We have invited Carolyn Jess back to help us out as guest blogger in 2013 with a focus on native wildlife. Jess is a 12 year old student who has agreed to be our special guest blogger about wildlife conservation. We first met Carolyn in October 2011 when she came out to the Zoo to meet our special guest Jack Hannah. If you would like to contact Carolyn or have comments, you may send them to conservation@houstonzoo.org.

Does your school recycle?  My school recycling program is going well and I hope that other schools have started their recycling programs.  November 15 is America Recycles Day, so this month is a great time to start a recycling program for your school, church or business.  Two years ago, when I was in middle school, we had recycling bins set up in every classroom and the green recycling dumpsters in the back of my school.  It looked like we had a good recycling program, until one afternoon,  I noticed that the custodians took the papers in the recycling bins and threw them in the regular trash.  I went to my school principal, told her what I saw, and asked if I could start a school recycling club.  She said yes and was very supportive.   During those two years, I had about 40 kids that helped recycle papers, boxes and plastic bottles once a week.  This year I moved on to the intermediate school.  I found out there had been programs to recycle in the past, but not this year.  In September, my student council and some of my old recycling club members got together here at my new school and got our recycling club started again and recycle once a week.

It is very easy to set up a program for recycling.  If you are a student and you are not sure if your school recycles,  ask your principal.  If you don’t have a program,  you should get permission to start a club – just taking out the accumulated papers once a week  makes a huge difference for our environment.  There are even recycling contests your school can enter and the top prize is $1000.   All you have to do is have your school register and keep up with how much you are recycling.

So many things depend on a clean environment.  Papers, boxes, and plastic bags can all be recycled, but  they always seem to be on the side of the road or in wetland areas.  If we recycle these things, we can Keep Texas Beautiful.