The average American throws out the equivalent of seven trees in cardboard each year. The Haverford School is no exception, as we use cardboard for a multitude of purposes every day. Sixth Former George Lanchoney and some of his peers have come up with a solution to reduce cardboard waste.
Every day, we use cardboard for packages, as it is a lightweight, easily accessible material. Sodexo uses hundreds of boxes every single day to pack up and send lunches to students. The boxes generate a lot of waste.
“The current process for recycling cardboard is incredibly inefficient,” Lanchoney said. “It takes 75% of the energy used to make the cardboard initially to recycle the box.”
Only 50% of all boxes are recycled and reused, and 31% of landfills are filled with paper waste. Lanchoney plans on collecting cardboard from all over the school and shredding them to create compost. This compost will then be donated and delivered to local farms.
“Eventually we want to compost all of the school’s cardboard waste and also have students bring in cardboard to campus.”George Lanchoney ’21
“We are going to start with just the lunch boxes to see how smoothly this will run,” Lanchoney said. “Eventually we want to compost all of the school’s cardboard waste and also have students bring in cardboard to campus.”
Furthermore, Lanchoney wants to talk to the local township and ask if they can fund this program at other schools.
“Hopefully, we can get the township to subsidize the project because it is eco-friendly and relatively cheap,” Lanchoney said. “This problem of paper waste is a problem that is inevitable with the rise of online shopping.”
The end goal is to create an organization that can collect, compost, and send out cardboard waste to help local agriculture. The project is still in its infancy.
“The end goal is a very general idea,” Lanchoney said. “I am still focused on proving that this can work on a small scale before ramping things up.”
Lanchoney hopes that this venture will help solve the problem of paper waste.
“Our nature generally is to be good to the Earth,” Lanchoney said. “I don’t know anybody that wants to believe that they are wasteful. I think that it is in our nature to try and not be careless.”
This project will impact the community by giving students an easy way to be less wasteful and have a positive impact on the environment.
Lanchoney also hopes that Haverford can be an even more environmentally friendly place. Many of the buildings like Wilson Hall and the new middle school are already designed for sustainability and contain features that allow the building to minimize waste in water, electricity, and other natural resources.
“At Haverford, we have so much power and the resources to do, just stuff to help the world in general. But few kids actually act and do stuff because they are either discouraged by seeing massive companies or the government do huge projects or think that another person will take care of the issue.”George Lanchoney ’21
“At Haverford, we have so much power and the resources to do, just stuff to help the world in general,” Lanchoney said. “But few kids actually act and do stuff because they are either discouraged by seeing massive companies or the government do huge projects or think that another person will take care of the issue.”
Lanchoney hopes to get this project up and running as soon as possible.