Earth Day: More than just a day for planet recognition. It is, as well, a day where active and purposeful participation can make all the difference in the world. Cliché though that may sound, it is so true, nonetheless.
Walking and biking instead of driving is an air-pollution-free way to travel. If one does choose to drive, then selecting an automobility device that puts out lower or no emissions, can do much and go far to protect the air we humans breathe. If none of these suits one’s fancy, by taking public transit – especially, the modes that don’t pollute – in so doing, this will go a long ways toward keeping harmful air-polluting emissions in check.
Secondly, keeping lights off when not needed, can save on electricity by placing less demand on the electric grid and that means lower energy costs. The same is true regarding appliances and electronic devices like computers, for example. By turning these off when not in use, this can do much to reduce energy use. Meanwhile, replacing incandescent with fluorescent lighting or either incandescents or fluorescents with light-emitting-diode lamps, such should prove to be less of a load on the electric grid, and that should translate into energy costs being lower.
Further, home energy upgrades such as with a photovoltaic (PV) array (solar panels) installation could aid in bringing energy-related costs way, way down while at the same time significantly lessening reliance on utility-supplied electricity. Designating time this April 22nd – or even before – for looking into this more could quite possibly pay handsome dividends later on.
How about on the job at work? Perhaps starting a recycling program where there was none could be in the cards? Co-workers or employees or employers (depending on case) encouraging one another to implement a program of this nature, could be just the ticket to stop unnecessary refuse from being forwarded to landfills and that could help in the reduction of methane (a potent greenhouse gas) at such sites, all the while the recycled matter itself could be reused (that is, after reprocessing or reconstituting), thus having the potential to cut down on the amount of material entering the waste stream.
Broadening discussion a bit to include that of the workplace’s built environment, making buildings more energy efficient and environmentally more resilient as the San Luis Obispo (California) Chamber of Commerce has done, what better day could there possibly be to initiate such action than on Earth Day – April 22nd?!
Next, regarding powered lawn, yard and garden appliances and tools used in tidying-up the grounds outside the home, these produce zero emissions so long as said equipment is electric-motor driven. And, while these won’t muck up air, they do however, suck up volts. Meanwhile, using a rake and a dust pan/broom combination for post-yardwork cleanup, well, this should keep both dust and dust levels down and, if so, that, too, is an air positive.
And, finally, and also related to the yard, but in a different way, perhaps on this day of Earth recognition, located could be a spot or a portion of land to plant a vegetable garden or fruit-bearing trees, that is, provided the weather is cooperative. Or perhaps even a community garden can be created in residential areas where open land is in relatively short supply. The intent to maybe start one was always there but the opportunity to get such going just didn’t present itself. Not a problem: Earth Day-2016 might just provide the needed opportunity to get the seeds of that long-wanted vegetable garden planted.
Earth Day: More than just a day to recognize the planet. Sparing the air and helping improve our world – that’s where it’s at for me!
Upper image: NASA
Lower image: Courtesy of Lynne Biddinger, San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce