Southern California environment news and trends

U.S. bottled water sales soar to all-time high: A good sign?

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Scott Olson/Getty Images

A new report from the Beverage Marketing Corporation finds that sales of bottled water in the United States reached a new pinnacle in 2011. With sales increasing by 4.1 percent, 9.1 billion gallons of bottled water were sold last year, with per capita consumption hitting 29.2 gallons, also a new U.S. record. The growth comes after two consecutive years of economic recession (2008 and 2009) in which bottled water sales suffered substantial declines.

“What’s been driving the market for more than ten years now is the single-serve bottle of non-carbonated water,” said Gary A. Hemphill, the managing director of information services for the Beverage Market Corporation by telephone. “They easily account for more than 60 percent of overall sales,” he explained, adding that the market includes sparkling water, home and office delivery jugs and imports. “They’re more of a refreshment beverage. When people are out at convenience stores, for example, more of them are choosing non-carbonated bottled water than ever before.”

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Hermosa Beach granted $410,000 to reduce carbon footprint

Valley and Pier: Hermosa Beacha

Leslie Berestein-Rojas/KPCC

California’s Strategic Growth Council has awarded Hermosa Beach over $400,000 to be committed towards making the city more sustainable, with the ultimate goal of carbon neutrality.

“Winning this grant will enable the city to create a needed legal framework to guide and sustain us in making the transformative changes necessary to fulfill the city’s commitment to be carbon neutral,” said Hermosa Beach Mayor Jeff Duclos in the Hermosa Beach Patch. “The plan elements the city will develop with this funding will ensure a comprehensive and unified approach to implementing our vision of the future.”

Among the initiatives the grant will fund include assembling a team of experts that will update the city’s General Plan and Coastal Land Use Plan, finding ways to reduce the school district’s reliance on external energy and protecting against a sea level rise. Developing new public transportation strategies is a paramount issue, since a majority of the area’s carbon output is due to traffic.

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When Big Companies Do Good Things: Costa Mesa Ikea store installs EV charging station

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It’s a love/hate relationship many of us have with Ikea. Sure, they have functional furniture and home accessories for reasonable prices, and a surprisingly delicious food court. But it’s hard not to hate on their oft-remote locations, not to mention the infinite patience required to assemble “that damn night stand”.

The fines Swedes behind Ikea are well aware of it all. Which is why they’re going to such great lengths to offset the sizable carbon footprint their stores can create. After already doing so in Portland, OR and California cities San Diego and Carson, Ikea has upgraded their Costa Mesa location as the fourth in America to boost an EV charging station. While there is no timetable or locations yet determined, Ikea plans on upgrading another five of their stores in the western U.S. with EV stations.

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