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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Lakewood, Ohio, USA

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Lakewood, Ohio, USA
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Grace2005



Registered: December 2020
City/Town/Province: Lakewood
Posts: 1
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Contribution to the Environment
The wonderful planet we call home has blessed us with many gifts that guarantee our survival, including a place to live, water, food, and natural resources. Despite all its done for us, many abuse their human status to destroy and take advantage of the earth, using its gifts for their own greedy wants. Major corporations need land to build their factories on and they're tearing down forests minute by minute, adding to the major devastation of deforestation. Fossil fuels like coal are burned consistently, contributing to the rapid destruction of the ozone layer. I saw this scholarship opportunity as a way to share my knowledge and spread awareness through the use of social media, a resource that attracts many people of my generation. I created an Instagram account called mother_natures_messenger to spread awareness about common environmental problems with possible solutions. I will include information I learned during my research including topics I posted, facts, and solutions.
On my instagram account I addressed several topics including single-use products, greenhouse gases, renewable energy, and battery disposal. Starting with the first topic, single-use products are more harmful than it may seem. Everytime a single-use product is discarded, it produces more trash in landfills that contribute to global warming and pollution if not properly disposed of. Plastic water bottles, straws, baggies, silverware, and grocery bags are some of the leading single-use items. Plastic doesn't decompose and litters the earth for hundreds of years before it's gone, ending up in waterways and on the side of highways. Animals die from consuming microplastics, which are very small bits of plastic that have broken off from larger pieces. These microplastics end up in natural habitats due to improper waste disposal. Single-use products can be avoided by switching to sustainable alternatives such as metal water bottles, silicone baggies, reusable grocery bags, and metal straws. These alternatives can be washed and reused, avoiding the landfill after being used only once.
Greenhouse gases are important to learn about because they're one of the leading causes of global warming. Many people need to be more educated on the topic and provided factual information to gain knowledge. Greenhouse gases are gases that trap heat in the earth's atmosphere, causing environmental problems to occur. Carbon dioxide, Methane, Nitrous Oxide and Fluorinated gases are the leading composers of greenhouse gases. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "Each of these gases can remain in the atmosphere for different amounts of time, ranging from a few years to thousands of years" ("Overview of Greenhouse Gases"). The reason they're so problematic is due to how long they stay in the atmosphere and therefore deteriorate the ozone layer. Greenhouse gases can be lowered by individuals if they choose to bike or walk instead of producing carbon emissions from their car. Carpooling, which is ditching your car and driving with someone instead, can also prevent excess emissions.
Renewable energy is eco-friendly energy that doesn't require unsustainable energy sources like fossil fuels. Solar power, wind energy, and water energy are three examples. These resources are renewable and, unlike their alternatives, don't take away from the finite amount of what's on Earth. Solar power uses the sun's solar energy to electrically power machines, cars, appliances, and anything else that needs electricity. Wind energy uses massive wind turbines to harvest wind energy to be used for electricity. "Wind turbines do not emit any pollutants during operation" ("Wind Turbine Facts" TurbineGenerator). This makes them eco-friendly and sustainable for the planet. Lastly, according to fire2fusion.com, "Water has potential energy on its own so for converting this into kinetic energy the water has to be in motion. Moving water carries kinetic energy and when this water flows through the blades of the turbine, it changes the kinetic energy into mechanical energy. This is further converted into electrical energy when the turbine rotates the generator rotor. From there electricity gets distributed" ("How Water Energy Works"). These renewable sources of energy are putting a turn on global warming and provide great hope for the future of our planet and overall health.
Batteries are used in nearly every household, powering electronics such as remote controllers, toys, and electronics. When they die, most people just throw them away with their regular trash; this can be problematic. According to Home Depot, "Laptops, tablets, digital cameras, cell phones and cordless power tools all use rechargeable batteries. These batteries are usually lithium-ion, nickel-cadmium, nickel-metal hydride, nickel-zinc or small sealed lead batteries. Rechargeable batteries should be recycled. Look for the battery recycling seals on rechargeable batteries" ("How to Dispose of Batteries"). Batteries can be recycled at hardware stores like Home Depot or at other stores. Alkaline batteries, which are the most common type, can be thrown away as regular trash, but caution should be considered since fires are rare but possible. No battery is really one hundred percent dead and there will always be a little bit of power inside it. To help prevent battery acid leaks in landfills or pollution if the battery ends up somewhere else, recycle your batteries properly, researching where the nearest place to do so is near you.
The creative, unique approach I took to spreading awareness is beneficial because it not only speaks to those my age since it's on social media, but spreads awareness effectively. It's very easy to scroll through social media and see informational posts, educating people without them having to do research and take time to do so. I took time out of my own days to make sure my information was backed up so others don't have to, but can still learn from a valid source. My main hope from this project is that others see my account and become enlightened on various problems regarding the environment, and make changes, no matter how small, in their lifestyles to help combat climate change and pollution.


Bibliography
"How to Dispose of Batteries." The Home Depot, www.homedepot.com/c/ab/how-to-dispose-of-batteries/9ba683603be9fa5395fab90124a115f1.
"Overview of Greenhouse Gases." EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, 8 Sept. 2020, www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/overview-greenhouse-gases.
"Wind Turbine Facts - Wind Energy Information." TurbineGenerator, 3 Feb. 2016, www.turbinegenerator.org/wind/wind-turbine-facts/.
How Water Energy Works, www.fire2fusion.com/water-energy/how-water-energy-works.html.
Date: December 25, 2020 Views: 830 File size: 16.5kb, 221.4kb : 750 x 1301
Hours Volunteered: 15
Volunteers: 1
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 15
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