By Jane Zhang, Class of 2023
Recently, people begin to talk and care about the climate changes that occur in the world, so do we. On Saturday, September 8, 2018, Developing Virtue Girls School students participated in a forum held in Ukiah discussing about the actions we can do to save the environment. When we arrived there, we realized that many of the participants were elders. However, age was not an issue as they actively participated in the group discussions. Many climate issues and good ideas were raised as everyone brainstormed together. Besides the elders, many local community members also talked about what we could do for climate change.
Now, let me share a fun fact based on the recent issue of the California Wildfires. The wildfires and climate change form an interesting loop: when there is a wildfire, the carbon dioxide released into the air causes an increase in temperature, therefore global warming. As a result, this increased temperature causes forests and woods to catch fire easily. This forms an endless loop relationship. Another topic that caught my interest was the one on solar energy. Solar panels, a renewable source of energy, replace the usage of fossil fuels, the non-renewable option. However, the electricity that we use nowadays are mostly produced from the burning of fossil fuels, which is not environmentally friendly as the process of burning releases harmful chemicals into the atmosphere. Therefore, it is recommended that we use solar power, instead of the common fuel electricity. This is a simple way for us to do our part in saving the Earth’s resources. Lastly, a project on “water retention basins” was brought up, and this caught our attention. These basins are used to manage storm waters and improve water quality. It is composed of several layers of soil that filter the water and this water flows directly to our local creeks and rivers, which also ensures that our water bodies do not dry out. Therefore, this is a good idea that we should implement in our local community.
After the presentations made by local community members, we engaged in group discussions, based on different topics and issues that people were interested in. We joined a group that discussed on the topic of transportation: vehicle idling. A common issue that we noticed is that many people like to leave their air-conditioning turned on as they sit in their stationery car. This is not only an environmental issue due to the many harmful chemicals released, but also a health issue for both the passengers and pedestrians breathing in the carbon monoxide. During the discussion, many of our students actively joined in, voicing their opinions and ideas, such as bike sharing and signs, etc.
“From this forum, I learned that any of us could play a part in caring for the climate through simple acts, such as reminding others to turn off running taps when not in use and participating in climate projects,” Cindy Han, a senior, commented. “It was a fruitful experience and this talk has encouraged me to do more for the environment,” Emily Du, a junior, remarked. All of us who participated in this forum benefited from it as we learned much from others and we are glad to be able to attend such an event.
Categories: Global Awareness