THE GOODS : ECONOTES : 'Globeheads' Show Kids the Way to Clear the Air

Looking for family entertainment with a message? The Globehead family welcomes you to "Our Urban Environment," the exhibit at the California Museum of Science and Industry in Exposition Park.

Claymation characters by Will Vinton introduce the exhibit on a video screen and pop up frequently as visitors explore the ways city living affects the air around us.

"It gives kids a chance to play Smog Detective and look for sources of air pollution," says curator David Bibas. "The idea is to make people aware of alternatives."

The interactive exhibit includes riddles about what makes smog, a ride-share game that leaves you stuck in traffic if you insist on driving alone, and a chance to design a mixed-used neighborhood and save enough space to throw in a swimming pool or playground. There is also a full-scale freeway ramp and a live feed from Caltrans' Traffic Management Center updating traffic conditions. And the Globeheads offer some ideas about getting involved in environmental action groups.

This exhibit, which opened on Earth Day, completes the museum's 6,500-square-foot environmental show. The first section, which introduced the Globeheads, focuses on water quality, waste management and home energy use.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, the museum will be open on Memorial Day and it's free. Information: (213) 744-7400.

Keep It Legal: Cleaning out the garage? Repainting the house? Don't let it make you an outlaw. It's illegal to dump leftover paint down the drain, into the trash or almost anywhere else. Here are two legitimate solutions.

* Household Hazardous Waste roundups are scheduled by Los Angeles County at these locations: June 4, Veterans Stadium at 5000 Lew Davis St. in Long Beach; June 11, Glendale Steam Plant at 800 Air Way in Glendale; June 25, stadium parking lot of East Los Angeles Community College at 1301 Cesar Chavez Ave. in Monterey Park, and July 9, parking lot I by the Citrus College Stadium at 1000 Foothill Blvd. in Glendora.

Bring paint, pesticides, motor oil and caustic cleaners and be prepared to leave the containers. Information: (800) 552-5218.

* L.A.'s new Hazmobile will collect toxic waste by appointment June 2-4 and 9-11 in North Central Los Angeles and June 16-18 and 23-25 in Van Nuys. To schedule a time and get a specific location, call (800) 98-TOXIC. More roundups will be scheduled.

Roundup: Consumers seeking to encourage recycling with their buying as well as their discarding habits can find hundreds of common household products made from recycled plastics in a free brochure from the American Plastics Council. To get one, call (800) 2-HELP-90 . . . The state's Project Recycle reports that recycling programs at state offices, universities, prisons, parks and hospitals shot up by 52% last year.

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