Archive for Green Living

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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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 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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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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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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Pet Owners and their Responsibility to Improve Green Living Conditions

Having a pet means that a lot of reponsibility is required from you, the owner. Dogs and other types of pets like cats, just like humans love to live in clean and green areas not just because it looks beautiful but also because our planet needs to be taken care.

By Luisa Fabiola Gonzalez

If a dog owner, for example, is not responsible to watch after their pets necessities it could really affect the environmental and could cause health issues.

In general, your dogs’ interaction with people, wildlife, and natural areas must be monitored.

The Los Angeles county has provided dog owners with crucial information regarding responsabilities that should be taken into consideration to prevent environmental pollutions.

For more information regarding animal services and guidance, you can visit,

the Department of Public Works (DWP)or Los Angeles Animal Services

 

By Luisa Fabiola Gonzalez

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