Student’s Corner

With environmental issues on the rise, some people and companies have been developing new strategies to reduce human impact on nature. For instance, a few decades ago, our refrigerators were a major contributor of ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons in the atmosphere, but now, cleaner and more efficient refrigeration systems are the norm. While these improvements are commendable, in certain cases, the most eco-friendly solution is already in nature.

Chances are that you’ve seen this video of goats trained to clear Canadian cities of weeds. This unusual mowing strategy looks like a joke at first glance but is actually an effective natural solution. Among others, “the goats can roam across terrain that mere lawnmowers can’t get to” and their manure constitutes a natural fertilizer rather than a pollutant. Many companies including Google are already opting for goats rather than petrol mowers to trim their grass. As long as the chemicals used to grow the lawns don’t represent a threat to the aminals, carbon-free mowing is the way to go!

If you are concerned about the side-effects of your home disinfectants’ chemicals, I’ve got an alternative for you—and it’s free! Sunlight is proven to be a very effective (if not the best) disinfectant. The sun’s ultraviolet radiation has the capability of killing bacteria, including pathogens that cause diarrhea. A study on the advantages of sunlight concludes that building facades with more access to daylight may play “a role in influencing the microbial communities of indoor dust.” Not to downplay the utility of synthetic disinfectants, you can effectively sanitize your living space by just letting sunlight invade it!

Next time, you’re looking for an eco-friendly alternative of an essential product, step outside and look around: the best the solution might already be in nature!


Written by Kelly Jean, Class of 2021

Photo by Patrick Perkins on Unsplash