Here’s a small biology lesson that tied in with helping to reduce air pollution. While reading my biology textbook, I came across a peculiar term – ecological footsteps. Now what in the name is that and how does it involve us?
Ecological footstep is a measure of human demand on the Earth’s ecosystems. It represents the amount of biological productive land and sea area needed to supply resources for humans to consume. This includes areas that food is produced, land for buildings and roads and ecosystems for absorbing its waste emissions such as carbon dioxide.
Wait, did I read that right? Carbon dioxide? Yep! Carbon dioxide. Since the 1970s, humanity has been in ecological overshoot with annual demand on resources exceeding what Earth can regenerate each year. Overshoot is a vastly underestimated threat to human well-being and the health of the planet, and it not very adequately addressed.
We have to take care of what we exploit from the lands – because our ecological footsteps are on overdrive. So cut down on your consumption for needing energy and other resources – let’s make a a goal to slowly reduced our ecological footsteps!
(image from footprintnetwork.org)
Have you heard about the newest eco-friendly thing going on in the big cities? Well, here’s a hint: rent-a-bike. That’s right! You can rent a bike from one part of the city to get to the other part and return it to its “slot”. It’s a lot like renting out a car on a trip or those shopping-car things in the malls for little kids. It’s a great idea for a step forward in helping the environment.
This mean of transportation has become popular in cities like Chicago, New York, Washington DC and Miami. Specially designed to have a little basket for briefcase and book bags in the front along with a GPS, this is one of the coolest ways to help lower air pollution.
This bicycle-sharing rental program has swept several big cities into frenzy. According to the Chicago Tribune, the federally funded program is envisioned for the public to ride the bikes on short trips of mostly 30 minutes or less, instead of taking a taxicab or a bus or, worst of all, driving.
This new way of transportation is definitely geared towards saving the environment and keeps a couple of bills in your pocket. According to Denver’s B-Cycle bike sharing program, a 4-mile bicycle trip keeps 15 pounds of pollutants out of the air that would have been emitted by a car driving the same distance. On top of that, it’s not just a great workout but a way to avoid that nasty traffic congestion. It’s more convenient, affordable and helps overcome theft and storage barriers.
This is a great idea and I hope it comes to Atlanta soon as well. As they say, one pedal forward for a man, one giant race for mankind.
Did you know you can socialize and help the environment at the same time? Yeah, it’s possible! Spreading the word is one way to raise awareness. Like us green bloggers, make it a point to reach out to your Facebook friends, Twitter followers, etc. about environmental awareness. Make social gatherings at a park or volunteer area for environmental causes – extend party invitations in a green way.
One way that I reach out to raise awareness – besides blogging about it – is tweet a helpful tip every Friday to my followers. On other social media platforms, I hold a special day for raising concerns about anything that reaches my ear. Make it a new fad on Instagram where posting pictures of helping the environment is the coolest thing; it’s a great way to spice things up in your dashboard. You might even find that some of your friends hold the same interest as you.
Can social media save the world? Of course! The internet and social media provides individual donors and worthy organizations the ability to connect meaningfully on opposite sides of the world. Social media is effective in expanding eco awareness and introducing sustainability concepts to others – that’s why we’re blogging about it!
So what are you waiting for? Break the ice!
Woohoo! School’s out! I know everyone is excited about what they are going to do over the summer. Maybe you’ll go camping with your family or go to the mall with your friends, and some of you guys might get a head start on all that summer homework.
Whatever it is, remember that helping the environment is still a main priority. No matter where you are, you are surrounded by air. Here are a few summer fever + helping the environment tips to keep in mind!
1. Keep hydrated! Instead of buying plastic bottles, get a reusable one!
2. Don’t want to hold onto your wrappers while camping? Don’t throw them on the ground–find a trash can!
3. Travel clean! Instead of taking the car for short distances, try the bike (you don’t need to pay for the gas!). Heck, you could even walk if you wanted to!
4. Going to the mall to meet up with friends? Try carpooling, it’s much more fun.
5. Plan your errands to avoid going around in circles to save gas and time.
6. Recycle all and everything you can! Trying to get rid of all the notes and tests from your classes? Recycle!
7. Improve energy efficiency. Instead of cranking up the AC, buy your own fan. Don’t turn on the lights in the morning and afternoon, there’s plenty of sunlight so pull up those curtains! And don’t forget to turn off and unplug stereos, radios, and televisions when leaving the house.
8. Don’t spend 1 hour in the shower. I repeat: no 1-hour showers! As tempting as it sounds to cool off in the summer, cut down the water usage to about 15 to 25 minutes.
9. For those who are doing summer homework on their computer, make sure to turn off and take off the power supply after work. And try using eBooks and soft copy versions of books before printing hundreds of pages out!
10. Plant a garden (or tree, which ever you prefer).
11. Collect rain water for use in garden and watering plants.
12. Not going anywhere special? Find local communities that are helping out with the environment (it’s a great way to get community service hours too).
OnAir says: So what’s your planet-saving list for the summer? Let us know in the comments! And whatever you do, don’t forget to log those AirCreds!
The grass always looks greener on the other side…especially after a day or two of rain and especially in Georgia. Sometimes I take all the green for granted…sometimes I think it will always be green. But, a few days ago, on my way to school, I noticed something silver peeking out of the green. Actually, it was not just one, but several. Upon a closer look, those silver things turned out to be cans and other waste that were thrown on the ground. It may not seem like it, but waste like these can actually be detrimental to Mother Earth.
How does garbage have an effect on the environment? Well, for starters, garbage pollution can increase toxic fumes in the air as well as contribute to harmful diseases to circulate around.
Land wastes cause chemical contamination. Plastics and toxins in wastes like anti-freeze and other chemicals seep into the ground where they remain. Many modern-day chemicals either do not biodegrade or break down and if they do, they break down into several smaller chemical particles. These particles poison the ground itself and everything that touches it. It could cause contamination in areas like polluted water ways or acid rain created from air pollution.
Contaminated water that evaporates into the atmosphere can fall back to the earth as acid rain, causing the cycle of contamination and pollution to continue. That means the nutrients that plants and trees soak up become contaminated and start dying. If trees start dying, then it would cause an even more detrimental impact on the air. And the green? It’ll become a rarity, thus it’s important to not take the green environment for granted. Click here for more information.
It’s important to recycle cans and water bottles and properly dispose other things. Plus, if you see cans and plastic bottles lying around, don’t just saw eww and ignore it. Go ahead and pick it up and properly dispose it. On the long run, you’re doing something good for the environment!
Photo credit: Masslive.com
When we think of saving the Earth and helping the environment, we come to a common thought: recycling paper. But did you know that recycling doesn’t necessarily mean just paper, cans/bottles and metal? There are more than 40 ways of going green other than just recycling!
Here are some interesting ways of going green:
• Don’t leave your computer plugged in! Even if it is sleeping, it’s still sucking up energy. Turn your computer off at the end of the day or better yet, use the charger sparingly.
• Look into carpooling with your friends or riding the bus home.
• Buy rechargeable batteries and dispose old batteries properly.
• Donate old newspapers to animal shelters.
• Convince your parents to use a cloth/canvas grocery bags instead of using plastic bags.
• Shop for eco-friendly beauty products! There are some great make up companies out there that support going green! Here are a few.
• Buy a new houseplant for a greener home. Here’s a list of great houseplants!
• Schedule your errands back-to-back to consolidate your trip and save gas or ride your bike or walk when possible.
• Buy used or e-books instead of new.
• Use compact fluorescent, LED or halogen bulbs instead of conventional incandescent.
• Don’t leave the sink faucet on while you’re brushing.
• Before turning on the lights in the morning or the middle of the day, open the curtains. There’s plenty of sunlight that can act as your light. While you’re at it, open up the window to allow a nice breeze of fresh air to come in instead of depending on your air conditioner.
• Buy a reusable water bottle instead of buying a plastic bottle every time.
• Make your own recycling bin from an old cardboard box!
• When you print paper, print conservatory. Start by printing front-and-back and fitting in as many document pages into one. Reuse scrap paper.
• Support green companies!
• Buy locally grown food. Foods grown from other parts of the world come here through air fright which contributes to more air pollution.
• Start your own little vegetable garden!
OnAir says: Welcome to our newest blogger Bidushi! Want to blog for us? Visit blogonair.org/apply to get the ball rolling!