Archive for October, 2012

Cruise Control: helpful for the environment and your pocket.

– Cindy Medrano

Did you know by using cruise control while driving you are not only saving gas but the mileage in your car as well? When you use cruise control, you vehicle could get up to 15% better mileage. You are reducing your gasoline intake and maximizing your mileage. Especially when you are driving on a highway, using cruise control helps you maintain a constant speed.

How is this possible you may ask? Cruise control helps adjust the speed of your car by controlling the throttle position. It basically means it provides a constant feed of fuel to your car compared to supplying gas by simply pressing the gas pedal. It is the consistent provision of fuel is what really improves your fuel economy.

However, it is best to use cruise control when driving up hilly areas, whether it is going up or down large hills. If that is the case, cruise control can use more gas.

With high gas prices, using cruise control is not only good for the environment but for your budget as well!

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Why Organic

– Cindy Medrano

Growing up we are always told to eat our fruits and vegetables. However, did you know some fruits and vegetables have high amounts of pesticides? You as a consumer can lower the amount of pesticides you intake by avoiding the twelve most contaminated fruits and vegetables and consuming the least contaminated produce. You will find fruits and vegetables that are least contaminated from those produce that were organically grown. Eating conventially grown (organic) produce is far better than not eating fruits and vegetables at all.

Did you know that apples are the number one fruits with the most pesticides? 98% of conventional apples have pesticides. The second highest contaminated produce is celery, which tested positive for 57 different pesticides followed by bell peppers as the third highest with 15 different pesticides.

The produce with the least amount of pesticides are onions, sweet corn and pineapple. It is encouraged that consumers but produce from the “Clean 15” list. Although, organically grown produce might be a bit more expensive it is worth the extra dollar.

Organic foods do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Organic food are also not processed using industrial solvents, irradiation, and chemical food additives. Organic farms use less energy and produce less water. When you purchase organic food, you are helping the environment! Not only are you eating healthier but giving back to mother nature as well.

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Plastic Beaches

Have you ever wondered where your trash goes after it leaves the dump? How much of it is actually sifted through to be recycled? Some cities spend more money and time into making the most out of our garbage, but the fact is that more of our waste is being treated as such and disposed in our oceans more than is being reused. One the main and most harmful materials that is polluting our oceans, trashing our beaches and killing our sea life is plastic. There are island-sized mounds of plastic all around the world. Some reports as many as 10. It would take an insurmountable amount of labor and equipment to clean up what we have accumulated over decades, but we can prevent making the problem worse and clean up what is within reach. Sea life that we could potentially find on our dinner plates and in our restaurants are  mistaking bits of plastic for food. Some of this plastic has traveled from all around the world for years. A lot of plastic has dissolved into a powder that covers some of our most beautiful beaches for miles.

Click HERE to learn more about the impact plastic is having on our beaches.

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Controllig Water Expenditures

Controllig Water Expenditures

-By Luisa Fabiola Gonzalez

During this tough times of economic crisis everyone wants to save money in any way possible.  In addition, saving water could increase the life of existing septic systems.

According to an article called Protecting Our Waters, conserving water could do the following:

“Conserving water within a municipal water system will reduce household expenses, increase treatment plant efficiency, and reduce the amount of electricity and chemicals needed to treat wastewater”.

This is why the following simple tips should be taken into consideration:

  1. Keep showers to under 5 minutes
  2. Use only a little water in the bathtub
  3. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth
  4. Put water in the sink when washing up
  5. Flush the toilet only when necessary. Don’t use it to flush tissues                            For more information, you can also visit the LADWP offers and programs. Remember, using water wisely can save you money.

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Reduce your dependency on oil today!

In this country, a large part to our environmental damages are due to America’s dependence on oil. Oil is what powers our vehicles, and no matter how much gas prices inflate, we continue to support or oil dependency, pay the high prices and hope the politicians will make them lower. Although we can do less about the price per barrel of oil from overseas, we can make changes that will help America reduce its need for oil, causing the demand to go down, which will have a trickle down effect which will lower gas prices and greatly reduce the need for fossil fuels. Although fossil fuels will probably never be obsolete, the goal is to reduce the need for them, and in turn healing our planet and create a whole new job market beneficial to our country. Here are 10 ways to reduce your dependence on oil:

1. Switch to a push mower to mow your lawn.

2. Plant a garden instead of grass.

3. Walk, bike, or take public transportation whenever possible.

4. Avoid buying plastic toys and goods when an alternative is available.

5. Don’t use plastic bags, reusable bags.

6. Avoid tar roofing  in favor of a tile product (metal or clay).

7. Switch to soy-based printing inks instead of petroleum-based.

8. Avoid products made from nylon, a petroleum-based material. Instead, look for alternatives, such as luggage made from recycled plastic.

9. Ditch nylon and polyester clothes!

10. Wax the floors with beeswax instead of a petroleum-based wax. Click HERE for source article and 10 more tips.

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Reduce Junk Mail

– Cindy Medrano

As Americans, we are all accustomed in receiving junk mail on a daily basis. Every time we check our mail we see junk mail at least once or twice a week. However, did you know that is you saved up all the unwanted junk for one year, it is equivalent to one and a half trees, which adds up to 100 million trees every year in just the United States! Just receiving junk in a single day alone can produce enough energy to heat a quarter of a million homes.

Fact: 44 percent of junk mail is thrown away unopened, but only half that much junk mail (22 percent) is recycled.

If you think receiving junk mail is a nuisance, there are many ways you can limit the amount of junk mail you receive.

One of the many options to reduce junk mail is by writing to different marketing associations, depending on where you reside, to be removed from the lists and stop unwanted mail. By doing so, junk mail intake decreases by 75%. There are various sites in which an individual can “opt-out” of receiving unwanted mail. All they have to do is type up an email s or write a letter stating to be removed from the mailing list. Websites such as:  OptOutPreScreen.com, stopthejunkmail.com or unsubscribe.com , can all be used to reduce unwanted mail and other intrusions, like spam in your email to telemarketing calls.

Most importantly, it is common sense that one should not forget to recycle junk mail! There are about 5.6 million tons of types of catalogs and direct mail advertisements that end up in the U. S landfills, NOT recycled!

It is a matter of everyone doing their part and recycling to reduce the tons of waste the builds up on landfills.

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Feeding the Wildlife

– Cindy Medrano

Have you caught yourself feeding the squirrels on campus? Or ducks by the pond? It doesn’t matter which wild animal you’re feeding, one should not feed the wild animals at all.

When you are out enjoying Mother Nature, it may seem as if you are helping the wild animals by feeding them. However, the truth is that you are only hurting them. When people feed wild animals, the animals become dependent upon humans for food. With that being said, when humans are not around, the animals without a doubt will die because forgot about their natural instincts to find food for themselves. Another crucial reason why humans should not feed animals is because they lose their fear of humans. While an animal is unafraid of humans, they are mistaken for rabid and are killed for their behavior. Humans should already know that feeding the wild is a bad idea.

Not only do we make animals dependent on us but we risk them dealing with health issues because of the food being fed to them. As humans, we should invest time in helping animals in a better way that won’t hurt them.

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