Re-use or Lose: Recycling Efforts at JICHS

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Bella Wallen, Staff Writer

Recycling is vital in keeping the environment afloat. James Island Charter High School, connected with the Charleston County School District, has partnered with Charleston County Environmental Management and Food Waste Disposal in its recycling efforts.

Charleston County’s Sustainable Schools initiative promotes recycling not only physically, but also through their teachings. These teachings include how to reduce waste and how to guide careers and routines through environmentally friendly and green ways.

The Charleston County School District recycling program includes three steps. The first step is encouraging sustainable and healthy schools. Current projects are in place to promote this, such as “increased recycling, resource conservation, green procurement, reduced emissions, green cleaning, and sustainable cafeterias.” (ccsdschools.com)

The second element is sustainable construction. James Island Charter is currently undergoing construction, with a new gym and CTE center being built. Conserving resources is very important in keeping schools and cities beautiful.

The third and final step of the initiative is to focus on a sustainable curriculum. This curriculum has evolved in the twenty-first century, focusing on creating green-based jobs along with its evolution. This can range from class composting, to gardens, to clubs.

Ten schools in CCSD were given funds by the Recycling Education Grant. These funds are used towards the purchase of recycling and composting supplies and equipment, share tables, and field trips related to recycling and keeping the environment clean.

Schools in Charleston County are also implementing projects to compost extra food from culinary arts classes. James Island is not one of the ten schools that received funds, but it is a sense of encouragement to become more environmentally involved.

Facilities Director Marty Monette said that James Island Charter used to have a recycling club, overseen by a science teacher. The club has since disbanded due to lack of interest.
However, there is an Environmental Sustainability club, run by junior Emma Abrams. The club focuses on educating and spreading awareness for sustainability.

Back in December, a Climate Resolution by the town of James Island was passed, which the Environmental Sustainability club worked on. This resolution declared climate change an emergency, and James Island was the first town in SC to do so.

“We’ve been partnering with the Charleston Climate Coalition, and we are hoping to start a Charleston-wide youth group this year,” Emma said.

Email Emma at [email protected] for more information about the club.

Recycling at JICHS has been very helpful in its journey to sustainability. So when you’re throwing away a paper, or tossing out your lunch, think about the effects of recycling and how it can help the world you all share.