One Small Change Can Make a Difference

  • Published
  • By Kristi Draney
  • 22nd Civil Engineering Squadron
We have learned that to be healthy we need to exercise and eat a balanced diet. That's how we keep our bodies operating at peak performance and we're able to do the things we want and need to do.

The Earth has similar needs. To be healthy, plants and animals that live on the planet need to fulfill their roles and live optimally. When one plant or animal takes over an area, others die off or have to move. There is only so much room and there are only so many resources on our planet. Some resources can grow back and some just get used up.

To commemorate Earth Day, take the week of April 21-25 and do something different. If we each do something a little differently, we can reduce the impact we have on the resources in our area. Some of the changes will just make us feel good; others will help us save money. Money saved on one bill can be spent on things we want or need, whether at home or work. At home, saving money on utilities could mean a bigger fund for the holidays or special occasions. At work, it could mean contracts don't need reduced to find money to keep the lights on and missions can be expanded.

Here are some ideas and impacts people can take into consideration to save energy and resources:
· Walk to your next meeting and conserve biodiversity. It is good exercise for you, saves fuel and wear on the roads and reduces air pollution.
· Turn off the lights and equipment when you leave a room. This reduces the energy demand and the utility bill.
· Plant a tree, or two. If you plant the right kind of tree in the right place, it may shade buildings. Shade also reduces the amount of energy required to keep a building cool in the summer.
· Landscape with rocks and plant bushes. Bushes need much less water than grass. And less mowing. This saves on your water bill as well as the fuel and time you put into mowing. There are many local nurseries with knowledgeable staff to help you figure out what plants best works in Kansas.
· Buy products in small packages. This is a case of less being better. Excess packaging means more trash and more waste. Many companies have already reduced their packaging because it is a waste of their money and resources.
· Go to the park. Skip the amusement park and take the kids for a picnic. It's fun, interactive, and inexpensive entertainment that teaches them to appreciate the space and freedom of the great outdoors.
· Read a book. Read a book on your porch for a couple of nights instead of watching TV. You can stretch your imagination and relax from a long day while saving money and electricity.

These are just a few ideas and you may think of others as you go through your day. Maybe you'll find a habit you'd like to continue. Being good stewards of our planet doesn't have to hurt. A lot of things that make healthy sense for us also make healthy sense for Earth.