Editorial- The Environment

This school year, Midland High has reintroduced the recycling program, along with other methods to help the school be more conscientious of the environment. However, these new developments raise the question: is Midland High doing enough to help the environment? Illustration: Sasha Clemons

For the past five years ago, Midland High made no efforts towards recycling. Every classroom has a big blue recycling bin, but all of those items went in the trash. It wasn’t until a member of the new Green Club went to Principal Jeff Jaster about the issue that it was resolved. The solution was a simple matter of clear labeling, one that could have been done years ago. Although recycling is improving we believe the school could do more to help the environment.
This school year, we have witnessed a lot of new efforts being made to improve how Midland High impacts the environment. Several clubs and organizations, such as National Honor Society and Key Clubs, participate in beautification projects that involve cleaning up the campus grounds and planting flowers. The addition of chromebooks two years ago has reduced the need for paper in classrooms. This year, a timer was added to the air conditioning system that helps to ensure it is not overused. Also, the new Green Club is making strides towards getting the school more involved with opportunities on how to help the environment. The Focus recognizes that these are positive efforts, and the first steps in a good direction. However, despite these efforts, this isn’t enough, and more action is needed by both students and administration.
Currently, climate change and human impact on the environment is not a part of any class curriculum that is given to all students. Certain classes like AP/IB Biology II, Geoscience, and Organic Chemistry have discussions about the impact human activities have on the environment and how to help the problem. However, these classes only reach a small number portion of the student body. CarbonTIME is a new curriculum a handful of teachers at Midland High have adapted that focuses on this issue. However, students in CarbonTIME have found that they missed out on other topics, and lacked the skills and knowledge they needed for higher level classes. The Focus believes that the lack of standard education has created confusion among students, and that a unit on climate change and human effect on the environment should be integrated into a required class, such as freshman biology, that covers the bases of the problem and how they can help it. A life-science course is required by all students so there will be a universal understanding about the issue.
Another conflict at the school that is contributing to waste is the use of plastic silverware. This accumulates a lot of trash each day that is added to landfills. The food thrown away also adds to this. The Focus believes that using reusable silverware and finding a way to compost food that isn’t eaten would benefit the environment
We also believe that the administration is not doing enough to promote recycling, or is taking the problem seriously enough. Only recently have we started hearing announcements about this program. Also, there is a severely limited number of recycling bins available outside, and students leaving for lunch still litter all over campus. In past years, the administration made more efforts about the significance of recycling, and we believe those efforts are relevant and should be made again. There should be more announcements and conversations in classes about this problem so students are more aware.
Dow High currently has a prominent Green Club that has made a lot of successful efforts to be more environmentally friendly. They have a greenhouse and garden, along with other projects throughout the year to promote the significance of helping save the environment. Bringing on projects like these would dramatically help Midland High’s effect on the environment.
In summary, we believe the newer efforts being made by students and administration are good, and are first steps towards creating a building and community that has more positive impacts on the environment. However, we also believe that a lot more is needed so that our carbon footprint is reduced. We recognize that this is a slow process, but many of these actions are overdue, as this is a growing crisis on an international scale, and the future of our Earth depends on it.