Is it W-“Earth” it?
By Mark Biedlingmaier
This week the Air Quality team will be raising the bar when it comes to environmental advocacy and posing the question, “Is our planet worth fighting for?”. With Earth Week under way, they plan to capitalize on this heightened sense of environmental consciousness in order to prove to students that a healthy planet is essential for creating resilient communities and ecosystems.
To do this, their team hosted an educational booth today at UCLA’s Earth Day Fair on topics related to air quality and the work they do at the John Wooden Center. They engaged their audience through an interactive game where students tossed tennis balls into holes on an atmospheric themed board. After they made the shot, students had the opportunity to win a prize by answering a trivia question. What threw people off the most was the question, “What percent of the time do people spend indoors?”… The answer being 90%! Since people spend so much time inside, it is even more important to maintain healthy indoor air quality.
In addition to their participation at the Earth Day Fair, the air quality team has been busy recruiting for their focus group. Their goal is to recruit regular John Wooden Center fitness buffs and brainstorm ways to make their workout experience healthier for themselves and the planet. There have been some recent concerns on inconsistent circulation within the facility which has led students to feel uncomfortable exercising in those spaces. With inconsistent air flow, air pollutants such as PM2.5can become trapped in one area. This, of course, is detrimental to human health and challenges the Air Quality team to find ways to create cleaner indoor spaces.
Looking forward, the next major goal is to work with their stakeholder, Katie Zeller, and UCLA facilities management to try and lessen the air exchanges occurring during late at night in the John Wooden Center when no ones is around. By reducing air exchanges in the middle of the night, they may be able to drastically cut energy usage without compromising the quality of air. With all these challenges ahead, the Air Quality team is excited to bring its eco-optimism to the table and prove to their community that working hard is worth the extra effort, especially when we are all rewarded with a healthier planet.