Ensuring the Environment

Ola’s students and faculty respond to the world’s current crisis by recycling in hopes of making a difference.


Jackson Weems

Nikki Davis, senior, stays hydrated while caring for the environment using a reusable container. Davis has always done her best to opt for reusable items instead of plastic.

Jackson Weems and Payton DiSario

Worldwide, approximately 2.6 trillion pounds of trash is thrown away every year, most of which can be recycled. Recycling is an excellent way to help not only humanities’ communities flourish, but communities in the ecosystem as well. Ola has recently seen more environmentally friendly practices fill its streets and hallways. More and more of Ola’s community has begun to help the environment by decreasing trash deposit and increasing reusable products, like metal straws and metal bottles. 

“Don’t try to start recycling with every single thing you have, maybe start with one thing and move up until you can start recycling everything,” said Ethan Washburn, junior.

Recycling is becoming less of a hobby and more of a necessity. As the planet slowly drowns in waste, many are concerned and searching for ways in which to give back to the world that sustains them.

“It’s [non-recyclers] environment too, and [recycling] can benefit them too”

Well known teacher and Earth reformist, Dr. Pandya, biology teacher, has her own way of helping the environment. Pandya states that, in comparison to her neighbors, her family’s waste production is less than half of what it could be due to her compost pile. This also helps the plant life in her own backyard flourish. 

“Sometimes you think, ‘I can just buy a bag of dirt and be done,’ but, wherever I do use the compost soil, those plants grow a lot better than everywhere else,” Pandya said.

Don’t try to start recycling with every single thing you have, maybe start with one thing and move up until you can start recycling everything,”

— Ethan Washburn

In addition to her compost pile, Pandya discussed the innovative ideas of Snapping Shoals Electric Company. They created a way to mutually benefit Ola’s community and livestock. By implementing solar panels into a field, the company is able to produce constant sunlight all day long. They also added sheep to graze the field and keep vegetation from overgrowing and blocking the panels.

Miranda Cunard, senior, incorporates environmentally-friendly practices in her everyday life. Cunard and her family of seven have recycled for as long as she can remember, and has made her appreciate the world a little more, one plastic bottle at a time. Cunard’s love for recycling has influenced her to not use straws instead of contributing to the plastic straws floating across the ocean.  

“I’m a server and we always use straws, and not everyone uses them but we have to throw them away anyway, even if they were on the table, unused,” Cunard said.

Cunard therefore encourages customers to refuse straws before the offer is even made. 

When people think of recycling, negative aspects come to mind. For example, the gas or time it takes out of their day to transport their plastics, paper or glass substances to recycling facilities. Even so, without recycling, humanity will inevitably wake up one day to a planet engulfed in waste.