Posts tagged Los Angeles

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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eWaste Recycling

by Karoline Steavenson

eWaste is comprised of old, unwanted, non-functioning televisions, radios, CD players, amplifiers, computers, game consoles, car rechargers, cellphones, cellphone rechargers, USB cables, floppy disc readers, cameras, and many other electronics that are a part of nearly every life now.

Old electronics can be recycled easily.(Photo from http://commons.wikimedia.org)

Often these old TVs, cables and other eWaste items wind up in the dumpster.  That’s not where they belong. The batteries and other electronics in these items harm the environment even if they don’t work.

Broken or unwanted electronics can be dropped off at an eWaste collection center or picked up by a private eWaste business.

The City of Los Angeles has several permanent collection centers.

EWC Recyclers and All Green Electronics Recycling are two local businesses that pick up some large items from residential clients for no charge, or consumers can drop off their eWaste at one of their local offices. They also pick up larger loads from businesses for a fee.

Consumers can also give their broken electronics to Goodwill Industries Thrift Stores. They have an eWaste recycling program too.

The components and metals in electronics can be harvested and reused. (Photo from http://www.ocgoodwill-ewaste.org/ )

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Gadgets to Save Electricity

by Karoline Steavenson

Our electricity in Los Angeles comes from a variety of sources. According to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power 50 percent comes from  burning coal, 25 percent from natural gas, 11 percent from hydro-power, 12 percent from nuclear power and the rest comes from renewable sources like wind and solar.

One way to help clean up the environment and save  natural resources is to reduce our use of electricity. This has the wonderful side benefit of lowering our power bills too.

Most of us don’t know this, but when we turn off our TVs, cable boxes, DVRs, Tivos, printers and other electronics, they are still pulling in electricity. Many electronics go into stand-by mode when they are turned off and continue to use one percent to 15 percent of their power. Consumer Reports magazine estimates the average household wastes about $110 a year on stand-by power.

That means all night long while we’re sleeping and all day long while we’re out at school or work, our electronics are still somewhat on.

It would be very inconvenient to run around unplugging all our stuff every time we don’t need to use it. These gadgets do that for us.

 

Conserve Energy Surge Strip - It's like a regular surge strip except it comes with a remote control. When you leave the room turn off everything plugged into it with the remote.

 

 

The TV Trickle Switch - Plug one end into the wall. Plug the other two sockets into your TV and cable box, DVR, Tivo or DVD player. When you turn off the TV the device cuts off all stand-by power to both plugs.

 

 

 

Bye Bye Stand By - Plug these gadgets into the wall then plug your power sucking electronics into them. A press of the remote buttons operates the power kill feature.

 

Battery power is another source of electricity.  Although batteries may not seem like a big deal, isn’t it a hassle to have to remember to buy them for simple things like flashlights?  When batteries are not disposed of properly they leak acid and heavy metals into the soil of landfills or worse, lakes and rivers. No one wants that.

The LED flashlight is one handy way to reduce our use of batteries. They are just as bright or brighter than incandescent flashlights and since they use far less power, the batteries do not need to be replaced as often.

 

An LED flashlight.

 

 

An LED super bright flashlight.

 

 

 

Many of these products can be found at local home improvement stores or at online shopping websites.

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