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ROP program congratulates essay contest winners

April 16, 2002|STAFF REPORT

The Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Program has announced the winners of the Earth Day 2002 Essay Contest. This third annual contest was open to seventh- and eighth-graders throughout Imperial County. More than 150 entries were received.

Students were asked to write on the theme, "Recycling: It's Good for All of Us."

All awards will be presented at the Earth Day 2002 Festival on Saturday at the Plaza de la Cultura at the Imperial Valley Expo. Winners are listed below.

· First place — Emilio Ramirez, seventh grade, St. Mary's Catholic School, El Centro

· Second place — Joshua Wells, seventh grade, Holtville Middle School

· Third place — Bertha Espinosa, eighth grade, Barbara Worth Junior High School, Brawley

First place

Recycling — Good for all

of us

I love to fly and though I'm only a small creature in this enormous planet I appreciate our earth, yours and mine. I'm also an earth's inhabitant like you and when flying I get to see many things from above that you humans don't see from the ground.


I fly around wonderful things enjoying them and giving thanks to God for their creation. But I also fly around big trash dumps looking at broken glasses, old newspapers, plastic spoons, soda cans and empty containers etc. Trash dumps that are filled quickly and smell terrible. Not only that, but I can see large amounts of chemical stuff used in cleaning processes, paint and oil wastes, waste that is harming us all.

My bird friends, who enjoy this earth as much as I do, tell me not to worry. "Relax little one," they say. "Recycling that is done by humans is going to reduce the amount of land needed for trash dumps. Recycling is going to reduce pollution and is also going to conserve our natural resources," they keep telling me.

With recycling, valuable space will be saved. The amount of awful waste will reduce, and land that is used for dumping trash will fill up less quickly. The sites will be used for more productive purposes. Instead of using millions of space for wastes, recycling will reduce that space. Smells will decrease and risks of leaks going into underground water supplies will vanish.

Pollution will also be reduced with recycling. Recycling a product will create less pollution than making a new one. For every ton of newspaper recycled, fewer pounds of air pollution will be pumped into our atmosphere. We will be able to breathe cleaner air for a longer time.

Natural resources will be conserved with recycling. There will be fewer needs for new materials. Some natural resources are renewable and can be replaced. Paper products, for example, come from renewable sources. Trees that are cut to make those products can be replaced by growing more trees, but aluminum comes from nonrenewable sources. Once a deposit is mined, it cannot be replaced. Recycling aluminum cans will conserve natural resources that otherwise would be destroyed.

I still worry even though I listen to my bird friends all the time. I get to see citizens being alerted about the situation. From above, I can see trained workers teaching humans to recycle. I can also see people giving speeches to other people. But even though I see and listen to all of this, I keep flying above things I don't like to see. I wonder … If humans could fly like me and see their world from above maybe they would really pay attention to the situation. They would really listen. I have asked by bird friends to help me lift up every human so they can understand from above. I just hope our wings can support the weight.

— Emilio Ramirez, seventh grade, St. Mary's Catholic School, El Centro

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