By Fathima Haseefa
Approximately one in two BASIS students say that they have not learned about environmental issues in their classes. Many students and teachers alike feel that as a school, we can do much more to promote helping the environment. “I would like to see more awareness about the recycling program. Students constantly drop recyclable material in the trash and vice versa,” says Dr. Fought. Although we appreciate NHS’s efforts in posting signs around the school to inform students and staff what items can be placed in the recycling bin, the effectiveness of these signs can be improved by making them more eye-catching, as most are still not aware that the school’s specific recycling program only accepts flat pieces of paper. Not to mention, chemical solutions are often disposed in the sink after labs. Pesticides are sprayed monthly outside the school and quarterly inside. An unbelievable quantity of food ends up in landfills, in lieu of being composted and used again. Teachers often print out large quantities of handouts for each of their students, and many even print them multiple times after inadvertently leaving copies on the printer. All of these problems arise from the unawareness of the benefits of eco-friendly alternatives and the implications of one’s daily actions on the environment in its critical condition.
Unfortunately, many students and staff members — and Americans in general — lack enthusiasm for preserving the environment. Last fall, for instance, an environmental science club was proposed at BASIS in order to educate students, staff, and faculty on environmental issues and to improve environmental practices; it’s a pity that not enough students signed up for the club to start. “BASIS encourages its students to grow into ‘citizens of the world,’ as in mature adults who work to make this world a better place indiscriminate of people, culture and politics. It’s ironic that this message has not yet extended to include the environment since we don’t promote awareness of mother Earth to a greater extent,” says junior Maryam Masud. “I’d like to see the BASIS institution shift toward green electricity by investing in something like better lighting or solar panels which would excite parents and students alike.” If BASIS expands to include awareness of environmental science in the curriculum, an environmental awakening can emerge from the population of BASIS students, thus leaving a positive impact on the world.
We only have one planet Earth, and we need to start taking care of it now…before it’s too late.