I am not usually looking forward to a math class because math is really not something I’m good at. But this course is different. I learnt quite a lot from it. I thought I would be doing a lot of calculus and equation solving. But I actually learnt something that’s practical in real life.
I really like the project that we did about a month ago. We learnt about a variety of different energy saving methods. The topic I picked was about how much energy we can save by using stairs instead of elevators, and how much calories we can burn in the process. I also learnt about how regular stair climbing can help prevent all kinds of diseases like heart problems, joint pain and high blood pressure. And by reading other people’s blog posts, I learnt a lot outside of my own project. For example, unplugging your microwave and toaster can save enormous amount of energy. Line drying your clothes can save about 1/3 of your monthly electricity bill. Using LED bulb instead of a high-efficient incandescent bulb can also save a lot of energy. These are all something we can do on a daily basis. They don’t bring us any inconvenience at all. I used to think it wouldn’t make much of a difference through these small actions. But math proves that we can make a huge impact on our environment. I always know that climate change is a serious issue. We all know that through frequent droughts, hail, floods, etc. But I never had the discipline to actually do anything about it. It’s a good time for me to start caring and do something about it.
Sometimes what I learnt from this class challenges my beliefs. I remember the reading assignment about how recycling is completely useless and costs too much money. The best way to deal with our garbage is to bury them. I still don’t know how I feel about that. Land fills pollute groundwater and harm wildlife. Most importantly, majority of our garbage is being dumped to third world countries. We are not burying our garbage right under our feet. I don’t think that’s a responsible move, though I admit I’m not an expert in environmental science to decide what’s right or wrong. I still believe recycling is the way to go. Maybe the process is still quite expensive right now, that doesn’t mean we should just give it up as a whole. I remember I saw a youtube video last year about how we can turn plastic into oil. It was done by a group of Japanese scientists in their garage. If more companies adapt this method, we can make recycling more affordable. I believe there are more efficient and cheaper recycling methods out there. It’s just some companies refuse to adapt them because of switching cost.
I have to say I am more confident now about my ability to measure how human behavior affects global warming. I can now better track my daily routine and understand how my actions will result in a positive or negative impact on our environment.