First Place – Save Your Lungs!

Bam, 1st place! Congratulations, Gentry! – OnAir Team

The land in Arizona is flat and dry, allowing you to see the horizon all around. Year after year, visit after visit, I can gradually witness the pollution in the air getting thicker and thicker. As technology grows and society becomes more dependent on transportation, car fumes and pollution take over the rest of the clean air we have left. For example, in the United States alone, car emissions single-handedly cater for well over 30,000 deaths. These emissions being released into the air not only affect air quality but can get into your lungs and can result in long-term diseases, such as lung cancer. If we aren’t careful and don’t take a stand for reducing this pollution, our air will no longer be clean and our society will no longer be living.
There are a few things you can start to do to reduce this life-threatening problem. The first, I’m sure you hear a lot, is to carpool. If everyone carpools to work, we can reduce more than half of the cars on the road, resulting in about a 50% decrease in yearly pollution rates. So call your co-worker up and tell them you’ll see them first thing in the morning, because breathing is more important than listening to your own music on the way to school or work! Another thing you can do is to choose your car wisely. Gas is what produces these fumes that are shot into the air, so find a car that is more gas-efficient. Now, let’s be real; not everyone can afford an electric car. Although they are the most ideal and the most “green”, there are other alternatives if it’s not for you. For example, choose a smaller car. Several pollution statistic reports indicate that the average SUV produces at least 47% more pollutants in the form of carbon emissions than the average car. So dump that Hummer and hop on into your Prius, knowing you’re saving your lungs! Also, if able, ride the bus. They are there to provide transportation so you don’t have to drive; take up that opportunity!
As you can see, changing one simple thing, like how you get to work in the morning, can change the air around you. Seeing that gradual increase in pollution and the thickening of the air in Arizona, my heart has been changed. Do your part and let’s work together to save our air and protect our lungs!

Outside sources: http://www.topenvironmentalissues.com/pollution-statistics.shtml

Second Place – Education/Pollution in Nigeria

Congrats, Samantha! 2nd place, pretty impressive! – OnAir Team

In many countries, people aren’t receiving an education. A country with very low literacy rates is Nigeria, and you can see this through the state and condition of their country/society. Nigeria is poverty stricken, the majority of the country do not have the chance to go to public school and spend the days working or searching for water which is greatly scarce and polluted. The oil companies have dominated Nigeria; which has devastated the land and a country as a whole. If Nigeria’s society were to have learned about the downfalls of allowing oil to be drilled maybe Nigeria would be in a better state as today. Did Nigeria have a choice?
The drilling of oil in Nigeria has damaged the resources in which society depended on…the water is polluted and a great majority if the vegetation is gone. Due to the fact the majority of people live in poverty, people get their water,if there is any available, from nearby water ways which may cause people to walk for miles. These water ways are polluted, people are uneducated/ unaware of the water that cause disease until after it has occurred. Even though there may be signs warning people not to drink from the water, education is very rare so people never learned how to read.
The drilling of oil by many companies has increased the air pollution exponentially, so not only is the drilling of oil damaging society through water but also the air they breathe. Nigeria needs justice and a form of government that can change the state of Nigeria. Though it is easier said than done, if the world cares for people/the well-being of planet Earth over greed something will be done.

Source: http://nigeriaworld.com/columnist/uzokwe/081103.html

Meatless Mondays

The crispiness of bacon, the crunch of fried chicken, and the delicious taste of a freshly cooked steak! By now the mouths of many meat lovers are most likely watering.

brettingtons.com - *dead* sorry, it's probably counter-productive to post this in the middle of a post about vegetarianism ¯_(ツ)_/¯

But yeah, meat is tasty. I would know.

What I also know is that meat consumption as well as what it takes to produce and process it does affect the environment.

Americans consume more than 37 million tons of meat annually and 8 ounces of meat per day, 45% more than recommended by the USDA (U.S Department of Agriculture)( “Monday Campaigns | Meatless Monday.” Monday Campaigns. Meatless Monday Campaign, 2003-2015. Web). Red meat and dairy have the highest environmental footprint when compared to fruits and vegetables. They account for roughly 15% of total global carbon emissions. (“Monday Campaigns | Meatless Monday.” Monday Campaigns. Meatless Monday Campaign, 2003-2015. Web).

So what can we do about this?

Well, taking the initiative to participate in the Meatless Monday movement is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. This international movement was launched in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and since then many countries outside of the U.S have jumped on board with the movement.

In May of 2009, Ghent, Belgium became the first non-U.S city to go meatless on Monday. Not long after that, Paul McCartney introduced the UK to meat-free Mondays. To date, the Meatless Monday movement is active now in 36 countries.

Taking one day out of your week to go totally meat free can have a huge impact. Over the course of one year, for example, a four-person family who skips eating meat one time during a week is equivalent to taking your car off the road for five weeks! Studies show that meat production produces significantly more green house gases than vegetables, including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide.

If everyone went meatless on Monday, the impact of the pollution caused by meat production would greatly be reduced! So I challenge you to visit meatlessmonday.com today and take the pledge to go a meat-free Monday!

 
Sources:
www.meatlessmonday.com/the-gobal-movement/
www.mondaycampaigns.org
www.jhsph.edu/research/centers
www.humanmedia.org/dcc/tabs.php

Co-authored by the OnAir Team

4 Benefits of Eating Locally Grown Food

Locally grown foods are better for the environment. Many times processed foods go through multiple factories before they actually arrive at the fast food chain, and those factories use a lot of power to do things like slaughter cows our packaging food. That power is in turn supplied by power plants, which use fossils fuels to work. This whole train, can just end with you buying your foods from a farmer who uses his own tools, machines, and manpower to grow his crops.

So, there’s the major environmental impact. What are some other pros?

Here’s a list of four reasons why you should choose to go with the locally grown food in your area.

Locally grown food…

1. …is healthier than eating processed food as you’re not aware of the quantity of fat, sodium, and harmful toxins placed in it. With locally grown food, you can track the growth process and measure how many, as well as what type of chemicals are put into your foods. Plus, local foods also contain more nutrients than other foods.

2. …is better for the local economy. Buying local keeps revenue close to home and helps fund local businesses.

3. …has more flavor. When foods go through through processing, they lose key factors that hold better flavors. However, when you buy locally grown food, the flavors are still ripe due to you getting them straight from your local market. Also if you buy locally grown fruits in season, they will be full of flavor since the conditions of the soil during that time of the month are beneficial to whatever is in season. Keeping track of what’s in season helps with that too, of course. 😉

4. …helps to bring together a sense of community in an area. When people constantly start going to markets, it starts to become normal for people to get used to seeing each other. If people start caring for each other, then it will bring a nicer aura to the surrounding area.
I hope this list gave you a better idea of locally grown food. Even if you didn’t, I hope you put some of this info into consideration when you go shopping. So tell me, what do you think you’ll pick when you decide to go shopping?

Co-authored by the OnAir Team

BLOGGER CHALLENGE FIRST PLACE WINNER: Three things we should do at my school

This Spring, OnAir held its first ever Blogger Challenge! We asked you to submit blogs answering this simple question: What rule would make your school greener? At long last, here is our FIRST PLACE WINNER! This post is from Emanuella at South Gwinnett High School. Congratulations, Emanuella!

 

Three things that my school should do:

First thing is, stop littering on the streets, on the ground, in classrooms, EVERYWHERE. Us as students should pick up trash that lazy people don’t put away. Most students may not want to pick up trash,
they should tell other students to stop throwing away stuff on the floor.

Second thing is, us students should stop taking cars or buses to school.
If your house is not that far from school, you should walk or take a bike.
Most students like taking a bus, but students should only take a bus if they live far away.

Third thing is, students should recycle, put things away in the recycling bin, or reuse cups that are not plastic or stop using PLASTIC items and start using reusable things.

Most students should do these things to help my school

How the great painters of world recorded changes in the atmosphere for posterity

For all of you that love art as much as I do, this week’s blog is sure to interest you!

A team of German and Greek art and science researchers have recently published in the “Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics journal published by the European Geosciences Union (EGU for short) their findings of the correlation between the colors of painted sunsets and the estimable level of pollution. Specifically, the famous paintings that they studied show how much ash and gas had been released after volcanic eruptions. According to them, eruptions like the one that occurred in Indonesia’s Tambora volcano in 1815.

Artists all over Europe noticed the changes in sunset color as the volcanic ash and gas “spewed into the atmosphere.” The particles scattered the sunlight, causing sunsets to appear more red or orange than usual. Apparently this wasn’t a one time occurrence; rather, this phenomenon lasted up to 3 years.

One such nature artist was J. M. W. Turner. Scientists, along with art historians, are using his and other paintings to further understand how the composition of the atmosphere relates to the art of the time. In order to fully do so, the team analyzed hundreds of high-quality photographs of sunset paintings between the years of 1500 BCE and 2000. This period included over 50 volcanic eruptions in places all around the world. The result? The green-to-red ratio did in fact correlate with the amount of volcanically emitted aerosols within the atmosphere; this was across the board, no matter the school or location of the painters.

This study is already helping researchers to fully understand how aerosols of any type have affected and could continue to affect the Earth’s climate.

In order to read more about this fascinating study, click the link below!

Source:
http://www.egu.eu/news/106/famous-paintings-help-study-the-earths-past-atmosphere/