|Polluted Patterns||Pilsen Now/Pilsen Then||The Ministry of Clean Air||It Could Happen To You|
|Breathing Buddy||Green Filter||Smoke Stacks||La Casita Field House Renovation|
|City Landmarks||Light Touch||Hey Parajito||Simple Air|
|Community Voice Box||Pilsen. Us vs. Them||Time For Change||Passing the Clean Power Ordinance|
|Winning Entries||Pilsen Exhibit 2011||Clean Air Symposium 2011||Neocon Exhibit 2011|
BREATHING BUDDY by Trish Vanderbeke & Pei-San NG
The act of breathing is something we don't typically spend too much time thinking about...until for some reason we can't do it properly. Yet breathing is absolutely essential to maintain life. We can go without eating food for 30 days. We can go without drinking water for 3 days. We can't go for much longer than 3 minutes without breathing air. Although we may not think about is consciously, our awareness of the importance of breathing permeates our language as illustrated by the common expressions: "I need a breath of fresh air", "The view from here is breathtaking", "You are so beautiful you take my breath away" or "Shhhh, don't breathe a word".
Notes: 1. Paraphrased from the website of The Climate Institute <www.climate.org>. 2. Paraphrased from USEPA National Emissions Inventory 3. Quoted from "Emissions of Hazardous Air Pollultants from Coal-fired Power Plants", a 46 page report written by Environmental Health and Engineering, Inc. for the American Lung Association 4. Assumptions gleaned from various sources are as follows. Solartube attic fan: 850 cfm in full sunlight; Chicago average amount of sunlight per day (over one year): 7 hours, school year: Sept. 1 to June 1; average amount of air in liters per minute breathed in (and out) by a man: 6Lm; woman: 4Lm, average: 5Lm. Average lifespan of a person: 72 years.
|Breathing Buddy - Plan for implementation The Breathing Buddy can be fairly easily constructed using commercially available products. The main expense is a SolaTube solar powered attic fan http://www.solatube.com/residential/product-catalog/solar-star-attic-fans/index.php costs approx. $380 Air filter, plexi-glas enclosure, and metal frame of powder coated steel to be fabricated and assembled at a Chicago metal shop taking advantage of Chicago's deep pool of talent and knowledge.
Competitive bids would be taken and recycled materials used where possible. Estimated cost under $1000 per buddy. Increased volume would likely decrease costs. The Breathing Buddy can be strapped to an existing light pole or fastened to an existing exterior or interior wall using lag bolts through the back plate. Upon notification that the Breathing Buddy has been selected, the team would immediately begin contacting the Chicago Public Schools, the Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization, the American Lung Association, the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago, and other concerned groups looking for sponsorship and input in refining the design and choosing the location(s) for installation.
Installation would take place at the start of the school year and a study guide would be prepared for the participating schools so that monitoring the Breathing Buddy becomes part of the curriculum engaging students on a variety of levels. Possilble programs include interviewing family members to chart respiratory illness, making a list of everyday phrases that use terms breathe and breath, or simply putting white paper on flat surfaces and observing how long it takes for them to accumulate particles. Awareness is the primary goal but a Breathing Buddy or two in the gynmasium would improve air quality with the possible result that some children who previously found it difficult to exercise due to respiratory issues might find their symptoms eased. Everyone needs a buddy. People who live near Fisk need Breathing Buddies. To monitor the air, clean a little bit of it, and tell their story to those who use the power generated by burning coal but don't directly live with the consequences.