Archive for Environmental Movement

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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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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How can you help climate control?

As a society, we have a moral obligation to protect our planet. We only have one earth to live on, and unless the government plans on letting us in on how to survive on Mars, we better start making some serious changes. There are some basic changes that we can make as individuals that can help stop climate change. If we all made these simple changes, we could get off to a great start to healing our planet. Here are 10 easy changes we can all get accustomed to,

1. Change your light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs.

2. Don’t drive when it isn’t necessary.

3.Recycle your own waste, and buy recycled items when possible.

4. Check the air pressure in your tires regularly.

5. Use less hot water.

6. Avoid buying products with excess packaging.

7. Keep your thermostat at 68 degrees in the winter and 78 in the summer.

8. Plant a tree. Add more oxygen and absorb more carbon dioxide.

9.Turn off electric devices when not in use.

10.STAY INFORMED!

These changes will not change our everyday lives, they are simple and if practiced and normalized, can be easily internalized by our society.

Learn what these changes actually do for the environment HERE

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Trader Joe’s New Bag Fee in September

The traditional paper bag and the reusable vinyl bag/Photo/C. Giraud

Your friendly neighborhood Trader Joe’s locations in the city of Los Angeles has jumped on the ‘charge for paper bags’ bandwagon in an effort to encourage shoppers to bring their own reusable shopping bags.

Beginning September 2012, Trader Joe’s will charge 10 cents for each paper shopping bag.

In an effort to regulate bag use and minimize enviornmental waste, this move follows in the footsteps of the city of Santa Monica’s 2011 ordinance where retail customers are now charged 10 cents for each single-use paper shopping bag, which is part of the citywide ban on plastic shopping bags.

However, the Santa Monica Trader Joe’s has been charging for the bags since the ordinance went into effect in September 2011.

On the state level, www.Plasticbaglaws.org says that San Francisco was the first city in California, and the nation to implement the ban on single-use plastic shopping bags, instead of charging a fee.

The ordinance, Californians Against Waste, is part of California AB 1998 that eliminates the distribution of an estimated 19 billion single-use plastic shopping bags a year in California, reducing plastic litter pollution.

Enviornmental groups argue the errant plastic bags are often not recycled, at only 5%, and end up floating in the ocean or littering the streets.

Currently, the Los Angeles City Council is considering an ordinance banning the use of both paper and plastic shopping bags at 7,500 stores, switching to reusable bags only.

According to the website, ‘Broken Secrets,’ Trader Joe’s was the first store to market reusable canvas shopping bags in their 1977 campaign, “Save a Tree.”

Do you think this will encourage people to buy reusable shopping bags or pay the 10 cents for each paper bag when shopping at Trader Joe’s?

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