Bettendorf High School: a learning environment full of “Bett Pride,” opportunity, and styrofoam. One might think that this school that is very progressive in its technology and student-teacher relations would also strive for progressiveness in its environmental outlook, but, alas, one would be assuming, and you know what they say about that.
The school does occasionally strive for a greener footprint as was evidenced by the replacement of the school’s regular lights with LED lights, but where there is one step forward, there are two steps back.
For starters, the use of styrofoam trays in the commons at lunch time is not only insanely wasteful, it is also unnecessary. Let’s say that, at a minimum, 100 trays are used a day. There are five lunches in a week, four weeks in a month, and nine months in a school year. That is an estimated 18,000 trays a school year that are going into a landfill to sit and never decompose. This is not even taking into account the napkins, milk cartons, and plastic utensils that are also used.
Using disposable products when you could use reusable products is not just a waste of resources and environmentally harmful, it is also economically wasteful. Why aren’t the plastic trays used in the cafeteria also used in the commons? The only issue would be the fact that the dishwashers are in the basement, but it surely wouldn’t be too challenging to transport the trays from the basement upstairs. After all, there is an elevator in the building.
Another example of the school’s lack of sustainability is the shortage of recycling bins around the campus. There are countless numbers of water bottles that wind up in trash cans, and this should not be the case when there are places to recycle them. This is not simply a matter of a shortage of recycling bins, though; there is also no education from the school about the benefits of recycling and leading a more sustainable lifestyle.
If the school is a place to nurture and grow students to make them better citizens for their society, then sustainability should be something that is taught and practiced, especially as this issue grows in importance on a global scale.
But that is enough about what is not being done. The Environmental Club or S.A.V.E. Club meets on Tuesdays and is committed to fixing these issues.