Guest Blog: What Can Students do About Air Pollution?

Do you want to help reduce air pollution in Northeast Ohio? Air quality has improved substantially in the last few decades, but there are still improvements that can be made. It is up to every citizen to be informed and aware of air pollution, and for them to be diligent in taking steps to reduce it. As part of the Lexus Eco Challenge, six students at Saint Joseph Academy decided to do something about air pollution. 


No one wants bronchitis or lung irritation that comes with air pollution. Here are a few ways everyone can raise awareness about it and take steps to reduce it:


  • Make reusable lunch bags and boxes, like this one, to reduce air pollution from the manufacturing of single use products.
  • Help young children learn about air pollution by printing and distributing these coloring books.
  • Use recycled paper because paper production creates large amounts of air pollution.


outside_RMD.jpegOne way to reduce air pollution is to carpool and use public transportation whenever you can. If you drive, take care of your car to reduce the amount of gas you use: get a tune up, inflate your tires and replace your air filters. You will help our air quality and save money at the pump!  Also, slow down! If your car gets 22 mpg at 55 mph it will only get 18.3 mpg at 70 mph, so all that time you “save” will just be spent filling up the tank. Click here to calculate your mileage and gas usage. Southwest Airlines saved $42 million this year by decreasing their cruise speed by 10 mph, which only adds two to three minutes for domestic flights.


Another way is to consider what you are eating. Did you know livestock production contributes to air pollution and global warming? Eat less meat by eating smaller portions of meat, or you can eat meatless meals once a week. Organize a Meatless Monday at your school, buy sustainably produced dairy products, or eat more plant-based protein like beans, oats and quinoa. Learn more about meatless benefits here.



Finally, learn from environmental professionals. The Saint Joseph Academy Enerjagers are participating in the national challenge in partnership with the Cleveland Mayor's Office of Sustainability, the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA), the Cuyahoga County Department of Sustainability, Ronald McDonald houses in Cleveland and Columbus and teachers throughout the country.


Do your part and help reduce air pollution! Every little bit helps!




 About the Series

Sustainable Cleveland works together with community leaders, organizations, businesses, and citizens to reshape Cleveland into a vibrant livable city with thriving businesses and a flourishing natural environment. Each month, Sustainable Cleveland features a guest blogger to highlight their efforts and success stories in turning Cleveland into a sustainable city, at home, at work, and in the community. Share your success stories here


Blog written by: Alicia Valladares

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  • Bruce Missig
    Mary I would love to talk to you and your young associates. With Trump being in office and the far right religious groups trying to make policies which are not healthy for the future generations and just about everyone on this planet. The young is the future and they have to start speaking up and saying this is our planet too and what your plans are, are not healthy ideas for the survival of the planet. We are in a symbiotic relationship with this planet and if it goes out of kilter there is serious consequences. A thought for you a dieses is the bodies way of telling you that something is wrong and most likely it is either nutrition or a environmental problem.
    I have a simple plan that if followed in 5 years would make a big difference in our environment and it is almost like your ideas that you have for the future
  • Mary Ellen Scott
    Thanks Bruce! Your comments gave us some ideas that will be the seeds of our next projects. None of knew that dryer sheets were so toxic, but research seems to prove you right. Next we plan to look at changing buying habits, like buying wool dryer balls and thinking about our packaging and the energy it takes to transport things. We plan to take this message schoolwide.
  • Bruce Missig
    Other big pollution problems are dryer sheets and the amount of off gassing they are doing in the dryer, off gassing of bleach, household cleaners, personal care products, laundry products, transportation of products that are almost 90% water. Air pollution from yard care companies putting weed killers and fertilizers down. This is only the tip of the iceberg of things that you do not think about. Its not what you see that is going to harm you it is what you can’t see that is going to do harm to you. Thought most dieses are environmentally they are either what you are breathing, water you are drinking, or chemicals that are touching your skin. Remember the skin is the largest organ and everything that comes in touch with it is absorbed into the body.
  • Mary Ellen Scott