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Question of the Week: What did you do to protect human health and the environment today?

2010 February 22

All of us can take part in protecting human health and caring for our environment. Whether it be doing something big like organizing a community recycling project, or doing something on a smaller scale like picking up a piece of trash someone else may have dropped, our combined efforts really can make a difference.  Tell us about something you did today to help us make a difference.

What did you do to protect human health and the environment today?

Each week we ask a question related to the environment. Please let us know your thoughts as comments. Feel free to respond to earlier comments or post new ideas. Previous questions.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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68 Responses leave one →
  1. Heidi Maschmann permalink
    February 22, 2010

    After shopping for a push reel lawn mower yesterday, I decided to shovel my driveway today instead of using my snow blower. This reduced both carbon emissions and noise pollution in my neighborhood. It’s a small thing to do but every little bit helps.

  2. Davester permalink
    February 22, 2010

    I filled out regulatory paperwork to track cleaned up sites. Yay, government!

  3. bb crouch permalink
    February 22, 2010

    22/Feb/2010;We got 5to6 inches of snow yesterday and used snow shovel instead of snow blower to save our carbon output,even though I think the world has been climatically changing since it was made.

  4. Dr. Spaceman permalink
    February 22, 2010

    After purchasing my brand new Toyota Prius three weeks ago I was able to convince a family member to purchase one as well. When he picks it up today there will be two gas guzzlers taken off the road and replaced with two fuel efficient cars.

    I highly recommend this car considering I’ve driven almost 300 miles so far on only 5 gallons of gas!!! The only thing that shadows the comfort and drive-ability of the car is the $aving$!!!

    I’ve now also inspired a coworker to consider putting himself into a hybrid as well.

    Go out and test drive your new hybrid today!! The environment and your wallet will thank you.

  5. Leo Byford permalink
    February 22, 2010

    I have developed processes for restricting the discharges from hazardous waste sites like most superfund sites discharged in the environment. But when I present these process to EPA, EPA says they do not want permanent solutions for superfund sites, anyone got an answer why EPA does not want permanent solutions for superfund sites?

  6. Cathy Dondanville permalink
    February 22, 2010

    Saturday, Feb. 20 spent the morning with about 20 other citizens, picking up trash along the Mississippi River in the Godfrey, IL area.

    Sunday, Feb. 21, spent about 4 hours meeting with the children’s garden manager for a charity that maintains a garden in a public park about grassroot initiatives regarding healthy food and awareness campaigns.

  7. Susan permalink
    February 22, 2010

    Tonight I’m attending the Glenwood Sunday Market Steering Committee.
    These community volunteers have been working for 2 years to plan the opening of an independent weekly farmers’ market in our community.
    Through the Glenwood Sunday Market, we will provide people with access to fresh, locally and sustainably grown fruits, herbs, and vegetables; quality prepared foods that reflect our community’s cultural and ethnic diversity, as well as meat and dairy products from animals raised humanely, with access to pasture and sunlight. Our market will help the environment by providing income to farmers whose practices protect the public health, the soil’s fertility, and water quality. By raising consumer knowledge about where food comes from and building relationships between producers and consumers, we hope to foster practices that conserve energy, reduce waste, create local jobs that cannot be outsourced, and strengthen our state and local economy.

  8. Lee permalink
    February 22, 2010

    I shoveled the 27″ of snow we got this week, as I always do, instead of using a snow blower. I get a little extra free exercise in the bargain. In the summer, we use a push mower. Even living in a condo, we grow a lot of our own vegetables and rarely eat meat. By biking to work every day instead of driving, I help the lungs of everyone else, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and getting a little of the exercise I need!

  9. Ben T. permalink
    February 22, 2010

    I took the train to work today instead of driving 52 mile round trip.

  10. Nick permalink
    February 22, 2010

    I decided to car pool

  11. joan permalink
    February 22, 2010

    I mowed my lawn yesterday with a “reel” push mower. The new ones are super lightweight and easy to push. Quiet, too; no noise pollution!

  12. Al Bannet permalink
    February 22, 2010

    Although I maintained my vegetarian, zero toxin diet, separated all aliminum products from the regular garbage, and refrained from using throw-away plastic shopping bags, I refused to delude myself that any of this is having any decisive effect of the massive accumulation of waste and garbage produced by this growing buy-and-trash society, especially considering the fact that state bureacracies deliberately hide this dilemma from themselves and the people they are supposed to serve and protect.

  13. Ellen permalink
    February 22, 2010

    I have been using a reel mower for 10+ years. I can hear the birds sing while mowing. Cloth shopping bags for 11+ years.

  14. February 22, 2010

    I started to participate in bi-weekly curbside recycling campaign in Va.

  15. Alexander permalink
    February 22, 2010

    I walked to school today to try and lower pollution

  16. b.l(wilson high) permalink
    February 22, 2010

    I will take the bus to work instead of making my mom pick me up! Two of my friends are taking the bus too and that means there will be three less cars out there polluting the air! :) yey me!!!

  17. k.o.-wilson high school permalink
    February 22, 2010

    Today, i will be taking the bus to go to work along with 2 other friends instead of getting there by 3 different cars. (:

  18. GM(WilsonHighschool) permalink
    February 22, 2010

    I Saw Some Trash On The Floor And I Picked It Up And Put It In The Trash Can. I Also Refrained From Littering And I Told All My Friends To Throw Their Trash Away And Not Just Leave It On The Table.

  19. c.r permalink
    February 22, 2010

    what did i do to help the enviroment was turned off the electricity yesterday night before i went to sleep.

  20. G.M. from whs permalink
    February 22, 2010

    what i did today to help the environment was throw away my trash.

  21. Andres. AkA EArs! [W.H.S] permalink
    February 22, 2010

    Well today I did’nt litter and I walked to school so that my dad would’nt drive so much and release so much toxins into the atmosphere.I also showered in cold water.

  22. D.T WHS permalink
    February 22, 2010

    today i helped the environment by throwing away my tray of trash in the trashcan and i am going to walk home from school

  23. A.J(Wilson High) permalink
    February 22, 2010

    I turned of the water while i was brushing my teeth!!!!!!!

  24. Joshoa Alvarez permalink
    February 22, 2010

    Threw away my trash

  25. W.E.,Los angeles permalink
    February 22, 2010

    I threw away someone’s trash today and tired not to use a lot while washing the dishes.

  26. W.E.,Los angeles permalink
    February 22, 2010

    I threw away someone’s trash today and tried not to use a lot of water while washing the dishes, it’s a little but it’s an improving step.

  27. durgadas datta permalink
    February 22, 2010

    I am using bi-cycle for my transport . I have stopped smoking. I stopped eating meat. I use sunlight for my warm water for bath and solar cooking . I am thinking of using solar energy panels for room lighting.

  28. Michael E. Bailey permalink
    February 22, 2010

    I daily participate in our condo complex’s recycling program. Many of our residents are taking part and it is doing so well that the recycling truck now comes 2 times a week instead of one. Any electronic waste I have, I take to the electronics store and turn in or turn it in at a city sponsored electronic waste roundup. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

  29. bassentfisal permalink
    February 23, 2010

    i used to make my daily activities on my foot, also i used to use public transportation instead of a private car when going to work..i try to reuse papers used as drafts , i try to switch off lights and unplug different appliances when not used , i try to spread big causes i know about , environmental stuff like the earth hour , or just simple films or videos… i’m just trying and i hope i could do more.

  30. Christopher Zurcher permalink
    February 23, 2010

    I posted an average of 20 stories a day for the past two years telling the 600 subscribers to my CT Environmental Headlines e-newsletter and visitors to my website about what’s going on in their environment and how to get more involved.

  31. Al Bannet permalink
    February 23, 2010

    It is obvious from most of these replies that the vast majority of people are so habituated to this buy-and-trash economic system that they simply cannot take seriously any warnings of impending ecicide. So, the mountains of landfill will keep on growing, the oceans will go on filling up with plastic trash, the soil, water and air will become more toxic as the relentlessly growing human population produces ever growing tons of pollution. People instinctively presume the Earth will last for as long as they need it regardless of what they do to it. In fact very few people are capable of thinking about the Earth as a living biosphere, and so they use it as an ever-ready dumpster that never fills up.

  32. Becky permalink
    February 23, 2010

    On the way to work I dropped off paper/cardboard for recycling, dropped off my cans at our local humane society to help fund their animal shelter program, turned off the water while brushing my teeth, left the thermostat turned down while I’m at work. At work I reuse paper by using it as a scratch pad to take notes and phone messages. When I teach my quarterly RCRA class, I end the class by reinterating the facilities recycling program and encouraging everyone’s participation not only at work but also at home. I also strive every day to do more; even though it seems small, if everyone does one small thing – it all adds up!

  33. Chris S permalink
    February 23, 2010

    I work for a state conservation agency and live on a 70 acre parcel that is either in pasture or woodlot. The stream is left alone and home to plenty of critters other than fish.

    I do have to question how anyone can think that vegetarianism is environmentally viable, much less desirable, on a global level. As a trained biologist and ecologist, I can not think of any balanced ecosystem that does not include some form of predation.

    And before you cite India as an example, stop and consider that they rely heavily on cattle for many uses ( including meat & leather), the climate is one of the few in the world that provides a variety of edible vegetation and a vast number of the population are still one crop failure away from famine.

    There is only so much ariable land, and I fully agree that industrialized agriculture is an ecological nightmare; but the same approach is to use herbivores to consume vegetation on land not suitable for intensive cropping ( and not feeding them intensively on grains) and restore some balance to how we use our resources.

    And whatever happened to Zero Population Growth?????? The bottom line is there are way too many people on this planet to keep going the way we are. If we don’t curb our population growth, I guarantee that it is still going to happen…. just not very pleasantly.

  34. Dylan permalink
    February 23, 2010

    Wow you are a liar if I ever saw one. The environment and my wallet will thank me, really? You think that buying a brand new car helped the environment one bit? Wouldn’t keeping your old car or buying a used one helped alot more? Manufacturing a Prius puts more carbon into the air than the entire life of a Hummer. (even though we need carbon to live) And how are them brakes working for you.

  35. Dylan permalink
    February 23, 2010

    I didn’t really help the environment much today but I did help to protect human health by advising some people against using artificial sweeteners that cause cancer. I also educated a group of individuals on some toxic ingredients that are in our drinking water.

  36. Sharon permalink
    February 23, 2010

    On my own, I recycle the office scrap paper and make phone note pads.

  37. Clay Turner permalink
    February 24, 2010

    Made sure all the lights were off in my house when I left for work and recycled bottles

  38. Jeff Rogers permalink
    February 24, 2010

    I first heard this from Dr Noel Woodruff who is the leader of CWBN. I wonder why the total energy incurred in the manufacture of a Prius is not reflected in the cost? My (limited) understanding is that strip mining and refining the metals required for the batteries requires an extremely quantity of energy.

  39. Jeff Rogers permalink
    February 24, 2010

    Carefully evaluate the net energy picture when you consider solar for electricity…It takes a LOT of energy to manufacture photovoltaics!

  40. Jeff Rogers permalink
    February 24, 2010

    2 greatpoints! I suppose cannablism is not a viable solution.;(

  41. Jeff Rogers permalink
    February 24, 2010

    In order for recycling to function we must buy and use recycled products. We must always be certain that our recycling process use less energy and cause less pollution…the only material I feeel cetain about is aluminum.

  42. Linda permalink
    February 24, 2010

    When I made a cup of tea this morning, I used a ceramic mug, sugar from a jar that I fill at home instead of those little paper packets, and stirred it with a stainless steel spoon; the tea bag will eventually go home to my compost bin, too.

    Aside from all that, I’m an environmental regulator for a state agency … my job is all about protecting human health and the environment.

  43. Joan permalink
    February 24, 2010

    Thank you, all of you great kids from Wilson High School!

  44. Brian permalink
    February 25, 2010

    This morning we put out our weekly recycling. For a family of 3 we generate 2 recycling bins a week for recycling and 1-1 1/2 x 30 gallon bags of trash per week. So I think we recycle 50%. We keep our thermostats at 64 degrees. We find it comfortable so don’t need 68 degrees and the extra greenhouse gases generated from the electricity and natural gas burning. Drove to work in a 34 mpg vehicle, but could not carpool today because of work schedule. Recycled my papers at work. Ate lunch on washable china and silverware. Coordinated the recycling today of about 1000 lbs of mixed office paper, 200 lbs cardboard, 500 lbs of aluminum, 500 lbs of steel, 100-200 lbs of abs plastic and shrink wraps. Talked to employees at work to increase environmental awareness. Finally before filling this out, I sent a copy of this webpage to our Corporate EHS people to look at. I think it is a nice way to improve employee awareness and maybe share good ideas if comments are positive. I am going to try to pursue this with our locate IT people to see if we can put it on our plant webpage.

  45. jessica bickford-manson permalink
    February 26, 2010

    I researched mountain top removal mining and decided not to obtain a checking account from J. P. Morgan Chase due to their financing of this destructive coal mining technique.

  46. Jim Mullowney permalink
    February 26, 2010

    I made a product to collect the bodily fluids from patients contaminated with cytotoxic chemotherapy drugs and a way to properly dispose of these DNA altering drugs.

  47. Charles permalink
    February 26, 2010

    I totally agree about population growth. It’s the underlying cause of a great many long-term problems. Of course no government will ever come right out and say that not having a child is the best thing you can do for the environment. But it’s true.

  48. Ralph permalink
    February 26, 2010

    Go Jessica…! This hits ‘em where it really hurts: in the wallet. Now if only MORE people could stop to think about how their money helps or harms those who seek to trash the environment… so much depends on second or third degree connections, it’s not just about direct impacts.

  49. Mary Faulkner permalink
    February 28, 2010

    I wrote a nine inch thick report that I have to submit to EPA. I’m going to make eleven copies next week.

  50. Christina permalink
    February 28, 2010

    Why did you litter in the first place? One of my pet peeves is littering and I’ve never been able to understand why people litter in the first place. Is it laziness? Rebellion? Lack of concern for others? Just wondering…..

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