With a dire need to constantly create efficient green energy alternatives to sustain the world’s population and ecosystems, hybrid cars and solar panels only comprise of the surface of the colossal green iceberg our society tends to focus on.
The self-perpetual green metamorphosis our society has embarked on is slowly affecting industries most people would neglect to consider. Mijanou Pham, owner and founder of Celebrity Green Cleaners, is no novice or band-wagon follower at running a green business in Orange County. In 2003, before green was officially in, General Electric approached Mijanou and her business to embrace GE’s environmentally safe and revolutionary “GreenEarth” cleaning system.
Where most other dry cleaners use the chemical perchloroethylene (perc) to clean delegate clothing, GreenEarth is a biodegradable substance which is comprised of pure liquid silicon. Since GreenEarth is essentially liquefied sand, when the substance finds itself in the environment it simply decomposes into its three natural elements: sand, water, and CO2. On the other hand, perc is highly composed of petroleum, a substance that is not biodegradable, nor is safe to use or be overly exposed to. According to the EPA, overexposure of perc has been linked to headaches, dizziness, loss of balance and coordination, allergies, as well as a variety of other health issues which include cancer. Currently, the State of California is in the process of eradicating the use of perc to improve health and environmental concerns for current residents.
By using a green dry cleaner such as Celebrity GreenCleaners, consumers of green cleaning services benefit in a variety of ways. Using the GreenEarth cleaning system assists in promoting environmental responsibility, while endorsing improved personal health with the lack of exposure to perc. Consumers of GreenEarth cleaners may also benefit their wallets indirectly as well. With the GreenEarth cleaning system naturally increasing the lifespan of clothing, inevitably, consumers will save vast amounts of money by not having to frequently purchase new clothes. Finally, you are probably wondering how much more it cost to use a GreenEarth dry cleaner. To my surprise, the cost of using a GreenEarth dry cleaner is practically same as using a standard dry cleaner, leaving you with no valid excuse to not go green for you dry cleaning purposes.
With the motto “It’s ready, it’s right, or it’s free!”, Celebrity Green Cleaners has been serving citizens of Southern Orange County for over 20 years, and continues to promote green dry cleaning services throughout the community. Celebrity Green Cleaners has over five locations and was Orange County’s first GreenEarth cleaner, making them the experts of green dry cleaning. If your current dry cleaner advertises “organic” or “green washing”, be aware because this means the cleaner uses hydrocarbon to clean your clothing, which is a petroleum based product. Only certified GreenEarth cleaners are 100 percent green and safe for the environment. For more information on Celebrity Green Cleaners you can visit www.celebritycleaners.com.
Despite increasing awareness efforts on the need to recycle plastic bags, it is estimated the U.S. uses over 89 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps each year with a dismal 12 percent recycle rate. Hilex Poly is one of the leading plastic bag manufacturers in North America, collecting more than 100 million pounds of plastic for recycling purposes each year. The company is now attempting to execute their eco-objective of transforming traditional cultural norms by educating retailers of the detrimental impact using white plastic bags entail.
The underlying problem with using white plastic bags is the simple fact white bags can only contain and utilize 10 percent of recycled content. Using a blue plastic bag may contain as much as 35 percent of recycled material, with gray plastic bags containing up to 40 percent of recycled matter. Phil Rozenski, the director of sustainability and marketing for Hilex Poly, believes the reason why companies fail to use colored plastic bags is a direct result of marketing. Restaurants, grocery stores and pharmacies all contribute to the white bag problem by not switching to an eco-friendly color
for branding purposes.
Perhaps the greatest obstacle the U.S. plastic recycling industry faces is simply collecting enough material to meet demand. Last year the U.S. collected 880 million pounds of material, with Hilex Poly collecting a total of 11 percent of the 880 million pounds alone. One positive outlook we must recognize is the reuse rates for plastic bags in the U.S. Americans last year reused 48-60 percent of their bags as bin liners or for pet waste removal. Although it is great for the environment to reuse plastic bags, these bags fail to ever see the light in a recycling center.
To help with this green effort, customers may purchase reusable grocery bags made out of recycled material for a small cost. Another option would be to simply save and collect all of your plastic bags and recycle them at your local grocery store on your next visit. By recycling and refusing to use plastic bags, people of all ages, shapes and sizes can significantly
reduce plastic consumption resulting in a greener and environmentally friendly planet.
With a rising global population and scarcity of natural resources shortly among us, it is time for the world to adopt conservation habits to preserve Earth’s most precious resource pertinent to the survival of humanity, water. An interesting fact about America is that the U.S. is the 3rd largest country in terms of total population, while comprising of 4.5 percent of the world population. Another intriguing fact about America is that the U.S. is the leading country in daily water usage exceeding 43 billion gallons per day. A recent government survey is anticipating at least 36 states to have local, regional, or statewide water shortages by 2013. In efforts to inform and change this statistic, Earth911.com recently published an article informing its readers about water conservation, along with efficient ways households are able to conserve 27,412 gallons of water per year.
According to the article, bathrooms are the number one area where water efficiency needs to be utilized. With the toilet consuming the majority of water in the average home, upgrading to a WaterSense-labeled toilet will reduce water usage by 20 percent, saving approximately 4,000 gallons of water per year. Investing in low-flow shower heads potentially may save 8,212 gallons of water a year. New water efficient showerheads reduce water flow up to a half gallon a minute, while still providing the typical strength and pressure feeling high-flow showerheads have. With the average faucet flowing at the rate of two gallons per minute, by simply turning off the tap when brushing teeth or washing your face has the potential to save tremendously. According to the EPA, turning off your faucet during your morning and nightly routine has the potential of saving 8 gallons a day, which is approximately 2,920 gallons per year.
Out of the bathroom, fixing leaks to old appliances and faucets may save a household 10,000 gallons per year. Low water efficient washing machines typically swallow 41 gallons per load, while the average dishwasher consumes 9-12 gallons per cycle. If households waited until there were full loads of laundry or dishes before starting cycles, this new habit has the potential to save 5,200 gallons of water per year. Households who upgrade to high efficiency clothes washers may save 30 to 50 percent in water usage, which is another 5,000 gallons per year.
SA Recycling is doing their part to help reduce their water usage by recycling and storing storm water at their yards for later use. Also, SA Recycling offers a removal service of any old appliances your household may have. For further information on SA Recycling’s removal service visit www.gotscrap.com or call at 1-800-GOT-SCRAP (1-800-468-7272).
A 2009 CNN report awarded California the gold, silver, and bronze medals for housing America’s top three most polluted cities in terms of ozone. Of America’s top ten most polluted cities, California is home to six, arguably taking gold for the most polluted state in the U.S. In continuous efforts to promote green initiatives and reduce pollutant emissions in California’s ozone, the state’s Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) established the Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) to financially assist qualified resident citizens in emission-related repairs pertaining to their automobiles.
The BAR’s Consumer Assistance Program provides two options for residents: First, residents may receive up to $500 in emission-related repairs if they qualify by being income eligible. Second, vehicle retirement may be an option if the undesired vehicle complies with the CAP’s Vehicle Equipment and Vehicle Operational Requirements. Owners with approved vehicles that qualify for vehicle retirement will receive a verification letter from the BAR, which permits the owner to retire their vehicle at one of nine SA Recycling yards and will be issued a check for $1,000 the same day.
If one decides they want to retire their vehicle but fails to meet CAP requirements, SA Recycling has their own vehicle retirement program with only three simple requirements: First, the vehicle must be complete without missing any parts. Second, individuals must possess proper ownership documentation and registration of the vehicle. Third, the owner must find a way to bring the vehicle to a SA Recycling yard. If the owner is not able to get the vehicle to us, SA Recycling may provide a towing service if the vehicle is located within existing towing zones. Once vehicles qualify for SA’s program, vehicles are then weighed and are compensated on a tier based weight system.
For any information pertaining to SA Recycling’s vehicle retirement program please call 714-777-CARS (714-777-2277) or 1-800-464-0644. Information for the Bureau of Automotive Repair and CAP requirements can be found at www.drivehealthy.com
On Saturday, March 19th, 2011 SA Recycling (SAR) along with the help of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) marked the first date of their Lawn Mower Exchange Program. The historic green event was held at the parking lot of the Inland Empire 66’ers minor-league baseball team located in San Bernardino. By paying the miniscule $100 fee, citizens of Orange County and portions of Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties were encouraged to trade in their old two-stroke gas powered lawn mowers for a brand new electric powered lawn mower. The electric lawn mowers were provided by Black & Decker and Neutron and retail for about $400 at your local home supply store. In efforts to reduce harmful pollutants that gas powered lawn mowers contribute to our atmosphere and global warming, SAR and AQMD plan on having 12 more collections for their Lawn Mower Exchange Program over the course of the next 12 months. Overall, 560 gas powered mowers were acquired and filled four roll-off boxes. For future information on the next Lawn Mower Exchange Program date please go to: http://www.aqmd.gov/tao/lawnmower.html