My children received notice of an Earth Day poster contest sponsored by the New York State Senate. It’s sweet that the state is encouraging students to exchange ideas on waste reduction, yet no school is required by law to recycle. Many schools also serve lunch on polystyrene foam trays purchased from the state.
If the Beacon school district wanted to do away with the massive amounts of plastic thrown into the garbage every day, it would have to pay for trays out of its slim budget. Parent-teacher organizations and parents have been trying to institute recycling in the schools but because it’s not mandated, we volunteer at lunch to sort the trash.
Is the point of the Earth Day poster campaign to put the responsibility on children to take care of the earth? Why isn’t Sen. Sue Serino, or any other state senator, doing his or her part? Is the point to have volunteer moms save our planet so elected officials can continue to lack the political will to mandate recycling and eliminate the use of foam in schools?
We need to press the state to lead by example. A poster contest isn’t going to stop the unnecessary pollution of our planet, but legislation will.
Lori Merhige, Beacon
Merhige is president of the Sargent Elementary PTO.