For the Greener Good

The 5th Grade recycling effort gets students to think intentionally about the process of recycling.
Every Thursday during advisory period, 5th Graders move throughout Collegiate’s campus with the intention of making the School a little greener. Bearing smiles, they duck into classrooms and office spaces to collect recycling bins, always brimming with its discarded contents. Groups of students walk through the Hershey Center for the Arts, the Development Office, classrooms in Flippen Hall, swiftly grabbing the large blue containers, and then they make their way towards the large recycling drop off center, tucked behind Centennial Hall, to throw everything out.   

It’s a small act that goes a long way in helping the environment breathe a little easier. This sustainability effort also gets the students thinking intentionally about what it means to recycle.  “Collecting the School’s recycling helps us know exactly what can and cannot be recycled, and because of that, since we started doing this, I’ve become more mindful when I throw things away,” says Helen Boyles ’30, whose recycling route brings her through the 6th Grade hallways. “We kind of serve as one of the first steps in the recycling process, and I feel like this has helped me understand that process more.” 

The effort builds off the 4th Grade Capstone experience, Envision Collegiate, which focuses on sustainability and the understanding of how systems function. The students become more familiar with the various offices around campus while learning about an important process in keeping the campus clean. 

“It’s great to meet new people around the School while collecting the recycling bins,” says Avery Edwards ’30. “Recycling is more than just putting a piece of paper in a recycling bin. This has made me think about the further steps involved in recycling.”

The students recognize that their efforts go beyond the grounds of Collegiate. Walking with groups of friends from building to building helps move the recycling process along and makes the world more sustainable. “It’s a fun way to do something important,” says Nicholas Bradley ’30. “When we recycle, the things we throw away can be remade into something else. It’s a way to clean the earth.”