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Green Living News
May, 2008
In This Issue
Readers' Corner
Eco-Gadgets & Innovations
Did You Know...?
L.A. Confidential
Eco-Flicks & Books
Join Our Mailing List!
Quick Links
Environment in the News
  • L.A. Once Again Has Worst Air, But Improving
  • Feds Fund Energy Generation from Ocean Waves, Tides

Welcome to the May 2008 edition of TeachingGreen's Green Living News, a monthly newsletter for folks interested in creating a more sustainable society through individual actions and beyond.

Inside this issue of Green Living News:
  • A creative way to reuse packing peanuts   (thanks, Michelle!)
  • An opportunity to reserve a plug-in hybrid that could achieve 300 mpg
  • An energy fair where three alternative fuel experts will debate the merits and drawbacks of hydrogen, electricity and biodiesel
  • A TeachingGreen workshop on transportation
  • A must-read book for anyone who is serious about making effective consumer choices to help the environment
...and more!

Readers' Corner
Michelle Valcarcel of Torrance, CA sent this tip for reusing packing peanuts...

When planting potted plants, instead of putting rocks at the bottom of the pot, I use packing peanuts. I place a piece of old screen over the peanuts to hold the soil in place while letting the excess water trickle through. By reusing packing peanuts this way, I don't have to buy rocks, and I don't break my back every time I move my plants!

Eco-Gadgets & Innovations
The Aptera


Slated to hit the assembly line in late 2008, the Aptera will come in two models: "All Electric" and "Electric Plug-in Hybrid." The electric should go 120 miles on a single charge and the plug-in hybrid "may achieve over 300 miles per gallon in typical driving." Both will cost around $30,000, and according to the Carlsbad, CA - based company, they should both be available in California in 2009.

For more information and to reserve an Aptera, visit www.aptera.com.

Did You Know...
  • PLU codeThe PLU code on produce tells you if it's conventionally grown (4-digit number), organic (5-digit number beginning with '9') or genetically modified (5-digit number beginning with '8').
  • Dimming incandescent lights DOES save energy: when you dim a light by 50%, you save that much energy.
  • Bottled water, which is regulated by the FDA, is tested for bacteria once a week; tap water, which is regulated by the EPA, is tested hundreds of times each month!
For hundreds more helpful tips and resources for greening your life, join us at a scheduled workshop or schedule a presentation for your community group, church, company, etc.

Visit www.teachinggreen.org for more information.

L.A. Confidential
Upcoming happenings in and around Los Angeles:

LA Green Drinks - South Bay

Relax, have a drink, make new friends, network and share ideas with others interested in environmental issues.

Date: Thursday, May 8, 2008 (always the 2nd Thursday of the month)
Time: 7:00pm - ?
Location: Sangria, 68 Pier Avenue Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Other Green Drinks around Los Angeles:

LA Green Drinks - West Side: 1st Thursday of the month
LA Green Drinks - West Hollywood/Silver Lake: 3rd Thursday of the month
LA Green Drinks - Valley: 4th Thursday of the month

For more information, visit: lagreendrinks.blogspot.com.

South Bay Energy Fair

Date: Saturday, May 10, 2008
Time: 9:30am - 3pm
Location: Pacific Unitarian Church (5621 Montemalaga Drive, Rancho Palos Verde)
Cost: Suggested donation of $5

Curious about biodiesel? Fuel cell vehicles? Electric cars? The Alternative Fuel Smackdown Debate at 10am will feature these experts making their case for their fuel source of choice:
  • Biodiesel...Mr. Chris Pine, Co-Founder, L.A. Biodiesel Cooperative.
  • Hydrogen...Dr. Vasilios Manousiouthakis, Professor of Chemical  Engineering at UCLA
  • Plug-in Electric...Mr. Doug Korthof, co-star of the documentary film, "Who Killed the Electric car"
Other highlights will include: alternative fuel cars (electric, biodiesel, and natural gas), ultra fuel-efficient two-wheeled vehicles, solar panel installers, energy-saving home retrofits, bicycle and bus "mapquest" demonstrations and more. For more information, visit www.southbayenergyfair.com.

TeachingGreen Workshop: Tooling Around Town in (Green) Style

Date: Monday, May 19, 2008
Time: 7:00 - 8:30pm
Location: Whole Foods Market Torrance; 2655 PCH Torrance 90505Whole Foods logo
Cost: Suggested donation of $5

There's a reason cars and trucks are the poster children of environmental destruction: no other single consumer activity causes more environmental harm than personal vehicles. Reducing the impact of getting yourself from here to there is an essential part of greening your life. And with gas approaching $4.00 a gallon, what better time to start than now? Join us on May 19th to learn how.

Green West

Date: May 20-22, 2008
Time: 10:00am - 4:00pm
Location: LA Convention Center

This three-day conference will feature the full spectrum of green, sustainable, and environmentally-friendly products and services.

Highlights of the event:
  • Expo Hall: Hundreds of products and services in over 100 exhibits
  • Conference Sessions: 70 speakers in 17 sessions
  • Keynote Addresses every day from business and government leaders
  • Sustainable Living Spaces Pavilion: An interactive 1600 square foot installation inspired by Eric Lloyd Wright featuring the latest and best in sustainable architecture and design concepts
  • Green Careers Center: Find a job or post a job at this leading green-collar resource from world-renowned Manpower Inc.
For more info and to register to attend, visit www.greenwestexpo.com.

Eco-Flicks & Books

The Consumer's Guide to Effective Environmental Choices
by Michael Brower and Warren Leon
Consumer's Guidet to Effective Environmental Choices
Based on research conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists, this book highlights seven areas of consumer spending that cause the majority of environmental impacts due to consumber activity. The authors make the compelling case that if you truly want to reduce the environmental impact of your day-to-day life, you'll focus on these seven areas and stop worrying about insignificant things (paper vs. plastic, cloth vs. disposable diapers, etc.) that don't really matter.

Coupon Book for Earth-Friendly Living
If you live in Los Angeles or Orange County, check out the myGreenSpark Redemption Book. A green alternative to the Entertainment coupon book, the myGreenSpark coupon book is full of discounts from local and web-based companies that promote and sell green and healthy products
and services.Green Coupon Book

When you purchase a myGreenSpark Redemption Book ($27 + shipping) by clicking on the image to the right, you'll get over 250 discounts from 150 local and online green retailers and service providers, and TeachingGreen will receive $13.50. The discounts are good until the end of 2008, and just like the Entertainment book, the myGreenSpark Redemption Book quickly pays for itself.

TeachingGreen is a 503(c)(3) organization, and as such, we depend on tax-deductible donations from treehuggers like you! If you'd like to become a member, see the Quick Links above.

We hope you find this newsletter helpful and informative, and should you have any suggestions, questions or general comments, we'd love to hear from you.

Kathleen Jacecko