Our Action Plan
To help our environment and to lower the amount of acid precipitation that occurs in our area, we have come up with an action plan. The main thing to do is to educate people. Everyone always says one person can make a difference, and in this case, literally, not so much. We need everyone’s effort to reduce acid rain. However, one person can indirectly make a difference, which is the first part of many steps.
1) Educate yourself. Even if no one else ever made a difference, you can. Please, check out our "What you can do at home" section, for little tips on reducing your SO2 and NO emissions. It is all these little efforts, that is key however to changing your lifestyle. From here, you can move on to step two.
2) Educate Peers. Once you have educated yourself about the dangers of acid rain, how it is created, and what you can do at home, spread the wealth and share this information with everyone! This is where you indirectly as one person make a large difference by getting other people involved. Of course, there are numerous ways to do this, and below are a few tips:
- Talk. Talk about problems, your car, or the big tree in your backyard. Whatever you can do, inform people about the seriousness of the issues, as this is one of the most effective ways of doing something. If they hear about these environmental issues from a peer, they may be that much more motivated to listen to it.
- Raise awareness. Print off some posters with information, hand out brochures, or even have a "Fresh Rain" day to encourage people to lower their emissions. Basically, put up reminders that are creative and fun, and that will teach people at the same time. We are two grade ten students ourselves, and we have simply made a website, and put up posters, and already we have stats suggesting over 80 people have read our message just in a four day period since we’ve started this. To us this is enough, and it should be encouragement for you to do the same.
- Lead by example. Refer to step 1 of this, and follow it. If you are educated people are more likely to follow. Share with them this website too, so they can start leading. Eventually we hope to start a chain of people sharing and talking and overall making a difference.
- Start a group at your school. If you have an environment club, join it, or at least get a group of friends who are willing to put this action plan into action. Try having little information pieces on daily announcements, or making signs to refer to.
3) Speak to your community. We live in a mining community, so one thing that would be good for us to do would be to talk to people from the company about reducing emissions, such as by using filters in our smoke stacks. There are also many other options for reducing SO2 emissions which include using coal which contains less sulfur and to use scrubbers in smoke stacks. These scrubbers force sulfur smoke over suspended alkali particles such as lime. The sulfur oxide reacts with these particles to form an ash which can be removed as a slurry or powder. These scrubbers can remove up to 95% of sulfur oxides from smoke before it reaches the air. Also, instead of burning coal, power plants can burn natural gas, which creates less SO2. If there is anything you can do like this, or any people/groups who are SO2 or NO emitters, try arranging a meeting with them so you can talk about alternatives they can use.