Sharon Koehler

Stone Industry Consultant

Over the last few years, we have all seen the devastating affects our climate has had on all of us. Hurricane Harvey in 2017 destroyed over 200,000 businesses and homes, over 100 people died and 30,000 were displaced. The total damage cost was over $133 billion dollars.

In 2020, record heat and drought plagued the central and western states. Over 40 people died, crops withered in the fields and livestock perished, causing inflation and aggravating supply chain issues during the early stages of the pandemic. The United States Drought Monitor says 60 percent of western states are currently in severe, extreme, or exceptional drought. Cost of the 2020 drought: $4.5 billion dollars.

In 2020 California had its worst fire season in history and had the biggest fire in California history. The August Complex fire was started by lightning and burned for 4 months. It destroyed over 900 buildings and it burned over 1 million acres. (1 percent of California land). The total cost of the California wildfire season in 2020 was over $12 billion dollars, with over 10,000 buildings destroyed and an estimated 33 human lives lost. 

If that’s not enough of a wake-up call, March 2022 was a record month for tornadoes in the United States. The average number of tornadoes usually recorded in March, across the nation, is 95. This past March there were 233…

Curbing pollution is not the only answer to our climate woes, but it is a step in the right direction.

Curbing pollution is not the only answer to our climate woes, but it is a step in the right direction. 

So, what is one of the big reasons we are having issues with our climate? You guessed it…HUMANS! This is not about climate change or global warming. This is about how we as humans affect our climate by our actions. 

So, what can businesses do to help possibly keep our climate a bit quieter? (You may be surprised because you have seen these suggestions before).

  • Purchase recycled/eco conscious products. This keeps waste out of landfills. (Land pollution)
  • Purchase green chemicals for pest control and cleaning. This keeps harmful chemicals out of our water. (Water and land pollution)
  • Purchase hybrid or electric vehicles and equipment as needed. This reduces or eliminates gas and oil emissions.  (Air pollution)
  • Develop a proper leak and spill cleanup plan. This reduces hazardous chemical runoff. (Water pollution)
  • hink about renewable energy like solar panels. Renewable energy emits the lowest amount of carbon compared to other non-renewable energy sources. (Air pollution)

You may think that you are just one person and there is nothing you can do to help with this problem. You would be wrong. There are lots of things individuals can do to help. (Again, you may be surprised. You have seen these before).

  • Don’t litter. This keeps trash out of our water and chemicals out of our land. (Land and water pollution)
  • Keep your car properly maintained. A mechanical issue can increase the gas and oil emissions your car leaks or puts in the air. (Air and land pollution)
  • Use organic weed and pest control. This prevents harmful chemicals from seeping into the soil. (Land pollution)
  • Dispose of your trash properly with a reputable waste company or municipal dump site. Trash that ends up in sewers washes into public water like lakes and oceans. (Water pollution) 

You may be wondering why you are getting pollution suggestions for helping the climate. As it turns out, pollution (land, water, and air) all contribute to climate issues. Everything is connected. 

Here’s a perfect example: Fertilizer chemicals leach into the soil. The soil runs off into a lake. The fertilizer causes algae blooms (high growth of algae). As the algae dies it releases harmful chemicals into the water killing fish and plant life creating “dead zones.” The decaying plants and animals release harmful gas into the air. The gas gets trapped under wildfire smoke or smog and warms the earth, creating the opportunity for more storms. Because the air is polluted, the chance for acid rain increases, further harming our soil and water. Which, in turn, decreases our plant life, which in turn affects our animal life…You get the idea.

Climate is a natural event. We can’t stop it or control it, nor should we. Our normally moderate climate has become a real pain in the a** sometimes, and incredibly difficult to deal with on occasion. It costs us billions of dollars every year to deal with the effects of our climate. We really don’t need to aggravate it. It can be harmful enough on its own. Why would we want to “poke the bear?” That never ends well for anybody except maybe “the bear.”

Curbing pollution is not the only answer to our climate woes, but it is a step in the right direction. Fixing our pollution issues is good for the only earth we have, the only air we have, the only water we have and the climate we are stuck with. And, taking care of these things helps us to live longer, healthier lives as well. Think about it. 

Please send your thoughts on this article to Sharon Koehler at