New School Year? New Ways To Be Green!

Hey Guys!

Since most of you, like myself, will be starting school very soon I thought we could talk about ways to make this school year your greenest yet!

There are so many easy ways to do this, like bringing a reusable water bottle and lunchbox. Most of those things you already know about, so I thought that I should bring up some ways you may not already know!

Before we get to go to classes and see our friends we have to GET to school, right? Well, how we choose to do that makes a huge difference and has serious effects on the environment as well as one’s health. Here are some ways to make sure that your carbon footprint is lessened this year!

1) Of course the best way to avoid releasing fossil fuels is by either walking, riding a bike or skateboarding to school. Obviously, if you live really far away from school, these aren’t options for you. However, if you live pretty close to your school, this may well be a good option. Not only are these your greenest options for transportation, you will also be getting some exercise! If you choose one of these three options, make sure to be safe–watch traffic, wear safety gear, and practice the buddy system!

2) Another way to cut emission production is by riding a school or city bus. Although they may not be as “cool” as driving a car, you will have time to socialize with your peers and even potentially get some extra study time in the mornings/afternoons. Mass transit is also another way to cut your carbon emissions by two-thirds!

3) The third way to reduce your carbon emissions is by creating a carpool. Carpooling makes a lot of sense for a number of reasons. It is a time and money saver, reduces traffic congestion and pollution, and is a way to get to know your neighbors better!

So, there are several ways for you and your friends to make the most of this year by becoming more eco-friendly! Not only will the earth thank you, but you can also wrack up a bunch of points on this website by doing all of the above activities! Think about it… Why wouldn’t you want to make a positive change this year?

 

OnAir says: What’s another great reason to do all this stuff? Say it with us: AirCreds! Start earning points for your air-friendly acts today!

Golf Carts Go Green

In the recent past, people have become more aware of how they hurt the environment; this is why we have thousands of websites, like OnAir, and thousands of organizations to help us see how we affect the Earth and its delicate ecosystems. As more of us are starting to lean towards more eco-friendly products, companies have noticed this and are rapidly creating products that will please consumers. But in Peachtree City, Georgia, there is already a product that is rare for a family not to have: golf carts.

The intended use for golf carts is self explanatory: they are used by golfers to save time and not walk to all eighteen holes. They are charged electrically, and most models used nowadays do not use any gasoline, which would emit harsh chemicals into the air. In Peachtree City, where I live, people use golf carts as a major source of transportation. More than 9,000 households own golf carts– more than any city in the world! This lowers air pollution, while also providing a more scenic road to take. Golf cart paths cut through some of the forests, but are skillfully made to leave as many trees up as possible. There are approximately 90 miles (145 kilometers) of golf cart paths that web throughout Peachtree City.

At one of the local high schools, more golf carts are driven to school than cars and buses combined! Students and teachers are encouraged to drive golf carts due to limited parking space; the plus is improving the air quality. This is not the only city that is practicing eco-friendly transportation. Lafayette, Louisiana and Goldsboro, North Carolina are two cities outside of Georgia that practice this, but there are not many other cities that actually do. Less than twenty cities in the United States have most of their population owning and driving golf carts.

Peachtree City has been ranked in the Top 100 places to live in the United States for six years, usually at a very high ranking. It is awarded this prize along with other factors, but its environmentally friendly transportation has contributed a lot to its ranking. Maybe you can try to introduce this eco-friendly way of transportation to your community and other people around it. If you can do this or attempt to, know that you are a responsible person that cares for their environment. Safe driving!

 

OnAir says: Golf carts are great for not emitting exhaust like cars do. What exhaust-less ways can people get around in your town? Got some new ideas? Let us know in the comments!

Going to class? Go green!

So, a lot of you will be heading off to college soon. And campus life brings tons of new experiences. But how to make those new experiences eco-friendly? Let’s start by tackling a big one: getting to class.

Dorms are so expensive. A lot of students, looking for ways  to be more economically savvy, either commute from their parents’ houses (if they’re local) or get apartments off campus.

Either way, the journey to campus usually takes a little longer. Many will opt for walking, but sometimes the apartment is too far. Sometimes it will rain. Sometimes, you’ll just be having a bad day.

We know, it’s hard. #firstworldproblems

The point is, you want to get where you’re going without hurting the environment, right? So here are some suggestions for keeping it green:

  1. Ride your bike. Especially if it’s sunny out, why wouldn’t you want to? Riding bikes is just so much fun! What if it rains and the sidewalks are too slippery for bikes, you say?…
  2. …just walk. Take an umbrella. And put on your rain boots. We promise it won’t kill you. And sometimes it’s pretty soothing to go for a relaxing walk in the rain, especially if it’s just a steady patter. However, if it’s storming…
  3. …take public transportation. Many cities–especially ones with colleges and universities–at have bus systems set up to make campus more accessible. If this isn’t the case…
  4. …bum a ride off of a friend. (The buzzword here is “carpool”.) If a car is necessary, double-up (or triple-up!) on the way. You get where you’re going, you get some social time, and you keep a couple extra pollution-spouting vehicles off the road. And while you’re bumming rides…

Have any more suggestions? What ways are you getting to campus? Do you have a plan? Let us know in a comment below!

Stay green (and calm) for finals

Finals.  Perhaps the most dreaded word in the history of forever for anyone enrolled in school or a university. They’re stressful, annoying, and unreasonably difficult. Plus, this is usually what happens on exams:

© prawfsblawg.blogs.com

Yeah. Story of my life.

However, when you’re taking a break, did you know that there are more eco-friendly ways of being stress-free? Here are some tips!

  1. Instead of going out for a drive…ride your bike or go for a run. This may be something that many of you do anyway, but if you’re trying to go somewhere to get some stress relief or to find another place to study (like a coffee shop) find another form of transportation that will give you some fresh air and sunshine. Plus, you’ll get a tan. That’s always nice.
  2. Instead of snacking on junk…eat fresh, organic produce. Not only does this give you good energy, but you are also helping local farms and promoting the idea of not putting harsh chemicals into our farmlands. Sure, this might be a one-time thing…but we hope it becomes into a habit!
  3. Instead of cramming all night…divide up studying for a longer period of time. Not only will you be able to retain the information longer, you also won’t be wasting electricity by keeping your desk lamp on over your work like it’s being interrogated. Plus, more sleep. We all like more sleep.
  4. Instead of printing all your notes…keep a digital copy! This saves a lot of paper. Plus, you will look super cool studying at the park with your Kindle, TOMs, and aviators.

 

Got any more tips? Let us know in a comment below!

Spreading the eco-mania on Earth Day

To commemorate Earth Day, my school’s environmental club holds an Earth Week. For the five days leading up to the annual celebration, we hold a plethora of lunchtime and after-school activities to build up the momentum and get fellow students to realize the variety of ways in which they can celebrate and develop green habits.

Image credit: http://bit.ly/13oxH2z

Last year, it seemed like we’d run out of new ideas and we’d have to resort to past activities until our teacher reached out to a high school climate education program called ACE (Action for Climate Education). We were ecstatic to find that they offered local workshops, carbon-cutting presentations, leadership training, and assistance for students to build action teams. By spring, we’d spent most of our funds so we were grateful to find out their help was free.

We met with their local representative Amber, and she helped up brainstorm refreshing and innovative ideas to spread our passion. The best part, though, was that she offered to be a guest speaker at a climate assembly our club could organize. Her presentation was amazing, to say the least. With engaging animations and an impactful message, it got the students so excited that we recruited 26 members for our club and our Do One Thing pledge board was covered with signatures and positive messages.

In this upcoming week, our Earth Week will be anything but boring. We’re having a shooting paper balls and bottles into recycling cans tournament, an organic foods picnic, a DIY Fashion Day where students can bring in old clothes and refashion them, and a movie night where we’ll be showing The Lorax and selling snacks to fundraise for storm water barrels.

No matter how small or even nonexistent the action in your school or community might be, reach out organizations such as The Clean Air Campaign or ACE to find imaginative ideas to get others excited about implementing change. Every day is Earth Day but it’s great to be able to have a time to come together and celebrate the preservation of what surrounds us.

Have a great Earth Day!

 

OnAir says: Earth Day is April 22, and there’s still time to put together something awesome at your school! Planning something special? Tell us about it in the comments!

Today is International Walk to School Day!

Need some inspiration to express your individuality as a walker? Boom:

Walk on friends. Get creative, and share your walking style with us via Facebook or on Twitter: @OnAirGa

New Driver? Interested in Carpooling?

Of course you’re interested! Why wouldn’t you be? After all, carpooling is great for the environment. It means fewer cars out on the road, which means less tailpipes emitting fumes, and cleaner air for us to breathe! Not to mention, it’s nice to have some company while driving, or someone to help kick in gas money! You could even call it a reason to spend a little extra time with that special someone…

Just got your license? You're free at last!

Regardless of your reasons, we’re excited that you’re excited about carpooling! We at On Air love to hear about students who carpool to school. But while you’re still in your teens, there are a few state laws you should know about before parking your friends into the back seat. We know a lot of you are new drivers, so here are a few Georgia laws to keep in mind as you start logging some time behind the wheel.

 

  • During your first 6 months of driving, you are only allowed to drive with ONE immediate family member in your car, and no one else. We know what a bummer it can be not to be able to drive your friends around, but if you’ve only recently gotten your license, someone who’s had their license for over 6 months will have to drive the carpool.

  • After 6 months you can drive as many immediate family members around as you want, however you can only have ONE other non-family member who is under 21.
  • After you have a year’s worth of legal driving under your belt, you are allowed to have as many as three other people who are under 21 in the car! That’s about as many as will fit comfortably in your eco-friendly ride anyway. It’s really not worth cramming in like sardines.

Keep in mind, until you’re 18 you aren’t allowed to be driving between the hours of 12:00am – 6:00am. So if you’re out late (parents permitting), be sure to have someone 18 or older drive!

Don’t have a license? No problem, there are plenty of other eco-friendly ways to commute to school. You can always catch the bus, ride your bike, or catch a ride with someone who can legally drive you.

Remember to always wear a seat belt, and NEVER text and drive.

REPOST: Introducing AirCreds!


We’re pretty fired up over here at OnAir, now that we’ve launched the AirCreds system! We know what you’re thinking: ‘What’s an AirCred?” Don’t worry- we’ll break it down for you, and we know that once you understand how AirCreds works, you’ll be excited too.

Basically, the AirCreds system awards you points when you enter the positive actions you take to contributing to improving our air and our environment in general. For example, if you invite a friend to join OnAir, you earn 5 points. If you take the bus to school, you earn 10 points. You can even rack up points by planting a tree, working in a community garden, or skateboarding to school. The possibilities are endless, and the awesome part is that not only will you help save our air, you’ll have fun in the process.

If you’re already an OnAir member, simply go to the AirCreds tab and start recording your AirCred actions! If you’re not yet member, join here, then sign up for AirCreds and get to crushing the competition!

So- that just leaves one question: are you up for the AirCreds challenge? And how do you think you’ll stack up against your OnAir competitors?

 

How green is your school?

So…sorry to bring this up, guys, but it’s almost back-to-school time. And while the end of vacation might be kind of a bummer, we’ve go a project for you to tackle that might make the school year pass just a little quicker. How about making this the year that you try to green-up your school?

It might seem like a big job. That’s because it is. But just because there’s lots to do doesn’t mean that you can’t make a difference. Here are some tips and tricks you can try this year to make your school a greener place:

Don’t Idle

Idling, or leaving the engine running while the car isn’t moving, emits 20 times more pollution than if you were travelling at 30 miles per hour. And it happens every day at your school, when students get dropped off and picked up. You can help cut down on that pollution by getting people to turn their cars off when sitting for more than 30 seconds.

Cutting back on idling can make a HUGE difference in the air quality at your school. Wanna get the word out? Try Facebook, Twitter, even YouTube to get people talking. You could even create a #noidling hashtag and make the idea go viral!

Walk, Bike, Pool, or Bus to School

Everyone has the option of riding the bus – so, hop on. One full school bus takes approximately 36 cars off the road. That’s 36 fewer cars emitting harmful pollution into the air. Plus, that morning and afternoon ride gives you optimal time to listen to your favorite tunes, look up game cheats, catch up on celebrity gossip …you get the picture.

If you live within walking or pedaling distance of your school, walking or biking can be easier than you think. Just make sure to map a safe route, and don’t be afraid to scout the neighborhood for walking and biking buddies. Try downloading the Map My Ride app to find the best route to your school.

If you’re not close enough to walk or bike, consider carpooling. This is another area where you could utilize Facebook—try creating Facebook groups for people to safely link with others in their area.

Recycle

If your school has recycling bins, use them. And encourage your classmates to use them too – especially for paper. If there’s no recycling service at your school, petition your school principal and superintendent to get one. Remind them that adding a recycling service could save their budget up to $7,000 a year, according to Mass Recycle.

Pack Your Lunch

Eat a waste-free lunch everyday by avoiding packing things like plastic seal bags, plastic forks, paper napkins, etc. Instead, pack your lunch using:

– Reusable lunch containers

– Regular, washable utensils

– Cloth napkins

– Reusable drink containers

– Reusable lunch boxes

Basically, try to stay waste-free when you pack your lunch. Challenge your friends and classmates to pack their lunches too.

Bring in the Green

Plants are natural air purifiers. Their roots and leaves work together to soak up chemical pollutants in the air. Bringing any plants inside will help, but for the best results, have one plant for every 10 square yards of floor space.

So, try to get one plant in every classroom. The best air purifiers are spider plants, English Ivies and Gerbera Daisies. All three are low maintenance and easily found in stores.

How green do you think your school is? Let us know in the comments below. And, don’t forget to log your on-campus green activities in the AirCreds tool for points and prizes.