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Green Living News
July 2009
In This Issue
Eco-Gadgets & Innovations
Duty Calls
World Wide GREEN Web
L.A. Confidential
Worth Your Time
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Welcome to the July 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:
  • Love soda but hate all the waste? Make your own with a home soda maker from Sodastream®
...and more!

Eco_gadgetsEco-Gadgets & Innovations


"What is congealed electricity?"

If we were playing Jeopardy, the answer would be: "Smelting aluminum oxide to get pure aluminum is so energy intensive that aluminum is sometimes referred to by this nickname."

This is one reason that it's so important to recycle aluminum cans. Recycling is great, of course, but if most of the aluminum cans (and 2-liter plastic bottles) in your life contain some kind of carbonated non-alcoholic beverage, there's a greener way to go: the Sodastream® home soda maker.

There are four Sodastream® home soda makers to choose from, but they all do basically the same thing: carbonate water by forcing in carbon dioxide under pressure. The carbon dioxide comes in "carbonators" - one Sodastreamwith enough CO2 to make 110 liters of carbonated beverage and one with enough to make 60 liters. Empty carbonators are easily exchanged for full ones at an authorized retailer or by ordering online at www.sodastreamusa.com.

You can make seltzer, or for a few dollars more, you can buy concentrated soda...there are currently 26 SodaMix flavors to choose from. To get you started making soda at home, Sodastream® sells starter kits which include:
  • Home Soda Maker
  • One 110-liter or two 60-liter Carbonator(s)
  • Two reusable Carbonating Bottles (for storing the finished product)
  • Three SodaMix flavors of your choice
The starter kits range in price from $100 to $160, but with a cost of around $0.60 per liter for the CO2 and SodaMix flavor (compared to roughly $0.75 for store-bought), it will eventually pay for itself over time.

Other things to like about Sodastream® home soda makers:
  • no electricity or batteries required (although energy is needed to fill the carbonator)
  • carbonating bottles are BPA-free and can be used for up to three years
  • hermetic sealing caps keep soda fresh much longer than store-bought soda
  • freedom to make your soda exactly how you like it!
Pretty sweet way to get your soda fix without all the waste and schlepping of soda cans and bottles. You'll save a good chunk of change in the long run, too.

For more information and to purchase a Sodastream® home soda maker, visit www.sodastreamusa.com.

Duty_CallsDuty Calls

International Day of Climate Action

What are you doing on October 24, 2009?

If you're concerned about global warming and the glacial pace at which the world's governments are addressing the problem, October 24 is your day to take action.

350 DayOn this day, people all over the world will meet and demonstrate to pressure their governments to take effective action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The focus of this global event is the number 350, as in parts per million, the level scientists have identified as the safe upper limit for CO2 in our atmosphere. We're at 389 and rising.

Organized by author Bill Kibben and his international 350.org team, the International Day of Climate Action is shaping up to be the biggest day of grassroots action on global warming in history. To date, more than 1,100 actions in 74 countries have been registered at www.350.org. People are planning bike rides, rallies, local food 350potlucks...whatever they can think of to send a strong message to world leaders who will meet in Copenhagen, Denmark in December to craft a new global treaty to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

To get involved, visit www.350.org/map to see if there's already an action registered in your area that you could join. If not, register your own! The 350.org website offers all kinds of ideas and support for planning an event. And if you happen to live in the Los Angeles area, TeachingGreen and another nonprofit organization, the Environmental Priorities Network, are organizing an event to take place in the South Bay area south of LAX. If you'd like to participate, please respond to this email.

The time to act on global warming is now. Don't miss this opportunity to be a part of the movement that could bring the change we need.

World_wide_green_webWorld Wide GREEN Web

NRDC's "What's Fresh Near You" Guide

Have you ever wondered how it's possible that grocery stores are able to consistently stock their produce section, as if everything's in season all the time? You want apples in April, you got it, even though for most of the country, apples are in season only from late summer through fall. If you're buying apples at any other time, chances are they were either shipped from abroad or kept in cold storage since harvest. Either way, these apples require considerably more fossil fuel energy than locally grown, in-season apples do. The same goes for any fruit or vegetable bought out of season.

One way to help ensure that the produce you buy is in season is to shop at Produce in seasona farmers market. But even there, you'll sometimes find vendors selling produce out of season.

If buying in season is important to you (because you're concerned about global warming and air pollution, you want to support local farmers and/or you just want fresher, tastier food), check out the new "What's Fresh Near You" guide from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

With this handy online tool, you can find out what's in season in your state or region during a particular time of the year or you can view and print the entire year broken down into two-week intervals. It takes the guesswork out of buying in season, and is also a helpful resource for home gardening.

Check it out at www.nrdc.org/health/foodmiles.

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

Upcoming TeachingGreen Workshops

We have several workshops on the calendar this month, from San Pedro to Venice Beach. Come learn about all the things you can do to live a healthier, greener life and save money in the process. Please join us!

San Pedro...Helping the Earth with Every Bite

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

Date: Wednesday, July 8 - TONIGHT!
Time: 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Location: The YMCA, 301 S. Bandini St, San Pedro, CA 90731
Cost: Suggested donation $5

Rancho Palos Verdes...Stemming the Tide of Toxics and Trash

Do more than you ever thought possible to stem the flow of natural resources to landfills, and keep toxics out of your life and the environment.

Date: Sunday, July 12
Time: 11:30am - 1:00pm
Location: Pacific Unitarian Church, Second Classroom, 5621 Montemalaga Dr., Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
Cost: Suggested donation $5

Torrance...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, July 15
Time: 7:00 - 8:30pm
Location: Whole Foods Market, 2655 PCH, Torrance, CA 90505
Cost: Suggested donation $5

Redondo Beach...Helping the Earth with Every Bite

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

Thursday, July 16
7:00pm - 8:30pm
The SEA Lab, 1021 N. Harbor Drive Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Suggested donation $5

Venice...Home & Garden: Water Quality and Conservation

Date: Tuesday, July 21
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.

Wise Water Use Expo

This event is designed to build awareness about the worsening drought crisis and provide information and tools to help people embrace water conservation. The evening will feature three guest presenters, including Ed Begley, Jr., plus a free raffle, and the chance to talk to and learn from the area's many water conservation groups.

Date: Tuesday, July 21
Time: 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: Mar Vista Park, 11430 Woodbine St., Los Angeles, CA 90066
Cost: FREE

For more information, visit http://wisewateruseexpo.blogspot.com.

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
Downtown.................4th Wednesday
Valley.......................4th Thursday

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

Worth_Your_TimeWorth Your Time

The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems

By Van Jones (2008)

Van Jones, recently appointed Green Jobs Adviser to the Obama WhiteGreen Collar Economy House, and founder of "Green For All," an environmental group dedicated to bringing green jobs to the disadvantaged, lays out a compelling case for the argument that green jobs are the key to solving both our economic and our environmental crises. Moving away from a carbon-based economy will require a massive investment in research and development (jobs) and manual labor (more jobs). And if we act quickly enough, doing so may just be enough to save all of Earth's inhabitants from the catastrophic effects of global climate change.

"Van Jones reminds us that the worst of times can also be the best of times -- that a nation with an abundance of resources it's wasting -- beginning with its youth -- has an enormous opportunity to stop foolishly bankrupting itself by chasing resources it is running out of -- like oil."

- Carl Pope, Executive Director Sierra Club

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