Author Archive

Reduce Food Waste

– Cindy Medrano

Many of us unconsciously throw away food we do not finish. Whether we served too much food on our plates from a home cooked meal or the food from a restaurant, we simply don’t pay attention to the amount we throw away. Regardless of the situation, food is going to waste.

People are unaware that it takes so much to produce the food we buy from supermarkets or local farmer markets. Food is being shipped half way around the world; land is cleared to grow crops and various fertilizers are used to produce those crops.

When food is thrown away, it rots which produces chemicals such as methane. Methane is a fuel gas. It is a colorless, odorless flammable gas that is the main contributor of natural gases. Methane is a green house gas that remains on earth for approximately 9-15 years!

The 7 most practical ways to help reduce food waste are as follows:

  1. Cook from first principles
  2. Avoid “Ready” foods whenever possible.
  3. Learn to preserve food
  4. Grow your own food
  5. Pay attention to “best before” dates on labels
  6. Build a compost heap
  7. Get involved in a local food sharing initiative

By reducing the amount of food we waste, we are not only helping the environment but our personal pocket as well.

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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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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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Energy Conserving Search Engines

Many of us are used to typing google or yahoo into our search bar when we are in need of looking something up. However, we never realize how much energy we are wasting by clicking those search engines.

Did you know that there are a handful of sites out in the internet that perform the same task as Google or Yahoo while conserving energy?

More examples of green search engines:

Darkoogle
Jabago
ecosearch.org

Each site resembles google, with a few tweaks added to each individual site to differentiate them.
Instead of having white backgrounds sites such as Blackle.com or Earthle.com have a black background with white text. Computer screens do not use as much energy to display color when using the black background.

It is a combination of the small amount of energy used by the computer and the search engine servers. By having a black background on a search engine site you can save the amount of watts used per hour which adds up every year. Each search uses a small amount, but when you have millions of user usage, it’s substantial. Not to mention the how it creates larger amounts of CO2 being produced with the consumption of energy.

So try something new! Use one of the eco-friendly search engine and make a small difference a day.

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