The topic I chose to research is "Why do people litter?" I chose this topic because litter has always been something that really bothers me. Whenever I see trash on the ground, I always pick it up. What really bugs me though, is when there is a bunch of trash on the ground 4 feet from a trash can. I want to find out why people litter in the first place and how greatly litter affects our environment, especially at Punahou School. Another thing that bothers me about litter is that most of our litter ends up in the plastic vortex. The plastic vortex is basically a big trash dump in the middle of the pacific ocean. The sad part about the plastic vortex is that sometimes, an animal will eat some of the trash and get very sick or they might choke and die.
What I hope to gain from this project is at least some understanding of how I can stop people from littering and how I can help the environment simply by getting others to stop littering. I also hope to gain some understanding of why people litter in the first place, because right now I really just don't get that. Maybe, at the end of the project, I can get some litterbugs to clean up their acts and reduce(even if just by a little bit) the amount of litter than ends up hurting our cute little sea animals in the plastic vortex.


Naomi-This is a great start. Your personal connection to this topic comes through in your Intro above. I too, think this is an important issue. I just have a few suggestions: 1) You say "I also hope to game..." (typo). 2) The pictures you've included are powerful and compelling. It would help to title the pictures so one knows specifically what they're looking at. 3) Lastly, since your topic targets Punahou, specifically, it will be good to include pics and statistics related to Punahou. \

Litter in Hawaii:

I learned how litter affects Hawaii specifically. I also learned what Hawaii's litter laws are and the fines that people have to pay if they are caught littering(which is not often.) There are also phone numbers to adopt-a-highway, adopt-a-stream, and adopt-a-block, three useful numbers for me. I think it would be cool if our class adopted a stream or block.

Hawaii does it's part in global cleanup:

This article is about everyday people doing their part to keep litter out of our oceans and keeping our beaches clean for us to enjoy. On Saturday, September 20th, 2008, beach cleanups were organized throughout east oahu. Internationally, more than 348,000 volunteers from 76 countries covered 33,000 miles, and collected more than six million pounds of debris which would equal taking trash out of 182 square miles of our ocean.

Students dash for trash
I thought this was a very interesting idea, and that maybe we should have a trash dash at Punahou or in Hawaii. I would think that a lot of kids would get really into this, because it kind of makes keeping the land clean more fun.

Litter Statistics
Statistics of trash overall in the nation.
Lots of different fun facts about litter.

Comments from Ms. Y:
Naomi-You have found some excellent sources. The statistics are relevant and help shed some light. I also like your idea of doing the trash dash. A few suggestions: when asked to write a summary, this means summarize the content of the article for your reader (give a synopsis so one learns from your summary. Don't just say "I learned a lot about Hawaii...." as the reader will then ask "like what? what did you learn? fill me in.). Also your summaries/reflections could go further in terms of thinking and discussion. I know you said you missed your interview because you were sick. Have you rescheduled this? If not, please do so ASAP. Lastly, an idea came to me on Friday, relating to your project. See me if you want to hear my idea for a possible Action Plan...

Expert Interview:

Name: Mark Flynn
Title: Physical Plant Supervisor
Place of Work: Physical Plant

My Interview Questions:

1) How do you feel about litter on campus, or just litter in general?
2) Have you ever volunteered for any beach cleanups or litter cleanups around the island? 3) Do you work with any organizations trying to keep our island clean?
4) How does litter affect Punahou campus directly?5) When you see someone littering, do you ask them to pick up their trash?
6) Does our school spend extra money just to pick up litter? If they do, is it a large amount of money?
7) Has the school ever thought about enforcing a kind of litter law on campus? Ex. If you got caught you would get a demerit?
8) Have you ever thought of something like a volunteer campus clean up? Some universities on the mainland have things called “trash-dashes” where kids get points for the kind of rubbish they pick up
9) Has anyone ever come to you with the idea of creating a club specifically for litter cleanups on campus?10) What do you think is our role--as inhabitants of the planet--as to keeping the Earth clean and throwing away our trash?

Action Plan:

For my project, I think I'll put up fliers with some of the statistics I found about litter around campus. Although I want rid the whole campus of litter, I think it would also be important to target one specific area, such as the freshman tree because I hang out there so much that it is more important to me that the area stays litter free. I will also interview some students to basically find out why they litter and if they know how much of an impact litter has on our Earth and this campus. Also, I think it would be cool to organize a campus cleanup after school. It would probably be on Friday, December 12th. I would put up fliers with information as to where to meet and what to bring. If the campus cleanup was successful, I would probably look into starting a club and have regular campus cleanups.
I put on a couple campus cleanups with my swim team over Christmas break. On both occasions, we picked up around 12 full bags of trash around the campus. Some of the spots on campus that had the most litter were around the freshman tree, the "beach," and around the cafeteria/snackbar. I think that the cleanups were successful, but if more people knew about it, more people would've shown up. Most of the fliers that I put up around campus got ripped down even after I got them approved by the deans. I feel like a lot of people would rather litter than simply walk to a trash can less than three feet away. A lot of the students that I interviewed were 'guilty' of littering, although they did know the affects that littering has on our planet. Knowing this is kind of disappointing, because it seems that no matter how many facts I tell them, they still litter. I also made a short powerpoint to present to the class.

My Fliers:


Final Comments:
Naomi- Overall, you did a good job with your project. I know from talking with you that this is a topic you personally care about. You have included important information in your research and I was also glad to see the personal connection made when getting Mark Flynn's insights. I'm glad you conducted campus cleanups with your swim team over break. I also can see your frustration with people who are "guilty" of littering even if "educated". I like your fliers, however, as you seemed to realize, fliers often end up as more litter. I guess I would have liked to have seen a little more delving into how you could make a difference with one target group, specifically the students you hang out with around the tree. I still think there was potential to incorporate something I've heard you're good at, photography, with your Action Plan. I know behavior change in others is difficult. But ultimately something will need to make an impact in these people or else they will continue to think others will pick up after them and they'll continue to trash their environment. That would be a sad future indeed. What do you think could really help everyone in that area stop trashing the tree?