To commemorate Earth Day April 22, and throughout the week, students at Vogelweh Elementary School participated in several environmentally friendly projects, including a school-wide cleanup project. As a special assignment, one group of fourth graders composed letters to the editor, which are printed here.
I am writing about why litter is awful for Vogelweh and the earth. Litter is terrible for Vogelweh because it makes the streets, our homes, and school grounds look dirty. When people throw trash away in trash cans with no lids the trash will blow away and can go into a lake or ocean. Also, some people don’t even throw trash in the garbage cans and people have to pick up after them.
Litter in Vogelweh can affect fish and other sea creatures. If trash blows into the ocean or lake they can eat it, get sick, and even die. Trash can hurt animals by polluting nature and some animals might die out. Over 80% of marine pollution comes from land based activities according to World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
If we throw away waste on land it can damage our soil and water sources. Trash and chemicals can affect people, because the soil and water are poisoned. This means we can’t drink the water or eat the food that comes from the ground.
Some of my friends at Vogelweh picked up three bags of trash around the grounds of Vogelweh Elementary. The problem is that there is too much litter. But I have a solution.
I suggest that if a student picks up a piece of trash they should be awarded a “caught being good” ticket. Also there is an event coming up for Earth Day, and I think students should go around school picking up trash and then make a craft out of the stuff they found.
I just read the Kaiserslatern American (KA for short) and saw the announcement for annual spring clean up. They are having a community clean up so our base won’t look dirty and ugly. And this will help our environment so animals won’t get harmed by trash from Vogelweh.
I am writing because I am concerned about pollution. It is bad because over 1 million seabirds and 100,000 sea mammals are killed by pollution each year. Also every day that a ship sits at dock unloading it releases a ton of smog and toxic, yes TOXIC, pollution. On base people have been going on base have been going into stores and leaving their cars on releasing deadly gases into the atmosphere. My plan to stop this is to post posters around base to stop pollution.
Earth day is where you would clean up your community. You would clean up the floors your house and the wall. We could start from 9:30 to 12:00. You would clean up like canes and paper. People that are older than 60 they can stay home. We should also be off of school and work. So when we work on picking up the trash we could have a break from 11:00 to
11:15. Litter is one kind pollution. Crowds of people often leave lots of litter behind.
To the Editor of the Kaiserslautern American:
I am a student at Vogelweh Elementary School, and we have a problem in our lunchroom. Students are littering, wasting food, and aren’t recycling. A lot of the time kids throw food and plastic wrappers on the ground. Sometimes other people slip and fall, and end up losing their lunch or getting hurt. A lot of food gets wasted, especially milk. Some kids don’t even open their milk, and then just throw it in the same trash can with the rest of their food and garbage. They’re wasting money, food, and hurting the environment by littering and dumping everything in one trash can.
I think each class should choose three helpers a week to make sure the lunchroom is clean and return unopened milk to the coolers before we go to recess. We should also have different trash cans for paper, plastic, and food so we can help keep the environment healthy by recycling like everyone else in Germany. Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.
Dominic Johnson, 4th Grade
I am writing this because I am concerned about our school recycling program. Currently we only recycling paper, so I think we should start recycling plastic as well. So every time we collect plastic we have no designated place to put it. I propose that we have separate collection containers for students to use when disposing of their trash. I have also noticed that as an American community as a whole, we do not have a structured aluminum recycling program like there are so many back in the states. I think that recycling cans could generate a lot of money for fundraisers and programs inside the military community. Our community uses so many cans and just gives them to the host nation for free. If we could at least save these and recycle them, we could get back a little bit of the money that we spend. Every little bit helps in these difficult economic times. Thank you for considering my proposal.
I’m writing about people NOT recycling and throwing it on the ground. I am concerned about the animals, did you know that lizards like to squeeze in to bottles and cans then die because they can’t get out. Bottles and jars break and leave sharp pieces behind and gets in animals’ paws and can cause a serious injury. When people throw trash on the ground it kills 1,000,000 animals each year. That’s why we should recycle so animals don’t die from litter. I can pick up trash around my school and town to help save the animals! In my school only some classes recycle and some classes don’t
Recycling allows materials to be reused. Recycling is important because it saves our landfills from being over crowded. If people never picked up their trash and just dumped it everywhere, animals could get killed or get caught in them. Animals can die, lose food and their homes!! If we recycled paper, we could save more than a million trees! Also, you should always throw away things you don’t want in the right bin. Once, a seal got caught in string at sea. Another, a baby skunk got trapped in a yogurt can. I think EVERYONE should recycle EVERY single day. Recycling should be a law EVERYONE has to follow!
Some schools need recycle bins just like our school does. Every day at school kids just throw ALL their trash away in the same bin. We NEED recycle bins! I recycle, and put the right things in the right bin.
Even one single tree could be a home for many insects or animals. If you are nice enough to help Earth live, then you are nice to get outside and help recycle!
We are concerned about the trash around Vogelweh. It can harm many animals around Vogelweh. We asked my other class mates in three classes how many trash cans are around campus do they think are think we have. Most kids answered between 5-10 or 10-20 when there were there actually there were 32.We know because I counted them. My thought why the students guessed wrong is because the trash cans are in odd places and hard to see. We were thinking that by the trash cans painting them brighter colors, kids could see all of trash cans around campus.
Jerry Garcia and Donnovan Stenson
I am writing because I’m concerned about the effects littering has on all wildlife. For my research I used the RSPCA’s UK website. These were some of the preventable incidents provided that had actually occurred.
·A fox with its head stuck in a hub cap.
·A badger with a can holder embraced in its neck.
·A cat cut the footpad of its paw on some broken glass.
·A dog with its tongue on a can.
·A hedgehogs head stuck in a tin can.
And sadly many more.
At my school, Vogelweh Elementary, some of my friends and I have started picking up trash at recess. My hope is that this will help prevent any of our local wildlife suffering similar incidents. I was amazed and pleased when more of my friends asked to help.
Thank you for your time,
I’m writing about what garbage harms animals.
If the garbage is lying around the animals will come and eat it.
It will make the animals turn ill or die or if it is salty or fatty for them.
Littering primarily affects animals because they’ve eaten so much trash that doesn’t digest and gets trapped in their stomach, that they can’t fit in any real food.
Other animals get tangled by floating plastic nets or by rings from six packs of cans caught around their neck.
Hi, my name is Koyuki Furman and there is a big problem at Vogelweh elementary school. At the lunch room and at the playground a whole bunch of kids are throwing trash on the ground. By the way there are a lot of trash cans. A lot of animals can get injured. I don’t think animals appreciate all that trash if it’s in the forest. A lot of kids can get injured too. Especially banana peels, sharp glass and other plastics like bottles. I decided to make an Earth vs. pollution club. If this works the earth would be green and blue. I know you might be reading a lot of letters. If you like this please post!
So far the problem at V.E.S is that we spend too much money on supplies we just don’t need. All that money could just be spent on a few recycle bins! So, what I’m saying is that V.E.S plainly doesn’t recycle and we don’t even have recycle bins! Some people do but they’re made out of trash themselves! Don’t even ask how it looks! My friend went to just one park at V.E.S and got a garbage can full of trash, and it was a tiny park! I’m not saying our school is terrible I’m just saying we need just a few recycle bins. My idea to help people to believe that recycling is good is to make a party and the class who recycles the most get a prize for being a good citizen. Do you ask why I’m concerned about littering? I’m concerned because it is disastrous! Actually people say it is our future if we keep on littering. (When I say future I mean what we will live in!) I can explain why littering is bad and recycling is good. (Other than what I just said.) Recycling is good because it saves the environment and keeps our landfills from becoming overcrowded. It also helps endangered species from dying. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money then recycles so we can make items again and the price will be lower. If everyone in the world (including VES) recycled, we could save 15,000 trees- not joking! Think about it every time you drop a single piece of something that could be recycled in the trash. Remember you’re doing lots of harm to trees and just think one of those trees could be home to millions of animals, bus and insects!
I am writing this because I am concerned about litter and pollution on post and in school. On earth day I would like everyone to pick up some trash and not pollute. This is terrible because glass shards may sink into animal’s paws and cause serious damage. Factories produce smoke which gets into rain polluting trees, water, air, soil and the Earth. Billions of animals have died over the years and about 25% is from litter and pollution. My idea to fix this is to make more recycling bins.
From Sean Fitzgerald