This I Believe

Holly - Fairway, Kansas
Entered on May 30, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that every person can do a little that will help a lot. Throughout this year in my high school, I noticed how in almost every classroom at least one trashcan was overflowing with emptied, plastic water bottles. It disturbs me to think about how much plastic the students at my school waste by just mindlessly throwing their bottles in the trash only because it’s easier than finding a way to recycle it.

I asked my biology teacher what he thought of all the wasted bottles in one of our class’s off topic discussions, half expecting to get the hackneyed response of starting a recycling program and other ideas like that. Instead, he said something that was much simpler and that made more sense than trying to plan and carry out large scale projects. It was simply: be responsible for yourself. If you brought the full water bottle to school, bring home the empty bottle. It’s lighter than it was before so it shouldn’t be that hard to take the bottle home and recycle it.

Many people seem to feel if they are not doing a large scale project to help the environment or any other cause that they can do nothing to aid in it. We tend to forget that even though we can only manage to do a little we can still help make the difference. I’ve heard countless times how one vote doesn’t matter in an election but just this year a man lost his election for city council by only one vote. It would have only taken two people who realize they could contribute to deciding the winner for this man to win.

If everyone remembered to be responsible for themselves, we could do more than we think. Think how much coal could escape being burned if everyone changed their light bulbs to florescent or how much space would be saved in landfills if all recycled what we could. It doesn’t have to look like you are doing anything for you to alter the outcome of something. So simply remember to do what you can and see how far it will go.