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This issue of Air Aware includes stories on an environmental play and more.
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‘Donna Bump’ teaches local students how to save the planet


By Katherine Madsen

Yolo-Solano students learned how they can reduce their carbon footprint this fall thanks to Davis-based theater group Nature’s Theater. 
 
Nature’s Theater received grant funding through Yolo-Solano AQMD’s Clean Air Funds program to develop and produce “Donna Bump: It’s Bumpin’ Time,” a play about sustainability.
 
Lyndsay Dawkins and Jeff Falyn run Nature’s Theater and are the creative minds behind “Donna Bump.” The play is a fun, interactive, and educational production that teaches students how they can reduce emissions and why taking care of the environment is important. 
 
Dawkins and Falyn create and produce shows and stories on environmental topics and gets local students involved by presenting the shows around Yolo and Solano counties. “Donna Bump” focuses on how pollution is bad for the environment and how kids can have a voice in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and saving the planet. 
 
“Creating experiences for youth that inspires or empowers them to care for the planet and for each other is what drives me to continue doing this. That’s what Nature’s Theater is all about,” Dawkins says. “For us, if we can create future stewards of the air, water, and health of the planet than we have planted some important seeds and that’s what we live for.”
 
The young actors involved in “Donna Bump” are also driven to help reduce air pollution.  When asked what motivates them to reduce air quality they focused on the need to take care of the environment because our future depends on it.  They explained how their roles in “Donna Bump” allow their voices to be heard on the importance of pollution and how children really can make a difference.
 
The Clean Air Funds program provides upwards of $300,000 each year for projects designed to reduce emissions from motor vehicles. 
 
The application period for the 2017 Clean Air Funds program cycle has now opened. The deadline to apply is March 24. The application packet is available at www.ysaqmd.org/incentives/clean-air-funds.
 
You can find out more about Nature’s Theater and “Donna Bump” at www.donnabump.com.
 

Learn how to ‘Burn Wise’


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed Health and Safety Awareness Kits to help decrease wood smoke pollution.
 
The EPA started the Burn Wise Program to reduce wood smoke in various areas. They developed a Wood Smoke Awareness Kit that includes burning tips, fast facts about wood burning, health and safety tips, and social media messages. 
 
As the temperature keeps getting colder, many residents are starting to burn fires in their home.  The EPA has established this Burn Wise Campaign to help reduce wood smoke pollution by encouraging homeowners to protect their homes, health and air.  Fine particle pollution from burning wood is responsible for poor air quality in several regions, including at times Northern California.  Particle pollution affects everyone but is especially harmful to children, teenagers, older adults, and people with lung and heart diseases. 
 
Exposure to particle pollution can lead to a variety of health problems including asthma, bronchitis, breathing problems, lung disease, and even early deaths.  The EPA estimates that if all the old wood stoves in the United States were replaced with cleaner burning appliances, an estimated $56-$126 billion in health care costs would be saved. 
 
To help burn cleanly and safely, one thing residents can do is install fire alarms in their home and develop fire escape plans in case of a fire in their home.  People at greater risk from wood smoke should refrain from burning wood in their homes altogether.  Residents are also encouraged to clean their chimneys to reduce the chance of pollution and fires.  All wood-burning appliances should also be installed by a professional.  Another crucial thing to reduce air pollution is to burn the right wood.  Residents should be burning dry, seasoned wood to reduce particle pollution. 
 
To find out more about the EPA’s health and safety awareness kit and how to burn safely, you can go to their website at www.epa.gov/burnwise/burn-wise-awareness-kit.

Woodland’s climate action plan seeks to reduce emissions


Woodland has adopted a climate action plan to put policies in place that will enhance energy conservation and control carbon pollution in the city.
 
The document is part of the city’s General Plan Update 2035 project. The city added the Climate Action Plan to help ensure they would meet the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.  The policies are centered on energy, transportation and land use, urban forest and open space, water and solid waste, public involvement and municipal operations.
 
The plan aims to encourage the use of renewable energy systems such as solar power as well as calling for better energy efficiency in the building of new homes and businesses.  Changes also include requirements to provide for electric vehicle recharging systems within garages of new private homes and that when building new structures, requirements that 50 percent or more of any waste to be recycled to defer it from Yolo County landfill. 
 
Learn more about Woodland’s Climate Action Plan at http://cityofwoodland.org/gov/depts/cd/divisions/planning/generalplan/2035/outreach.asp.
Copyright © 2017 Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District, All rights reserved.


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