Fall 2011 Air Pollution
We understand that we must be stewards of our land and water resources, but we often forget about our air. It's invisible, and out of sight is out of mind. Clean air is essential to the health of plants and animals, including people. If you have students in your class with asthma, it's something you see first-hand. With better understanding of the causes of air pollution, we can take action to improve air quality through simple measures like using less electricity and driving less. Doing so limits our consumption of fossil fuels and reduces the associated emissions of pollutants. Understanding the Air Quality Index (AQI) is helpful, too, especially for individuals who are sensitive to ozone and particulate matter, the key components measured when determining the AQI.
When we're looking at the causes and effects of air pollution, it's helpful to consider some of the successes we've seen in recent years. We need look no further than acid rain for a good news story. While the problem of acid rain has not gone away, the emissions which cause acid rain are much reduced from where they once stood and, as a result, many of the affected natural spaces-lakes and forests-are recovering.
For teachers who have participated in a Project Learning Tree or Project WILD workshop, the activities listed below complement the fall 2011 issue of Conservationist for Kids. Visit DEC's Teacher Workshp page for information about workshops and about how to obtain curriculum and activity guides.
Project Learning Tree: Pollution Search, Waste Watchers, In the Driver's Seat
Project WILD: What Did Your Lunch Cost Wildlife?