Flight enthusiasts promote recycling


Cindy Pantoja / The Advocate

Student Armani Jones prepares to launch his paper airplane during the Fly High competition held in Campus Center Plaza on Nov. 19.

By JoJuan Johnson, Advocate Staff

In an attempt to eliminate the scourge of once-used paper compiling a vast percentage of waste generated on campus, Contra Costa College engineering students devised a fun way to put the paper to use.

On Nov. 19, a paper plane throwing contest, originally labeled the Fly High competition, was hosted in the Campus Center Plaza by the Associated Student Union (ASU).

The competition was open to all students who thought their airplane constructing prowess could best the campus engineering students.

Electrical engineering major JT Torres said he was the organizer of the event along with mechanical engineering major Ricardo Sanchez.

Torres said paper can be reused in multiple ways. Sanchez agrees and believes reusing paper is imperative for the planet.

The criteria were simple — fold the best airplane possible to travel for distance down the brick pathway.

Distance was measured by cones placed in 10-foot increments across the plaza.

Each entrant was only given three tries to achieve maximum distance and for students who were less experienced, instructions were provided on just how to make a paper airplane.

The top three students who achieved the greatest distance won prizes.

First place was awarded a $40 Walmart gift card with second place slated to receive two free movie tickets to a movie of their choice.

The contestant who finished in third place claimed a backpack filled with an assortment of mystery prizes.

Student Life Coordinator Charles Ramirez said, “The purpose of the event was to reuse paper.”

Ramirez said it’s imperative to do so because the last thing that they wanted to do was to just keep throwing paper away, especially when it’s not used.

According to information compiled by the Environmental Protection Agency, paper accounts for about half of all recyclables collected in the U.S., by weight.

Their information also states paper and paperboard products make up the largest portion of the municipal solid waste stream in the United States and as a result, offer the greatest opportunity to recycle.

Last year, roughly 68 million tons of paper products were recycled.

Currently, an increased focus toward recycling has begun to make a difference.

However, paper cannot be recycled indefinitely, so events that offer incentives to reuse material offer fun ways to work toward making an ecological difference.

In the airplane contest, Jericho Guzman claimed the honor of producing the longest flight while computer science major Gabriel Sanchez took second place.

Third place was awarded to Middle College High School student Armani Jones.

Organizers said it took two weeks for the event to come together and felt the message was delivered to participants and passers-by.

Ricardo Sanchez said the contest was for fun, but admitted he was already considering what he could do better next time to ensure a win.

He said he could better his chances by practicing and making his paper airplanes beforehand.