Recycling programs are necessary in an environmentally conscious world where people have to contend with the fact the environment is fragile and has limited resources. Beneath the green ideology and the practical economic benefits is a principle stepping stone towards a more efficient and harmonious future, and one of the most important places to lay down that foundational stone is in the common primary school and high school, where new generations of contributing members of society are learning their skills, trades, and their conscience.

In an ideal world every school would have the time and the funds to teach its students about eco responsibility, but in the real world time is short and resources are short-changed, and that is why it’s important to introduce students to recycling and eco-friendly habits through the simplest and most passive means imaginable: properly organized, colour coded and labelled recycling bins placed within accessible reach of the cafeteria and main hallways so that students can familiarize themselves with proper recycling habits outside of the classrooms and supervisions.

Trash is as much of a problem in schools as it is any other building where so many people consume so many resources, and the responsible allocation of trash and recyclable goods can become an important lesson for every single high school with the means to carry out this first modest step to teach. Eco responsibility starts in schools, and the future generation of environmentally conscious citizens will be reared in the same institutions where they are educated about math, history, sciences and life.

Once proper recycling bins have been purchased and coordinated throughout the school building, schools can decide on the amount of supervision necessary, depending on the habits of their students. Schools can also organize extracurricular activities designed to promote proper recycling habits and incentivize students to be mindful of the recycling bins regardless of their temperament or the social stigma that may be attached to recycling.

It’s important for students to be educated about the positive impact recycling has on the planet, country or given city, and many recycling programs have funds for outreach subsidiaries where volunteer assemblies and speeches can be held at schools to teach students about local recycling programs, proper recycling protocol, and the benefits of minding waste disposal so that it won’t truly be disposed of.

Many recycling programs have actually emerged from the students themselves, without any prompting from the teachers or faculty; environmental clubs and other eco-friendly groups have taken progressive steps forward by their own volition to provide recycling bins, assemble informative packets for other students, and ultimately pay back their school by lowering its waste to a level that would not be achievable without recycling incentives. Some councils charge more for collecting garbage than they do for collecting recycling, and small gestures of efficiency can quickly add up into huge yearly savings.

Environmental responsibility is something that young people can respond to with little to no prompting, and often times with a passion of greater warmth and idealism than most adults, but students need the opportunities to invite that passion in and build from there.

Schools are encouraged to support student environmental groups or activities, while the faculty can contribute their own recycling bins to the cause, and help introduce students to progressive and beneficial environmental habits both for the sake of the planet and for the sake of the school itself.

The old idiom that cleanliness is next to godliness might sound like an exaggeration, but schools can be positively transformed by the introduction of eco responsibility and a few well placed, well supervised and clearly labelled recycling bins.

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