10 Ways You Can Reduce Hoover’s Ecological Footprint


Cynthia Cornejo, Staff Writer

Over years great technologies have been developed and have helped us advance in our daily activities and reduce the amount of effort needed to carry them out. For example every day at hoover students and teachers use pens and paper. During lunch students use forks and paper cartons to hold their lunches. These inventions are considered a great plus for humans and have positive impacts in our lives; however, each action has its consequences and using so many of these daily objects create large quantities of waste.  

We have all witnessed the consequences of misusing these advances, and it is time to do something about it. In our school facilities we have many of these advances and what better than using this environment of education to learn how to take care of our planet and learn how to give them the correct use to initiate a positive change in our school community. 

  1. Don’t waste water 

We are in a serious drought and wasting water can have a negative impact not only in our school community but in general. Water that is being wasted can be used to irrigate farm lands here in our valley and by us wasting part of the water available are limiting water needed in other communities or places. Some solutions to this problem would be not using the water faucets in restrooms or classes for too long. Avoid playing with water just to have a fun time with friends. Do not access water from the water fountain if not needed. Only take the amount that will be consumed. 

  1. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

Giving multiple uses to things before getting rid of them is important and a great way to help prevent climate change. Putting the 3 R’s into practice means that fewer products have to be processed in large factories and fewer natural resources are used. 

 A great example of this in our school is the amount of paper we use daily. It’s important to have in mind the amount of energy used when producing, using and disposing the product before getting rid of them or acquiring them (birth to death).  All products have environmental impacts. When being created, they can produce carbon dioxide and when being disposed of, methane is generated in the landfill.  

The monetary price of products can sometimes be a bit cheap, but our health will be paying the rest of the cost later due to the pollution caused by their production or disposal. By giving paper a single use, we are causing more trees to be felled to create new paper. The best solution is to do the work on an electronic device if possible; this will reduce the amounts of paper needed and will help us to save the life of some trees.  

Bringing Hydro flasks instead of water bottles is another example on preventing the use of so much plastic by reusing the same container. 

  1. Walk to school and back home if you can 

Vehicles like cars and motorcycles contribute to global warming since most of these vehicles run on gasoline and they emit large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. These seem necessary transports for us humans but in some cases are not so necessary. Just as many use these to get to school and home, there are other people who decide to walk or use other types of transportation such as skateboards, roller blades or bicycles.  

Another option to help prevent global warming would be to give a friend a ride to school and back home. Carpooling helps prevent the amounts of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere.  

  1. Use wooden pencils instead of mechanical pencils

 It’s true that mechanical pencils are reusable but not everyone gives the proper use to this type of pencils, and not always end up in the correct place when getting rid of them. Wooden pencils are more ecofriendly since they take less energy to be produced. It takes less time for these to degrade since most of it is made of wood. One solution to help prevent climate change at school through these would be to start using wooden pencils or try to not use pencils as much and do work online. 

  1. Donate instead of trashing items

Once again giving things a second use can never go wrong and is a great way to prevent climate change. We all have things that we don’t use or have only used a few times and want to get rid of. Donations  prevent these products from ending up in the wrong place when getting rid of them. Giving them a second chance by donating them to our school would be of great help to many students on our campus.  

One of the ways in which we can help climate change by practicing donations in our school is to donate materials in good condition that can be given a good use such as clothes, notebooks, pencils, color pencils, shoes among other materials that can be used by other students who really need it. If we give a second chance to products, less products will have to be made, which means less climate change gasses being released.  

  1. Solar panels

Most of our energy in the United States is acquired by burning fossil fuels. Solar panels help us reduce Co2 emissions by not burning fossil fuels such as coal and oil. It provides a clean and renewable source of energy. It helps us to save on fossil fuels that are non-renewable. Once we run out of them there’s no way of going back. Another positive impact that solar panels have is that they can provide shade on hot days. In our school campus we have a total of 3,726 solar panels located in the parking lots that serve to generate electricity and provide shade for cars. 

  1. Replace grass areas with shrubs and trees.

Having green areas on our campus and surroundings not only contribute to reduce the heat on warm days, but also serve as a habitat for living organisms such as squirrels. Though there are some benefits, grass areas are not the best option. Taking care of grass requires a lot of time, dedication and money to be able to buy fertilizers and acquire water. By replacing grass with shrubs and trees we would use less water while still being eco-friendly. In comparison to grass, trees and shrubs require less water to survive. 

We can also give these living organisms a better environment. By planting shrubs and bushes we would be creating new habitats and spaces  for animals to live in, and we would have more shade around us. Planting more trees would also help us clean up the environment since approximately one tree absorbs 48 pounds of carbon dioxide from our atmosphere. This means cleaner air for us to breathe! 

  1. Change lightbulbs to LED’s.

LED lightbulbs can last 25 times longer, are more durable, and use at least 75 percent less energy than other bulbs. By using LED lights we are reducing the amount of Co2 that is being added into the atmosphere which means less air pollution and better air quality for us to breathe! 

    9. Turn off lights when not being used.  

One of the most common ways which energy is generated is through fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, and oil. Coal is often acquired from mountains, which go through harmful processes that can sometimes end up in deforestation of the entire mountain. Mountains are important as they contain many living organisms such as animal species, plants and minerals. They are also considered, “water towers,” since, “they provide 60-80% of all freshwater resources for our planet” as Hoover science teacher Curtis Sisk explained. They also provide us with food. Leaving the lights on means more mountains are damaged to generate electricity, thus destroying the habitat for animals and the depletion of natural resources. 

  1. Compost food waste. 

By converting food waste into compost, especially those that are not eaten by students, we would be creating positive impacts in two ways. First, we would be creating an ecofriendly compost that can be used to grow trees and plants. Second, we would be preventing food waste from ending up in a landfill, which means the reduction of Co2 and methane in the atmosphere through the process of anaerobic digestion. 

     Please try to keep these ways of contributing to our environment in mind and start creating positive changes in our community to make Hoover a better place to be.