Honor students recycle to save environment

Olivia Barfield

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For Professor Jana Giles and her students, studying about climate change wasn’t enough.

“I thought it was important that we not just talk and write about the environment, but do something constructive,” said Giles, about the first annual National Recycling Day event at ULM that took place in the Quad last Wednesday.

Giles is teaching two sections of Honors English Composition this semester, and the theme for the course is environment, climate change and sustainability.

After reading about these topics, Giles and her students decided to bring an educational event to the campus.

Students set up tables and encouraged other students, faculty and staff to leave their plastic waste in exchange for candy and informative flyers.

At the end of the day, the students delivered the plastic recyclables to Marck Recycling on Arkansas Road in Monroe.

Rabi Shrestha volunteered to work an early shift at the event. He was surprised by the heavy participation from students and professors.

“We are only an hour into the event and there are already several huge bags full of recyclable bottles,” said Shrestha, a sophomore computer science major.

Students that volunteered to work the event were excited about their chance to inform others about recycling.

“We just throw things out, don’t care for them after using, and that leads to different problems. I just think we should do everything in our power to treat our planet well,” said Vivek Daruka, a sophomore computer science major.

Through their studies in Giles’ class, students have begun to feel passionate about the state of our planet. As Giles’ says, climate change is a truth that 92% of expert scientists agree on and that will have serious consequences in the future if we do not take action.

“Climate Change is something that’s going to be a serious problem, and recycling affects not only climate change but also pollution in the world,” said Elliot Gonzalez, a freshman history major and volunteer for National Recycling Day at ULM.

“So I think that it’s a really big deal that we start recycling now so we can help save our planet.”

Kylen Smith passed by the event just in time to recycle her empty water bottle. Smith is not a part of Giles’ course on environment, but was happy to see fellow students focusing on such issues.

“I think this is really neat because recycling’s not really something that people pay much attention to,” said Smith, a junior psychology major. “Everyone wants to do it, but there aren’t many opportunities to, usually. So the fact that there’s an opportunity now is really great.”

As for Giles, she wants to continue to to educate and encourage students to get actively involved in environmental causes.

“We really shouldn’t be gambling with the future of the planet and of human life and other innocent species. We should be looking this problem square in the face and dealing with it,”  Giles said.