As I write this with Earth Day just around the corner, I can’t help but think this thought: Without pollution in our air, would there still be air-quality-related matters to report, write about or comment on? Oh, I suppose there still would be but at the same time I suspect that written accounts on the subject would be fewer and farther between. No air pollution at all?! Wouldn’t that be nice! At any rate, there is still a ways to go in getting to that place, though.
On the other side of the coin, I have, over the course of my writing on the Air Quality Matters blog, covered a lot of ground and much has been discussed related to the achievements and positive progress made. That’s the good news – literally and figuratively.
Air pollution exists independent of whether it is written about or not. That’s a given. As of late, considerable attention has been paid the air. Exactly why this has happened is difficult to put a finger on. What helps bring attention are awareness efforts such as Earth Day and Air Quality Awareness Week, the latter of which occurs between Mon., Apr. 27th and Fri., May 1st this year.
This may sound so cliché but our planet is the only one we have and, being this is the case, Earth should be taken care of; not taken for granted. It is with this in mind that one day has been set aside each year to mark this day to recognize and remember the earth. Always on Apr. 22nd, this year, Earth Day 2015 is next Wednesday and will mark the occasion’s 45th anniversary.
As for taking better care of the earth and air, there are a number of ways in which people can make a real Earth Day difference. Here’s but a few.
Reduce idle time: Unnecessary idling, it wastes gas and unnecessarily pollutes the air. If there is no good reason for idling gasoline-powered motor-vehicle engines beyond what is absolutely necessary, then why do it? Weather conditions, though, may dictate the amount of vehicle engine idling done.
Find your routes: Routes taken that present less of an impediment to traffic flow should be considered. Maybe there is a case where a road goes over top or underneath a railroad track or a group of tracks via an over- or under-pass, respectively, and where having to wait for a train to pass would not be a factor. Such alternative routes can be utilized to help keep mobility more fluid.
Walk, don’t drive: Walking, riding a bike or using public transportation in place of using the automobile can help on the air-quality-improvement front.
Lights out: At home, keeping lights off when not needed could aid in keeping energy costs down.
Safety first: Around the house, when time is at hand to replace batteries in smoke- and carbon monoxide-detectors, by replacing such, this can help ensure such detectors work as intended.
In-home air care: Regularly replacing air conditioning and heating and air-cleaner-system and stove and range hood filter elements and screens and keeping exhaust fans clean, can go a long ways toward helping keep such in-home devices in optimum working condition.
Gassing up: In topping off the tank when adding gas or diesel fuel to vehicle fuel tanks, this may cause excess vapors to escape into the air. Tires kept properly inflated can help reduce gasoline consumption. Routine vehicle maintenance involving tune-ups, replacement of oil, transmission fluid, and oil-filter and air-filter changes all can help spare the air.
Cook with gas: When it comes to cooking out of doors, by substituting a gas grill for one where charcoal or wood is typically used, this too could go far to help the air and the earth.
By making a change for the better, done one or more times, whether on the one day to celebrate Earth or on any other day of the year for that matter, just imagine: with myriad people doing likewise, not only would this make for a better world but what a world of difference such action would undoubtedly make!
Earth Day 2015: A case and a cause for Earth and air care if ever there were one.
Top image: NASA