Archive for Transportation

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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Breathing Dirty In California

Do you live in California? Did you know that residents in California cities breath in the worst air? The Golden State currently has the most cities with the worst air pollution.

According to a report by HealthDay News, CA topped the list of U.S. cities with the worst air pollution. A study on air quality was conducted by American Lung Association.

They also found that 48% of Americans live where smog is too high, 20% live where there are short-term spikes of pollution, and 6% live where there is harmful, year-round soot.

But wait. There’s more. The article reports that about 17 million Americans affected by three types of hazardous pollution. Exposure to pollution can lead to low birth weights, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. (Those were just some on the list).

How do you think Californians can help decrease air pollution?
To learn more, visit the California Environmental Protection Agency website.

Air pollution in Los Angeles. A layer of smog hovers over the city.

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Earth Day 2011

This year, Earth Day landed on April 22nd and provided people opportunities to take action and participate in helping to preserve the planet.

Earth Day Network gave people the opportunity to register and pledge an act of green for their “A Billion Acts of Green” campaign on their website. EDN is trying to prove that real change can occur if millions of people commit to their actions. So far, a little over a million people have made a pledge.

“Our family will use less water, plant a tree and grow a food garden,” “I pledge to use less styrofoam, as well as recycle all paper and plastic products…,” and “I will bring my own reusable shopping bags to the store,” are all examples of pledges people have proposed.

Pledges range by topic from advocacy, energy, transportation, and water. EDN’s reasoning behind this campaign helps raise awareness on the way we treat our planet. It is true, also, that if millions commit to their actions, then maybe a big difference can be made. What do you pledge?

Earth Day photo from space. Photo from National Geographic.

To learn more about Earth Day or how to make a contribution, visit Earth Day Network.

To view more photos of Earth Day, visit National Geographic.

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Food Prices Crisis

 

Food prices around the world reached a record high in January, making food the most expensive it has ever been. The costs of staple foods, like corn and wheat, rose by approximately 50% in 2010. The repercussions on people throughout the world include poverty and hunger in millions. The rise in costs is attributed to issues around the world: the heat wave in Russia and the Midwest, the use of ethanol as fuel, and the demand for meat which requires grain and water for production. The use of biofuels is credited to the crisis and it is argued whether or not they are really helpful to the environment.

Food Prices: Crisis Deepens as Biofuels Consume More Crops by Bryan Walsh Time Magazine

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An active turn out for the first ever CicLAvia in downtown L.A.

By Julio A. Cruz

On Sunday, 10/10/10, Los Angeles finally held the anticipated and demanded CicLAvia that stretched 7.5 miles from East L.A. to East Hollywood.

I did miss the opening but I got a chance to spend a couple of hours in downtown from Macy’s Plaza to city hall.

It was great to see that many people, different types of people, came out with their bicycles, enjoying the free routes. There were some crossing points for cars to pass by which cyclists sometimes had to stop.

Cyclists either went up towards MacArthur Park or down towards city hall, even children.

Some businesses in the downtown area did closed down for the day, especially because the ciclovia was from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It was good to see those restaurants, cafes and bars that open doors for cyclists to take their lunch and water breaks.

There was even a band playing for a while on Spring Street.

By city hall, there was a booth handing out free water and Powerade and other booths giving out more information on what this ciclovia was or is all about.

There was even a free yoga class that took place in the corner of Main Street and First Street, which took place for an hour, starting at 1:30 p.m.

It was a hot day but many people enjoyed the fresh air and breeze from the tall trees around city hall as they laid on the grass, taking a break from that hot sun.

Hopefully there is some type of consistency with this CicLAvia, like in other cities across the world, especially in Latin America, where it is held on every Sunday or every month.

Next time I will check out the dodgeball activity that was going on near MacArthur Park.

Check out full photo slideshow of CicLAvia here.


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Ciclo vía en Los Ángeles por primera vez

Por Julio A. Cruz

El próximo domingo, 10 de octubre, por primera vez la ciudad de Los Ángeles abre las calles para una ciclo vía, que será conocida como CicLAvia en Los Ángeles.

Una ciclo vía es una red de rutas que atraviesan la ciudad y que están reservadas para que los ciclistas puedan viajar a sus destinos y puedan aprovechar las actividades y servicios alrededor del área. Esta práctica es muy común en otras ciudades latinoamericanas como Bogotá, en Colombia, donde hace 30 años los ciudadanos tienen la oportunidad de utilizar sus bicicletas en las calzadas. Otras ciudades que han echo los mismo son: Ciudad de Mexico, Guadalajara, Mexico, Santiago, Chile, Quito, Ecuador y San Francisco.

Kickstarter, Inc.

Esta iniciativa constituye una gran oportunidad para promover un estilo de vida más sano en la ciudad. Su principal objetivo es promover el descenso del uso de carros pero también un estilo de vida más saludable y activo.

Nuestra ciudad no tiene una gran calidad de aire, por lo que iniciativas como éstas podrían ayudarnos a todos. Por otro lado, es una manera de promover el ejercicio, especialmente en zonas como el centro, donde se concentra un alto índice de población obesa o diabética, especialmente niños.

La CicLAvia recorrerá un tramo de siete millas y media en el entorno urbano de Los Angeles, una de las pocas grandes ciudades que no cuenta con muchos parques y áreas de esparcimiento. La posibilidad del transporte en bicicleta permite introducir en las comunidades el desuso de los carros en todo momento, crecer en un ambiente limpio, y  mejorar el estilo de vida.

El uso de bicicletas ha crecido en los últimos años, especialmente desde que el alcalde Antonio Villaraigosa ha aprobado en poner rótulos en las calles y California, que está en el avant-garde en el país, puede promover un ambiente más amigable un clima menos contaminado.

CicLAvia educará a los Angelinos a aplicar un estilo de vida más sano: podremos viajar caminando, utilizando la bicicleta o el transporte público, siempre que las circunstancias nos lo permitan.

La participación en este evento será una gran experiencia. Es una actividad gratuita y pensada para promover un movimiento a favor de un tipo de vida del que debemos ser parte. Será un gran logro convertir a Los Ángeles, una de las ciudades más grandes del país,  en una de las más limpias y más amigables con el medioambiente.

La inauguración de CicLAvia comenzará a las 10 a.m. y está programada hasta las 3 p.m. ¡Los veremos allí!

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Be a Pro-active: Preventing Trash Get to Our Oceans

The Heal the Bay organization has hosted several events in the past weeks to bring awareness to out environment. On September 25th this organization will be hosting a cleanup at the Sepulveda Basin and it’s open to the public. This event is target to remove items such as plastic bags or any kind of trash which could end up in the oceans. Most of the items found in the oceans are grocery plastic bags, plastic snack bags, cigaret butts, plastic bottles, plastic fast food wrappers and many plastic relate items. All of us can be a part of the solution by being proactive toward this ecological problem. Some suggestions to keep our oceans clean can be from buying less products that are made from plastic, keep your home front curve clear of trash, while walking you dog in your neighborhood  keep a trash bag with you in case you see a bottle or plastic bag on the ground. All these little actions can make a big difference in our eco-system.

In an article aired on NPR and published by the Republic on the environment makes a good  debate on which to decide: a  better life for mankind or a better environment. You  be the judge.

I believe that we as human beings have a duty to maintaing and prolong our Mother Nature with our own actions. We need to responsible for what we do in this life.

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