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Green Living News
August 2009
In This Issue
World Wide GREEN Web
Green City, USA
Green People/Green Companies
L.A. Confidential
Good News!
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Welcome to the August 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:
  • Skin Deep: Your online guide to non-toxic personal care products and cosmetics
  • Good news: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstates the Roadless Area Conservation Rule
...and more!

World_wide_green_webWorld Wide GREEN Web

Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database

When was the last time you read the label on your favorite shampoo, shaving cream or body lotion? Do you have any idea what's in these products and all the others you put on your body every day? Chances are pretty good that you haven't checked and thus don't know because you assume that body care products for sale in the U.S. are safe for human use. Body Care Products

It's a reasonable assumption: the Food & Drug Administration regulates everything that we put in our mouths, so wouldn't they also regulate the myriad products that we put on our skin? The answer, surprisingly, is no. If it's not meant to be swallowed, it's not regulated by the U.S. government.

Because the FDA does not require companies to test cosmetics and personal care products for safety, you may be using products that contain chemicals linked to:
  • Cancer
  • Developmental/reproductive toxicity
  • Allergies/immunotoxicity
  • Neurotoxicity, persistence and bioaccumulation, organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), biochemical or cellular level changes
That's the bad news. The good news is there is a non-profit organization called the Environmental Working Group (EWG) that is working diligently to educate and empower the public to protect itself from these harmful products. Launched in 2004, EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety database contains safety ratings for 50,034 products (containing a total of 8,727 ingredients) - nearly a quarter of all products on the market.

To find out what's in your favorite body care products and how safe or unsafe they are, visit EWG's Skin Deep database at www.cosmeticsdatabase.com. Here you can enter any product and learn:
  • Overall hazard score (0-10)
  • Hazard score of key ingredients
  • List of products with lower concerns
  • Whether or not the company conducts animal testing
Sunscreen GuideEWG has also recently released its 2009 Sunscreen Guide - an investigation of 1,671 sunscreens that rates the season's best and worst. If you spend much time in the sun, you'll want to check out this guide, since according to EWG, "3 of 5 brand-name sunscreens either don't protect skin from sun damage or contain hazardous chemicals - or both." Get the scoop at www.cosmeticsdatabase.com.

Green_City_USAGreen City, USA

Seattle Waives Permit Requirement for Parking-Strip Vegetable Gardens

It just got a lot easier for Seattleites to grow edibles close to home. In keeping with its commitment to sustainability - Seattle ranked third on SustainLane's list of top 50 most sustainable cities in 2008 - the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has decided to allow parking-strip vegetable gardens sans a permit.

Until recently, planting anything but Parking Strip Gardengrass in the strip between the sidewalk and the street required a permit. Now, as long as certain setback and height guidelines are followed, gardeners looking to eat what they grow may plant whatever they like. A permit is required for trees and hardscape elements such as raised planting boxes and pavers, but permits for these activities are FREE.

By making it easy for gardeners to grow food on parking strips, the city of Seattle has taken an important step toward improving access to healthy food, particularly in low-income communities, and raising awareness about the merits of the local food movement. And if Seattleites take advantage of the relaxed rules to the extent they are expected to, Seattle's parking strip gardens will do more than just feed people. They will address issues related to economic development, social justice, long-term health care costs,  community building and of course, the environment.

For more information about the new parking strip garden rules, visit www.seattle.gov/transportation/cams/cam2305.pdf.

Green_PeopleGreen People/Green Companies

Full Sail Brewing Company

As green a city as Seattle is - see Green City, USA above - there's an even greener city, literally and environmentally, in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. That would be Portland  - the most sustainable city in the U.S., according to SustainLane.

So it's fitting that just 60 miles east of Portland - in Hood River, home of the world-renowned windsurfing spot along the Columbia River Gorge - is Full Sail Brewing Co.one of the greenest microbreweries in the country. An independent employee-owned business, Full Sail was recognized as one of the "Best Green Companies to Work for" by Oregon Business Magazine in June 2009.

Here's a 'taste' of the microbrewery's commitment to sustainability: 
  • Reuse of natural resources: the brewhouse itself is an old abandoned cannery that was renovated by the original owners in 1987
  • Water conservation: just 3.45 gallons of water per gallon of beer are consumed, compared with the industry average of 6-8 gallons of water
  • Local ingredients: 85% of hops and 95% of barley come from nearby farms
  • Waste diversion: 4,160 tons of spent grain and 1,248 tons of spent yeast are sent back to farmers every year to feed dairy cows
  • Waste reduction: the beer is filtered using centrifugal force, instead of traditional diatomaceous earth filters
  • Closing the loop: 100% recycled paperboard in used in all packaging
  • Renewable energy: Full Sail purchases 140 blocks of Pacific Power Blue Sky renewable energy per month, cutting the brewery's carbon dioxide emissions by 168 tons each year
  • Overall efficiency: the brewery has adopted a four-day work week to reduce water and energy consumption by 20%
You can see (and taste) for yourself what Full Sail is all about by taking a 30-minute tour of the brewery - you'll even get a free pint glass. Closer to home, you can now buy Full Sail's award-winning brews in nineteen states, mostly in the West. Check with your local Trader Joe's.

For more information about Full Sail's commitment to protecting the environment, visit www.fullsailbrewing.com/responsibility.cfm.

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. Join us!

San Pedro...Home & Garden: Green Building & Energy Conservation

Learn about earth-friendly decorating and remodeling and how to save Testimonialenergy (and money) at home.

Date: Wednesday, August 12 - TONIGHT!
Time: 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Location: The YMCA, 301 S. Bandini St, San Pedro, CA 90731
Cost: Suggested donation $5

Venice...Simplifying Your Way to Waste-Free Living

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

Date: Tuesday, August 18
Time: 7:00 - 8:00pm
Location: Seed Kitchen Restaurant, 1604 Pacific Avenue, Venice, CA 90291
Cost: Suggested donation $5

Torrance...Detoxifying Your Planet, Your Home, Yourself

Whole Foods logo
Protect your health and the health of others by keeping toxics out of your life and the environment.

Date: Wednesday, August 19
Time: 7:00 - 8:30pm
Location: Whole Foods Market, 2655 PCH, Torrance, CA 90505
Cost: Suggested donation $5

Redondo Beach...Home & Garden: Green Building & Energy Conservation

Learn about earth-friendly decorating and remodeling and how to save energy (and money) at home.

Thursday, August 20
7:00pm - 8:30pm
The SEA Lab, 1021 N. Harbor Drive Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Suggested donation $5

For more information and to register, visit www.teachinggreen.org.

Blue Planet Film Fest

Blue Planet is a new animal welfare/environmental film festival and forum to raise awareness and motivate people to action on the most important issues of our time: saving our planet. In addition to film screenings, the event will feature workshops and demos covering such topics as green roofs, raw foods and victory gardens.

Date: Labor Day Weekend/September 4-7
Location: Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th Street, Santa Monica 90401
Cost: Visit www.blueplanetfilmfest.com for ticket prices

For more information, visit www.blueplanetfilmfest.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.


Heal the Bay, a non-profit organization based in Santa Monica, is seeking qualified individuals for the following positions:
  • Public Programs Assistant (part-time)
  • Digital Content Assistant (part-time)
  • Development Manager (full-time)
For details and to apply visit www.healthebay.org/aboutus/jobs.asp.

Good_NewsGood News!

Appeals Court Reinstates U.S. Roadless Area Conservation Rule

SAN FRANCISCO, California, August 5, 2009 (ENS) - Nearly 40 million acres of roadless national forests are again protected from new road building, logging, and development by a decision today of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstating the Roadless Area Conservation Rule.

The decision came in a case brought by four states and 20 environmental organizations against the Bush-era U.S. Roadless areaForest Service rule that required state governors to petition the federal government for protection of roadless areas on national forests in their states.

Known as the State Petitions Rule, its purpose was to overturn the Roadless Area Conservation Rule of 2001 promulgated by the U.S. Forest Service just eight days...

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