GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Recycling is the process of taking waste materials and changing them into new products, reducing different forms of pollution. Now younger generations are learning about that process and making it a habit instead of a task.
Many schools have implemented their own environmental, recycling, or sustainability clubs. District 51 schools have a few of these clubs including the Granola Club at Grand Junction High School.
"The Granola Club is a group of kids that came to me about 5 to 6 years ago and they wanted to start an environmental club here at the school," says Steve Brown, club sponsor & G.J. teacher. The club does a wide range of recycling but that’s not all they do.
"We’re also trying to conserve energy, resources, and just bring awareness to the school about those things," says Brandon Straw, club sponsor & G.J. teacher.
Bringing awareness is exactly what the club, who meets during their lunch hour, has done for their school. The students and staff now recycle a lot more then they used to.
"We’ve actually have gotten rid of one of our trash dumpsters at the school," says Brown.
The students in the club also asked the teachers in the school to use less overhead lighting, taking advantage of the natural light the school has.
"In doing that we reduced carbon monoxide emissions tremendously as well as saved an amazing amount of money on the power bills," says Brown.
Saving energy and recycling is something these high scholars learned about at a young age.
“Elementary school, but I never really took it seriously till Granola Club I think," says Nicloe Troester, part of the Granola Club.
Learning about recycling at an early age is something many educators believe is important.
"If we can get more younger people recycling, teach them the value of recycling as they grow older it will be something that they can pass down to their kids, and we can kind of change the generational thoughts," says Straw.
Changing the thought process of recycling to where it's not a task, but a natural habit.
"Anything that we do that is habit moves into what we do everyday and it starts to change the world around us," says Brown.
Now a school is helping to change how their generation thinks.
"It kind of makes us the leaders of the school in a different way and I like that," says Troester
The state of Colorado is jumping on the recycling bandwagon. Governor Hickenlooper has proclaimed November 15th as a day to focus on the importance of recycling in Colorado.
It's estimated that about 34% of the nation's waste is now recycled instead of being thrown out.