Sunday, May 2, 2010

Natural Resources by Leticia Lares

Leticia Lares

Workshop Three: Response Paper II

Warner Pacific Adult Degree Program

Professor: Terrell

April 23, 2010

Our Natural Resources and Environmental Regulations

Society as a whole or at least the majority needs to care about sustaining the environment they live in. We need to get educated about how our ecosystem works and what it does for us. We are very dependent on several of the natural resources around us. Too often it is out of ignorance or selfishness that we do not live a life that could be friendlier to our ecosystem. The author points out that we should study our environment from a systems perspective using the information that scientist have discovered and incorporating the policy process. This method should help us or at least is a step in the right direction to assess our natural resources and to help us establish environmental laws that will help us preserve our natural resources.
Honestly, before taking college courses at Warner, my knowledge of our natural resources was very limited and I was not as curious about how the ecosystem works. What I have learned thus far is that our environment works by itself in a lot of ways by utilizing natural resources like sunlight for example. We utilize this resource in many ways, to grow crops and flowers and for energy to power our electric appliances. The trees conserve the water from the rain. Our ecosystem can outlive us humans.
Sustainability is a key element of the preservation of natural resources. We need to learn to manage our current resources and to be careful of not depleting them. We need to educate ourselves and the rest of the world on how to do more with less. I like to see how the commercials advertise and promote recycling. Other times I have watched commercials on water conservation especially during the summer months. At work we have stickers next to the light switches that read, “Empty rooms like the dark. Please turn off the lights.” I also like to see that there is a tax on certain bottled drinks which makes me want to recycle that bottle to collect my five cents or give it to someone that stops by my house going through the recycling bins.
I am a Family-Community Resource Coordinator at an elementary school in Vancouver, Washington. Our school can best be described as a revolving door. We have a 40% mobility rate, the highest in our district and more than double in comparison to others. Our school is at 50% poverty level and close to 90% of our students qualifies for free or reduced meals. These are hard facts and not the best statistics. In my role I am responsible to budget and manage with very little resources for an area that is of high needs. Several of our students and families have many basic needs. That is were I come in. I help them with things like clothes, shoes, belts, underwear, socks, food, shampoo, and connect them with other local resources for affordable housing or preschool for instance.
After working here I am more appreciative of what I have and how I earn my money. My biggest paycheck is when I see the student’s big smiles or get a hug from them. However, this job has also taught me that we are capable of changing for the better and that we are also capable of caring about our communities. We have several community partners that donate items or money to help our Resource Center. I find that many of them are not aware of all the needs but once they realize what it takes to keep programs running are more than happy to contribute their time or money.
So to answer the question posed for this assignment of “How as a society can we establish environmental regulations that have an impact on our culture and lifestyle”, one person at a time. We can do this by informing our stakeholders and policy makers of the importance of living in ways that conserve our resources. We need to have laws that support our natural resource preservation and sustainability as well. There needs to be more support for our scientific community that spends hours on end researching these things.

Withgott, J., & Bennan, S. (2008). Environment: The Science Behind the Stories (3rd ed.). New York. Pearson Benjamin Cummings.

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