TeachingGreen logo
Green Living News
September 2008
In This Issue
Eco-Gadgets & Innovations
Did You Know?
L.A. Confidential
Worth Your Time
Good News!
Support TeachingGreen
Join Our Mailing List!
Quick Links

Welcome to the September 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:
  • Meat without animals...coming soon?
  • "Food" for thought: wasted food in America
  • Upcoming workshops from TeachingGreen
  • A recommended book about local economies
  • Good news out of D.C. about toy safety
  • Three ways you can support TeachingGreen
...and more!

Eco-Gadgets & Innovations

Test tube Meat
Test tube meat
Yep, that's right - all meat, no animal. No bones, beaks, small intestines or any of that other inedible stuff. Just muscle, grown in a Petri dish.

Sounds like pure science fiction, but test tube (or in vitro) meat could be a reality within five-ten years.

Scientists can already grow small amounts of meat in the lab. The next challenge is growing muscle cells on an industrial scale. Reproducing steak is proving to be difficult, but according to Jason Matheny, a researcher at Johns Hopkins and co-founder of New Harvest, a nonprofit that promotes research on test tube meat, thousands of tons of ground meat products can be made with existing technology.

Considering the fact that meat consumption (particularly beef) is one of the most environmentally harmful consumer activities, test tube meat could take us a long way down the road toward sustainability.

To help us get there faster, PETA is offering a $1 million reward to the first person to engineer in vitro chicken meat with the taste and texture of real chicken. The winner must sell it to the public by June 30, 2012 at a competitive price in at least 10 states.

Did You Know?


According to the EPA and USDA, more than 25% of all food produced for human consumption in the United States is discarded.

In and of itself, this is tragic: there are millions of hungry people right here in the US. But the tragedy of wasted food extends beyond the immediately obvious.

There's the wasted water: 8 trillion gallons per year used to grow this food (enough water to meet the household needs of about 400 million people). There's the wasted energy used to grow, process and ship the food, and the fossil fuels used to make industrial fertilizer (much of which washes off into rivers and oceans, causing dead zones like the New Jersey-sized dead zone at the mouth of the Mississippi River). There's the wasted land and topsoil: more than 50% of US land area is used for grazing livestock or growing crops. And there's the methane (a powerful greenhouse gas) that's emitted from the food as it rots in landfills.

Add to this the skyrocketing price of food and the fact that the dollar value of this wasted food is roughly $48.3 billion/year, and it's clear that we must be diligent about eating our leftovers.If we do, we'll be taking one very important step toward addressing many of our most pressing problems.

To learn more about the food waste crisis, see "Saving Water: From Field to Fork - Curbing Losses and Wastage in the Food Chain," a policy brief from the Stockholm International Water Institute.

L.A. Confidential

Upcoming events and career opportunities in and around Los Angeles:

Upcoming TeachingGreen Workshops:

Maximus Hair Salon, Hermosa Beach

Saturday, September 13:
Go Green! Save Green!

Hearing a lot about "going green" lately and wondering what all the hubbub is about? Don't be left out! Come learn why everyone is talking about it, and how to do it without feeling overwhelmed. Learn how to save more than $200 each month by taking some simple actions that are good for you and good for the environment.

Time: 6:30pm
Location: Maximus Hair Salon, 419 Pier Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
Cost: FREE

MAR VISTA Farmers' Market

Sunday, September 14:
Stemming the Tide of Toxics and Trash

Time: 10:30am - noon
Location: Mar Vista Farmers' Market, 3826 Grand View Blvd, LA 90066
Cost: FREE

AdventurePlex (classes are for teens, ages 15-18)

Monday, September 15:
Helping the Earth with Every Bite

Monday, September 22:
Making Your Home a Friend to Mother Nature, Part I (Green Building and Energy Conservation)

Monday, September 29:
Making Your Home a Friend to Mother Nature, Part II (Water Quality and Conservation)

Monday, October 6:
Stemming the Tide of Toxics and Trash

Time: 6:00 - 7:30pm
Location: AdventurePlex, 1701 Marine Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Cost: $12 per class

To register, visit www.adventureplex.org.

Whole Foods logo
Whole Foods Market, Torrance

Wednesday, September 17:
Tooling Around Town in (Green) Style

Time: 7:00 - 8:30pm
Location: Whole Foods Market, 2655 PCH, Torrance, CA 90505
Cost: Suggested $5 donation
For more info, visit www.teachinggreen.org.

Ballona Wetlands Stewards Clean-up

Who needs the gym when you can get your workout down at the beautiful Ballona WetlandsBallona Wetlands? Join the Ballona Wetlands Land Trust for its monthly Stewards event, where volunteers descend on the wetlands to remove trash and invasive plants. It's a great opportunity to see the wetlands up close and help restore one of LA's most precious natural resources...our last remaining coastal wetlands.

Date: Saturday, September 13, 2008
Time: 10am - 4pm
Location: Ballona Wetlands, at the ball fields on Culver Blvd. between Lincoln Blvd. and I-90. Click HERE for directions.

What to bring: long pants, closed-toe shoes, sunscreen, water, snacks and gloves if you have them.

Gardening with Natives at the Manhattan Beach Botanical Garden

Having no yard or minimal outdoor space doesn't mean you can't plant California natives at home. With native plants you can create botanical beauty, restore a little ecological balance, and bring winged friends to your corner of the world. Jon Bell of Annie's Nursery will show you a beautiful array of specimens that are available locally.

Saturday, September 27
Time: 10 - 11am
Location: Polliwog Park @ Peck and Manhattan Beach Blvd, MB 90266
Cost: FREE

To register, contact Julie at 310-546-1354 or Julie@manhattanbeachbotanicalgarden.org.

LA Green Drinks

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

LA Green Drinks - West Side: 1st Thursday of the month
LA Green Drinks - South Bay: 2nd Thursday of the month - TONIGHT!
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.

The Future is Green Conference and Expo

Date: September 14-16, 2008
Time: All day
Location: Long Beach Convention Center
Cost: See rates

The Future is Green Conference & Expo will showcase clean air and low carbon energy and transportation technologies and the environmental and economic benefits they bring to our community and planet. The event will feature panel sessions focusing on the latest developments in environmentally friendly technologies, and nearly 100 exhibitors featuring green technologies and products from major auto manufacturers to eco-friendly consumer companies. It will also provide useful information about possible investment opportunities offered by green markets.

For more information, visit: www.capcoagreen.com.

Alt Car Expo

Date: September 26 & 27, 2008
Time: 10am - 5pm
Location: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main St., SM 90401
Cost: FREE

  • Find your best immediate option to reduce your petroleum use, carbon footprint and transportation costs
  • Exhibition Hall featuring manufacturers of the latest choices of Electric, Hydrogen, Biodiesel, Natural Gas, Propane, Hybrid, Plug In, Ethanol and Cycling transportation technologies
  • Ride & Drive Lot for a hands-on experience with all technologies
  • Explanation of tax rebates and credits for alternative technology choices
  • Speakers: internationally renowned experts and some of California's top decision makers will discuss the future of transportation
For more information, visit: www.altcarexpo.com.  

Worth Your Time

Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future
by Bill McKibben (2007)Deep Economy

McKibben challenges the idea that "more" equals "better" and makes the case for local economies, which are not only sustainable, but increase happiness through the creation of community.

"The cult of growth and globalization has seldom been so effectively challenged as by Bill McKibben in Deep Economy. But this bracing tonic of a book also throws the bright light of McKibben's matchless journalism on the vibrant local economies now springing up like mushrooms in the shadow of globalization. Deep Economy fills you with a hope and sense of fresh possibility."

-Michael Pollan, Author of The Omnivore's Dilemma

Good News!

New Product Safety Law Bans Toxic Toys

Rubber ducky (phalates)
WASHINGTON, DC, August 14, 2008 (ENS) - Praise poured in from all quarters today as President George W. Bush signed into law a bill that bans lead paint and phthalates in products intended for children under the age of 12 - the strictest such law in the world.

The record-setting 448 product recalls last year - about half of them for children's products - drove the bill through the legislative process. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 passed...

Click here for full article.

Support TeachingGreen

Three ways you can help:

1. Bring us your people

Actually, we'll come to you.Compact Fluorescent bulb

In addition to public workshops, we also give presentations for groups, schools, and businesses. Are you a member of a community group, alumni group, Mom's group, church group, or any other kind of group? Have a business you're trying to green and want to get your employees on board?

If so, we would love to come and give a presentation or two for your group! We give presentations on specific issues, such as transportation, food and household toxics, and we also offer a general overview of sustainable living.

Visit www.teachinggreen.org to learn more and to request a presentation.

2. Bring a reusable bag to Whole Foods Market Torrance

Through the end of September, when you shop at the Whole Foods Market in Torrance (corner of PCH and Crenshaw) using your reusable bags, you can donate your "Wooden Nickle" to TeachingGreen. We get 5 cents for every Wooden Nickle donated. Might not sound like much, but it adds up!

3. Become a member of TeachingGreen

We are a 501(c)3 organization, so all donations are fully tax-deductible. Your support helps us spread the message of sustainability via workshops, presentations, our wesite and this newsletter. We currenlty operate only in Los Angeles, but even if you don't live here, remember that when we act locally, we help the global environment as well as the local environment.

To make a tax-deductible donation to TeachingGreen, click here.

TeachingGreen is a 501(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