March 2008

Pop a Top and Help Save the Planet

Author: Linda Hopkins

Next time you pop the top on a cola or cold beer, think twice before you toss that aluminum can in the trash. While you may not think of the thin, metal container as an item of value, consider this: According to Novelis Inc., the global leader in aluminum rolled products and aluminum can recycling, it takes 95 percent less energy to recycle aluminum than to create it from raw materials. Recycling one can saves enough energy to run a 100-watt light bulb for four hours or a TV for three hours. Recycling 40 cans conserves the energy equivalent of one gallon of gasoline.

In an effort to teach area students the importance of energy conservation and environmental responsibility, The Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class of 2008 is sponsoring the inaugural “Go Green” Aluminum Can Recycling Competition for local elementary schools. “The idea is to educate kids and their families on the benefits of recycling,” said Michael Gonzalez of the Leadership Class. “There’s been a local push to try and increase our community’s involvement in recycling. We are trying to help by taking it into the schools. We’re hoping that by educating the students and by using a fun, contest type format that they will be able to take that back to the parents and the whole family can participate and begin a recycling program at home.”

The following schools have committed to participate: Hilton Head Island Elementary, Hilton Head Elementary-Creative Arts, Hilton Head Christian Academy, Hilton Head Prep, St. Francis of Assisi, Sea Pines Montessori, M.C. Riley, Bluffton Elementary, Okatie Elementary and Cross Episcopal. Over 4,100 students will have the opportunity to contribute. Funds raised will go back to the schools for educational materials.

The kick off event took place on Leap Day, Friday, Feb. 29, 2008, with presentations by Leadership Class members during each school’s assembly. Students will be collecting cans during the first two weeks of March to determine which school can contribute the most to the recycling effort. The competition will culminate on Saturday, March 15, at GreenFest 2008, at Bluffton’s Oscar Frazier Park from 2-5 p.m. Awards will be presented to the winning schools, and children and their parents will participate in various games and educational activities focused on everyday recycling activities. The festival is open to the public, and admission is free.

Start collecting your aluminum cans and contact your school of choice for drop-off instructions. Environmentally-friendly businesses are invited to set up booths and/or distribute information at GreenFest. Find out more by visiting

Let Us Know what You Think ...

commenting closed for this article