Thursday, March 17, 2016

Knowledge is Power and Sharing is Caring

Old cliché which tell us that "knowledge is power" and "sharing is caring". We are all more than likely familiar with these sayings and can agree or attest to their truth.

We have a powerful message to share here and it would be in every inhabitants best interest to share it for the sake and health of the collective. There are an estimated 14 million Spanish speakers in the United States whom contribute to our landfill problem and are unaware of the problem and it's proposed solutions. Although our blog if filled with valuable information it is failing to inform and educate a large part of our population. Unfortunately we fail to transcend language barriers because our blog is only shared in English.

Fortunately there are resources available for Spanish speaker. Blogs very similar to us, which express and detail the same issue but in Spanish. One of my suggestions would be This blog. They offer great insight on the issue and are very forward with recycling initiatives and ideas. This other one provides the readers with ideas and step by step directions on crafts which help them turn items which are thought to be trash into creations with new life.

The point of these blogs is to share our same message, help ourselves and each other by helping our planet. With this post I urge you to share and recommend these blogs, or find new ones to share, but please share our message with those whom might not understand it in English.

"El conocimiento es poder y distribuirlo es bondadoso". Todos estamos más que probable familiarizados con estas palabras y podemos estar de acuerdo o dar fe de su verdad.  Tenemos un mensaje poderoso para compartir aquí y lo que sería en el mejor interés habitantes cada compartirla por el bien y la salud de la colectividad. Se estima que hay 14 millones de hispanohablantes en los Estados Unidos los cuales contribuyen a nuestro problema de los vertederos y no son conscientes del problema y sus soluciones propuestas. Aunque nuestro blog si lleno de información valiosa que está fallando para informar y educar a una gran parte de nuestra población. Por desgracia, no somos capaces de trascender las barreras del idioma, porque nuestro blog sólo se comparte en Inglés.  Afortunadamente, hay recursos disponibles para el altavoz español. Blogs muy similares a nosotros, que expresan y detalle el mismo problema, pero en español. Una de mis sugerencias habría Este blog. Ofrecen una gran comprensión sobre el tema y son muy adelante con iniciativas de reciclaje e ideas. Este otro ofrece a los lectores con ideas y direcciones paso a paso en la artesanía que ayudan a convertir los elementos que se piensa que son basura en creaciones con nueva vida.  El punto de estos blogs es compartir nuestro mismo mensaje, ayudarnos a nosotros mismos y unos a otros, ayudando a nuestro planeta. Con este post os animo a compartir y recomendar estos blogs, o encontrar otras nuevas para compartir, pero por favor compartir nuestro mensaje con los que podría no entenderlo en Inglés.

Environmental Justice: People Do Not Feel the Effects of Environmental Disasters Equally

By now, many of you are aware of the environmental issues that impact our planet such as global warming or the mismanagement of landfills. From time to time, you may have come across the term "environmental justice". At face value, one might assume that it deals with environmental protection laws. That is true, but the concept is much deeper than that. The United States Environmental Protection define environmental justice as the following:

"Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. EPA has this goal for all communities and persons across this Nation. It will be achieved when everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards and equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work."

Upon reading this definition, you may wonder how socioeconomic status fits into environmentalism; after all, global warming impacts the entire planet.  However, certain people are disproportionately more affected by environmental disasters than others. If you live in an affluent, white-majority area of the country, notice how clean and well managed your local environment is. Conversely, in impoverished, black or Hispanic-majority areas, you may find landfills or factories nearby. The conditions that the poor face profoundly impact their ability to work, their health, and many other facets of their lives.

All people should have the right to clean air, drinking water, and safe living areas regardless of their socioeconomic status. Even though we may not be affected by these issues, we can learn how to help mitigate them and to help others. Here are some links for more information:

Monday, March 14, 2016

Cut back on E-waste by Extending the life of your Electronics

Let’s face it, some things just aren’t made like they used to be. I remember growing up in the 80’s and early 90’s my parents had the same television and vacuum cleaner throughout my childhood.  I think our TV lasted a good 20 years before it “burned out”. And that vacuum cleaner? It was seemingly indestructible and I believe is still in working condition after all these years. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the same luck and have personally bought three vacuum cleaners in a three year period. Why?  Well, they break down so easily these days with their cheap plastic parts that it seems like replacing the vacuum altogether is a better and cheaper option. But is this really the case? I feel guilty saying it, but nearly each time I had to deal with a broken vacuum cleaner, I just chucked it in the dumpster at my apartment and went out and dropped another $75-100 on a new one. Just recently, bad luck struck again when I sucked up a shoe lace and burned out the belt as well as the plastic roller on my latest vacuum. But this time I decided that after everything I’ve learned about e-waste (the old electronic items we dispose of like cell phones, computers, televisions, vacuum cleaners, and microwaves) and its effects on the environment, instead of letting this vacuum end up in a landfill like all the others, I would try to extend its life. Little did I know, to fix the broken vacuum was actually cheaper than buying another one brand new. And to top it off, the repair shop I went to cleaned it up too, free of charge.

Would it have been easier to throw yet another vacuum in the dumpster and buy a new one?  Maybe, yes.  But feeling like I did my part to keep a piece of e-waste out of a landfill was worth the trouble of getting the vacuum repaired. No, they don’t make things like they used to. In fact, they seem to make many electronic items to break easily so you have to go buy the next latest, greatest, new product to keep manufacturers of vacuums and TVs in business. But instead of disposing of these items when they break, go the extra mile and see about getting them repaired.  You may not only save yourself money, but you’ll also extend the life of an item and keep it from ending up in the landfill before its time.
Check out this website to learn more about ways you can help with the electronics waste crisis:

Ten Facts About E-Waste

Electronics are a ubiquitous part of our lives. The many things that provide us convenience and comfort, are the same things that might eventually destroy this planet we call home. Though it may not happen for generations, the damage that is being done by our ravenous consumption of electronic goods is taking its toll on the environment. We all must do our part to raise awareness about e-waste so that we can be responsible consumers and dispose of electronics safely and re-use them and repair them when we can. Here are ten startling facts about e-waste

E-Waste Facts

  1. The US and China discarded one third of all the world’s e-waste in 2014
  2. E-waste represents 2% of America's trash in landfills, but it equals 70% of overall toxic waste.
  3. 20 to 50 million metric tons of e-waste are disposed worldwide every year.
  4. Cell phones and other electronic items contain high amounts of precious metals like gold or silver. Americans dump phones containing over $60 million in gold/silver every year.
  5. 87% of e-waste ends up in a landfill.
  6. For every 1 million cell phones that are recycled, 35,274 lbs of copper, 772 lbs of silver, 75 lbs of gold, and 33 lbs of palladium can be recovered.
  7. Recycling 1 million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by 3,657 U.S. homes in a year.
  8. E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the United States, according to the EPA.
  9. It takes 530 lbs of fossil fuel, 48 lbs of chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water to manufacture one computer and monitor.
  10. Electronic items that are considered to be hazardous include: Televisions and computer monitors that contain cathode ray tubes, LCD desktop monitors, LCD televisions, Plasma televisions, Portable DVD players with LCD screens, refrigerators, copy machines, batteries

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Hazardous to our bodies?

What are ways to keep our body clean and not be affected by any harmful illnesses? We try to keep the air clean; we drink pure clean water, etc. What happens when hazardous chemicals are mixed in, and we do not know? This is a situation with electronic waste. In the article that I have provided states that 90% of waste is being illegally dumped and traded, with black markets growing to sell and buy the items. Not only is this an issue, but also it affects our body by just breathing in the air. An example would be burning wires from an open computer, while it is lit, the chemical toxins float to the air where it stays and gets breathed in. Another is the water we drink. Other countries water that has been dumped with our old materials would be mixed with lead and barium, chemicals that cannot be swallowed or even take a bath. It also affects the soil and even human exploitation, people being enslaved working on these materials they know are harmful to them.             
So what is being done, or what can be done. In the article, international governments to prevent further harm to the people are dealing it with. While they work on their part to change the cities, to give those people clean water and air, we as a country here can do homework by searching facilities that will properly dispose them. If not, then going to local stores such as Staples or Best Buy to take away your old items. Do not throw things away because you are done with them, throw them away and think that someone else can use them when they are recycled and can be used again. result for human body drawing

Worth a Thousand Words

 A single picture can tell a story whether it is in color or in black and white, destructive or not. A lot of people do not know what happens to our electronics, old clothes, or shoes. While they believe it gets recycled, or reused, the sad truth is some of our old materials are shipped away illegally to countries across the way. Countries such as China, India, and a few African countries are being affected by dozen of hazardous materials that affects the human body. It seems that we are doing the right thing, but people do not think of our neighbors who get infected. So, to end that, or to reduce the number of illegal shipping of e waste, what can we do as a nation? Check out multiple locations around you that can recycle, to make sure it does not get shipped to our neighbors across the water.