" There is sufficiency in the world for man's NEED, but not for man's GREED.â€? Mohandas K. Gandhi
WORDS THAT WERE SPOKEN AND HEARD...
"Achieving sustainable development is perhaps one of the most difficult and one of the most pressing goals we face. It requires on the part of all of us commitment, action, partnerships and, sometimes, sacrifices of our traditional life patterns and personal interests".
~ Mostafa Tolba, Chairman of the Commission on Sustainable Development
"That's human nature. Nobody does anything until it's too late."
~ Michael Crichton
"There must be a better way to make the things we want, a way that doesn't spoil the sky, or the rain or the land".
~Sir Paul McCartney
For your knowledgeable pleasure...
WATER: a fluid necessary for the life of most animals and plants
-Millions of pounds of toxic chemicals, like lead, mercury and pesticides, pour into our waterways each year, contaminating wildlife, seafood and drinking water.
- Forty-five percent of our nationâ€™s lakes and 39% of our rivers are too polluted to be completely safe for swimming or fishing.
- We are losing once pristine national treasures â€“ the Everglades, Lake Superior, the Columbia River System and others â€“ to toxic pollution, chemical spills, development, and damming or diversion of freshwater flows.
LAND: the territory occupied by a nation
-Livestock grazing has led to soil erosion, watershed destruction and ruin of wildlife habitat on millions of acres of out public lands. Every year taxpayers lose up to $100 million underwriting this harmful activity.
-Mining companies are allowed to buy our public lands for less than five dollars an acre â€“ and they pay no royalties on the gold and other minerals they extract. This taxpayer giveaway, combined with the cost of massive environmental damage and clean-up, amounts to a billion dollars every year.
-Taxpayer subsidies for logging our great Alaskan rainforest have been averaging over $30 million annually in recent years.
ENERGY: the capacity of a physical system to do work
-The United States is responsible for almost 25% of the worldâ€™s total energy consumption. We use nearly one million gallons of oil every two minutes.
-Buildings using state-of-the-art energy efficiency technologies can cut their energy use by 60% or more.
-Increasing fuel economy standards for passenger vehicles over ten years to 45 miles per gallon would conserve 15 times more oil than the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would likely produce. By 2012, weâ€™d be saving nearly 2 million barrels every day â€“ more oil than we imported from Saudi Arabia last year.
AIR: a distinctive but intangible quality surrounding a person or thing
-More than 100 million Americans live in urban areas where the air is officially classified by the EPA as unsafe to breathe.
-In many urban areas, children are exposed to high levels of air pollutants, increasing the risk of chronic lung disease, cell damage, asthma,and bronchitis.
-Dioxin and other persistent pollutants that are released into the air accumulate in waterways and wildlife, as well as in our food supply and our bodies. These poisons are known to cause cancer and reproductive disorders in human beings and other animals.
As you can see, maintaining a sustainable environment is an important issue in our society.
Focusing on understanding the root causes of unsustainable behavior in complex systems will help to restructure systems and shift mindsets that will help move human society toward sustainability.
One of the most difficult aspects of environmentally-responsible design is to find the most suitable materials and available products that help sustain the earth and human health. Until now, it has been difficult to find sources for suitable materials and products from local or regional sources.
Not only is sustainability important in the design aspect, but in all aspects of life. As you can see from my introduction that for every action there is an effect and with the help of new and improved ideas our world can become a better place for ourselves and for our furture.
And here's a little extra something to think about...
10 Simple Sustainable Transportation Tips
1. Trip chain more often. It's easy! Chances are, you're already doing it -- combining your errands into one trip. It helps you get things done and it helps reduce traffic congestion and air pollution. When you first start a car after it's been sitting for more than an hour, it pollutes up to five times more than when the engine's warm.
2. Take mass transit, share a ride, or car pool. Even if you do it just once or twice a week, you'll reduce traffic congestion and pollution, and save money. The average driver spends about 56 cents per mile including ownership and maintenance.
3. Have fun! Ride your bike. It's a great way to travel and it can help you and the air get into condition. Vehicles on the road create more than 25% of all air pollution nationwide.
4. Take things in stride. Walk or in-line skate instead of driving. They're easy ways to get exercise and they're easy on the air.
5. Care for your car. Regular maintenance and tune-ups, changing the oil, and checking tire inflation can improve gas mileage, extend your car's life, and increase its resale value. It can also reduce traffic congestion due to preventable breakdowns and it could reduce your car's emissions by more than half.
6. Get fuel when it's cool. Refueling during cooler periods of the day or in the evening can prevent gas fumes from heating up and creating ozone. And that can help reduce ozone alert days.
7. Don't top off the tank. It releases gas fumes into the air, which cancels the benefits of the pump's anti-pollution devices. So, stopping short of a full tank keeps gas off of you, is safer, and reduces pollution.
8. Telecommute. Work at home sometimes. You'll save time and money, and reduce emissions and traffic congestion.
9. Know before you go. If your area has a travel and transit information network, use it by calling, visiting the web site, or tuning into the cable station. Get travel and transit updates before you leave home and you won't get stuck in a jam.
10. Spread the word. If everyone took just a few of these simple, easy steps, it could make a big difference because it all adds up to clean air.
2/20/08 Volunteering at the School of VOA
Today was my second time volunting at the School of VOA and it was like riding a bike. I actually got to work with my pal Medina and she's showing so much progress. I'm so impressed ! There weren't atually a lot of students that were in class today because most were taking tests. Since that was the case, a lot of students had a lot of one-on-one time with the tutors which is something that i necessary! Hopefully next time we will see a larger turn out :)