Tag Archives: Go Green

Care for Human Environment Every Day

By Hui Xie-Zukauskas

Green-Earth-eu-1382312-mApril 22 is the Earth Day. However, I want to write this blog in advance, because I encourage everybody to “save our planet” or “go green” now. Don’t put off or celebrate it as a “one-day event”. Every day should be earth day, which should be the way we respect our planet.

Nowadays we often hear the “Green” buzz, but questions are – how much progress have we made and how much does each of us individually contribute to that progress?

We, humans, talk about “environment” and interact with the environment through various ways from protecting and caring to the worst – abusing. In fact, we should think about “environment” as human environment, because human and the “environment” are co-dependent, right?

Yes, a change takes time. I’m not talking about putting on a solar panel on your roof as soon as possible or urging the politicians to make greenhouse gas curbs overnight, my point is that little effort adds up. So, start little by little from changing our habits at our home, at our workplace to finding ways that benefit our communities and society, and finally to make a difference globally.

Let us make Earth Day every day by making GREEN our second nature and our shared value.

 

Image credit: by Ten_a

Take Actions and Steps to Reduce Air Pollution

By Hui Xie-Zukauskas

Air pollution full_1358341713BillBishopjan10-14Beijing1Are you concerned or scared about breathing in smoggy, hazy air in some big cities in China? Do you really consider the air in the United State is dirt-free? This post helps you realize the pressing need to control air pollution.

Air pollution has become the world’s single biggest environmental health risk, linked to around 7 millionor nearly one in eight deaths in 2012” – according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Generally speaking, there are two types of air pollution. Outdoor pollution comes from car exhaust fumes, industrial fumes and coal-burning, while indoor pollution comes from tobacco smoking, wood or coal stoves, and other sources from paint fumes, hair spray, air fresheners, cleaners to mold and dust.

Most people are well aware of lung diseases and lung cancer as major health risks of air pollution. Actually, air pollution has also been associated with deaths due to cardiovascular causes; particularly, a big indoor pollution-related killer is stroke. Moreover, WHO’s cancer agency classified air pollution as a carcinogen last year.

Although the government should invest in research and technology renovation to use renewable and non-polluting energy sources, we all can contribute our own part to promoting clear air and a healthy environment. Here are 12 things you can do:

  1. Plant trees.
  2. Support mass transit system or bike to reduce the use of single-passenger vehicles.
  3. Check and maintain your car to ensure minimal or lower exhaust fumes.
  4. Keep your lawn well-maintained, and try to use non-gasoline-powered landscaping and gardening equipment.
  5. Recycle, recycle and recycle to conserve energy and reduce production emissions.
  6. Do chemical-free house cleaning; avoid using chemical pesticides and fertilizers in your yard or garden.
  7. Reduce paper documents, and avoid junk mail.
  8. Save electricity. Less electricity consumed means less power produced and fewer air pollutants resulting from burning of fossil fuels.
  9. Use energy-saving or energy-efficiency appliances and heating/cooling systems at home.
  10. Reduce landfills by taking care of waste treatment and taking responsibility for a green community.
  11. Change the air filters from time to time as recommended, vacuum often, and get fresh air frequently to minimize certain indoor pollutants.
  12. Go for local produce!

Remember: it’s important to quit tobacco smoking and test radon gas at home. Also, check out EPA site for more guidance.

Collectively, these small daily choices we make often impact our lives and earth in big ways in the long-term. These conscious practices and efforts can keep our air cleaner, our environment greener, and our bodies healthier.

 

Image credit: By http://www.eastasianrc.org/

Breathe Clean

By Hui Xie-Zukauskas

EarthDay_153704793_FlikNowadays, when we take a deep breath, we are likely to be breathing in polluted air. Compared to the air in Beijing, which is typically smoggy, the air in the United States may seem relatively clean. However, there can be many invisible pollutants in our air, including toxic substances, radiation, and infectious agents. Numerous pollutants may also appear in our water and soil.

Today, on Earth Day, let us reflect on how our environment plays a vital role in public health. This includes our risk of contracting cancer, because environmental factors such as exposure to air pollution have been found to be associated with this dread disease. This of course includes smoking, both active and passive, since smoking is one of the most common causes of cancer, accounting for about 30% of cancer deaths in the United States due to exposure to cancer-causing substances in tobacco products.

Other sources of environmental contaminants that you should be aware of include:
-          hazards from the gaseous, vapor, and particulate phases of the atmosphere
-          radiation
-          sun rays (UVA/UVB)
-          bacteria and viruses that are pathogens
-          chemicals, toxins, and carcinogens that may be hidden in your food, your cleaning and other household products, and in the air and water in your home and workplace

Pollutants are all around us, many of them man made. One danger of these pollutants is that they can cause DNA damage, which is known to be a critical initial event in the development of cancer. It is disturbing to learn from Asia studies that children in major cities of developing countries have an increased risk for cancer as a consequence of exposure to genotoxic substances in their environment. Evidently, factors outside the body change the components and systems inside the body over time.

Many of these cancers can be prevented by environmental control and lifestyle choices. Making wise choices for all of our family is crucial because we have a responsibility to safeguard not only our own health, but that of our children.

I hope we all strive to make every day an “Unpolluted Air Day”.  A healthy earth with a healthy environment promotes healthy living for each and every one of us.

Image Credit: By jurvetson