Saturday, December 26, 2009

Upcoming Event

Join the Jewish Free Loan Association (JFLA)
as it celebrates the launch of the inaugural


The Green Loan Fund will offer interest-free loans for environmental upgrades
to residences, town homes, condos, apartments & small businesses.

Featured Speakers will include:
Ed Begley, Jr., Actor and Activist
David Nahai, Senior Advisor to the Clinton Climate Initiative

Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Private Home in Brentwood
Address available upon RSVP

Cocktail Reception at 6:30 pm
Program at 7:00 pm
Business Attire • Dietary laws observed.

$150 per person

Click here to RSVP online

Please RSVP by January 4, 2010
Event underwritten by Leslie & Paul Aronzon
For more information, please contact (323) 761-8830 (323) 761-8830 x111.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Down the Drain

Fact: An American household uses up to 400 gallons of water per day*

Fact: The United States uses more water than any other country in the world**

Fact: Our water supplies are running low

Yep, that precious liquid which is essential to life, is running low – very low. According to an article written by Mark Frauenfelder, (“Lake Mead Is Drying Up”) in GOOD magazine, our supply is far too low and demand has gotten way too high.

In 2008, Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa’s office released a document entitled, “Securing L.A.’s Water Supply” which outlined a plan to create sustainable sources of water for Los Angeles.

Some of the methods intended to cut back on water usage included: “investments in state-of-the-art technology…rebates and incentives…installation of smart sprinklers, efficient washers and urinals; and long-term measures such as expansion of water recycling and investment in cleaning up the local groundwater supply.” The goal was to conserve/recycle 32.6 billion gallons of water per year (this amounts to enough water to supply 200,000 homes for one year).

The document also laid out reasons for the decline in water availability:

- Climate conditions (e.g. low levels of snowfall, “environmental commitments” and high levels of drought) have reduced the “long-term availability” of water from our water sources.

- The city of Los Angeles typically receives water from five different sources including: the Eastern Sierra Nevada watershed; the Colorado River; the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta; the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD); and local groundwater and recycled water.
Water deliveries carried from the Eastern Sierra Watershed to Los Angeles, via the Los Angeles Aqueduct (LAA), have dropped dramatically. From 1995-2000 Los Angeles received about 63% of its water from the Eastern Sierra, compared to only 34% from 2001-2004. This is said to have occurred because of the redistribution of water to other areas for environmental purposes (improvements).

- Another problem is groundwater contamination. Los Angeles’ ground water accounts for about 11% of its total water supply. The San Fernando Valley (SFV), where Los Angeles gets the majority of its groundwater from, has such high levels of contamination, however, that much of it cannot be used.

What’s being done about it:

Under the “City of Los Angeles Emergency Water Conservation Plan” (Chapter XII, Article I of the California Water Code), water resources available to the City must be put to “maximum beneficial use to the extent to which they are capable.” This conservation plan has actually been in effect since 1991, but was not enforced until recently (as of August 11, 2009).

Los Angeles is currently undergoing Phase III of the ordinance. Some of the restrictions include:

- Using a water hose to wash paved surfaces including: sidewalks, walkways, driveways and/or parking areas (unless it is for safety or sanitation purposes).

- Using water to clean, fill or maintain levels in ponds, lakes, decorative fountains or any other structure intended for visual purposes, unless the water is part of a recirculation system.
- Washing a vehicle with a hose, if that hose doesn’t have a self-closing water shut-off or device attached to it. Residents of the City of Los Angeles also may not allow the water to run continuously while washing said vehicle.

- Irrigating lawns, landscape, or other vegetated areas while it is raining.

- Watering lawns, landscape, using irrigation systems, etc. on any day other than Monday or Thursday, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. only.

While there are exceptions to these rules it is absolutely essential to the future of Los Angeles’ water supply that you abide by the restrictions outlined in this ordinance.

Now that we have all of that covered, here are some steps you can take to make a difference in the amount of water that is being used and wasted:

- Make sure you have a low flow showerhead & low flow toilet.

- Cover your pool. We Angelenos love our pools, and rightfully so – it gets incredibly hot here (thanks to the fact that we live in a desert). Keep water from evaporating as quickly by purchasing a solar pool cover, which will also capture and trap heat from the sun (thus, no need for a pool heater).

- Bring your car into a car wash, rather than washing it at home. Law requires commercial car washes to drain dirty water directly into sewers so that it can be treated properly and many recycle and reuse their water as well.***

- Bathe with a bucket in the shower. Capture the runoff water and use it to water the plants in your backyard. I’ve been doing this for the past couple of months, and I kid you not, roses that had withered away months back have started to bloom again! I know this may sound somewhat inconvenient, but think about the “inconvenience” of having no water at all years down the road…

- Turn the water off the second you’re not using it. For example, while washing the dishes, make sure that you turn the water off as you place the dishes in the dishwasher – many people unknowingly let the water run while loading. Even better yet, scrape the plate, place in dishwasher and let it take care of the rest!

- Wash your hair every other day or less. Not only will daily washing strip your hair of its natural oils, but a conventional showerhead spews between 2.5 to 4 gallons per minute.* You could save around 20 gallons of water per day (60-80 gallons per week) if it takes you five minutes to wash and condition your hair.

- Shave, exfoliate and deep condition your hair with the water off, during your shower.

- Abide by the rule: if it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down.

Obviously, do your best not to use more water than needed. This sounds simple enough, but had it been our mantra for the past years, we wouldn’t have gotten ourselves into this mess with no water to clean it up.

* “This is a Turn Off” by Adam Matthews & Siobahan O’ Connor in GOOD magazine
**Based on the average per-capita water use in the U.S.
***Information from Sophie Uliano’s “Gorgeously Green 8 Simple Steps to an Earth-Friendly Life”

Images from:

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fresh From Your Farmers' Market

Why you should support your local Farmers’ Markets:

1) Many of the farms use sustainable agricultural practices.

2) Money goes back in to your community.

3) The food is organic, thus pesticide free.

4) The produce is super fresh.

5) Less packaging is involved.

6) The distance the food travels is exponentially less than the distance food travels to super markets:

According to an article titled, "Eat Locally and Ease Climate Change"
written by Lloyd Alter, on Planet Green: “A full tractor-trailer hauls about 32,000 pounds of produce. On average...this food travels about 1,750 miles from farm to market, in trucks that get about 5.5 miles per gallon. That's 320 gallons of fuel to transport 32,000 pounds, or about a gallon of fuel for every 100 pounds of food."

Side note: Do not be alarmed if you come across a stand or two (or even more) that do not have a “Certified Organic” sign hanging in their tent. It can be expensive getting certified so some farmers opt not to, but still practice organic and sustainable farming. You should, however, inquire if they use pesticides and such in their farming, just as a precaution.

Check out the guide (below) to find Farmers’ Markets around the L.A area:*


West Hollywood Monday Farmers’ Market
Plummer Park - N. Vista and Fountain Ave


Woodman Avenue Market
14006 Riverside Drive Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(866) 966-9495

Made an impromptu stop here on my way home one day. Great selection of fresh/ripe veggies. Not as many fruit vendors as I would like, but there are lots of craft boutiques.

Culver City Certified Farmers’ Market
Main & Culver, Culver City


Santa Monica Wednesday Farmers’ Market
Arizona Ave & 2nd Street

Northridge Farmers’ Market And Family
5pm-9pm (April-October)
Northridge Fashion Mall (between Macys and Borders)
9301 Tampa Ave
Northridge, CA 91324

Hollywood Lemon Grove Farmers’ Market
4959 Lemon Grove Ave @ Hobart Blvd.

“The Hollywood Lemon Grove Farmers' Market is a certified farmers' market that opened on June 18, 2008. It is replacing the market formerly located in the Sears parking lot (known as the Hollywood-Sears Farmers' Market). The new market offers a variety of fruits and vegetables as well as nuts and dried fruits. In addition to a great selection of fresh produce, the market hosts events for children and adults including healthy cooking demonstrations, tastings, a salsa contest, Spring into Health activities, free raffles, live music, craft workshops and pumpkin carving for kids.

The market is open year round. The Hollywood Lemon Grove Farmers' Market proudly accepts EBT/Foodstamps and WIC/Senior FMNP coupons.”


Westwood Farmers’ Market
Vets Garden, Westwood
310- 861-8188

“At the Westwood Farmers Market, at the Vet's Garden at the VA, the emphasis is on real farmers and on gourmet, hard to find foods. The market features more than thirty farmers and food vendors in a beautiful garden setting, plus plenty of shade, and lots of free parking! The market will serve farmers and consumers, and also the Vets Garden, which helps veterans with rehabilitation, training, and employment programs. Come to the garden to enjoy lunch or dinner, listen to music, and bring home your fruits and vegetables.”

Went here to buy food for my Green BBQ. The surroundings were quite pleasant: there is a garden to walk through and eat in while you listen to live music.

L.A. La Cienega Farmers’ Market
South La Cienega Blvd and West 18th Street, Los Angeles

Century City Certified Farmers’ Market
1800 Avenue of the Stars, Century City 90067

Glendale Certified Farmers’ Market
100 block of North Brand Blvd.
Between Broadway and Wilson

“The Glendale Farmer's Market features everything from fresh-baked breads, farm-fresh vegetables and fruit, to honey, nuts, flowers, and plants. Some of the produce sellers offer organically grown produce so look for signs or ask the sellers for details about their growing methods.”


Venice Farmers’ Market
Venice Way & Venice Blvd

Echo Park Farmers’ Market
Parking Lot #663 on Logan Street, south of Sunset Boulevard

“The Echo Park Farmers’ Market opened on October 13, 2006 and features quality locally grown seasonal fruits and vegetables.

As with all SEE-LA’s markets, WIC (Women, Infant, and Children) Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program checks and EBT/Food Stamps are accepted."


Santa Monica Pico Farmers’ Market
Virginia Ave. Park (Pico & Cloverfield Blvd)

Santa Monica Saturday Organic Farmers’ Market
Arizona Ave & 3rd Street, Santa Monica

Burbank Farmers’ Market
3rd St & Orange Grove (City Hall Parking Lot)

“For the freshest fruits, vegetables and flowers, visit the Farmer's Market in Downtown Burbank, California every Saturday morning. Whether you are looking for fresh produce or organic foods, the Burbank Farmer's Market has a huge assortment of great products grown and made locally.

With farmers representing areas throughout Southern California, you can pick anything up from the standard vegetables and fruits to flowers, honey, breads, nuts, herbs and many more great treats.”

Old Town Calabasas Certified Farmers’ Market
23504 Calabasas Rd.
Woodland Hills, 91364
(Calabasas Road & Mulholland Drive)

L.A. Silver Lake Certified Farmers’ Market
3700 Sunset Blvd
Between Edgecliff Dr & Maltman Ave (intersection of Griffith Park Blvd)

“Get the freshest vegetables and fruits directly from the original growers! Most items are organic produce and non-sprayed. We have apples, oranges, Asian pears, berries, nectarines, peaches, grapes, plums, limes, avocadoes, pomegranates, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, chilies, cauliflower, potatoes, asparagus, lettuce, onions, baby lettuce, Asian vegetables, cabbage, eggs, plants, orchids, the best flowers and more.

We also have pita bread, French crepes & Shawarma, fresh bread, gourmet tamales, dried fruit, fresh imported roasted coffee, tropical fruit, fresh from the farm natural juice, pupusas, Fresh Farmers' Market made Salads, fish, cheese & olives, pies, flan & herbs, pre-packaged Korean foods, Pizza, Empanadas, and sugar-cane juice & coconuts.

The market also features Arts and Crafts, including jewelry, incense, clothing and more.”


Santa Monica Sunday Farmer’s Market
2640 Main Street. (Ocean Park & Main St.)

Pacific Palisades Farmers’ Market
1037 Swarthmore Avenue
Pacific Palisades, 90272
(Between Sunset Blvd. and Monument)

Beverly Hills Certified Farmers’ Market
9300 block of Civic Center Drive, Beverly Hills
(310) 550-4796

“The Beverly Hills Farmers' Market is a weekly outdoor certified market which provides the community with the finest of California-grown, fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables, juices, breads, specialty items and more in a festive outdoor street setting.”

Brentwood Certified Farmers’ Market
Gretna Green & San Vicente, Brentwood
(818) 591-8161

Obviously a favorite of mine. See:
Pluots & Strawberries & Raspberries OH MY!

Melrose Place Certified Farmers’ Market
Melrose Place & Croft, Los Angeles

Studio City Certified Farmers’ Market
Ventura Place & Ventura Blvd., Studio City

West L.A. Certified Farmers’ Market
1645 Corinth Ave., Los Angeles

Encino Certified Farmers’ Market
Victory Blvd & White Oak, Encino

“Encino Farmers Market is a fun way for every one in the family to spend time together for shopping, food and fun! The market is open year round on Sundays from 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at 17400 Victory Blvd. (between White Oak and Balboa) with plenty of convenient parking.

We are a certified farmers market, featuring a great variety of California grown fruits, vegetables, fresh flowers, eggs and chicken, honey, mushrooms, plants, and more! During the peak months between May and November, about 40 farms from all over central and Southern California participate.”

Hollywood Farmers’ Market
Ivar and Selma Avenue between Hollywood and Sunset Blvd.
Parking: Cinerama Dome: $2 for first 2 hours with Market Validation (entrance at Ivar & Delongpre). Metered Parking: Check Parking Enforcement signs. Some meters FREE until 11AM on Sundays. Doolittle Theatre: Limited free parking. LA Film School: $2 parking; at NE corner of Ivar & Sunset

“The Hollywood Farmers' Market is a "certified" open-air street market with approximately 90 farmers, 30 local artisans, and 30 baked goods and prepared food vendors who sell their own products every Sunday. It is a direct-to-consumer marketplace with all produce and products from local, California vendors and growers.

Besides offering a fantastic variety of the freshest California-grown fruits and vegetables, the Hollywood Farmers' Market has increasingly become a destination shopping venue. Other products include honey, fish, free-range poultry and eggs, bison meat, gouda cheese, olives, mushrooms, sprouts, jams, jellies, fruit juices, specialty sauces and dips, dried fruit and nuts, an espresso cart, Mexican, Caribbean, Middle-Eastern and many other ethnic foods prepared at the market, hot crepes, breads, cookies, clothing, jewelry, gifts and so much more.

The Hollywood Farmers' Market also hosts street musicians every Sunday as well as local nonprofit community organizations and free special events for the community including chef demos, cookbook signings, tastings, children's craft workshops, and family-oriented festivals. Free helium balloons for children, recipes and other information in addition to Hollywood Farmers' Market t-shirts, aprons and bags are available at the Information Booth at Ivar and Selma Ave.

Accepts food stamp/EBT cards and WIC & Senior FMNP."

*Please note: the day, time and location for any given Farmers’ Market are subject to change.

Farmers' Market Information from:

Images via: Free People Clothing Boutique Blog, Notes By Naive, She Who Eats, "Chokes", Eat Your Fruits and Veggies

Monday, October 26, 2009

Happy Hallogreen!

Halloween is right around the corner and you know what that means: trick or treating, spectacular costumes; candy corn; Halloween parties; pumpkins and more! As much fun as this holiday is – I have to admit, it’s one of my favorites – it’s really easy to get lost in the whirlwind of candy wrappers, one-time wear costumes, rotting pumpkins, and so forth. Follow the tips below for a screaming Green time:


Go Vintage: Check out some of the vintage stores in your area (see below) or hit up sites such as American Apparel’s California Select and/or for some hip, vintage wear.

My Little Fashionista, Rebecca Gutentag, ordered her rockin’ 80s dress, complete with full shoulder pads and all, on (see image to the right.) After a couple of simple adjustments, some heavy makeup and an outrageous hairdo, this girl is ready to bust out some of her best 80s dance moves (anyone remember “The Sprinkler”?) and get down to some old favorites by bands like Duran Duran and “old school” rappers like Slick Rick and Run DMC!

Vintage Shops Around L.A.:

The Way We Wore
334 S. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Aaardvark's Odd Ark
7579 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Iguana Vintage Clothing
14422 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423


You can also use pieces from old costumes to come up with new ones. For the ladies: if you have a tutu from an old ballerina costume and some butterfly wings from another, douse yourself in some glitter, put all of the pieces together and you’ve got yourself one sparklin’ fairy costume! For the guys: grab that silk robe you wore when you dressed up as the “Playboy” himself, Hugh Hefner, borrow a pair of boxing gloves from a friend and you’ve just morphed yourself into one knock-out boxer!

Feeling crafty?

Sew your own costume using scraps of fabric you have laying around the house or by cutting up old shirts, dresses, etc. that you never plan to wear again. This technique would be great for creating a pirate costume, Argh!


To keep things simple, you can always ask to borrow a costume from a friend and in return lend him/her one of yours!


If you do decide that you absolutely must have those sky high platforms to go with your Disco Queen costume, or the checkered, plaid, long sleeve shirt to pull off your Lumberjack look, make sure it’s something that you are willing to wear again, otherwise it’s just a waste of your money and materials.


For those of you that love to stay home and scare the kiddies when they come to your door for candy, or even for those of you who love to use Halloween as an excuse to chow down on candy, below are several great sites that sell all sorts of Fair Trade, Organic, etc. candies. Enjoy!

Check out for TONS of organic, fair trade or gluten free (etc.) candies.

Awaken trick or treaters’ taste buds with these Fair Trade, Divine Dark Mini Bars.

You can also help endangered species by purchasing any one of Endangered Species Chocolates’ Halloween 2009 candy bars and 10% of their net profits will be donated “to help support species, habitat and humanity.”


Buy your pumpkin from a pumpkin patch that grows them at a local farm - just make sure that they do not use any toxic chemicals. Check out Pumpkin Patches and to find your nearest Pumpkin Patch.

After carving out all of the gook from the inside, save the seeds and bake ‘em! Check out this amazing recipe my sister, Laurie, came up with:

Pumpkin Seeds (with a kick!):

Seeds from 2 Medium Pumpkins, cleaned
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Paprika
2 tablespoons Red Chili Powder
Garlic Salt, to taste
Black Pepper, to taste
Cayenne Pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 375º

After seeding pumpkins, get as much of the pumpkin meat off of the seeds as you can. Place the seeds in a large bowl and fill with water. Swirl the water around to try to get the seeds as clean as you can (even though they will never be totally clean). Take them out of the water next and place them on a bunch of paper towels, patting them dry.

Pour the dried pumpkin seeds onto a large cookie sheet, spreading evenly in one layer. Drizzle Olive Oil over them to coat. I usually eyeball the spices, so you can be as generous or frugal with the paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper as you like. If you are going to use cayenne pepper, remember that a little goes a long way. Coat the seeds well with these spices (this means getting your hands dirty and mixing them around), making sure they lay in a single layer on the sheet.

Cook until browned and crispy on the top rack (about 15-20 min, maybe more or less depending on your oven). Check the seeds often to make sure they do not burn. Enjoy warm or cold.

If you love to bake and are craving pumpkin pie (which I always am!), check out Make it from Scratch for a savory Pumpkin Pie recipe. If however, you just don’t have any baking skills, or you find that your pumpkin has rotted by the time you are through with it, go ahead and compost the sucker instead.

Hope you have a spooktacular time!

Images via: Like To Cook, &

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

From the Westside to the Eastside

You know, you don’t have to drive all the way out to the Westside just to satiate your Green cravings. Your Daily Thread’s Official Eastside Green Guide opens up a world of hidden treats and treasures for all Angelenos! “Green Eats,” Eco and Vintage shopping, “Edibles & Libations;” the Eastside has it all!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

This weekend: shop, eat, drink & be Green in L.A.!

Beer! Need I say more? Well, I am going to. Los Angeles’ first ever Oktoberfest is happening Saturday, October 11. Featuring a wide selection of traditional German beers, foods, wines and spirits this celebration is sure to awaken the beer maiden in you.

For more information on the Los Angeles Oktoberfest, as well as other green events happening this weekend, go to: Your Daily Thread's Weekend Guide - with contributions from yours truly!

Go Green or Go Home!

Ah, fall is upon us and you know what that means: dry brown leaves falling from trees; pumpkin spiced lattes; and FOOTBALL! Yep, football is back in full swing and along with football comes the best activity of all: tailgating! While it can be easy to get wrapped up in the festivities of tailgating, it’s important to be conscious of the impact our football-crazed selves have on the areas where we tailgate.

To find out how to Green tailgating check out: Social Yell, and score yourself one green touchdown!

(Image via

Friday, September 25, 2009

Le Pain Quotidien

Le Pain Quotidien: pleasing, gratifying and enjoyable. With many different locations throughout the Los Angeles area, a close friend of mine suggested we head to the West Hollywood location on the corner of Melrose and Westbourne Drive. Not only was I impressed by the taste of the food (in Sara-fashion I ordered an organic, egg-white omelet with tomatoes and avocado and a side salad – a meal that kept me full from morning to evening), but I was thrilled by the number of organic condiments they provided: the ketchup, the butter and even the salt and pepper were organic! Some of their food is brought in from a produce service company, while the rest of the foods labeled as “organic” on the menu are USDA certified.

The main dining room promotes community dining and welcomes all patrons to sit and chat with one another at their large, wooden, community table (although private tables are available as well). You also have the option of outdoor seating, which on a beautiful fall day (yes, it is now fall – unbelievable, I know) I highly recommend. The design of the restaurant reflects their dedication to eco-conscious dining, as they have used “reclaimed wood and recycled Gypsum in construction, energy-efficient lamps, and environmentally friendly cleaning supplies and packaging.”

I highly recommend stopping by any one of the Le Pain Quotidien locations. Whether it is for a sit down lunch or to grab a pastry (gluten free pastries are available as well!), you absolutely cannot go wrong.

Located at: 8607 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, CA 90069.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Your Way To Become One Lean, Green, Recycling Machine!

Reduce! Reuse! RECYCLE! Ah, a phrase that will never get old. REDUCE: your consumption. REUSE: everything you can. And, RECYCLE: hmm…wait! What can be recycled? Feeling confused by what you can and can’t recycle? Don’t fret my pet! I am here to help you sort out (both literally and figuratively) just what you can and cannot put in those blue bins:

All Clean Dry Paper
Computer, ledger, wrapping, arts and craft paper; unwanted mail, flyers, telephone books, note cards, newspaper, blueprints, magazines, file folders, paper bags, Post-it notes, catalogs and all
envelopes including those with “windows”
All Cardboard Boxes and Chipboard
Cereal, tissue, dry food, frozen food, shoe, and detergent boxes; paper towel and toilet rolls; and boxes broken down and flattened

All Aluminum, Tin, Metal, and Bi-Metal Cans*
Soda, juice, soup, vegetables, and pet food cans; pie tins; clean aluminum foil; empty paint and aerosol cans with plastic caps removed; and wire hangers
*Please rinse if possible

All Glass Bottles and Jars*
Soda, wine, beer, spaghetti sauce, pickle jars, etc.
*Please rinse if possible

All Clean Plastics 1 Through 7:
Numbers can usually be found on the side or bottom of your item's packaging (however, some items, such as Styrofoam to-go containers, may not have any markings) to indicate how you should recycle the item
Plastic #1: Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETE or PET)
This is the most common recycled plastic and includes, but is not limited to: soft drink bottles; water bottles; plastic peanut butter jars; and salad dressing bottles*
*Remember to remove all bottle tops before recycling
Plastic #2: High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
Plastic milk cartons, juice bottles, shampoo bottles, and liquid detergent containers
Plastic #3: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) or Vinyl (V)
Plastic pipes and outdoor furniture
Plastic #4: Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
Dry cleaning bags, produce bags, trash can liners, food storage containers, bread and frozen food bags and plastic wrap
Plastic #5: Polypropylene (PP)
Bottle caps, drinking straws, ketchup bottles, and yogurt cups
Plastic #6: Polystyrene (PS)
Polystyrene contributes to more than four billion pounds of trash per year and includes:
Styrofoam peanuts; Styrofoam containers; takeout food containers; and plastic cutlery
*Before recycling packaging materials, however, consider bringing them to a shipping/packaging store, as many will reuse them.
Plastic #7: Other (this includes Polycarbonate (PC) and Polyactide (PLA))
Plastics made from renewable sources (i.e. sugarcane, corn and potato starch)

Below is a list of Non-Recyclable items:
Contaminated Paper
All soiled papers or bags with oils and food waste
Broken Glass
Window glass, mirror glass, auto glass, light bulbs, fluorescent lights and ceramics
Other Plastic
Plastic hygienic items, any electric or battery operated toys
Miscellaneous Materials
Coated milk cartons, electrical cords, cloth/fabric, appliances, mini blinds, kitchen utensils, lawn furniture, garden hoses, rubber tires, construction materials, including asphalt or concrete, wood and wood products
Hazardous Materials
Syringes, all partially filled aerosol cans and containers for cleaning fluids, automotive fluids, all batteries (including car batteries, household batteries, rechargeable batteries), pesticides, oil based paint, garden chemicals, and pool cleaners
*To find the nearest location that accepts Hazardous Materials, go to and type in your zip code or go to for different S.A.F.E. (Solvents/Automotive/Flammables/Electronics) locations set up by the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation)

While blue bins are provided to homeowners in and around the Los Angeles area, not all apartment /multifamily residential buildings have access to recycling bins. To remedy this situation, you may email with your property manager’s contact information and the City will contact him/her to enroll their property at his/her request. Keep in mind: there is NO cost to tenants to enroll in this program, so don’t be a lazy daisy and send in that request!

For more information on the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation recycling program, check out

Happy recycling!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

September 2009

Local, Green Events Throughout L.A.

September is National Yoga Month!
Go to for one free week of yoga with your “Yoga Month” card

Farmers’ Markets: 30 Years and Growing
Thursday, September 3
1st & Spring, Downtown L.A
Celebrate 30 years of fresh, locally crafted L.A. Farmers’ Markets and all they have to offer! Featured guests include: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, chef Evan Kleiman, food critic Jonathan Gold, and L.A. County Ag Comissioner Kurt Floren.

25th Annual Twilight Dance Series at the Santa Monica Pier
Thursday, September 3
200 Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica, CA 90401
This will be the final Twilight Dance Series of the summer, featuring a performance by Patti Smith and her band. All concerts are held in the pier parking lot (on the pier).

LA Green Drinks Westside & Santa Monica Baykeeper
Thursday, September 3
Rusty’s Surf Ranch - Back Patio
256 Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Join LA Green Drinks Westside & Santa Monica Baykeeper at Rusty's Surf Ranch beforehand for drinks, socializing and featured speaker, Brian Meux of Santa Monica Baykeeper.

LA Green Drinks – Pasadena
Wednesday, September 9th
Alternative Outfitters
408 S. Pasadena Ave, Suite 1
Pasadena, CA 91105
“ Alternative Outfitters: where eco-conscious cruelty-free fashionistas shop for trendy animal-friendly and eco-friendly shoes, accessories, beauty products and apparel.”
*$5 suggested donation

Sustainable Works Fundraiser: “Tomorrow Starts Today”
Thursday, September 10
Writer’s Boot Camp in Bergamot Station
Bergamot Station
2525 Michigan Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90404
The event will feature an “eco-fabulous” silent auction and drawing, a beer and wine bar, an educational green room and an artist’s gallery. Winners of the Eco Star Awards will be speaking and local organic cuisine will be served. The night will conclude with dancing and entertainment featuring KCRW DJ Michael Barnes.

LA Green Drinks - South Bay
Thursday, September 10th
Twelve and Highland Restaurant & Bar
304 12th St.
Manhattan Beach, CA
(310) 545-1881

The Sunset Strip Music Festival
Thursay, September 10 - Saturday, September 12
Full Street Closure, 40+ Bands, 2 Stages, all the clubs, food & fun.
The Sunset Strip Street Festival takes place on Saturday, September 12 from 2pm-9pm, between Doheny Drive and San Vicente Boulevard
For Details go to:

LA Green Drinks – WeHo/Silverlake
Thursday, September 17

The 25th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day
Saturday, September 19
To locate a cleanup site near you and/or register, please visit

Green Living Workshop
Wednesday, September 23
Meetings occur every Wednesday, beginning September 23 – November 10
(9/23, 9/30, 10/7, 10/14, 10/21, 10/28, 11/4, and 11/10)

LA Green Drinks – Downtown
Wednesday, September 23

Green Living 101
Thursday, September 24
2000 Main Street, Unit B
Santa Monica, CA 90405
This seminar provides you with an overview of Sustainable Works six-week Green Living Workshop, which will begin in October. The Green Living Workshop covers issues regarding: water, energy, waste, chemicals, transportation, shopping and food. Participants will discuss the problems revolving around the topics mentioned above on a global, national and local level as well as related solutions.

LA Green Drinks – Valley
Thursday, September 24

The 25th Annual Abbot Kinney Festival
Sunday, September 27
Proceeds support “Venice-based organizations and efforts to improve the environment and quality of life for people from all walks, with an emphasis on support of youth and the Arts.”

Veggie Grill opens in West Hollywood
Tuesday, September 29
8000 W Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
“…specializes in healthful, vegan versions of California comfort food -- sandwiches, wraps, salads, soups and more -- at a price point of under $10 for every entree.”

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

More Than Your Average Watercress Sandwich

With a splash of citrus color coating the walls and a fresh and invigorating feel, Watercress A Café offers patrons a sunny disposition, seasonal ingredients and locally grown, fresh, organic food.

Walking into the restaurant, one feels energized, yet at ease at the same time. A family sits in the corner, the children devouring their organic buttermilk pancakes, while old friends sit and chat on the patio over a cup of coffee and the “Housemade Banananut Bread.” Often, you will see the owner, a polite and gracious man, hand delivering food to the customers. Feel free to say hello and ask him any questions you have regarding where his produce comes from or simply just to find out which pastry he recommends to complete your meal.

Located on Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks, just East of Woodman, Watercress A Café is a fabulous choice for a late morning breakfast and/or refreshing lunch.

My recommendation: the Grilled Vegetable and Swiss Scramble (sans swiss for you lactose intolerants out there) with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.

Visit their website at

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Grill Your Way To Green (Part II)

How to throw a Green BBQ (cont.)

The day before…

Although not labeling your garbage cans make for a fun game of “What goes where?” provide a “Trash” can, “Compost” bin and “Recycling” bin for guests. Check out the LA bureau of sanitation ( for what can and cannot be recycled and ( for what scraps of food are OK to go in the green bin for composting.

The day of...
  • Wait until the day of the event to cut up any fruits and/or veggies so that they don’t turn brown or soggy because of oxidation.
  • If you are serving chicken, be sure to marinate it before guests arrive so the marinade absorbs.
  • If you are planning on using recyclable plastic cups, put out some tape and a sharpie pen. That way guests can write their names on the tape and paste it to their cup so they won’t forget which is theirs.
  • Provide guests with clean pool towels as well as sunscreen so they don’t get burned (Soleo Organics and Burt’s Bees make great, chemical free sunscreens)!
  • Provide some green entertainment: cards, backgammon, Frisbee & pool volleyball are all great fun and are sure to keep guests busy at all times!

Before guests leave...

Make sure nothing goes to waste: The table has been cleared, the bins have been sorted (recycling, compost and trash are all where they should be), but what to do with all of the leftovers? Send guests home with unused Tupperware full of any uneaten food. In doing so, you are ensuring that nothing will go to waste sitting in your fridge over the next week and, if you’re like me, you’re not tempted to eat any of those left-over gluten free chocolate brownies calling your name from inside the cabinet, mmm!

Now grill up and chow down!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Grill Your Way To Green!

How to throw a Green BBQ

Preparing for the big day...

First thing first. Figure out how many people you would like to attend your soiree. The more people you invite, the more expensive things may get so invite accordingly. Opt for online invitations rather than paper ones, which cost more, waste paper and require delivery. I recommend using or

Take inventory. Check to see what dishware you have in your cabinets, what frozen foods you may have in your freezer (e.g. turkey dogs, veggie burgers, etc.), if you have any unopened bags of chips in your cabinet, etc., whatever the item is, mark it off your checklist. The point of being Green is to consume less, waste less and save more. It is better to use “non-Green” products you already have, than to waste them and buy new.

Decide on a menu. Choose food you would normally serve at a dinner/BBQ/etc. and just add a hint of Green to each course.

Snacking Options (a.k.a. “Noshes”): Tortilla chips (traditional) with homemade organic mango & peach salsa (GREEN). Cut up organic veggies from your local farmers market (GREEN) with hummus (traditional)…you get the idea.

The meal: Keep it simple. I recommend staying away from red meat as it is one of the most harmful meats you can choose. The production of meat uses an incredibly large amount of water (something us Californians are in terrible need of), requires huge amounts of pesticides on the plants (e.g. corn) grown to feed the animals and releases a ton of methane into the atmosphere thus raising the level of greenhouse gases and warming up the atmosphere. Kabobs are always a great option as you have the choice of serving chicken, fish and/or veggies skewers. To be even Greener, serve veggies skewers only and serve a Quinoa dish on the side for protein. Whole Foods has a great recipe for a Cranberry Quinoa salad – it’s full of protein, flavor and is a great option for any vegetarians in the crowd (Cranberry Quinoa Salad:

Dessert, the best part: No matter what you serve you must serve a fruit salad. Ask several guests to each bring several different kinds of fruit. Later, chop up all of the fruit and serve as fruit salad along with some homemade whipped cream and gluten-free chocolate brownies and voila! You have one incredibly satisfying, fruity dessert! Trader Joes Gluten Free Brownie Baking Mix is incredible – I have received tons of compliments on them and some people even say that they are better than the real deal.

Drinks: Although you may have to do a bit of searching, there are some great organic wines and beers out there. I recommend Benziger Sauvignon Blanc (which utilizes a sustainable grape growing program) and/or Grand Teton Brewing Co. Au Naturale Blonde Ale (USDA Certified Organic beer). Organic hard alcohol is a bit more expensive than non-organic hard alcohol, however, if you check out certain alcohol specialty stores, such as BevMo! you may be able to find great deals (one to try: Rain Organics vodka, which is USDA Certified). For some fabulous organic cocktail recipes check out The Daily Green (

Pot Luck: Ask friends to go Green and bring food too! Part of the Green BBQ experience is to educate others on being Green and what better way than to have them pitch in! Ask that guests let you know what they are bringing in advance, so that you don’t buy more food than is necessary. Offer to help with whatever questions they may have regarding where and/or what to buy organic, why it is important to buy locally grown foods, etc. You may even want to consider sending out some links with any information regarding local grocers, organic products, free-range meat products, etc. Have guests check out for a Farmers’ Market closest to them.

Dishes & Silverware: Although you can eat like a cavewo(man) if you so choose, most guests will probably request some sort of plate. If you are planning on inviting more people than you have real dishes for, make sure that any plastic cups you purchase are recyclable, plates are compostable and utensils are made out of corn starch, so they are able to breakdown. BARE by Solo offers compostable cups and plates as well as recyclable cups ( while World Centric offers utensils made out of non-GMO corn starch (

  • Call ahead. After a long day of working and running errands it would be awful to find out that the one store you drove to doesn’t have what you’re looking for. Not only is it a waste of your time, but it’s a waste of already overpriced gas, which is in short supply.
  • Buy in bulk. Costco offers organic veggies in large amounts, which means less packaging and less waste!
  • Make an effort to hit as many places as you can in one trip – the fewer trips you make to and from the grocers, etc. the more gas and money you will save!
  • Make sure to go to the Farmers Market no more than 2 days before the event so your veggies & fruits are fresh.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Rush Hour

When you think of L.A. many things come to mind, one in particular: traffic. Los Angeles has practically become synonymous with traffic. We’ve all been there: it’s 3pm, you’ve got places to go and people to see, but what is this?? You’re going a whole 7 mph down the 405?! Ugh! Traffic is such a pain. According to a study discussed by Daily News, Los Angeles, L.A. has the most congested streets and freeways in the nation. Not to mention, the negative impact it has on our earth/city is outrageous. To cope with the traffic and the deterioration of our air quality I have listed some information and suggestions below:

1) Instead of burning CDs invest in an iPod®/MP3 player/etc. and put all of your songs on there. If you don’t have an iPod connector, look into purchasing a Cassette adapter. In addition, you can prevent waste and help out our troops by donating your old CDs (and DVDs) to a website dedicated to providing some much needed entertainment to our soldiers!

2) You’ve heard it before, but I will say it again: CARPOOL! Say you have 500 people in your company and every person decided to carpool with at least one other person to and from work: that would be 250 less cars on the road! Another benefit: you’ll save gas money too! Less driving = less cash. Cha Ching!

3) Ride your bike to work or school: you can get a tan, tone up and save the environment all at one time!

4) Aim to drive 10 miles less per week. Whether that means walking down the street to your local grocery store instead of hopping in your car for a 2 minute drive, or eating in one night instead of driving out to the city for an overpriced meal at Katsuyah – just do it. In doing so, you’ll personally prevent 500 pounds of carbon dioxide from polluting the atmosphere (check out the “Green List” application on your iPhone®).

5) Get your car into the doctor STAT! For every 100,000 people that get a tune up this year, 60 tons of CO2 will be eliminated.

6) Finally, help reduce the greenhouse impact of your driving by joining Greenfleet. For a fee, they will plant enough trees to absorb the annual greenhouse emissions from the average car. For more information or to join, visit the Greenfleet website.

As you can see, it’s the small changes to everyday living that will have a HUGE impact on our environment.

Now, buckle up and drive safely :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

My Little Fashionista

Let’s be honest: living in L.A., it is hard not to shop. Fashion has not only become a pastime to many L.A. residents, but an essential part of everyday life. From Melrose to Rodeo and Robertson to 3rd Street, L.A. has it all, including my “Little Fashionista,” Rebecca Gutentag. An L.A. native, this up-and-coming designer has got it all: femme edge, a keen eye for detail and the ability to take scraps of this and that and turn them into fabulous new vintage pieces.

In these crazy economic times, it’s all about using what you have to get what you want. Rebecca has taken up the hobby of rummaging through her mother’s old – yet fabulous! – 80s outfits and reworking them into some of the most hip and modern fashion pieces around (see picture above). By re-using what she already has, she’s not only able to bring life back into what was once labeled “passé,” but she is also cutting back on her consumption (goodbye waste; helloooo reusable treasures)!

For all of you budding fashionistas out there, Rebecca recommends using leather scraps from local upholsterers, broken jewelry chains, old pins found at your local vintage store and a bit of needle and thread to create your own unique (and sustainable) jewelry!

Some of Rebecca’s favorite vintage stores include:

Resurrection LA, located at 8006 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046 (323) 651-5516 ( )

Jet Rag, located at 825 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038 (323) 939-0528

To see more of what this little fashionista has to offer check out:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Things will be great when you're Downtown

I have lived in L.A. my entire life (born and raised in the Valley, in fact), however, I can probably count the number of times I have been to Downtown Los Angeles on both hands. Afraid to venture out of my comfort zone, I stuck to my own daily activities: shopping on Ventura Blvd., drinks in Studio City, movies at the Sherman Oaks Galleria and lunch at little cafes along Ventura (favorites include: Il Trem in Studio City and Aroma Bakery & Café in Encino).

Feeling a bit suffocated by my immediate surroundings I jumped at the chance to take a “Walking Tour” of Downtown L.A. led by members of the Los Angeles Conservancy. A whole whopping $10, the tour gives you a look back at what used to be known as “The Wall Street of the West,” as well as a glimpse into the glitz and glamour of the Roaring 20s.

One of my favorite spots along the tour was the Alexandria Hotel. Currently a low-cost residential hotel, it used to be Los Angeles’ most elegant hotel frequented by Hollywood legends including Charlie Chaplin, Humphrey Bogart, Rudolph Valentino and Clark Gable. In a word: glamorous.

Tours are about two and a half hours long and begin around 10 a.m. Whether you are interested in exploring Downtowns’ Gallery Row, or experiencing original Los Angeles architecture at its finest, there is a tour for you.

Visit or call 213-623-2489 to reserve a spot for you and your friends, then carpool Downtown and take a walk through one of the most fascinating cities in all of L.A.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Pluots & Strawberries & Raspberries OH MY!

I feel like Dorothy walking down the yellow brick road, but instead of being surrounded by Munchkins I’m surrounded by creamy ripe avocados, sweet dried fruit, gorgeous bouquets of flowers, stalks of fresh basil, raw almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts…the list goes on!

Located right off Bundy and San Vicente, on S. Gretna Greenway the Brentwood Farmers Market takes place every Sunday from 9:00am-1:00pm.

What’s more there are little “boutiques” set up for your perusal. Looking for some handmade jewelry? You’re covered! Looking for photos from a local photographer? They’ve got that too. Thinking of adopting a pup? They’re there waiting for your love, affection and even a home! Pretty much whatever you need, the Brentwood Farmers Market has it!

Make sure to bring your appetite as there are many options for snacking (handmade pastry anyone?), lunching (a Chicken Gyro perhaps) and even sampling (a tasting of that delicious looking apricot – yes please!)

So, slip on your ruby red slippers, click your heels together three times and get yourself to the Brentwood Farmers Market.

Don’t forget to bring your reusable totes!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Creamsicle Goodness

By far one of my favorite body lotions EVER, Hugo Naturals Vanilla & Sweet Orange, All Over Lotion smells exactly like an orange creamsicle and is as rich as it is divine. Vegan and cruelty-free and blended with extracts such as: White Willow, Sage and Passionflower your skin will crave no more. Absolutely delish.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Just Breathe

According to the American Lung Association's 10th Annual State of the Air report, Los Angeles has been ranked #1 out of 25 other cities for "Worst Air Pollution: Ozone (Smog)". Not something we should be proud of.

In addition, Los Angeles ranked #3 for "Cities with the Worst Air Pollution: Long-Term Particulates" and #6 for "Counties with the Worst Air Pollution: Short-Term Particulates".

For a county so concerned about appearance, we really could use a make-over.

To get more information about the air quality in your city, please visit The American Lung Association, Fighting for Air at or to find out how you can help make-over L.A.

Big Sunday 2009

Looking to get involved?

Sign up to volunteer for one of the many projects participating in Big Sunday 2009, Saturday (May 2nd) and Sunday (May 3rd) throughout Los Angeles and surrounding areas.

Not able to volunteer? That's OK too, Big Sunday is taking anything you can offer: financial donations, clothing, canned food, etc.

For more details, please visit the official Big Sunday 2009 website:

Get going and get involved!