Mrs. Kingdon's class from Indian Valley Elementary School. Photos submitted

Students want you to recycle

The students in the classes of Mrs. Foy, Mrs. Kingdon and Mrs. Phillips at Indian Valley Elementary School are hoping to educate Indian Valley residents about “Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling.” They are concerned about the effects that plastic has on our environment and our health.

They are also concerned about the harm done to our wildlife and sea life and the huge plastic garbage patch in the ocean between Hawaii and California that is twice the size of Texas.

It is estimated that up to 10 million plastic bags are used every minute around the world and 300 to 700 plastic bags pass through the hands of an average American in just one year. The fourth- though sixth-grade students all made posters to put up at Evergreen Market to remind you to bring your own bags to shop and to make sure you get your bags out of your car and into your shopping cart.

According to the teachers, “We hear everywhere around us that we need to save energy. It is good for our environment, health and global climate. But only a few of us realize that each time we accept those plastic grocery bags at store checkout, we actively participate in wasting energy and depleting non-renewable resources.”

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The majority of plastic bags are made of polyethylene, a substance that is derived from crude oil refining and natural gas processing. Oil and natural gas are non-renewable, fossil fuel-based resources and through their extraction and production, they emit greenhouse gases, which contribute to global climate change. Petroleum-based plastic bags are composed of very resistant synthetic polymers that may take up to 1,000 years or never until they completely degrade in natural environments.