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

Eating Healthier for Us and our Environment

In our growing world and rapidly developing society, we are faced with an increasingly urgent problem: how can we feed 7 billion mouths and counting? How do we do so without permanently damaging our environment through reckless use of water, pesticides, and monocultures? Something we can do is actually beneficial for both us and our environment.

The answer is for us to eat locally grown, healthy food. How does that help alleviate our problem? First off, transporting food takes vast amounts of energy through keeping the food at a suitable temperature over thousands of miles, and consumes fuel through this transport. When our food is grown down the road or merely has to be moved a few miles to our grocery store, we know it’s more safe and fresh to eat. Additionally, it gives local farmers a chance to grow their own strains and types of crops, promoting biodiversity amongst crop populations.

Healthy eating means eating a variety of foods, with a focus on vegetables, fruits and nuts. The efficiency of growing plants for consumption far exceeds the efficiency it takes to raise livestock, such as cattle and pigs. These animals require a lot of food and space, while also contributing to large portions of methane emissions—a notoriously dangerous greenhouse gas—through their droppings.

This does not mean to stop eating meats altogether—it still brings nutrition! However, I urge everyone to at least attempt to cut back on eating meats. When we eat healthier, we not only vastly reduce the amount of energy needed to get our food to the table, but also lessen methane emissions while increasing efficiency of total food grown! What steps have you taken to eat healthier for yourself and the environment?

Lets Come Together

Most schools today don’t make the greenest choices, but what are those green choices anyway?

Some examples would be using compost and facilitating non-idling rules. Composting is when organic matter has been decomposed and recycling as a fertilizer and soil amendment. An Idling vehicle is one whose engine is running when it is parked or not in use. Now how do we go from there?

The trend of receptacle recycling has been set up in some schools. The receptacle recycling includes three bins: recycle, trash, and compost (the RTC). The students in these few schools are able to separate their lunch once finished. Composting is not very hard to set up. It creates fertilized soil that you can garden and reduces our need for landfills. Did you know 800,000 tons of food scraps were disposed in Georgia in 2004? This means those materials were left in a landfill to burn, which would increase CO2 levels in the air. Decomposing using the RTC would help to avoid such an unhealthy environment. This trend that has started in a few schools will hopefully expand as a trend across the nation. If we had RTC in DeKalb School of Arts and Woodstock High School, we would be making a huge impact on the Earth from Georgia.

In most high schools, there are student drivers. At our high schools, we have noticed that these drivers sit in their cars until the bell is about to ring. There is nothing wrong with relaxing in the car, but there’s a lot wrong with relaxing in the car while it’s running. This is called idling. Idling releases CO2 into the Earth’s atmosphere causing the Earth’s temperature to rise dramatically. According to CNN and other news agencies, 2.5 MILLION people on our planet die every year from air pollution caused by factors such as idling.

If we all come together to stop idling and start composting and recycling we can save 2.5 million people’s lives. And all we have to do is turn off our cars for a little bit and collect our food waste for plants!

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