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Green Living News
March 2009
In This Issue
Eco-Gadgets & Innovations
Did You Know?
Green People/Green Companies
L.A. Confidential
Good News!
Support TeachingGreen
Join Our Mailing List!
Quick Links

Welcome to the March 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

Does any of this sound familiar?

You open a closet door, only to find that a light has been left on, using untold amounts of electricity.

Your kids just can't seem to remember to turn the lights off.

Your house is filled with gadgets with transformers, remote controlsGreenSwitch, and/or digital displays.

If you can relate, and are interested in reducing your energy bills by 25-35%, you're in luck. The GreenSwitch is here to help.

With one flick of a switch, the GreenSwitch Master Switch sends a wireless signal to all GreenSwitch components: light switches, outlets, and a thermostat. Power is cut to all designated lights and outlets (eliminating standby power), and the thermostat is set to economy mode.

According to GreenSwitch, most homes can be outfitted for between $500 to $1000. Depending on your current energy bills and conservation practices, or lack thereof, it should take about 12-24 months for the GreenSwitch to pay for itself.

If you can install a light switch, an outlet and a thermostat, you can install the GreenSwitch system yourself. If not, any electrician can do it for you.

For more information and to purchase a GreenSwitch system, visit www.greenswitchteam.com or call 888.676.9998.

Did_You_KnowDid You Know?

Worldwide, fisheries throw away 25% of their catch.
(United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization)

This discarded catch, referred to as bycatch, includes dolphins, whales, sea turtles, seals, and seabirds. According to the United Kingdom's Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, each year, entanglement in fishing nets and abandoned fishing line is estimated to kill more than 300,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises worldwide.

Other fishery-related problems that plague our oceans include overfishing, destructive fishing practices and fish farms that pollute coastal waters and destroy coastal habitat. Unsustainable fishing practices are threatening the viability of commercial fisheries around the world. According to a study published in the journal Science in 2006, 29% of commercial fisheries have collapsed (catch has fallen to 10% of historic highs), and 100% could collapse by 2048 if we continue on with business as usual.

So what is the eco-conscientious Seafood Watchconsumer with a taste for seafood to do? Is it possible to eat seafood without contributing to the demise of fisheries and marine ecosystems around the world? Yes!

The Monterey Bay Aquarium, a leading authority on sustainable seafood choices, offers many tools to help you choose sustainable seafood in your region. Its Seafood Watch program provides easy-to-use guides that classify fish as:

Best Choices: fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways

Good Alternatives: there are concerns with how these are fished or farmed, or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts

Avoid: fish come from sources that are overfished and/or fished or farmed in ways that harm other marine life or the environment

The guides also identify those species which should be consumed in moderation due to concerns about mercury or other contaminants.

You can download and print a Seafood Watch Pocket Guide for your region, as well as a guide to sustainable sushi. And if you have an iPhone, get up-to-the-minute recommendations with the Aquarium's brand new Seafood Watch iPhone app (see links below).

One last thing: don't be afraid to talk with the chefs and servers in the restaurants you frequent; ask them where and how the seafood on their menu was caught. And if they are serving seafood on the Avoid list, show them your handy Seafood Watch Pocket Guide so they can see for themselves all of the wonderful sustainable alternatives available.

To download a Seafood Watch Pocket Guide for your region, click here.

For information about sustainable sushi and to download a Seafood Watch Sushi Pocket Guide, click here.

To get Seafood Watch recommendations on your iPhone, click here.

Green_PeopleGreen People/Green Companies

Meet the Dervaes Family
Jules Dervaes, his son and two daughters live in a single-family house on a fifth of an acre in the heart of Pasadena, California. What's remarkable isn't so much that they all still live together (even though the 'kids' are well into their twenties and thirties), but that the homestead they've created there supports all four of them. That's right - they live and work full time on the homestead - they have no other jobs.

How do they do this? First and foremost, there's the 1/10 acre organic garden. This garden produces more 6,000 pounds of produce annually. It supplies the Dervaeses with 80-90% of their vegetarian diet during the Homestead Beforesummer, roughly 65% during the spring and fall, and about 55% during the winter. The Dervaeses grow 350 varieties of edible and 'useful' plants, several of which they sell to area restaurants and caterers.

The income they earn from produce sales helps with operational expenses and has helped them in their quest to become a  self-sustaining homestead. They've invested in solar panels, a solar oven, and a biodiesel processor, which they use to make their own biodiesel for the family truck.

Goats and chickens provide milk and eggs, pedal power is used to grind Homestead Afterwheat into flour, a hand crank is used to power a blender and of course, a composter is used to turn waste into nutrient-rich amendment. Plans for a greywater reclamation system, a composting toilet and a rainwater collection system are in the works.

If the economy and the general state of the world have you thinking about going back to basics, if you've recently lost your job, are worried about the possibility of losing your job, or are just simply tired of the rat race, this family will inspire you.

The Dervaeses are living proof that with a little land, a little inspiration and a lot of perspiration, it is possible to go back to the land, even in a metropolis like Los Angeles. Click here to see how they do it.

Visit their website at www.pathtofreedom.com to learn all about this incredible family and their quest for a truly sustainable lifestyle.

LA_ConfidentialL.A. Confidential

Events and other stuff for Angelinos:

Upcoming TeachingGreen Workshops:

Helping the Earth With Every Bite
Thank Mother Earth for her delicious bounty by choosing foods that nourish the body without harming the Earth.

Sunday, March 8
12:30 - 2:00pm
Pacific Unitarian Church, 5621 Montemalaga Dr., Rancho Palos Verdes 90275
Donations greatly appreciated!

Cruising Around Town in (Green) Style

Reduce the impact of getting yourself from here to there and go a long way toward greening your life.
Whole Foods logo
Date: Wednesday, March 18
Time: 7:00 - 8:30pm
Location: Whole Foods Market, 2655 PCH, Torrance 90505
Cost: Suggested donation $5
For more information and to register, visit www.teachinggreen.org.

The L.A. Assemblage Group at the Loft Galleries and Studios

Recycled ArtThe L.A. Assemblage Group a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic group of 16 artists who share a passion for assemblage art. Their artwork is made from discarded objects that would otherwise have ended up in a landfill. At least once a year a group show is arranged to share the joy of showing this currently "politically correct", "green" art form.

This year's show, "CHANGE-D", runs through March 21 at the Loft Galleries and Studios in San Pedro.

Reception: Saturday, March 14, 2:00 - 5:00 pm

Location: The Loft Galleries and Studios, 401 S. Mesa, San Pedro 90731
Parking: Street parking or in the lot at the corner of 6th Street and Mesa

For more information, visit www.the-loft.net.

FREE High-Efficiency Toilet Exchange

Residents of Lomita, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, and Unincorporated Areas of Torrance and Harbor Gateway who are Cal Water Service customers

Get up to two high-efficiency toilets (1.2 gpf) for your single-family home, condo or apartment, in exchange for two old toilets with a flush volume greater than 1.6 gpf. Applications are still being accepted, but toilets will only be available to the first 500 who show up, so get there early.

Date: Saturday,March 14
Time: 8:00 - 1:00pm
Location: West Basin Municipal Water District

For more information and to register, visit www.swe-inc.com or call 1-866-931-3494.

March for Water 09

Come out on March 22, World Water Day,to help bring attention to the current water crisis gripping the world, the nation, the state and the City of Los Angeles. Show lawmakers in Sacramento that you care about the future of water and that business as usual is no longer acceptable when it comes to this precious resource.

Los Angeles State Historic Park
9:00AM - Pre-march activities, March starts at 10:00AM

Rio de Los Angeles State Historic Park
12:00 Noon - 3:00PM Water Celebration

For more information, visit www.marchforwater.com.

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!

Obama Restores Scientific Consultation to Endangered Species Act

WASHINGTON, DC, March 3, 2009 (ENS) - President Barack Obama issued a memorandum today temporarily rescinding a Bush-era rule that Polar Bear Likes Scienceweakened the Endangered Species Act.

The Bush rule allowed federal agencies whose activities might harm threatened and endangered species to avoid the longstanding requirement that they consult first with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Issued jointly by the Departments of the Interior and Commerce just one month before the end of the Bush administration...

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