Posts tagged with environment
The Clean Air Campaign’s Executive Director Tedra Cheatham spent some time in Cobb County with Kemp Elementary students on April 18th, discussing eco-literacy and the link between humans and the environment.
The Kemp class, taught by Mary Jo Groeneveld, was part of the TAG (Talented and Gifted) program and comprised 4th and 5th graders. The class sought out Cheatham in preparation for their upcoming “Eco-literacy Day,” in which the students will give presentations on all angles of environmental consciousness, from water conservation to bird watching to, yes, air quality.
Top Row, from left to right: Ellie Brady, Joey Giunta, Tedra Cheatham, Hayden Soley / Bottom Row, from left to right: Emma Latham, Olivia Devore, Natalie Clark, Angela Henderson, David Kinsbrunner
Cheatham offered up expertise on leadership, reaching out to community, how best to communicate messages about the environment, and how The Clean Air Campaign tackles the challenge of asking people to change their behavior.
While environmentalism may seem like an unusual area of interest for elementary school-age kids, Cheatham was pleasantly surprised by the level of focus and interest the kids brought to the table.
“The thing that surprised me most about the kids was their thoughtfulness on how everything is connected,” says Cheatham. “They understood inherently how, for instance, herbicides sprayed here in our community can affect the air quality and plant and animal life in other areas. That comprehension of the interconnectivity between humans and the environment was really unexpected.”
Since The Clean Air Campaign’s Clean Air Schools programs focus so heavily on student leadership, it was encouraging to see a group of young people so invested in understanding their environmental impact. That’s an important first step toward effecting real change in their communities.
“What I would most like for them to take away is that every little thing we do adds up and contributes to making a difference,” said Cheatham.
Schools all over Georgia are educating kids about air quality and the environment! Do you have a similar story to tell? We want to hear it. Write us at Schools@cleanaircampaign.org.
Lesley Carter is the School Communications Program Manager for The Clean Air Campaign. She coordinates the Clean Air Schools team communications and oversees The Clean Air Campaign’s OnAir social media initiative, which invites Georgia teens to join the growing conversation about air quality and the environment.
This is your chance to cash it in and get a new, more fuel efficient car. You can get that hybrid you’ve been eyeing but didn’t have enough money to buy before. The Clean Air Campaign hopes that more Georgia commuters who take advantage of this program will go a step beyond just driving a cleaner car ... and actually fill it with carpool partners headed in the same direction. In the metro Atlanta area, just 6% of all commute trips in an average week are carpools. Plenty of room to grow that number, and there are resources galore to help you find others to share the ride. Think about it: you and your carpool partner could pay less for gas and your commute wouldn’t make as much of an impact on the environment.
But if you’re going to ditch the clunker, you need to act fast! The Cash for Clunkers program that is currently giving car buyers rebates of up to $4,500 for trading in their old gas guzzlers will end Monday at 8pm.
People throughout the country have been jumping at the opportunity to take part in the Cash for Clunkers program. It instantly became popular, with people burning through the initial $1 billion of funding within the first week. As of Thursday, auto dealers had recorded more than 457,000 dealer transactions, which put $1.9 billion in the pockets of car buyers across the country.
If you don’t have a clunker but still could use a more fuel efficient car, register for The Clean Air Campaign, Q100, and Rock 100.5s Green Machine Giveaway contest. All you have to do is pledge to make your commute cleaner by carpooling at least once a week, and you have a chance of winning a 2010 Honda Insight Hybrid. I bet driving alone doesn’t offer you rewards like this.
Living an eco-friendly lifestyle has always been an important priority in my life. At the earliest age I was taught the values of respecting our resources, taking care of our environment, and giving back whenever possible. These lessons formed the foundation to the environmentally responsible life I choose to lead, which today is fueled by the undeniable connection between the health of our planet and our own welfare.
For each of us our motivations for going green differ. For some of us we are motivated to live an eco-friendly lifestyle to improve our health and the health of our loved ones and for others it might be the financial savings that makes going green a wise business decision. But no matter if you're going green to protect an imperiled species, to preserve your favorite wilderness spot you loved as a child, or to secure a healthy future for your children, I believe first actions are inspired by acquired knowledge. In my experience learning about environmental issues based on fact can open hearts and minds and can lead to a greater understanding of the natural world we live in and depend upon. By understanding the connection between the intricate, fragile, interdependent web of life comes a sense of responsibility to make things better.
Through education we learn that our planet is in peril and in desperate need of our help. It is more important than ever that we do everything in our power to help restore, preserve, and protect our life support systems and fight for clean air, clean water, and healthy biological systems on land and in our oceans. No matter what our faiths we are called to action be mindful of the less fortunate, future generations, and all of God's creation. I believe many hands make light work, so if we all work together we can minimize our impact on the Earth and make a difference!
Laura Turner Seydel chairs the Captain Planet Foundation, a partner program to the environmentally focused Saturday morning cartoon, Captain Planet and the Planeteers. The Captain Planet Foundation acts as a national educational conduit to provide funds for environmental projects that have impacted over 625,000 youth around the world.
We all have our workday morning rituals: rise and shine, get cleaned up and dressed, fire up the coffee maker, etc. But there’s a habit many of us get into in the colder months that is completely unnecessary. Idling your vehicle’s engine to “warm it up” for several minutes before you drive can actually diminish the engine’s performance, release pollution into the air and waste fuel.
Most of us grew up believing that idling a vehicle in cold conditions is good for the engine, but the truth is that it can wear down engine components, which are built to work more efficiently and produce fewer emissions in today’s cars than in the cars manufactured decades ago. The best way to warm up an engine today is to put it in drive and go.
Unnecessarily engine idling hurts air quality. The US Environmental Protection Agency advises that each minute of unnecessary vehicle engine idling can emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and other pollutants into the air, to the tune of nearly 10 grams a minute in typical personal vehicles during cold weather.
In various consumer publications, the EPA has also advised that you’ll save fuel by turning the engine off and restarting it again if you expect to idle for more than 30 seconds. Something to think about next time you’re sitting at a red light or waiting in line at the drive-thru.
The Clean Air Campaign is enjoying success in getting carpool parents to shut off their engines while waiting for children at a Clean Air School. In almost every case, the decision to not idle becomes a reflex reaction when drivers learn that exhaust emissions can harm children (who breathe, on average, 50 percent more air per pound of body weight than adults).
Even employers with diesel engine fleet vehicles are getting in on the act, encouraging drivers to shut off their engines while waiting at the loading dock. For businesses, it’s the transportation equivalent of turning off the lights when the building is empty.
Reducing unnecessary vehicle engine idling can truly be no-brainer … when commuters have the presence of mind to remember to do it.
After having been spellbound during China's blockbuster Olympic presentation in August, most of us have moved on. However, I can't help but notice the unmistakable similarity between Atlanta and Beijing in each host city's post-Olympic experience.
In 1996 (The Clean Air Campaign's first year in existence) as in 2008, both cities wrestled with air quality and traffic challenges. Measures implemented to reduce traffic congestion and alleviate air pollution reached employers, commuters and industry. And guess what? They worked.
When the Olympics were in town, Atlanta roads were surprisingly navigable. Many employers allowed members of their workforces to telecommute – it sounded so futuristic then – in order to ease anticipated gridlock. The number of ozone days dipped dramatically in what is considered the peak of smog season. One study even found the number of asthma-related ER visits declined. These findings were a glimpse into what was possible as The Clean Air Campaign began its mission to improve quality of life in the region.
A similar phenomenon is taking root half a world away. With the conclusion of the Paralympic Games in Beijing this week, residents are actually clamoring for a continuation of the stringent policies that city enacted. The measure that got the most attention was a mandate banning cars from driving on odd- or even-numbered days based on license plate numbers.
What would that be like if we chose to do that here?
One recent news story quotes a 48-year-old Beijing resident who declares, "The air hasn't been this clean since I was a child. The government needs to keep it this way."
Great quote. But does the responsibility fall squarely on policymakers to create change like this, or should we all be working toward it? Post a reply and let readers know your stance.