How are you celebrating Earth Day?

Did you know that the first Earth Day celebration led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency? Environmental Awareness is a growing global movement encompassing clean air, clean water and endangered species protection. Around the world environmental groups are fighting against wildlife extinction, unlawful toxic waste disposal, oil spills, litter, raw sewage, contamination leaking from landfills, global warming, and the loss of our wilderness and forests. In recent years, more emphasis has been placed on finding environmental solutions in the field of clean air technology. Here are a few historical facts that raise our environmental consciousness:

  • After witnessing the devastation of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California former Wisconsin U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” campaign. He persuaded Congressman Pete McCloskey to serve as his co-chair and recruited Denis Hayes to fill the role as national coordinator to promote events across the land.
  • Chief Iron Eyes Cody, a Cree-Cherokee Indian and activist starred in a “Keep America Beautiful” PSA commercial during the 1970’s, which was supported by a coalition of companies involved in plastic, paper, tobacco, glass, aluminum and solid-waste. “The Crying Indian” spot that first aired on Earth Day in March 1971 won two Clio Awards and was named one of the top 100 advertising campaigns of the 20th Century by Ad Age Magazine.
  • The Earth Day Network reestablished Earth Day during their 40th anniversary celebration as a powerful focal point where people could demonstrate their commitment to the environment. The importance of bringing environmental concerns to the masses continue to face many challenges from those who deny climate change, uncommunicative politicians, a disinterested public, a divided environmental community and well-funded oil lobbyists. Instead of allowing these challenges to overshadow and hinder the mission of raising environmental consciousness across this country, The Earth Day Network organized the following initiatives: Brought 225,000 people to the National Mall for a Climate Rally, amassed 40 million environmental service actions toward its 2012 goal of A Billion Acts of Green, launched an international 1-million tree planting initiative with Avatar director James Cameron and tripled its online base to over 900,000 community members.

As you travel to work or school, do you ever notice trash, cigarette butts, plastic and glass bottles scattered along the roadways? When you walk along a creek, beach or lake, have you noticed empty cups, beer or soda cans, Styrofoam containers or even those six-pack plastic rings that holds beverage cans and bottles together, lying along the shoreline? Scenes like this invoke us to think about what we are doing to the environment and to change the habits that will prove to be more destructive than we can imagine down the road.

There is an increased sense of urgency regarding our caretaking responsibilities for this planet. We must continue building a clean, healthy environment for generations to come. What environmental events are you organizing or involved in that brings environmental improvements to your local, national or global community? Tell us what you are doing at work, in your schools or individually to make an ecological difference. Are you recycling? Are you reducing your use of electricity? Are you planting more trees? Are you participating in or developing community gardens? Are you using more environmentally sustainable water bottles or reusable shopping bags at the grocery store? Weigh in on the discussion and make every day Earth Day!

Charity of the Week: 2011 Fight for Air Climb

American Lung Association Fight for Air Climb 2011This #charitytuesday, we are taking a break from Water Charities to pay tribute to our first ever featured “air charity.” The American Lung Association held their first Fight for Air Climb in Cleveland, this past Saturday, March 5, 2011. Climbers, walkers, runners, firefighters and supporters of the ALA challenged themselves by climbing the 42 flights of stairs in Terminal Tower (804 steps total), in an effort to raise money to support the fight against lung disease. The goal was to raise $80,000 to support lung health, research and advocacy in Northern Ohio. Together they raised over $40,000, and the option to donate is still available on the Cleveland Fight for Air Climb event website.

Fight for Air Climbs are unique events for the ALA, taking place in large towers in cities across the US. Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in America, and the ALA is dedicated to helping people know what is needed to manage and take control of asthma and other chronic respiratory ailments. We at Filters Fast are dedicated to this cause as well, and know that indoor air quality can be a key factor in the development of chronic lung illness. Take care of yourself by making sure your environment is free from harmful air pollutants. Clean regularly and change your air filters on a consistent basis. You and your family may also want to consider investing in one or several room air purifiers for your home, especially if you suffer from allergies or asthma.

Show your support publicly, by signing up for a Fight for Air Climb in a city near you.

Celebrate Indoor Air Quality Month with Filters Fast

Halloween isn’t the only thing to celebrate this month. October is National Indoor Air Quality Month, and several states, including North Dakota, Michigan and Montana are celebrating by spreading the word about the dangers of harmful indoor (and outdoor) air contaminants.

Seasonal changes often result in higher incidences of allergy problems and illnesses. Pollen is prevalent in the spring and fall opens the door to ragweed. Asthma, often caused by air pollution, is a growing epidemic among children and adults, resulting in missed school and work days, along with emergency room visits, and in extreme cases, even death. Indoor air pollution deserves way more attention than it currently receives. Though many people are aware of air contaminants such as mold, tobacco smoke and carbon monoxide, they may not be fully aware of just how dangerous these allergens can be. It is important to raise awareness and educate others on how they can avoid the problems caused by air pollution.

Here are some tips to help you improve the indoor air quality in your home:

1. Take our Indoor Air Quality Quiz to find out how dangerous your home environment is.

2. Quit smoking and avoid secondhand tobacco smoke.

3. Regularly change the A/C filters and microwave and hood range filters in your home.  Air filters with a higher MERV rating are more efficient at removing microscopic particles. You may also want to purchase an air purifier.

4. Use a HEPA vacuum cleaner and change the HEPA filter regularly.

5. Clean furniture regularly (more if you have pets in your home). Use non-toxic household cleaning products. Use hypoallergenic bedding.

Like any other national holiday, the  month of October is a time for recognition and remembrance – specifically the recognition of the importance of clean air. Join the observance and celebrate by spreading the word and sharing this post.