Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Of Dubious Ecological Benefit
As I've mentioned before, one of my jobs in the library is to manage the lost & found. I usually try to keep an eye on items abandoned there and, if they're labeled with students' names, I contact the kids and try to reunite them with their property. Unfortunately, most stuff is anonymous and winds up sitting for ages until we throw it out or donate it to charity.
There's always an incredible quantity of unclaimed lost property in our school -- bins full of jackets, pairs of gym shoes, lunchboxes containing moldering food. It astonishes me. I wonder if kids are trying to get rid of jackets they don't like or lunches they don't want to eat?
I am especially frustrated by water bottles. So many kids (and possibly adults) lose their bottles and never find them again. I mean, these bottles are supposed to be an ecological benefit, eliminating the need for single-use plastic -- right? But that benefit seems wasted when the bottles themselves go unclaimed and eventually wind up in the trash or recycling.
At the moment, we only have five in the library...
...but here's the lost & found in the Middle School. You can't really tell from the picture, but there are nineteen water bottles/coffee travel cups/thermoses in and around that basket.
(See the one labeled "Dylan" at upper right? I realized right after I took this picture that I knew whose bottle it was. I took it back to my desk and sent the kid an e-mail yesterday. More proof that labeling works!)
Anyway, I posted this recent New Yorker cartoon beneath our lost-water-bottle shelf: