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Pollution Issues - simple solutions?

  • 1.  Pollution Issues - simple solutions?

    Posted 10-20-2020 10:42
    Edited by Annie Moncure 10-20-2020 12:54
    Hi All,

    I wanted to know from you - how do we tackle multiple problems of pollution with simple acts? There are so many different issues, and I would love to hear from this group what you think we should all be doing to help with the pollution crisis.

    Thanks!

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    Ahmed Osman
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  • 2.  RE: Pollution Issues - simple solutions?

    Posted 10-27-2020 16:22
    Hello Ahmed,
    As you said, there are so many different issues.  The first and what I think is the most important thing to do is VOTE!  Our legislators tackle large scale pollution issues.  On an individual level, there are a few things we can all do.  There are a lot more things that you can do than-- check out more ways in EarthX Simple Truths  
    1. Drive less by combining errands.
    2. If you are driving, maintain your vehicle and tire pressure.
    3. Avoid idling.  Idling for more than 10 seconds uses more fuel and produces more emissions that contribute to smog and climate change than stopping and restarting your engine does.
    4. Reduce your meat consumption.  Avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on the environment.


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    Karen Fleig
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  • 3.  RE: Pollution Issues - simple solutions?

    Posted 10-28-2020 09:12
    Hello!
    I agree with your methods for reducing pollution, but how exactly can we be efficient by combining errands?

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    Ahmed Osman
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  • 4.  RE: Pollution Issues - simple solutions?

    Posted 10-30-2020 08:44
    Hi Ahmed.
    The combining errands recommendation is all about reducing number of miles driven and thus reducing fuel used and emissions generated. For example say on Monday you are driving across town to go to an appointment and on Tuesday you were planning on going to a store along the same route or in the same area, you could combine both the appt and store visit into 1 trip rather than 2 trips across 1 day. Less miles driven to accomplish the same amount of tasks. If you have multiple errands on a day and they are spread around, you can do a quick look on a map or mapping app to see what would be the most efficient way (shortest mileage) to go to all of them without zig zagging around and having to back track (drive back to an area you were previously in).  If you have multiple family cars, taking the one that gets the best MPG could be recommended. If you are in the market for a new/used vehicle you could look at the Green Car guides - https://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles . You can also search for "Green Car Guide" to see other resources. Improving Miles Per Gallon (MPG) is not the only way to reduce vehicle emissions. Different cars have different emission ratings. This EPA site provides some guidance. https://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles/smog-rating#:~:text=This%20rating%20reflects%20vehicle%20tailpipe,California%20%5BCARB%5D%20emission%20requirements I am presuming you are focusing on air pollution rather than water/ground pollution. For emissions there are your direct emissions such as natural gas or propane used, gasoline/diesel used, burning wood or other items, electricity used unless you are solely running on wind/solar/hydro/geothermal only. You could take an inventory of your current use of these and see if there are opportunities to improve. Then there are indirect emissions related to logistics to get you the products you want, the packaging used, etc. For example, shipping via USPS is usually more efficient than other methods because the USPS is already driving pretty much to every house every day already. A big opportunity to reduce carbon footprint/pollution is in how you order from Amazon (if you use) in terms of grouping items to reduce the number of single trips that carriers need to make to you to deliver. If you have 3 deliveries a day, could they have been better grouped or select to hold all of them until every item is available to ship at one time.  I have an excel file where I track my water/electricity/gas and automotive fuel usage and have been tracking for 5 years. I am able to calculate my impact per day, per week, per month. For example I found that The average home in Texas uses 1,176 kWh a month, or 14,112 kWh a year, based on EIA data. This is a starting point only to see if there are opportunities to make some good changes.



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    Mark Hitchcock, ISSP-SA, TRUE Advisor
    North American Materials/Waste Focus Group Chair / Part Supply Chain Compliance & Sustainability
    Toyota Motor North America
    Plano, TX https://www.toyota.com/usa/environment/
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  • 5.  RE: Pollution Issues - simple solutions?

    Posted 10-30-2020 08:44
    Hi Ahmed!

    RE: Combining Errands-I am not sure what Karen is exactly referring to, but my method of combining errands is choosing places I need to go that are close to each other, therefore reducing the distances I am having to drive.  Also, trying to fulfill my shopping list of items by getting as many things from one store as I can as opposed to going to several stores to get several different items.  

    On helping fight pollution, every effort helps.  No effort is too small.  There are many types of pollution (air, water, etc...) and we can all do little things to make our world better.  Simple things like using reusable straws and water bottles, avoiding the use of harsh chemicals and pesticides, and reducing emissions by driving less all make an impact when we combine our efforts.  Items we use every day such as shampoos, deodorants, etc. all contain often toxic chemicals that are not only harmful to us but also to the environment.  For example, chemicals in our shampoos make their way down the drain and into our water systems.  


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    Kelly Davis
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  • 6.  RE: Pollution Issues - simple solutions?

    Posted 11-02-2020 22:10
    Thank you Kelly,
    Yes, that is what I meant by combining errands.  I appreciate your other tips for fighting pollution.  Another thing to keep in mind for gardeners is why it is best to use organic fertilizers and to be careful with timing of fertilization.   Fertilizer can be washed into stormwater systems, and thus affect the water quality of bodies of water in your community. This can have drastic implications long-term, and gardeners need to be mindful of how their actions can influence the environment around them.
    Check out this article on eutrophication.  


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    Karen Fleig
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