How to Take Charge of Your Water Supply and Harvest the Rain

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Would it sound crazy if we said you’re taking showers, flushing your toilet and watering your lawn with Evian water?

Pretty much. But Angelenos use about half of all their drinking-quality water for landscaping (!), 20% to flush their toilets and a whopping 18% for showering—If not exactly Evian brand, it’s water that could be saved for its most vital uses.

Imagine how many gallons of precious potable water that could be saved if we captured the rain. Not only would we significantly reduce our need for imported water (which makes up nearly 90% of LA’s water supply), but we’d also protect the dwindling fresh drinking water supply available.… Read more >>

What to Do with Your Christmas Tree After the Holidays

Photo credit: Anthony Goto

Now that the holiday season has come and gone it’s time to put away decorations, all that figgy pudding and of course, retire our Christmas trees.

Even after their time passes, old Christmas trees still can still be a valuable part of a sustainable lifestyle. Read on to learn how to live green with the help of your tree.

Live Trees

If you got a live tree this year and are wondering what to do now, check out the L.A. County Tree Farm for a quick fix.… Read more >>

Sourcing a Sustainable Christmas Tree

Tree Dedication

Have you ever wondered what the environmentally responsible choice is for your Christmas cheer? Should you get a tree or no not? Real or fake? Rent or buy? These are some questions many of us face this time of year. No matter what’s your decision, there are some great points to learn.

Trees clean the air, capture water, reduce crime and combat climate change—they do so much for us. In short, trees are the lungs of our planet. It’s no wonder that we want to bring them inside and lovingly decorate them.… Read more >>

If I Had a (Sledge) Hammer

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Breaking up the pavement around your home and in your community is pretty easy, but aside from having a good excuse to use a sledgehammer, why would you want to?  The simple answer is that the more permeability we are able to create in our yards and urban environment, the healthier the watershed.

When water falls onto hardscape surfaces, it runs off into gutters, to storm drains, taking everything in its path directly to the ocean. The single highest source of water pollution is this urban run-off.… Read more >>

We Can Do It!

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A recent story on NPR noted an environmental change for the better: the ozone layer is on the mend. Which, if you are worried about skin cancer, climate change and the like, is great news – and history in the making!

So how did this happen? First, people heard a hard truth: that chlorofluorocarbons – organic compounds once used in everything from refrigerators to fire extinguishers – were thinning out the ozone layer above Antarctica. Then, they took steps to change personal habits and shift policies.… Read more >>

Water For Us All!

rain barrel

“We have enough water to live on, but not enough to waste.” — Dorothy Green, founding president of Heal the Bay.

Dorothy Green wrote these words in an article that was published in the LA Times in 2008, shortly before her death. In it, she outlines an incredibly thoughtful set of recommendations that would create a sustainable water supply.

So it’s disheartening to see people acting in such a way that suggests we aren’t currently in the midst of the driest year in recorded history.… Read more >>

How to Kill Your Lawn

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Now that we’re in the depths of the drought, LADWP is offering $3 per square foot for turf replacement. Since some 50% of our water goes to landscaping, ripping out your lawn is one of the best ways you can conserve water.

How do you go about killing your lawn? Well, the easiest and best way to reduce your turf is sheet mulching. With sheet mulching, your yard can go from a water-thirsty, outdated green shag carpet to a sustainable garden with about as much effort as it takes to mow the lawn.… Read more >>