William Cramp Fit Flyer reporters recently spoke with Principal Ms. Logan to ask about trash at William Cramp School. The interview has been shortened and lightly edited.
Question: What types of things does Cramp recycle?
Principal Logan: Paper, cardboard, cardboard boxes, a lot of plastic—single-use containers, and aluminum cans.
Question: Where do non-recyclables go?
Principal Logan: Everything else goes into the dumpsters in the parking lot. A lot of food, school lunches, and juice boxes.
Question: What are some ways our school can reduce the amount of trash it creates?
Principal Logan: You can use reusable containers—bring your lunch in reusable containers. The container goes back home, gets rinsed out, and can be used again the next day. This saves a lot of paper and a lot of plastic. Another thing we can do in school is use fewer worksheets and complete more work on Chromebooks. The fewer pieces of paper we use, the better. Can we eliminate worksheets and using paper altogether? Possibly, but I think it’s hard to do in a school. However, we are definitely moving in that direction.
And we need to recycle more things in the lunchroom. Ideally, we would have two containers, one for just trash and another for recycling. Right now we throw everything in the same container. Maybe the fifth graders can start recycling at lunch. The other grades could copy what they are doing.
Question: What can students do?
Principal Logan: We have about 350 kids in the school, and if everyone is using single-use water bottle every day, that’s 350 water bottles being thrown away. How about a reusable water bottle?
Use less paper. Sometimes kids write something on a piece of paper and say, “Oh no, that’s not what I want.” They ball it up and throw it away. We are using two to three pieces of paper when we only need to use one.
For lunch, instead of plastic bags and brown paper bags, use reusable containers for your sandwich or whatever else you’re bringing to school every day. It’s less trash that you’re throwing away.
Everybody in the school is responsible for creating an environment where we generate [create] less trash every day. Just think how many trees get cut down to make paper bags that we wouldn’t need if people weren’t using paper bags.
Question: Do you recycle at home?
Principal Logan: Absolutely I do. I think I’m very conscious at home, because I can control it. It always makes me happy when someone comes over and asks “Which container is for recycling?” We always have both recycling and a regular trash can.
In our community, they pick up recycling once a week. I always have something that is being recycled. Since my husband likes to eat a lot of soup and that comes in cans, I recycle cans. I try to eliminate as much paper as possible. I use my computer a lot more. Instead of printing out a lot of paper, I just save my documents on my drive. I can still access them very easily.
Question: Why do you recycle?
Principal Logan: I have nine grandchildren, including two babies. I look at them, and I also look at all of my students, and I say, “I want the world to be a better place.” I don’t want to leave a world where there’s so much pollution and waste. Waste is messy and dirty. I don’t want that to be their world and your world.
Making the world a better place starts with me. I have to do what I can do to not create a lot of trash. It’s so easy to grab a single-use water bottle, but I can use a reusable water bottle. I do that because I want to be a part of the solution, not part of the problem.
Illustration by Aurora, 3rd grade, La Salle Healthy News.