Monday, November 23, 2020

Giving Tuesday: Hurricanes, Climate Change, and Doing Our Part with Your Help

A week from today is Giving Tuesday. An opportunity to give through social media for many non-governmental organizations (or non-profits). The CDCA tries to set a goal for a specific project and though Nicaragua has suffered with two hurricanes in two weeks, the goal chosen before they ever arrived was to raise $5,400, to set in place and support for a year an on-line service to get the clinic files and information away from paper printing, instead stored in the Cloud. 

We are advertising GivingTuesday with daily posts.  In addition, I will write blogs explaining why this project is extremely important and why now we can accomplish it in more detail. Today, I want to start with the two hurricanes that just hit Nicaragua in two weeks…the impact of climate change.

Nicaragua produces less emissions than much of the world (in 2016…0.9 metric tons per capita, to the U.S. of A.’s 15.5 tons per capita). Yet with climate change, Nicaragua is at high risk as one of the areas most effected. As a global response to the ever-increasing temperatures and storms, we – as the CDCA – need to do our part.

Right now, we use up about 50,000 paper copies a year for the clinic: daily sheets on each patient exam; rosters for the patient loads; lab exam tests and results; daily tallying sheets for all the different services; patient history sheets; and then other miscellaneous forms. Putting all of this on tablets and phones and storing it in the Cloud will annually save the paper weight from about eight trees (8 inches in diameter and 45 feet high) a year in the paper alone. 

Eight trees saved will produce 1,300 pounds of oxygen in a year and will absorb 13 tons of carbon per year. That is more than what 14.5 people in Nicaragua create in one year.

When one adds in the process of making paper by using water to make pulp, the energy to create the paper and the energy to wrap and ship the paper…one ream of paper creates 4.59 lbs. carbon dioxide…so with this new system we are saving 459 lbs. of carbon/year going into the atmosphere (that is 0.23 tons/year). Plus one ream of paper uses 15,000 gallons of water so we will be saving 150,000 gallons of water in paper alone!

Every bit helps. Nicaragua is watching closely as another low pressure in the Atlantic is forming…if it does it will be Hurricane Kappa, the 31st hurricane of 2020 (it looks like it will not…thank God!). If it does its path is headed to Nicaragua.

Remember Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the hemisphere and although the government is doing a wonderful job, there is little money and the need is great (300,000 people need food; one-third of the population lives in poverty; and 70% of the population works in agriculture. Bean crops…a substantial food source…have been hit hard as well as other crops.

Doing our part to limit climate change is a must…and with your help we can.

Together problems can be solved.

- Kathleen

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