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April 1 - April 30, 2021

JAC Sustainability Feed

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  • Reflection Question
    Transportation Try Carpooling
    List some of the places you frequent often (work, grocery store, natural areas). Could you choose one or two days a week to schedule driving with a friend, neighbor or co-worker to these places?

    Sabrina Hu's avatar
    Sabrina Hu 4/30/2021 8:59 PM
    with the current situation, it's unsafe to carpool with people that are not in your bubble. but luckily, I get to have a ride from my classmate to go to the hospital for stage (clinical). it was a really fun ride!
  • Reflection Question
    Coastal, Ocean, and Engineered Sinks Advocate for Wetland Protection
    Why is it important to protect wetlands?

    Matthieu De Bellefeuille's avatar
    Matthieu De Bellefeuille 4/30/2021 8:59 PM
    Protecting wetland is critically important for many reasons.
                 Firstly, wetlands are one of the most diverse and rich ecosystem on the planet. Due to their dual terrestrial and aquatic nature, they host and support diverse biological communities. These ecosystems act as hubs of life and species diversity. As a result, wetlands posses the third highest average net primary production of all ecosystems (both terrestrial and aquatic) on the planet. By this, what I mean is that these ecosystem produce the third most primary biomass (organic compounds and living plant material) in grams over a surface of one m2 per year. They are only beaten by coral reefs and tropical rainforests. They are then followed by tropical seasonal rainforests in terms of  primary productivity. Consequently, wetlands are critical for ecosystem health, specie preservation, biodiversity, research and even climate change mitigation.
                Indeed, as wetlands are highly productive, they consequently absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide over time and they can store it for extend periods of time or even indefinitely if the conditions. This happens if peat forms. Peat is a type of soil that is very rich and dense in organic matter as it is primarily made of dead, dying and partially decomposed organic matter than accumulates in layers over time and fails to decay due to the anaerobic and water-logged conditions of wetlands. This accumulation of layer of organic matter that does not decompose and proceeds to accumulate and get buried locks up all the carbon dioxide that was taken up by the organic material forming the peat and keeps in trapped in the soil. Consequently, wetlands both play a major role in ecosystem strength and diversity and in climate change resilience.
                Next, wetlands  have many other functions in terms of environmental resilience. Indeed, due to their high biological activity, wetland also boast a incredibly diverse and rich microbiological community. These microbiological communities enable wetland to act like filters for pollutants. As water form waterways and surrounding watersheds flow into the wetlands, they bring with them all the pollutants that they picked up along the way. Once in the wetlands, these pollutants are absorbed, treated and transformed, purifying the water and protecting the aquatic ecosystem downstream form these pollutants. As such, wetlands are essential to keep our bodies of water clean.
                Furthermore, wetlands plays fey roles in flood prevention. Through the same water holding properties these ecosystem rely upon to filter water, they simultaneously act like giant sponges that can absorb excess water form snowmelt in spring or torrential downpour, preventing both upstream and downstream flooding. They ecosystem also act like buffers that slow down the flow of water in watersheds preventing wide scale erosion of river banks. By absorbing the water and blocking the flow in waterways into large basins of mixed terrestrial and aquatic structure, they act as reservoir that can release water over longer period of time, stabilizing the levels of connected waterways and reducing the extremes. Moreover, coastline wetlands such as mangrove forest and bayou wetlands play key role in shoreline erosion protection.
                In addition, wetlands have immense scientific value. Indeed, wetland boast an impressive diversity of life, they posses many unique biochemical properties and they are truly unique environments. They can also tell us much about the past as the peat layer can be studied in ways that are very similar to the study of ice core, allowing us to look into the past. In addition, wetlands have helped us design better technology and further our knowledge of water management, filtration, pollution treatment, agriculture, biology, microbiology and even infrastructure. These ecosystem can still teach us a lot more.
                Lastly, one must also appreciate the beauty of these environments and ecosystems, which are truly unique and beautiful. We should all thrive as a specie to protect the beauty of our planet.
                Overall, it is important to realise wetlands accomplish all of these functions even though they represent a tiny portion of the surface area of the planet, that being about 0.4%. Yet these ecosystems are the third most productive, they offer some of the environmental benefits in terms of climate change mitigation and environmental health and resilience and they offer great opportunities for scientific knowledge. Consequently, it is essential for us to protect these precious ecosystem as they are few in numbers and surface area and while our countries boasts and impressive amount of them, we must not wait until they are all disappearing to protect them. We need to act both personally and politically to protect these beautiful ecosystem while they are still plentiful and healthy. After all, it is better to prevent than to repair.
  • Reflection Question
    Land Sinks Support a Community Garden
    What are the multiple benefits of community gardens, including carbon sequestration? Why do these benefits matter to you?

    Sabrina Hu's avatar
    Sabrina Hu 4/30/2021 8:57 PM
    it benefits me personally because I love gardening. at the same time, it can reduce my carbon footprint by eating food that I can access without transportation with carbon emissions. in addition, photosynthesis also contributes to the reduction of CO2. 

  • Sabrina Hu's avatar
    Sabrina Hu 4/30/2021 8:52 PM
    more seedlings!
    some are ready to face mother nature!!
    wish us luck
  • Reflection Question
    Industry Recycle Everything I Can
    How could you incorporate other "R's" -- reduce, reuse, refuse, repair, repurpose, etc. -- into your lifestyle? How does considering implementing these "R's" make you feel?

    Sabrina Hu's avatar
    Sabrina Hu 4/30/2021 8:50 PM
    reduce kitchen waste by making more "zero-waste" meals
    reuse water if not dirty 
    refuse to print all of my class notes
    repair my clothes with the sewing machine 
    repurpose by wearing old clothing in the garden instead of throwing away, 
  • Reflection Question
    Food, Agriculture, and Land Use Learn the Truth About Expiration Dates
    How does knowing the difference between use by, sell by, and best by dates empower you to make better decisions?

    Sabrina Hu's avatar
    Sabrina Hu 4/30/2021 8:45 PM
    my family always tell me to check the date before I purchase any food, but I always thought it was unnecessary. however, now I know how to select the food that benefits me personally and satisfies my family at the same time. 
  • Reflection Question
    Food, Agriculture, and Land Use Eat Mindfully
    Mindful eating is healthier for us than eating with distractions. How does your eating experience differ when practicing mindfulness?

    Sabrina Hu's avatar
    Sabrina Hu 4/30/2021 8:41 PM
    every time I eat without distraction, I'm focused on the food itself. the texture, the flavor, and the chemical reactions in my mouth slow down my chewing and swallowing. I feel full without eating a lot and I tend to enjoy the food more. 
  • Reflection Question
    Food, Agriculture, and Land Use Smaller Portions
    While dishing food out, we tend to load our plates with more than we need. Using smaller plates helps to mitigate this. Aside from the environmental benefits, what other benefits might come from eating/serving smaller portions?

    Sabrina Hu's avatar
    Sabrina Hu 4/30/2021 8:38 PM
    my parents always say that I have a bigger eye and a smaller stomach. I find that using smaller plates really fix that problem. I don't have to overstuff myself and not feeling good after the meal. I can protect my GI system by decrease its unnecessary workload. 
  • Reflection Question
    Food, Agriculture, and Land Use Zero-waste Cooking
    In North America, up to 65% of food waste happens at the consumer level. Chef Steven Satterfield advocates for utilizing every part of a vegetable. How can you incorporate using an entire vegetable, including the skins, tops, and stalks during your next meal prep?

    Sabrina Hu's avatar
    Sabrina Hu 4/30/2021 8:34 PM
    what I can do is select food that doesn't need to be skinned.  or the food that doesn't require certain parts to be removed (potato, tomato, apple). in fact, many fruits or veggies' skin contains a lot of nutrition so leaving them on can benefit the person consuming it.  
  • Reflection Question
    Food, Agriculture, and Land Use Mulch the Base of Trees and Plants
    Name some of the human activities impacting the health of water systems, both locally (your watershed) and globally (freshwater and oceans). What can you do to improve the health of water systems?

    Sabrina Hu's avatar
    Sabrina Hu 4/30/2021 8:28 PM
    what I can do is limit my family's waste of water. there are many simple strategies such as wash your veggies in a big bowl instead of rinsing it with water for a long time, and reuse that water if not dirty; use less plates to save water from dishwashing; take the time to close the faucet when applying soap while washing your hands...