It is projected that in 2006 a total of 19,000 lamps and 163,000 pounds of batteries were collected in the State of California. These are a couple of drastic figures to spark the thought process of what we throw away. I looked at many sites in the prospect of finding one solitary articles that would give me what I needed. I couldn’t find one that was a descriptive magazine type article, so I found my inspiration from a brochure that the City of Long Beach Environmental Services had sent to my house that was sitting on my desk. I started probing for statistics that people could identify with, or that would be so astounding that we might take notice. Exactly what does 163,000 pounds of batteries look like?
It’s an astounding number. Can you imagine how many AA batteries that would be? It makes me want to run out and buy rechargeable batteries. How about you? That is just a small act that could reduce our amount of pollutants and waste in our landfills.
I attend the Santa Ana,California campus of a design school and we have implemented a full force attack on waste. There has been an active effort by most of the students and faculty to recycle. There are new bins everywhere to facilitate this.
Since I have started my indentured servitude at this private educational institution, I have been given a daily dose of the problems with Global Warming, waste, and environmentally cautious behavior. I recently had a conversation with a friend about me buying a toaster. I couldn’t find one I really liked and she asked me why I don’t just buy a crappy one until I find the one I want. I explained to her that I couldn’t justify buying a toaster with the intent of throwing it away in a short amount of time. I though it was very mass consumerist and wasteful. When I explained it to her in that way she realized that it was a good thing that I was waiting.
In my home practices I am already very concerned with how I use my power, and with what I purchase. I am an active recycler, try to have as many plants as I can manage, for oxygen production, and have implemented fluorescent light bulbs in the areas that are long term use, such as for my security lights.
The reason I don’t have fluorescent bulbs for all of my light is that some get turned on and off as I walk through the house and it takes them a lot of energy to come on, but in long term use they use a fraction of what incandescent bulbs use. I even have some LED or low watt lighting in my house for task lights and things of that nature.
It isn’t very time wise but I usually go to the grocery store as I need to instead of buying a bunch of food at the beginning of the week and then throwing it away later because I didn’t have time to eat at home.
After seeing the figures on batteries I will definitely be converting to rechargeable. I will also stop leaving my TV on while I sleep. It will save more energy.
The perspective universal waste collection cost for the mercury holding items; batteries, lamps, and thermostats for the same year in the State of California could be a total of $ 42 million. That is only three types of collection. Imagine what the savings could be.