Sustainability: The census

It’s time to stand up and “Be Counted” in a sustainable way.

I’m talking about the 2010 U.S. Census and the importance of sending in your census form ASAP.

I filled out my form in a mere five minutes. They really have done a great job of creating a simple form with user-friendly directions.

It is essential you mail your form back by April 22 to avoid an unnecessary follow-up visit to your home, wasting gas and resources. This is a way to do your small part toward saving taxpayer dollars and help contain the deficit.

According to the Census Bureau, census figures are used to determine the number of representatives each state has in the U.S. Congress and the amount of government money your neighborhood receives for services affecting children, the elderly and roads, among other local needs.

All answers are confidential and used only for statistical purposes.

Apparently, many of you have already taken this step, because Mesa County has a state-high response rate of 63 percent.

Those of you who received a form, which is now lost in a pile of junk mail, go on a reconnaissance mission, find that form, fill it out and mail it in.

If you did not receive a form in the mail, you can pick up one at several local elementary schools including Clifton, Dos Rios, Nisley and Rocky Mountain.

Call the local census office at 361-3694 with any questions.

If you’ve been to a blockbuster 3D movie in the past few months, you may have wondered what happens to the multitude of 3D glasses tossed into recycling boxes.

Of course, I was curious enough to do some research.

According to the Explainer on, “RealD established a recycling program for its disposable glasses in November 2008 and has collection containers in each theater with a RealD screen.

“When containers are full, they’re sent to a recycling center, where the glasses are cleaned using heat and other cleaning agents, checked manually and by machine for quality assurance, and then individually repackaged.

“In an April 2009 presentation at the ShoWest exposition, the company noted that approximately 70 percent of theaters ‘actively participate’ in the recycling program.”

Both our local commercial theaters, Carmike Cinemas 7 and Regal Cinemas 14, offer recycling for RealD glasses.

RealD estimates 700,000 pairs of their glasses are used each day. The cleaning facility is in Los Angeles, so a carbon footprint is created by the reuse process.


Reader Ann Gibson sent an e-mail asking: Do you know where we can recycle the spiral/energy-efficient new light bulbs (containing mercury)?

Ann was referring to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) that do contain a minute amount of mercury. Because of the presence of this toxic element, CFLs should not just be tossed in the trash.

Here are three options in the Grand Valley for proper disposal of CFLs:

Mesa County Hazard Waste Collection Facility

3701 U.S. Highway 50

Open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For information, go to or call 241-6846.

Ace Hardware stores in Colorado are part of a program to recycle CFLs and have special bins for that purpose.

This includes the four stores in the Grand Valley and other stores on the Western Slope. Call individual stores for details.

Home Depot also recycles CFLs. Just take your burnt-out bulbs to the bin by the returns counter.


Mark your calendar for next Saturday, April 17, to attend Earth Day 2010 events at the Mesa County Fairgrounds from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sponsored by High Noon Solar, the free event will feature live music, food, dancing and a lot of information about environmentally friendly products and services, community-based nonprofits, and local artisans.

According to High Noon’s Web site, “Last year we had over 60 booths set up, 900 plus visitors, four bands and one Middle Eastern dance troupe! It was beautiful weather and everyone had a great time celebrating Mother Earth and learning more about how to protect her.”

Call 241-0209 for information.


Adele Israel is a Grand Junction writer who has been involved in sustainability efforts for some 20 years. Have a question or column idea for Adele? E-mail her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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