Mariposa County, CA Home of Yosemite

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Earth Day Essay Contest

earth day photo for website.jpg


9th-12th grade & Grand Prize--SYDNIE EDWARDS, Gr. 12
6th-8th grade--ELINOR PHILLIPS, Gr. 7
K-2nd grade--AIDEN MONROY, 6 years old
The winning entries are posted below.


by Sydnie Edwards

     “Going Green” is a phrase that has become more common throughout households in America, but do we honestly understand what this means? Some believe that going green requires recycling when there’s a recycling bin nearby, or even changing to more efficient light bulbs when it’s affordable; does that really make a difference? I believe that the single most important thing to helping Mariposa County’s environment is raising awareness.

     Companies, like ENERGY STAR, are dedicated to creating household appliances that will reduce energy use, ultimately saving our environment. ENERGY STAR appliances such as refrigerators are 20% more efficient, while washers are 30% more energy efficient wise, and 50% more water efficient. Lighting products even cut two thirds of energy use compared to regular lighting products. By switching to products like these, energy use has gone down quite noticeably since the ENERGY STAR campaign began, saving $806,793,813 in energy savings, 6,114,618,823 kilowatt hours of electricity, and eliminating 10,428,501,023 pounds of greenhouse gases.

     Recycling is often viewed as a joke; many people do not believe that allof the little things add up! Did you know that we use over 80 billion soda cans per year? Recycling one of those aluminum cans saves enough energy to watch TV for three hours. That is only the benefits of recycling aluminum! A single run of the Sunday New York Times causes 75,000 trees to be cut down. If everyone were to recycle every newspaper they received, we would be saving about 25 million trees per year.

     There are many other ways that Mariposa County can contribute to our environment, and these are some of the simplest—not to mention, the cheapest—ways to start out. Raising awareness is the first step to a greener world, and it’s your choice whether to take action or not.


by Elinor Phillips

     Composting is a great way to improve the environment in Mariposa County. There are many ways that the environment could be improved by composting your food waste and other organic products.

     The air quality in Mariposa would be greatly improved if the people of Mariposa composted their brush and unneeded plants to cut down on burn piles. Smoke from outdoor burning clogs up the air and can even damage your health. You can also use compost to grow a garden as a fertilizer to enrich the soil. Compost grows very good fruits and vegetables that we can eat and even sell to others in Mariposa, reducing the need to drive outside of the area to buy food. If other neighboring communities followed our example, it would greatly ameliorate the air quality in the surrounding areas as well. As 60% of air pollution in Mariposa is caused by cars and trucks on the highways, buying local food will lessen the traffic on Highway 99.

     Landfills all over the world are overflowing. If the citizens of Mariposa County and surrounding areas composted their organic material it would greatly reduce the trash that goes into the landfill. This will drop the amounts of methane gas and leachate in the air. Compost can also prevent contaminated runoff in the landfill from reaching the local water table and resources.

     Composting in our community can greatly help the local environment and even improves our health by growing nourishing fruits and vegetables, keeping our water stay clean, and helping to improve the air we breathe.

  Picture by Aidyn Monroy "My family and I will pick up trash to keep the earth clean."

Aidyn Monroy winning picture.jpg

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PO Box 784 | 5100 Bullion St. | Mariposa, CA 95338