THE Journal/PC Mall Green Light Essay Contest: Lira Casborne

Can You Hear Me Now?............Good!

A program I think that will allow students and teachers to help protect the environment by using technology would be the “Can You Hear Me Now” program. This program will allow students and teachers to send either voice recordings or text messages to sell phones or home phones once a month. Each voice recording and text message will pose a challenge for the owner of the phone and others to perform each month. Each of these challenges will include activities that can impact our environment completely. All text messages and voice recordings will start out with a fact about a problem that is negatively impacting the health of our environment and will end with the challenge that will help reduce or decrease the problem.

For example, on the first of November the owner of the phone will either receive a text message or voice recording that might say the following:

“We are the students and teachers of Monteleone Jr. High. Did you know that most people in North America use 50 to 70 gallons of water indoors each day and about the same amount outdoors depending on the season? That is an estimated average of 21,900 gallons a year and most is used for unnecessary activities. Do your part to help conserve water this month. See if you can try to conserve as much water as you can by checking for hidden leaks, avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily, taking shorter showers, and by leaving the water running in faucets. To find out more tips on conserving water go to this Web site: http://www.eartheasy.com/live_saving.htm.

“Can you hear me now?............ Good!”

For the voice recordings, groups of teachers and students can alternate each month so everyone would have a chance to participate. As the program increase in the popularity we will need more people in the program, thus we will expand the number of people in each group. We can first start the program off with the phone numbers In the Monteleone Jr. High directory. We will also have the cell phone numbers of the students of Monteleone that would like to receive the text message. As they receive our good green messages they can start spreading the word to people outside the Monteleone family.

Each child participating I the program can go home with a sheet so they can sign other people up to receive our monthly message. I think that this program will have a great impact on the people who live in Mandeville and Lacombe. The parents of Montelone students who participate in the program will tell their neighbors to sign up, allowing the news to spread around the neighborhoods and subdivisions. Also, the students can spread the word to their friends who attend other school to sign up to receive the message. Their friends will tell their parents to sign up, who will tell their friends and neighbors to sign up, which will then start the cycle again until the majority of St. Tammany Parish has heard about our program.

I think that this is a great idea for a great idea for a program because it is easy for people to receive and hear our message. All they have to do is answer the phone or open their inbox or voicemail. Most everyone has access to a phone, so we wouldn't be leaving out as many people as would if we did a Web cast. Later, as our program starts to get popular we can get permission to start placing flyers in designated areas. We can also post our new program on the school Web site for everyone to see.

Also, I think it would be a good program to do because not only are we informing others about the environmental issues, we are also motivating them to get involved and do what they can to help. People love challenges, and if we challenge them to conserve or recycle we would definitely see a change in our environment. I think that we can make this program possible. It wouldn’t cost very much. All we need is for the group of students and teachers to volunteer their time and phones to help the program. Even if the person does not have a cell phone they can always help out the voice recordings or use their home phone. This program is also time efficient because we can send a text to more than one person at the same time.

I think that we can make this earth a better place to live in, and by starting a small program, we can make a big difference. We will jumpstart people into conserving more, recycling, and thinking more about the environment and how their actions affect it. We’ll have all of St. Tammany parish buzzing about our new healthy environment program, they won’t have a choice to “hear us now!”

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