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Green Living New
October 2009
In This Issue
DIY...Homemade Cleaners
Did You Know?
L.A. Confidential
Worth Your Time
Good News!
Support TeachingGreen
Join Our Mailing List!
Quick Links

Welcome to the October 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!


Homemade Household Cleaners

One of the many reasons that people give for not "going green," so to speak, is that it's too expensive. While it is true that many environmentally-friendly products do carry a price premium, it's simply not true that the environmentally-friendly option is always more expensive. Homemade household cleaners are a very good example. As you'll see below, homemade cleaners cost just a tiny fraction of what store-bought cleaners cost. They are also harmless to you, your family and the environment and contribute very little if anything to indoor air pollution.

What will you need?

You'll want to have these four essential ingredients:
  • White distilled vinegar: cleans, disinfects and cuts greaseHomemade cleaner ingredients
  • Baking soda: cleans, deodorizes and scours
  • Lemon juice: cuts grease (and smells good too)
  • Borax: disinfects, bleaches and deodorizes
It's also nice to have:
  • Olive oil: picks up dirt and polishes wood
  • Liquid castile soap: cleans just about anything and is gentle enough to be used on your body
  • Essential oils: can be added to any of your homemade cleaners for a fresh, clean scent
A few words of advice

To help ensure successful cleaning with your homemade cleaners, remember:
  • Before using any homemade cleaner, always test in a small hidden area
  • Because they aren't as harsh as store-bought cleaners, homemade cleaners work best if you clean your house at least once a month

Here are six tried and true homemade cleaner recipes. Trust us - these cleaners really work, and the majority are amazingly cheap to make.

All-purpose cleaner
Mix 2 cups water, 2 tablespoons white vinegar and teaspoon borax in a spray bottle, dissolving the borax completely. Spray and wipe clean with a clean cloth. COST: $0.04 per 32 oz bottle

Tile and linoleum floor cleaner
Mix cup white vinegar and 1 gallon WARM water in a mop bucket and mop as you normally would - no need to rinse. NOTE: this cleaner also works well on hardwood floors, but the amount of white vinegar should be reduced to cup. COST: $0.06 per 42 oz bottle

Glass cleaner
Mix cup of white vinegar and 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. IMPORTANT: wipe clean with a crumpled newspaper. COST: $0.17 per 32 oz bottle

Wood furniture polish
Mix cup of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a spray bottle. Apply with a clean rag, shaking regularly. Reduce the olive oil if wood looks too oily. COST: $0.79 per 12.5 oz bottle

Sink, tub and tile
Dip the face of a lemon half in some borax powder. Scrub the surface to be cleaned with the face of the lemon. When you're done scrubbing, rinse as you normally would. COST: Practically nothing if you grow your own lemons. Otherwise, this homemade cleaner does cost more than Comet or Ajax

Toilet bowl cleaner
Sprinkle about cup baking soda into the toilet bowl, then add about 1 cup white vinegar. Scrub with a toilet brush and let sit until the toilet is used. COST: $1.10 per 24 oz bottle

For more information and other suggested recipes, visit http://eartheasy.com.

Did_You_KnowDid You Know?

Proprietary Liners of Older SIGG Bottles Do Contain BPA

If you are the proud owner of a SIGG reusable bottle, listen up: in August 2009, SIGG CEO Steve Wasik admitted that the "proprietary water-based epoxy liners" of all SIGG bottles manufactured prior to August 2008 do indeed contain trace amounts of bisphenol A (BPA). BPA has been linked to several serious disorders, including endocrine system disruption, cancer, compromised brain function, infertility and other reproductive system defects, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.

While these liners do contain BPA, test results down to 2ppb sensitivity show no leaching of BPA. These liners can be identified by their "shiny copper bronze finish."
SIGG liners
SIGG bottles manufactured after August 2008 contain SIGG's new EcoCare liner - independently tested to be free of BPA, phthalates and other harmful chemicals. These liners can be identified by their "dull pale yellow coating."

If you have an older SIGG bottle with the copper bronze finish, you can send it back to SIGG and the company will replace it with a new EcoCare bottle free of charge. However, SIGG is not offering refunds and you will need to pay to ship your bottle to them. This voluntary exchange offer is available through October 31, 2009.

For more information and to download a shipping label, visit http://mysigg.com.

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

Upcoming TeachingGreen Workshops

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: Water Quality & Conservation

Save countless gallons of water around the house and minimize runoff that pollutes our local waters.

Wednesday, October 14 (TONIGHT)
6:30pm - 8:00pm
The YMCA, 301 S. Bandini St, San Pedro, CA 90731
Suggested donation $5

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

: Helping the Earth with Every Bite

Producing our food takes a surprisingly significant toll on the environment, but it doesn't have to be that way. Learn about the environmental impacts Whole Foods logoof various foods, including meat, seafood, and conventionally-grown produce.

Date: Wednesday, October 21
Time: 7:00 - 8:30pm
Location: Whole Foods Market, 2655 PCH, Torrance, CA 90505
Cost: Suggested donation $5

CMA Autumn Sea Fair

Celebrate the bounty of the sea! Highlights of this family-focused event include face-painting, a marine life puppet show, a hunt for buried treasure, a sand sculpture contest, information tables by more than two dozen marine-related organizations and live music playing throughout the day.

Sunday, October 18
Time: 10:00 - 4:30pm
Location: Cabrillo Marine  Aquarium; 3720 Stephen M White Dr, San Pedro, 90731
Cost: FREE

For more information, visit www.cabrillomarineaquarium.org.

West Basin's 11th Annual Water Harvest Festival

Every drop counts! Learn about the seven wonders of California's water world. This event includes free food, games, raffle, stage shows, tours of the water recycling facility, costume contest, and more.

Date: Saturday, October 24
Time: 10 - 2:00pm
Location: Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility, 1935 S. Hughes Way, El Segundo 90245
Cost: FREE

For more information, visit www.westbasin.org.

South Bay 350 Climate Action Day

Join the Amazing Waving Human Tide Line! Join thousands of people around the world in taking a stand for serious action on climate change. Bring your friends and come down to the Manhattan Beach pier on Saturday, October 24 at 3pm to take part in what is promising to be the  largest climate action in history.

Your participation is needed to help send a strong message to world leaders that we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions so that 350 Daywe can bring the atmospheric concentration of CO2 back down to 350 parts per million - the level scientists have identified as the safe upper limit.

This will be a fun, inspirational event that you won't want to miss. Join us!

Date: Saturday, October 24
Rally: 3:00pm
Human Tide Line: 3:50pm
Location: Manhattan Beach Pier (end of the Manhattan Beach Blvd., 90266)

For more information and to RSVP, visit www.350.org/southbay350.

Opportunity Green '09

This two-day conference for "professionals with entrepreneurial attitudes committed to sustainable business that works" will feature panels, case studies and hands-ons workshop sessions showcasing "successful sustainability strategies, emerging best practices, and leading edge product and service solutions."

Date: November 7-8
Time: 8:00am - 5:00pm
Location: UCLA, Covel Commons, 330 De Neve Drive, Los Angeles 90024
Cost: $995; $495 for full-time students

For more information, visit www.opportunitygreen.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 Story of Stuff
with Annie Leonard

What has to happen to make a $5 radio? Better yet, how is it even possible to make a radio for only $5?

Annie Leonard spent 10 years traveling the world, tracking where our stuff comes from and where it goes, in search of the answers to questions like these. What she found was a system in crisis: all along the production chain, from extraction of natural resources to disposal of consumer goods, our consumption-based economy is exacting an unacceptably high toll on the environment and communities around the world. Story of Stuff

In this succinct, engaging and sometimes funny 20-minute video, Annie examines the five phases of the "materials economy" - extraction, production, distribution, consumption and disposal - and how it's all set up to ensure continued consumption, why it's not increasing the national happiness and how it's impacting the environment, workers and even babies.

More than seven million people have watched the Story of Stuff. Have you? If not, give yourself 20 minutes and watch it today. Note: as of this writing, the video on the U.S. site isn't working, but you can view it on the International site at www.storyofstuff.com/international.

To view the 20-minute video, visit www.storyofstuff.com/international.

For more information about The Story of Stuff, visit www.storyofstuff.com.

Good_NewsGood News!

California residents will soon be able to profit from their solar and wind energy systems

Los Angeles Times
By Tiffany Hsu
October 13, 2009

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has approved two major initiatives that will require utilities to pay consumers for generating extra power and will boost the payoff for certain solar facilities.

Homes, businesses and schools that have solar panels or wind turbines Solar PV panelspreviously had no financial incentive to use less electricity than they generated. But AB 920, written by Assemblyman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), will encourage efficiency, supporters say.

SB 32, by state Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Chino), requires utilities to purchase solar electricity from facilities that produce up to three megawatts and could increase installations on unused spaces such as warehouse roofs. The old limit was 1.5 megawatts.

The two bills will go into effect Jan. 1. Schwarzenegger signed them late Sunday, the last day to act on bills from this year's legislative session.

Under AB 920, the state Public Utilities Commission will set a rate for utilities to compensate customers whose solar or wind systems produce more power than they use in a year. Under California's current law, customers are not paid for any surplus electricity they feed back...

Click here for full article.

Support_TGSupport TeachingGreen

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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.

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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 currently 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