsey Carvalho, an Environmentalist Sustainability student, takes pride in helping the environment. She believes more community-based events in the future will keep Kirkwood a thriving city.

“It’s a thing of beauty to see communities come together to help clean up waste,” Carvalho said. “The Earth provides us with beautiful features and we have to protect and cherish as much as we can. If not, some of the things we take for granted can be taken away.”

Melton believes there’s still progress to be made. The movement from buying products that contain large amounts of plastic to growing their own food is a way to cutback on the amount of plastic present in the environment.

“People are starting to take into consideration how high their carbon footprint is,” Melton said. “We are starting to take advanced looks into alternative fuel for our cars, growing our own food with gardens and chickens and even becoming beekeepers. Just ask yourself, ‘What can I do in the local level to help the population of the world for myself?’”