Quality of Life

Have an a-maize-ing holiday

Have an a-maize-ing holiday

On this Thanksgiving, The Real Story thanks YOU for your interest and support. We’ll return next week with more from Chuck Schoenberger of O’Brien Homes on building for the new generation of homebuyers. Log on and listen in!


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A future with fewer cars?

A future with fewer cars

The Real Story got into a passionate discussion with Jane Warner of the American Lung Association of California. The topic? How the movement toward New Regionalism in California government could change the way we live, the way our children learn, and how many miles we put on our automobiles to carry out the tasks of daily living.

Jane talks this week about SB 375, and how this bill could change the guidelines for development in the state, moving new housing closer to public transportation hubs. An old idea, whose time has come again, is the notion of people living within walking distance to schools, parks, the grocery and other conveniences.

What can Californians do right now to reduce air pollution? Simple, says Jane: reduce the number of daily car trips. Combine all of your errands into one trip with several stops. Or get into the habit of participating—as a driver or a rider—in the many carpools, formal and informal, around the state.

For more information, downloadable materials and articles about lung health, check out: www.lungusa.org.

Clean air for all generations

Clean air for all generations

Air quality awareness often starts with younger generations and spreads upward.  According to Jane Warner of the American Lung Association of California, education programs in the schools tend to filter home to parents and grandparents, and also to teachers and their families.  Parents by in large want a better life for their children, and the ALAC’s efforts are making sure better air quality is included in the mix.

In today’s segment, Jane identifies support for California’s advanced clean car standards as a major issue for her organization.  Even while budget issues seem to dominate the news, the ALAC’s goal is to help protect both the quality of our air and California’s leadership position in enacting air quality standards.

A recent development:  A major commitment toward cleaner air was recently announced by the state Air Resources Board.  A groundbreaking cap and trade system to curb industrial pollution has been adopted.

Our conversation with Jane concludes next week, so be sure to log on.

Cleaning up the air up there

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Education is the key to affecting action, and Jane Warner, President of the American Lung Association of California, has plenty of fuel for action.  The organization’s web site is full of articles on the national level as well as information specific to California.

Speaking of the Golden State, Jane reports that our efforts to control greenhouse gas emissions are having an impact.  Ozone in the Los Angeles area has been reduced 25% over the last 10 years!

Better air, better health

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Jane Warner, President and CEO of the American Lung Association of California, has been an ardent follower of green technology—because she can see how innovation in the field of environmentally friendly products directly affects the health of Americans.

While visiting the Pacific Coast Builders Conference, Jane was especially interested in the new flooring products, because as she explains it, the youngest members of any household spend a lot of time in contact with the rugs and flooring. With the extended recession creating more multi-generational households, she sees many couples concerned not just with the health of their children, but of their parents as well. All of the construction materials that impact the air quality inside a home—from the paint on the walls, to the pad under the carpeting to the sealer on the wood cabinetry—now have alternatives that help create cleaner air.

The American Lung Association of California is also very interested in tracking the exterior air quality in the state, and has been assessing the health care costs that could be reduced with healthier automobile emissions from electric, hybrid and zero emissions cars. It’s a new day for California consumers, and Jane is seeing a number of products that are both economical and marketable.

You can hear our entire conversation with Jane on iTunes and Facebook.

Taking a deep breath

Taking a deep breath

Question: Why would the President and CEO of the American Lung Association of California attend a building industry conference? What’s the connection between the built environment and air pollution?

It turns out that the American Lung Association’s interest in homebuilding is less about measuring the air pollution at building jobsites, and more about finding new approaches to creating healthier living environments.

The Real Story caught up with Jane Warner, aforementioned President and CEO of the American Lung Association of California, at the Pacific Coast Builders Conference. Jane was visiting the product booths and talking to vendors, checking out some of the newest and most innovative approaches to creating healthy air inside new homes.

In today’s podcast, Jane talks about the effect of legislative legwork on changing California’s building standards, and how much new homes have improved their air quality through innovation in building science.

Some quick tips from Jane on how to cut down on air pollution in your home: Stop using your fireplace tops the list. Burning wood or any of the almost-wood products in your grate is creating air full of harmful particles. She suggests that people enjoy the warm glow of a gas log set this winter instead.

Another easy tip: change out your air filters regularly. All it takes is to see the amount of gunk trapped in the filter, to convert you to a schedule of regular air quality maintenance.

The Real Story’s interview with Jane Warner continues next week.  In the meantime, log in to TheRealStoryBlog.com or “like” us on Facebook.