|Eco-Gadgets & Innovations
Ahhh, summer. There's nothing quite like it: kids out of school, family barbeques, tall glasses of ice cold lemonade...and, for folks living in hot climates, the high cost - both financial and environmental - of central air conditioning.
Where household appliances are concerned, nothing sucks up energy quite as voraciously as central AC. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling together account for about 56% of the energy use in a typical U.S. home.
If you live in a climate that requires central AC and would like to save energy and money, you can, with Cool-N-Save™. Endorsed by Ed Begley, Jr., Cool-N-Save™ is an AC pre-cooling system that creates a "Chill Zone" around your central AC unit that is up to 30 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than the surrounding air.
Invented by Greenway Design Group, LLC, the Cool-n-Save™ system requires no additional power, but it does use some water - about 1.4 gallons per hour, according to Greenway. The idea is simple and has actually been used in commercial buildings for years.
The system consists of a patented control valve, three misters, a filter (to prevent scaling on your AC condenser fins and coils) and a water line that connects to a standard garden spigot. When the AC unit turns on, the valve opens automatically and filtered water flows to the misters. The resulting ultra-fine mist evaporates almost instantly, sucking heat out of the air, and thus creating a "cool zone" around the AC unit. When the AC unit shuts off, the control valve automatically closes, ensuring that no water is wasted.
According to Greenway, the Cool-N-Save™ misting system can be installed on almost any residential AC unit in under ten minutes with no tools. And at the very reasonable price of $99.95, the system will pay for itself in no time.
For more information and to purchase a Cool-N-Save™ system, visit www.coolnsave.com.
|World Wide GREEN Web
So you like to read...informative newsletters, anyway. How about books? Are you a fan of classic literature, science fiction, or romance novels, perhaps? Or maybe it's biographies and memoirs that you can't get enough of. Whatever your pleasure, there's no question that getting your books at the library is the most environmentally responsible way to go.
However, if you already have a collection of books that you've already read and are collecting dust on your bookshelf, you can exchange them for books you actually want to read at PaperBackSwap.com.
Here's how it works. PaperBackSwap.com is an online book club that allows you to swap books with other members of the club for free. All you need is a valid email account and U.S. mailing address and some books you want to get rid of. Once you've completed the simple club member registration form, you can start posting books that you are willing to swap with other members.
When another member requests one of your books, you'll receive an email notifying you of the request. You print out a mailing label from the website, pop the book in the mail, and when the requesting party receives it, you get a credit, which you can use to order a book for yourself. You can browse for books in every imaginable genre and you can search by title, author ISBN or keyword. When you find a book you'd like to read, if your request is accepted, the owner will mail it to you. It's then yours to keep until you're ready to swap again.
Membership is free. The only money leaving your hands will be for postage to mail books to other members. There are currently more than 3,500,000 books available for swapping, and yes, contrary to what the name implies, you can also swap hardbacks at PaperBackSwap.com.
If you're thinking this would work great with CDs and DVDs as well, you're right. Two sister sites, SwapaCD.com and SwapaDVD.com follow nearly the same model and currently offer more than 230,000 CDs and 120,000 DVDs for swapping.
So check out these sites, get out the feather duster and start swapping. Every swap represents two books (or CDs or DVDs) reused rather than purchased new. Over a lifetime, that's a lot of natural resources saved and pollution prevented.
|Green City, Europe
Ghent, Belgium Declares Thursdays "Veggie Day"
Recognizing the considerable role that meat consumption plays in our most pressing environmental problems - global climate change, water shortages, water pollution, and deforestation, to name a few - the city of Ghent, Belgium has declared that Thursdays shall be a day to shun meat.
What exactly does this mean? Meat will still be available on Thursdays, but residents of this university town of 200,000 will be strongly encouraged to choose alternatives. Tom Balthazar, the Labour party official who pushed for "veggie day," said, "There's nothing compulsory. We just want to be a city that promotes sustainable and healthy living."
To encourage vegetarianism, every Thursday:
The city is also distributing 90,000 "veggie street maps" to guide diners to the city's vegetarian restaurants. It's a bold move that will lower the city's carbon footprint, improve residents' health and send a message to the rest of the world that current levels of meat consumption in the developed world are neither sustainable nor healthy.
- public officials and politicians will forgo meat
- public schools will make a meat-free meal the default option (beginning this September)
- every restaurant in the city will guarantee a vegetarian dish
Events and other stuff for Angelinos:
Upcoming TeachingGreen Workshops
We've got three series starting up this month. Each workshop is a self-contained event, so come to one or all.
San Pedro: The San Pedro & Peninsula YMCA (STARTS TONIGHT!)
August 12.........Home & Garden, Part I (Energy & Green Building)
September 9.....Home & Garden, Part II (Water Quality & Conservation)
October 14.......Solid Waste
November 11....Household Toxics & Hazardous Waste
Time: 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Location: The YMCA, 301 S. Bandini St, San Pedro, CA 90731
Cost: Suggested donation $5 per class
Torrance: El Camino College
June 29.....Home & Garden, Part I (Energy & Green Building)
July 6........Home & Garden, Part II (Water Quality & Conservation)
July 13......Solid Waste
July 20......Household Toxics & Hazardous Waste
Time: 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Location: ECC, Social Sciences Room 111, 16007 Crenshaw Blvd, Torrance 90506
Cost: $12 per class
Redondo Beach: The SEA Lab
August 20..........Home & Garden, Part I (Energy & Green Building)
September 17.....Home & Garden, Part II (Water Quality & Conservation)
October 15.........Solid Waste
November 19......Household Toxics & Hazardous Waste
Time: 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Location: The SEA Lab, 1021 N. Harbor Drive Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Cost: Suggested donation $5 per class
And continuing with two series in progress:
Home & Garden, Part II (Water Quality & Conservation)
Date: Wednesday, June 17
Time: 7:00 - 8:30pm
Location: Whole Foods Market, 2655 PCH, Torrance 90505
Cost: Suggested donation $5
Food: Helping the Earth with Every Bite
Date: Tuesday, June 23
Time: 7:00 - 8:00pm
Location: Seed Kitchen Restaurant, 1604 Pacific Avenue, Venice, CA 90291
Cost: Suggested donation $5
For more information and to register, visit www.teachinggreen.org.
Eco Events Around Town
Torrance Environmental Fair
This event will feature a wide range of eco booths and displays, plus a series of speakers on everything from green home improvements to alternative fuel vehicles to low-water landscaping.
Date: Saturday, June 13
Time: 10:00am - 3:00pm
Location: Madrona Marsh Nature Center, 3201 Plaza del Amo, Torrance 90503
For more information, including a complete list of speakers and exhibitors, click here.
Venice Eco-Fest 2009
This all-day event will feature more than 100 eco booths and displays, an art gallery exhibit, a solar sound stage, organic food, and interactive children's art/play area, and a bicycle parade.
Date: June 27, 2009
Time: 10:00am - 6:00pm
Location: Venice Beach Recreation Area, Windward Ave. & Ocean Front Walk
For more information, click here.
El Segundo Environmental Expo
This event will feature eco-friendly products and services, as well as interactive demonstrations on how to reduce energy and water use. Bring your e-waste for recycling, your plastic bags in exchange for reusable bags, and donations of women's working attire, which will be distributed to women in need.
Date: Thursday, July 2
Time: 3:00 - 7:00pm
Location: 350 Main Street, El Segundo 90245
For more information, click here.
LA Green Drinks
Relax, have a drink, make new friends, network and share ideas with others interested in environmental issues.
West Side................1st Thursday of the month
South Bay................2nd Thursday
WeHo/Silver Lake.....3rd Thursday
For times and locations, visit: lagreendrinks.blogspot.com.
|Worth Your Time
2009, In theaters starting June 12
In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, insecticide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won't go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli-the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually.
Featuring interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation
), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma
) along with forward thinking social entrepreneurs like Stonyfield's Gary Hirshberg and Polyface Farms' Joel Salatin, Food, Inc. reveals surprising truths about what we eat, how it's produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.
"A riveting cautionary tale. This is one movie that truly provides food for thought." - Patrick Goldstein, Los Angeles Times
"Excellent in every respect." - Pete Hammon, BoxOffice Magazine
For more information, including where you can see Food, Inc., visit www.foodincmovie.com
Three ways you can help:
1. Bring us your people
Actually, we'll come to you.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.