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Green Living News
January 2009
In This Issue
Eco-Gadgets & Innovations
World Wide GREEN Web
Green People/Green Companies
Readers' Corner
L.A. Confidential
Good News!
Support TeachingGreen
Join Our Mailing List!
Quick Links

Happy New Year and welcome to the January 2009 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:
...and more!

Eco_gadgetsEco-Gadgets & Innovations
Static Eliminator Reusable Dryer Sheets

Have you ever wondered why dryer sheets can only be used once before being thrown away? A conspiracy on the part of corporations to make us buy their products? No, it's because traditional dryer sheets work by coating your laundry in chemicals. When the clothes are dry, the chemicals have been successfully transferred from the sheet to your clothes. Reusable dryer sheets

But there's another way! Static Eliminator dryer sheets remove static and soften fabric without the use of chemicals. Other advantages over traditional dryer sheets include:
  • Last more than 500 loads
  • 100% hypoallergenic
  • Won't reduce flame resistance of children's clothing
  • Safe for all fabrics - no worries about chemical spotting on clothes
The technology behind these cloth dryer sheets is based on an innovation from the 1970s. After it was discovered that the cause of an explosion at a grain elevator in New Orleans was a build-up of static electricity, a filtration fabric was developed that would conduct static electricity and allow it to dissipate. Years later, this fabric, with its special patented weave, was adapted into these heavy-duty cloth dryer sheets.

I've been using these dryer sheets for a while now, and can personally attest to their effectiveness. For more information and to purchase Static Eliminator dryer sheets, visit www.staticeliminator.ca.

World_Wide_Green_webWorld Wide GREEN Web


Not recycle (of course you do that, right!?), but Freecycle. If not, and you're into keeping stuff out of our rapidly filling landfills, you'll want to sign up pronto.

Got stuff you haven't used in months or years cluttering up your house? Want to give it to someone you know will actually use it? Join FFreecyclereecycle!

Ever need something, like say, a random computer cable or shipping boxes or a food processor? Guess what? There are probably people in your Freecycle community who have these things lying around THEIR homes and would just love to give them to someone who will use them.

This is what Freecycle is all about: providing a way for people to give and get stuff, good stuff, for free, with the goal of minimizing consumption and waste. Here's a sampling of some of the things I've received from Freecycle:
  • Brother Intellifax 2800 Laser Copy/Fax machine (practically brand new)
  • Yamaha computer speakers
  • USB cable for my iPod
  • About a dozen boxes of Avery Laser Labels
  • A brand new pair of $120 pants from Banana Republic
Interested? Simply join the Freecycle group in your community, and then start offering things you no longer need. If someone in your Freecycle group wants an item you're offering, they will pick it up at your house. And if someone has an item you're asking for, you can pick it up at their house.
You can either post items on the Freecycle website or you can do it all through email.

It's an amazing feeling giving away something that a person really wants or needs. And the receiving ain't too bad either! Join today at www.freecycle.org.

Green_People_Companies Green People/Green Companies

Kuddos to Clorox

Brita® pitcher users have reason to celebrate this new year. You will no longer need to worry about your filters ending up in a landfill, because as of this coming Monday, January 12, you will be able to recycle your Brita® pitcher filters. At long last!
Brita filters
Parent company Clorox has teamed up with Preserve to recycle the cartridges into household consumer goods. Here's what to do:
  1. Dry the filter by shaking off excess water and setting it in a dry place for at least three days.
  2. Wrap the filter in a plastic grocery bag, which will be recycled by Preserve.
  3. Click here for drop-off locations or mail via ground shipping (as opposed to air) to Preserve Gimme 5, 823 NYS Rte 13, Cortland, NY 13045.
Preserve will recycle the plastic pitcher filter casing into consumer goods such as toothbrushes, cups and cutting boards. The filter components will be "regenerated for alternative use or converted into energy."

If you're worried about the environmental impact of shipping your filters, don't be. Preserve produced a Life Cycle Assessment to compare the overall impact of shipping the filters and recycling the components to that of throwing them in a landfill, and found that shipping and recycling is best (especially if you reuse an old shipping box!).

For more information about Preserve's recycling program for Brita pitcher filters and all other #5 plastics, visit www.brita.com.

Readers_Corner Readers' Corner

"It really puts a smile on my heart"

Maggie of North Hollywood wrote in to share this anecdote about her husband:

"I have to brag a little about my husband, Lee. Last year I found plans online to build your own solar generator. Well, he loves to maSolar Panelke things so he made one. This year he decided we needed LED Christmas lights. Then to take it one step further, the lights are being powered at night by the solar generator. I told him I was so proud of him. After 34 years, I think I am finally rubbing off on him."   

A native Southern California girl, Maggie's been working on her truck-driving "farm boy" from North Dakota for at least the past 15-20 years to bring him around to her way of looking at the world: the planet's in trouble and it needs our help.

Being a farm boy, it was a natural thing for Lee to compost and plant a summer garden. But that was about the extent of it. Now he's gone and replaced all the light bulbs in their home with compact fluorescents, attended the Alt Car Expo in Santa Monica (according to Maggie, he was particularly impressed with the electric vehicles), and even has a  reusable shopping bag in his truck (one, mind you, but it's a start).

Maggie has also been successful in raising her kids and influencing her grandkids to be stewards of the Earth. Not only are all seven of her grandkids diligent recyclers, but her daughter took it upon herself to start a recycling program at her workplace. In Maggie's words, "she brought in the recycling containers and goes through the trash and scolds people for not recycling." Her children have all made the switch to reusable shopping bags, as well.

I asked Maggie to explain her approach...how did she manage to convince everyone in her family, and especially her husband, to take action to protect the environment? For Maggie, it's all about her grandkids. She asks them, "What is the world going to be like for my grandchildren?" She adds, "This much today I can do for them. People always think someone else is going to take care of it. People need to get out of their comfort zone and do something while it can still be done."

Maggie would like to someday buy a hybrid car and invest in a larger solar PV system for her home. In the meantime, each Christmas, she'll relish the fact that her Christmas lights are carbon-neutral and the knowledge that the years of persuasion finally paid off.

Got a story, comment, tip, suggestion, or anything else you'd like to share with the TeachingGreen community? Just respond to this email with the subject: Readers' Corner.

LA_ConfidentialL.A. Confidential
Events and other stuff for Angelinos:

Upcoming TeachingGreen Workshops
FOR TEENS: Helping the Earth With Every Bite

Calling all teenagers between the ages of 15 and 18! Go green and be healthy by choosing foods that nourish the body without harming the Earth.

Monday, January 12
6:00 - 7:30pm
AdventurePlex (Aplex Classroom), 1701 Marine Avenue, Manhattan Beach 90266

Simplifying Your Way to Waste-Free Living

Whole Foods logo
Do more than you ever thought possible to stem the flow of natural resources to landfills.

Date: Wednesday, January 21
Time: 7:00 - 8:30pm
Location: Whole Foods Market, 2655 PCH, Torrance 90505
Cost: Suggested donation $5
For more info, visit www.teachinggreen.org.

Plug In America's Electric Vehicle Parade West

Date: Saturday, January 17
Time: 9:30 - 11:00am
Location: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main Street, 90401
Parking: $8 payable to Plug In America

Calling all EV owners and EV owner-wannabes! Whether you own an EV or not, come show your support for electric vehicles and help remind the incoming Obama administration of its pledge to get 1 million plug-in cars on the road by 2015. With 51 highway capable all-electric and plug-in hybrid electric cars, trucks and motorcycles confirmed to participate, this will be one of the largest assemblies of plug-in vehicles ever.

A 15-minute press conference featuring California Sen. Fran Pavley will begin at 9:30am, followed by a 1-mile parade on the streets of Santa Monica*. If you have an EV and would like to participate in the parade, visit www.pluginamerica.org for contact info.

*Parade route: South on Main Street to Ocean Park Blvd; right on Ocean Park one block to Neilson, North to Pico, right on Pico and back to Civic Auditorium.

Go Green Expo

Date: Saturday & Sunday, January 24 & 25
Time: 10:00 - 5:00pm
Location: The Los Angeles Convention Center - South Hall J, 1201 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles 90015
Cost: $10 for a full weekend pass
Getting there: Take the Metro Blue Line to the Pico/LA Convention Center, Staples Center Station. Visit www.metro.net to plan your trip.

The Go Green Expo will feature the latest eco-friendly products & services: electric cars, home, health, fashion, building, eco-travel, beauty, baby, food & more. Keynote speakers include Ed Begley Jr. and Mariel Hemingway, and several panel discussions will address topics such as green building & design, sustainable investing and the future of transportation.

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
LA Green Drinks - West Hollywood/Silver Lake: 3rd Thursday
LA Green Drinks - Downtown: 4th Wednesday
LA Green Drinks - Valley: 4th Thursday

For times and locations, visit: lagreendrinks.blogspot.com.

Good_News Good News!

Bush Conserves Vast Areas of Pacific Ocean as Monuments
WASHINGTON, DC, January 6, 2009 (ENS) - Just two weeks before he leaves office, President George W. Bush today set aside three new mRose Atollarine national monuments in the Pacific Ocean. Taken together, the three monuments cover nearly 200,000 square miles, and they will now receive America's highest level of environmental recognition and conservation, the president said.

To create the new monuments, President Bush used the Antiquities Act signed in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt...

Click here for full article.
Support_TGSupport 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. Volunteer or intern with TeachingGreen

We are seeking interns and volunteers to help further our mission of helping people reduce the environmental impact of their personal and professional lives. We need help with curriculum development, fund raising and outreach. Your involvement will help us to grow the organization so that we can reach more people with the message of sustainability.

For more information, contact Kathleen Jacecko at 310-372-7484 or kjacecko@teachinggreen.org.

3. Donate and 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.

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


Kathleen Jacecko