110 Million People in U.S. Under July 4 Heat Warnings and Advisories

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07 Jul, 2024

This post was originally published on Eco Watch

If you’re planning any outdoor activities this Fourth of July, be sure to hydrate regularly, wear sunscreen and watch for signs of heat stress, because it’s going to be a hot one.

A large portion of the United States — 110 million people across 21 states — will experience heat-related advisories and warnings in the West, southern Plains and Mid-Atlantic this Independence Day, reported Reuters.

“It’s really hot; I don’t know how else to put it,” said Jacob Asherman, a National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologist, as Reuters reported. “We’re having excessively hot weather across a lot of the country.”

According to the NWS, the next several days are predicted to bring an extensive heat wave with temperatures well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit in some areas.

“[W]ell above average temperatures over California and into southwest Oregon today before heat spreads further throughout the western U.S. this weekend,” the NWS forecast said. “Dozens of daily record high temperatures are possible, expressing the rarity of this early-July heatwave.”

The scorching temperatures are expected to continue into next week.

Portland, Oregon, was expected to edge toward 100 degrees Fahrenheit over the weekend — highly unusual for the Northwest city.

Jen Scott, a hardware store manager and native of Portland, said that, as a kid, “It was a big deal if it hit 90. But for the last few years, it’s been getting extra hot. But 100 is crazy.”

According to Scott, sales of fans and air conditioners have been booming.

“We’re not used to this,” she said.

The sizzling heat, low humidity and wind gusts in Northern California were exacerbating the state’s Thompson Fire, which had caused thousands to evacuate and grown to more than 3,000 acres since Tuesday, according to CalFire.

“Outdoor burning and especially fireworks are not recommended,” the San Francisco weather service warned before the holiday, as reported by CNN.

Construction workers build homes as temperatures reached 96°F in Fontana, California on July 1, 2024. Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

Phoenix was predicted to reach 116 degrees Fahrenheit by Friday. Last year the capital of Arizona had a record-breaking 54 days in a row of temperatures of 110 degrees or higher, which included the entire month of July, Reuters reported.

“Heat impacts can compound over time, therefore it is important to remain weather aware and follow the advice of local officials… It is imperative to stay hydrated, out of direct sunlight, and in buildings with sufficient air-conditioning when possible. It is also equally as important to check on the safety of vulnerable friends, family, and neighbors,” NWS said on its website. “If planning to spend an extended amount of time outdoors this Fourth of July, be sure to use caution and act quickly if you see signs of heat-related illnesses.”

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Call for nationwide mattress recycling

Call for nationwide mattress recycling

A survey by not-for-profit mattress recycler Soft Landing Mattress Recycling has found that a majority of Australian respondents would be prepared to pay more when purchasing a new mattress if the retailer collected and recycled their old one.

The ‘Mattresses Matter’ Sustainability Survey revealed a high degree of concern about mattress sustainability, with 93% of Australian consumers saying they would be more likely to purchase a new mattress from a retailer that collects and recycles their old one.

Of the 1016 people surveyed, 62% said that sustainability was important when purchasing a new mattress, and 93% were eager to recycle their end-of-life mattresses responsibly to avoid landfill. 96% said it was important for their local council to provide a free mattress collection and recycling service through an approved recycler.

While only 26% have used a mattress recycling service in the past, 65% would like to use one in the future. According to respondents, the top three barriers to mattress recycling are lack of recycling services (58%), uncertainty of services available (54%) and cost (33%).

To remove these barriers and stop mattresses going to landfill for good, Soft Landing, an Australian Bedding Stewardship Council (ABSC) approved recycler, is calling for retailers and councils nationwide to partner with them to provide a mattress collection and recycling service to all Australians.

Soft Landing General Manager David Petrie said that 1.8 million old mattresses are disposed of each year in Australia. “Of these, it is estimated that over 740,000 end up in landfill. This equates to 5500 average elephants or nearly 2500 compactor trucks,” he said.

“They take up enormous amounts of space and contribute significantly to environmental pollution; it’s 22,000 tonnes of needless waste that can be reduced through responsible recycling, so it’s encouraging to see such positive consumer attitudes towards mattress recycling in Australia.”

Petrie said Soft Landing partnered with many progressive councils and retailers to provide Australians with an accessible mattress collection and recycling service but there was still much to do. “Australians are saying they’ll use mattress recycling services if they’re available — so why not give them the chance?”

ABSC CEO Kylie Roberts-Frost said that mattresses were included in the Minister’s Product Stewardship Priority List for 2023–2024 due to the significant environmental challenge they pose. “The data from Soft Landing highlights the critical need for a coordinated industry effort to address this issue comprehensively,” she said.

“Our objective is to see mattresses designed for longevity and recyclability, ensuring valuable materials are reused and waste is minimised, where reuse is not an option. This aligns with the growing consumer demand for sustainable outcomes.”

Roberts-Frost added that collaboration between ABSC-approved recyclers like Soft Landing, retailers and local councils was vital. “These partnerships will not only help reduce the number of mattresses ending up in landfills but also support consumers who are keen to make environmentally responsible choices,” she said.

“By working together, manufacturers, retailers and councils can play a pivotal role in creating a more sustainable future for the mattress industry.”

To view the full Mattresses Matter – Sustainability Survey Report, visit:

Image caption: Soft Landing is a national not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity that collects and recycles mattresses to keep waste out of landfill while creating jobs for people experiencing barriers to work.

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