Air Quality Awareness Week – 2016 (4): A retrospective, prospective

The focus of this post being air-quality awareness at work on the job, I reflect on my own work history. As a writer, in soliciting comment from those whom I interviewed for purposes of inserting such comment in the body of the written work I would submit to the publishers I was contracted with to do work for, as much as I could, I would forward prepared interview questions via email. When done this way, this eliminated the necessity of having to travel in which to accomplish the same task. That cut down on driving, which saved me time and fuel, and that helped keep emissions that would have been connected with said driving from entering the air.

This method of conducting interviews lends itself to telecommuting or teleworking when possible.

Which reminds me, at one publishing outfit I used to work for, there was so much copier usage that literally reams of copier paper would be gone through in seemingly no time. Fortunately, the company was a strong adherent of wasted paper recycling and this was indeed helpful. But, any opportunity that can be taken to minimize the amount of paper waste should be taken. If this means starting up a recycling program where there was none, by all means this should be considered, in my view.

Another area of consideration could be building efficiency where such is lacking. In the building-efficiency area there is a certification process known as LEED.

In the Air Quality Matters blogpost, “Great Western Cities ‘On-the-Air’ tour: San Luis Obispo, California” I explained: “Desiring to gain a better understanding of just what LEED Certification is about, I contacted U.S. Green Building Council Media Specialist Jacob Kriss who, in an email, wrote: ‘LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the world’s foremost program guiding the design, construction, operations and maintenance of healthy, high-performing green buildings. To date, there are more than 22,000 LEED-certified commercial and institutional projects, and there are nearly 58,000 housing units certified under the LEED for Homes rating system. Every day, 1.7 million square feet of real estate is LEED certified, and there are LEED projects in 153 countries and territories worldwide. LEED buildings provide healthier indoor environments for students, workers, homeowners and community members; save money for building owners through reduced energy and water bills; and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.’”

Could something along these lines be in the futures of more commercial operations? Undoubtedly so.


Force applied at a given distance yields work. That’s the definition of work expressed in mathematical terms. Work slots once the exclusive domain of human beings only to be later filled by electro-mechanical counterparts is a whole other ball of wax. As much as this may sound like the stuff of science fiction rather than science fact, in some situations this has become today’s reality.

As part of that reality, there is a lot that comes with the territory. All well and good I suppose, but, how exactly are robots in the workplace and air quality related, you ask?

The long and short of this story is basically this: Robots as electro-mechanical devices have instructions inputted to them electronically, obviously, and, as such, can perform certain or specialized tasks. A numerically controlled lathe serves as a relevant example.

Depending upon the robot or robotics application, something along these lines could have good or bad implications – it just depends.

For a bit more perspective, in Air Quality Matters blogpost “Electricity use, air pollution and the robotics revolution,” I related: “It is obvious robots utilize electricity to operate, and the more efficient these consumers of electricity are, the less demand on the grid supply they’ll be and therefore the less negative environmental impact they’ll have.”

A company, trying to decide whether or not to employ these workers of the electro-mechanical persuasion, must not only take factors like this into consideration, but others too such as costs as well as the loss of human capital. One weighed against the other each has its own advantages.

Meanwhile, in that same Air Quality Matters blogpost, I had no hesitation in also relaying this: “The presumption, of course, is more and more will come online over time.”

How much more remains to be seen. Time will be the best teller of that.

In concluding this series with this post, an apology is owed. What this has to do with is “Air Quality Awareness Week – 2016 (3): A retrospective, prospective,” in the sense that I deviated somewhat from what was supposed to be a retrospective and prospective look at matters related to sparing the air. Not exactly keeping with the theme, I know. If nothing else, though, one thing is proved – I’m human. Truth be told, I’d like to see a robot, regardless of how life-like, try to make that claim!

So, there you have it.

For more on Air Quality Awareness Week – 2016, look here.


Image above: Bureau of Land Management

– Alan Kandel