Trash Cleanup at SRV


Kierra Martin

Photo at SRV table after lunch

Picking up your trash is cool! Here is why.

Imagine you go home to a messy room with trash everywhere. How would you feel? Would you feel happy or grossed out? For most people the ladder  would be the case. Well what if I told you that this would be the case in our community if we didn’t pick you our trash. 

You might think that you are “too cool”  to clean up after yourself and just leave trash everywhere, or maybe you think that it is someone else’s job in order to pick up after you, like your mom or  janitor.  Well I’m here to tell you that picking up your trash is much cooler than leaving it everywhere.

Now  you’d think that the people at the school would rate their school a 10 out of 10 for their trash clean up. After all it’s a pace where people, between school and extracurricular activities, can spend most hours of the day at. However this is not the case. When students and teachers were asked to rate this school’s trash clean up, out 0f 20 people the average rating was a 3.7/10. This includes San Ramon Valley High School’s environmental science teacher, Ms. Henderson, who rated our school trash clean up a 3 or 4 out of 10. As you can see our rating is not very high among teachers and students, which isn’t very cool. So what can we do to be better and maybe one day become a 7 or 8 out of ten? 

If you see after lunch the mess that is in the court yard you will realize that this school has a problem with littering. There are lunch trays and wrappers everywhere, spread out. Whether someone missed the trash can by trying to play basketball with the trash can, or people who think that it is the janitor’s job to pick up after them, or those who honestly just forgot to put their trash away, we have a big problem. 

According to Ms. Henderson, ½ of the trash from all the high schools came from SRVHS. This is a huge problem considering that we do not have the

 biggest student body. According to Global Littering Issues “75% of people admit that they have littered in the past 5 years.” And that does not count the amount of people who are ashamed, and who are  lying about their trash clean up skills. 

Ms. Henderson also states that our biggest problem is that trash blows into the creek near our school. She als  states that the creek feeds into the bay, therefore most of the trash that ends up in the creek will eventually end up in the bay. Global Littering Issues, state that 9 billion tons of litter ends up in the ocean every year. Animals can eat this trash, turtles mistaking plastic bags for jellyfish, Seals getting caught in string, or even birds eating pieces of plastic. All of these mistakes could be deadly for the animal. According to Ocean Blue Project around one million birds die from plastic intake a year. Would you really like to be responsible for these deaths?  

Next to the SRV parking lot near the pool. (Kierra Martin)

So what can we do to make it better, and make trash clean up on campus cool?  Ms. Henderson states that one thing that would make our trash clean up better is if we learned how to sort our trash. Sorting trash is important because if bad trash goes into the recycling or compost we have to throw the whole batch into the trash, so nothing will get recycled. One piece of trash can ruin the whole thing. Another thing that could help would be for us to use reusable containers and water bottles. This could decrease our trash output by a lot. Also in the long run it could be a cheaper option, you could  buy a $20 water bottle once rather than buying a pack of one use bottles every week to month. 

One other way that we could avoid having a high number of litter would be to have students do trash clean up rather than have a detention. This could go both ways, not only is a student being punished for whatever they have done, but the school is also be cleaned up too. This could enforce good behavior on students to not only act better in their day to day life, but also clean up after themselves.  

Cleaning up after yourself can both be cool and good for the environment. It can help our future so that we will have a good place to live out our lives along with helping those future lives. If you choose to have children you can teach them to be cool as well and clean up after themselves by modeling for them.