Rebecca Fridae’s Eco Health class covered a wide range of topics related to environmental issues. For one of their projects, students wrote letters to the editor. Here are some of their submissions.
The cost of littering
It’s obvious that littering harms the environment, and most schools do a unit on how important it is to dispose of our trash and recyclables properly. But litter doesn’t just pollute our forests, beaches, and sidewalks, it also can be deadly to animals. Everyday items such as soda cans, six-pack rings, and plastic bottles can be lethal to wildlife and even dogs and cats.
The litter remains in landfills and clogs sewers, streets, rivers, and fields. Crabs, birds, and small animals may crawl into the bottles looking for food and water and become stuck and slowly die from starvation and illness. In our research online, it said that about 100,000 marine animals die each year from litter and garbage. We have seen pictures of animals who die from getting their heads caught in jars or cans and they starve to death. That shouldn’t happen.
Now you know why people should not be littering on creeks and streets, because lots of animals starve to death. All of us have a responsibility to throw our trash away in the right place, and keep our earth clean.
Baldemar Ortiz Ibarra and Motto Reyes
Don’t use plastic straws
In our Eco-health class we have been learning about the environment and one of the very important problems is plastic straws. The big problem is that plastic is plastic forever. Yes, it breaks up into pieces, but in 100 years it will still be around because it’s plastic.
Not all of the plastic we use goes into the trash, lots of it ends up in the street. It can get washed down gutters to streams, and from there to the ocean eventually. Animals in the ocean and on land think that that little piece of plastic is food so they eat it and then they die.
Everywhere you go, they give you a plastic straw to drink out of which you only use for about five minutes. Instead of using plastic straws you can use compostable, bamboo, paper, or metal straws. Even though all of those are better options than plastic straws, the best option is to just not use a straw at all.
Can you believe that we Americans use 500 million drinking straws every day! FIVE HUNDRED MILLION! That would fill about 125 school buses with straws every day so every year there would be 46,400 buses full with plastic straws!
So if you ever have an option to use or not use a plastic straw don’t use a straw! Plastic straws not only harm animals, they also harm humans. In the website called “Are Drinking Straws Dangerous?” it said “About 1,400 people visit the emergency room every year due to injuries from drinking straws.”
With all that information why don’t the business here in Winters change to compostable, bamboo, paper, metal straws, or no straws at all? It will all be better for the environment. So we hope that our town stops using plastic straws.
Alondra Molina and Carson Morris