The Banana Effect

 

by Cassie Coale        

Admit it. You’ve thought about it. Global warming, environmental footprint, carbon dioxide, we all have. The question is, what impact do we at GFS make? We have recycling bins, compost piles, even an Environmental Action Club. With all of this action, how big really is our school’s environmental footprint? Though we can’t find an exact number, we can estimate.  And it starts with bananas. I know I might buy about two bananas a week in the cafeteria.  At the end of the year, that turns into 104 bananas, shipped with many other bananas, using about 5 times as much gas as an SUV. Imagine all of the other kids buying my average of bananas. It’s a lot to think about. Starting with the cafeteria, every time a person throws away an imported fruit or any kind of food, they are also throwing away the gas from the truck, gas from the plane, energy from refrigeration, and the packaging that was used to get it to you. Also, most of the packaging is made of environmentally harmful materials, such as Styrofoam, and plastic.  You are even throwing away the energy used to make the packaging.

Sometimes we even underestimate things that seem to have always been here. Computers, for example. Buying and using just one computer, rapidly increase your environmental footprint. Every time you throw away a computer, you throw away even more than the food in the Cafeteria. Fix your old computers before you throw them away). When you print something out (though it is a necessity in Middle school) you’re still wasting a tree. Try recycled paper and use the other side. Then there are these things called sweaters. One of the easiest environmental solutions is an extra layer. As our previous president Jimmy Carter once recommended, “Don’t crank the heat up high! Just save some bucks to buy better sweaters.”

Our school is relatively environmentally friendly, and we really have done a good job keeping our footprint in check, but there are some things we aren’t entirely desperate enough to do anything about.  What are we going to do? Outlaw bananas? Never throw away a broken computer? In the Upper School, Middle School, and Lower School, we all have the same problems. It’s safe to say everyone in the school is trying to help the environment, whether it’s picking up a piece of trash floating by, or raising money to clean up oil spills. We all know that future generations are going to inherit the Earth, so let’s eat our vegetables! We pretty much have done everything in our price range to save the environment, but you know, with the new science building, and our awesome environmental clubs, GFS has a pretty green future.