Moving Towards Greener Lifestyle

The facts are in about global warming, water pollution and paper waste. But how many people actually remember them when they get in cars to go to school or throw one-sided paper in the trash?

Caring for the planet and environment is becoming an increasingly bigger and more troublesome problem for this generation. Most feel this is because people don’t take the time to think about how their actions affect the world.

“The earth has given us a place and we should respect it,” Green Team Secretary sophomore Uji Venkat said. “It’s the Golden Rule: Treat others how you would like to be treated.”

Some also feel that the amount of harm people are causing the earth is too much for it to handle and that people should start making efforts to curb pollution.

“It’s ridiculous how much waste humans make,” science teacher Danielle Paige said. “There are cities built on landfills and it’s amazing to see how much [there is].”

Fortunately, Los Altos isn’t one of those landfill cities and is making strides to become environmentally friendly.

Recently, many local groups have been trying to circulate a petition in order to make Los Altos one of the many “Cool Cities” around the Bay Area, which are known to be environmentally sound. Palo Alto, Mountain View and Sunnyvale are already “Cool Cities” and have signed the Mayors Climate Protection Agreement that tries to further the goals created at the Kyoto Protocol. The Los Altos City Council also passed the Green Building Ordinance in late October, which will single-family homes to meet standards set by the Build It Green organization.

The school, according to junior Miranda Chien-Hale, Co-President of the Global Warming Club, also has a tremendous amount of paper, plastic and ink waste. However, the school has made progress with a more efficient recycling program and proposals concerning solar panels for the school.

But sun-powered classrooms aren’t enough. Every student plays a role and needs to do their part, making sure to reuse paper that is one-sided and putting those new recycling bins to use by recycling all bottles and cans.

“I’m trying to cut down on paper and get kids to go online,” Paige said. “The use of electronic media has really helped.”

There are many things that students can do in order to aid the planet and help minimize the impact humans have upon the earth. This includes everything ranging from carpooling to recycling ink cartridges. Every action we take helps moves us forward.