Keep Our Campus Clean!

Angelina Gonzalez, School News Editor

As you stroll through campus during your free time what do you see? In the mornings bags of breakfast are left out for seagulls to divulge on. After lunch everybody leaves their leftovers on the table as if they were saving it for the next day. There is trash in the recycling bins, trash in the toilets, even the planters are lined with trash.

Appearance to the Preuss School UC San Diego, is very important. Maintaining a clean campus helps the campus look more professional and welcoming to the rest of the community. Recently though, there has been an abundance of trash around the campus.

I came across a teacher’s lesson plan about litter on their school grounds. I used the questions from this lesson plan and added them to a Google form that I sent out to 50 random people on Preuss campus. In an effort to receive honest feedback, I did not take names down and I did not require respondents to share their email addresses.

According to the results from the form, 64% of people have littered before, but only 12% of people have littered on campus. To understand why people litter, I think it’s important to hear it straight from some of the people who have littered on campus.

Response #28 believes people litter because “they be lazy.”

Response #38 believes people litter because “their [sic] lazy.”

And finally, response #50 believes people litter because of “laziness.”

Four of the six students that have littered on campus have demonstrated through their responses to other questions that they know of the environmental consequences of littering or at least are aware that there are consequences. Furthermore, most of the people that responded have also shown that they know there are negative impacts of littering on the environment.

A couple of responses suggested we educate each other of the environmental impacts, but if people already know, then why do they continue to litter? We already know that it is because they are lazy, but is it also because they are entitled? Is it because they know the janitors will clean up after them?

A couple of teachers also completed the form to weigh in their opinions, but this response in particular is very insightful. According to response #1, students litter because they are frustrated, they are not proud of the school, and they do not feel that the way the school looks is their problem.

So what can we do to reduce the amount of litter on campus?

The general consensus is that we should educate each other on the environmental impacts of littering, enforce consequences, hold each other accountable, and provide more accessible trash cans.

If you would like to see the responses to the Google form, click here.