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Letter to the Editor: Advocating for Cleaner Air

To the Editor:

What can we do to clean our air? Arlington has unhealthy levels of soot and smog, and we’re already experiencing consequences of climate change. This harms not only our natural environment, but also human health. The good news is, our communities are working for solutions.

I recently attended a forum in Clarendon co-hosted by the American Lung Association in Virginia and Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light. The event let members of the faith and health communities talk about the local ways we can reduce air pollution, from educating our congregations to lobbying our leaders in government.

At my church, Our Lady Queen of Peace in Arlington, we asked Interfaith Power and Light to come and make an assessment of how could we improve our energy efficiency. Several measures were taken following their recommendations, and we are on our way to having a capital campaign to accommodate other changes. We are insisting on recycling and using more “green” and organic products.

We also learned at the forum about new EPA proposals to reduce the impact of global warming by cutting carbon pollution from power plants, and to prevent thousands of asthma attacks and hundreds of premature deaths every year by cleaning up our cars.

After the event, I visited Senator Warner’s Northern Virginia office to talk about why, as a person of faith, I wanted him to support clean air protections. We had a very pleasant visit.

All faiths call on their followers to care for humanity and creation. If you want to help protect our most vulnerable neighbors, visit www.fightingforair.org to advocate for clean air protections, and www.gwipl.org to learn more about Interfaith Power and Light.

Emma Grayeb

Reston