In our world today, everything is fast-paced and convenient. It’s the NOW generation, everything at our fingertips. But what are the consequences, and what will suffer? The environment. Memories of my childhood growing up in Los Angeles in the ’70s were severe smog problems. I remember how my chest would ache after track practice because of the emissions I was breathing. But today, strict regulations reduced the smog and brought back the clear skies. I had the opportunity to live in China two years ago and experienced first hand the high amounts of pollution in the air and feeling the pain in my chest while trying to breathe. I had to use an air quality index (AQI) to measure the pollution levels before leaving the house. If the levels were high, I wore a face mask to filter my breathing. You can view the AQI chart in this link.
The experience caused me to want to do my part to help the problem and learn better ways to clean the air. The obvious ways are to purchase energy-efficient cars, installing solar panels on your home, choosing a green career, and writing politicians to change legislation regarding emissions polluting our air quality. But I wanted to share some simple steps that everyone could do, including myself, right away. If I practice these steps enough, they will become my habit.
Caring for Nature
I am planting a tree. Trees help remove excessive carbon (the greenhouse gas) from the air. Each avocado that I eat has a seed. I plant the seeds in small pots and grow them to sprout; then I find suitable locations to plant them. I like to think of myself as a modern-day Johnny Appleseed. I know not everyone can plant trees, but you can buy a plant. Many house plants help filter the air in your home. If space is limited, you can have a small herb like basil on your kitchen window sill and add the leaves to your meals. Tend and care for them; in return, you will have living air filters and better quality air.
Caring by Reducing Carbon Footprint-
Finding alternatives for transportation, power sources, and what I eat. Listed below are a few suggestions.
-Use LED (Light-Emitting Diodes) can reduce power consumption by eighty percent or CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lights), which use twenty-five percent less energy but offer the same light. Eco-friendly light bulbs outlast incandescent bulbs by ten times.
–Save energy by adjusting your thermostat on hot days and use fans because they use less power. When it’s cold, use blankets, and wear sweaters to stay warm.
-Unplug any gadgets that are left on, like computers, play stations, small appliances with digital clocks. These all use power even when it is off. The benefits of using a surge protector with an on/off switch to help not to leave them all on.
-Walk or ride a bike for short trips; a two-mile car trip generates two pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere.
-Once COVID-19 is over, avoid fast food drive-up windows and walk inside. Don’t keep the car engine running, polluting the air.
–Grow a garden to help the environment. It helps reduce pollution, noise, erosion, energy cost, and cleans groundwater. If space is limited, a window garden with fresh herbs is a start.
I hope sharing these simple steps encourages you to make some changes to ensure that climate care is all of our responsibility. The goal is to have balance not to change human progress.The steps seem small, but each one of us will create ripples in the pond. Our friends, family members, and colleagues will notice our actions, and soon they and people around the world will be joining us to care for our climate.