Nov 20, 2023
Stewards of a Better Environment
BY Sandy Lender
I remember the clickety clickety clickety phooooosh of Aqua Net on weekday mornings as I prepared my hair to survive a full day of 1980’s high school. I also remember the guilt trip leveled at me for the increasing hole in the ozone layer, to which my hair style choices contributed.
Fast forward to my adult years and I found myself listing the composition of Earth’s atmosphere for an appendix in my Dragons in Space YA sci-fi series and, lo and behold, there’s more than Nitrogen, Oxygen and Argon in the air we breathe. While Ozone and Nitrogen Dioxide make up an incredibly small percentage of what we’re taking in, they join Methane, Carbon Dioxide and a few others that might surprise the kids being taught to fear anything not being filtered through an N95 mask.
This month’s editor’s column follows the science to mention the various elements and compounds necessary for Earth’s atmosphere for a simple reason. We should acknowledge the small stuff.
Talk to most therapists these days and they’ll remind you to be thankful for the small stuff. Look for and give thanks for the little things in life. Show gratitude for each of the tiny rewards, no matter how insignificant they may feel at first, and don’t be surprised when they snowball into mountains of blessings.
In the asphalt industry, we often need to remind the communities in which we live and work that we contribute positively to the environment, economy, infrastructure and so on. It’s not commonplace for a zoning board to proactively brag about the remediation efforts of the quarry down the road or of the local plant donating RAP to an animal rescue to re-pave its driveways, which we all know leads to more ecologically friendly fuel use.
We must ring those bells ourselves.
The examples of our industry performing in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner border on endless at this point in history. We are good stewards of the environment at large and have the opportunity to be positive forces when sharing that news.
This month, as hearts and minds turn toward charitable giving and communing with faithful friends who are dear to us, gather near to us positive and hope-filled messaging. On my grown-up Christmas list, I’ve added a desire that we all set aside the uglier language of social media platforms and mainstream news channels and focus instead on sharing our good events in the best way(s) we can. I want to encourage you to share your positive, environmentally friendly stories with us at AsphaltPro so we can work alongside you to broadcast your message across a wider platform. Let us help you share that we are stewards of a better environment.
In the meantime, I wish everyone a safe and beautiful holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the team at AsphaltPro.
Elements and Compounds in Air
This is the composition of air, in percent by volume, at sea level, at 59°F and 101325 Pa.
- Nitrogen = 78.084%
- Oxygen = 20.9476%
- Argon = 0.934%
- Carbon Dioxide = 0.04%
- Neon = 0.001818%
- Methane = 0.0002%
- Helium = 0.000524%
- Krypton = 0.000114%
- Hydrogen = 0.00005%
- Xenon = 0.0000087%
- Ozone = 0.000007%
- Nitrogen Dioxide = 0.000002%
- Iodine = 0.000001%
- Carbon Monoxide = trace
- Ammonia = trace