June 2013
Youth Matters

Fairfield High Preparatory School Students Consider Carbon Footprints


Fairfield High Preparatory School invited People Against a Littered State to come and speak with their students about how they can become members of the PALS Clean Campus Program. Students were given a short carbon footprint quiz, emphasizing how small or large their personal carbon footprint could be. A carbon footprint is the amount of CO2 an individual generates each year. The average American has a carbon footprint of 20 tons per year. A carbon footprint measures the impact that various day-to-day activities have on the environment.

After students learned their carbon footprints, they realized littering has huge effects on our environment. As we look around our environment, we see plastic bottles, cans, glass bottles, polystyrene containers and cups, plastic, paper and a whole lot of other rubbish littering our streets, our parks, alongside our highways, our neighborhoods, our shopping areas, our rivers and many other places in our environment. The students, along with PALS Clean Campus Program, have joined together in an effort to keep Fairfield High campus a clean and safe environment. PALS gave the school two recycling bins, one for plastic and one for paper. They learned about the recycling codes on the bottom of plastic containers.

#1 - This is polyethylene terephthalate, called PET or PETE. This is often disposable water and soda bottles. It is generally safe, but is porous so bacteria and flavors can accumulate, and it is best not to keep reusing these bottles as containers. This plastic is recyclable.

#2 - This is high-density polyethylene, mostly milk jugs, detergent bottles, juice bottles and butter tubs. It is usually opaque. This plastic is safe, and has low risk of leaching. It also can be recycled.

Students, along with their environmental teacher Lesha Harper, will be entering the PALS Essay Contest which gives $250 to the winner. There is also a PALS State Competition where a $1,000 scholarship is given to the first place winner, $750 to second place and $500 to third place. Scrapbooks are encouraged. All winners are invited to the Governor’s Awards.

PALS is excited to be partnered with Fairfield High Preparatory School and looks forward to working with all schools in Alabama. If you would like to implement an educational program about littering, recycling and carbon footprints, contact Mary Stanford by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Mary Stanford is the Clean Campus Coordinator for PALS.