Green Living Workshop update week 10 2009
Sustainable Works Green Living Workshops
There are 7 workshops currently running. This post is specific to the following workshops:
Monday 7-8:30pm at Grant Elementary
Tuesday 7-8:30pm at Lincoln Middle School
Wednesday 7-8:30pm at Santa Monica Public Library
Thursday 7-8:30pm at REI Santa Monica
To see all posts click on the 'Sustainable Works' header above.
In the News
>>Schwarzenegger proclaims statewide drought emergency - The declaration asks urban water users to increase conservation efforts and directs state agencies to cut back on landscape irrigation. Farms could benefit. Via LATimes.
>>California farms, vineyards in peril from warming, U.S. energy secretary warns - "Chu warned of water shortages plaguing the West and Upper Midwest and particularly dire consequences for California, his home state, the nation's leading agricultural producer. In a worst case, Chu said, up to 90% of the Sierra snowpack could disappear, all but eliminating a natural storage system for water vital to agriculture." Via Los Angeles Times
>>Heal the Bay Study Reveals State Water Board Inaction Allows Toxic Wastewater to Foul L.A. Since 2000 (PDF) The State Water Resources Control Board has allowed dischargers to spew millions of gallons of toxin-laden effluents into Southland water bodies with virtual impunity over the past eight years, according to a detailed study released on January 2009 by Heal the Bay. Via Heal the Bay
>>Toxic Pfiesteria prevalent in our waterways and a serious health threat - "Though the causes of Pfiesteria outbreaks are not fully understood, in several cases scientists have linked the problem to polluted run-off as one factor."
Where Does Our Water Come From?
>>Where does Southern California’s water come from? - Detailed discussion of water sources and water projects.
>>Drought Monitor - a synthesis of multiple indices and impacts, that represents a consensus of federal and academic scientists.
Watersheds and Urban Runoff
>>Freshwater Conservation - How We Protect Watersheds - Learn more about threats to healthy watersheds and what The Nature Conservancy is doing about those threats. Via The Nature Conservancy.
>>SMURRF - Santa Monica Urban Runoff Recycling Facility
>>Los Angeles Urban Runoff - Runoff, which can occur in both wet and dry weather, usually receives no treatment before discharge.
>>Algalita Marine Research Foundation
Water Efficiency and Rebates
>>Walk this way - "Making the right choices to reduce your water footprint."
>>Santa Monica Water Efficiency Programs & Rebates - Water conservation rebates for Santa Monica water customers. Rebates available for high efficiency clothes washers and toilets. Also includes information on receiving a free home water assessment, the Sustainable Landscape Grant Program, and the Rain Harvesting Program.
>>LADWP WaterSmart Rebate Program - Water conservation rebates for LADWP residential customers. Rebates available for high efficiency clothes washers, toilets, and weather-based irrigation controllers.
>>LADWP Non-Residential Programs - Water conservation rebates for LADWP businesses & multi-family customers. Rebates available for high efficiency clothes washers, toilets, urinals, sprinklers, and weather-based irrigation controllers.
>>Water Filters: Green Buying Guide - Via Consumer Reports.
>>RainBud Recycled Rain Barrel - Harvest the rain! An inch of rain falling on a thousand square feet of roof produces over 600 gallons of water. 600 Gallons! That’s water that could be keeping your garden alive, free water that will NOT come from ever-decreasing natural resources. Via RainBud.com.
>> Rainwater as a Resource (PDF) - A Tree People report on three sites demonstrating sustainable stormwater management. B"y incorporating stormwater best management practices (BMPs) such as swales, retention grading, cisterns, infiltrators and strategically-planted trees in building and landscaping designs, a multitude of benefits can be realized, including: improved water quality; a decreased risk of flooding; a reduced need for water importation; heat-island effect mitigation; a reduction in contributions to global climate change; and an augmented supply of local groundwater. The newly published report Rainwater as a Resource shares the details of utilizing these concepts and sheds light on the many opportunities to implement the wide array of available technologies." Via Tree People.
Tankless Water Heaters
>>Takagi USA - top-of-the-line tankless water heater company that has models that can heat up to 5 gal per Tankless Water Heaters minute.
>>GreenHomeGuide - great rundown of what to look for when buying a tankless water heater.
Water Wise Gardening
>>Smart Gardening.com - Countywide Smart Gardening program has FREE composting and gardening workshops. They are an excellent resource and their workshops are lead by very knowledgeable instructors. Check their website for a list of upcoming scheduled workshops. Highly recommended!
>>Groundworks' Free Java Mulch - "Stop by five of our six Los Angeles locations, and take home a free bag of Java Mulch, spent coffee grinds-- packed in previously used coffee bags. Using Java Mulch in your garden saves landfill space while perking up your petunias!"
>>Garden Garden - Santa Monica's Environmental Programs Division demonstration garden comparison
>>Theodore Payne Foundation - promotes the understanding and preservation of California native flora
>>Free Mulch - "Bring your own shovel, bag or pick-up. Load up your own containers and take as much as you need. Available at eight locations throughout the Los Angeles area." View a list of locations and maps (PDF).
>>Plant Right - a voluntary, proactive program for the horticultural community to prevent invasive plant introductions through horticulture. PlantRight was designed by the steering committee of California Horticultural Invasives Prevention (Cal-HIP) partnership to communicate the need to transition away from invasive plants in the gardening and landscaping trade.
>>Weed Watch - invasive plants displace native vegetation and greatly reduce wildlife diversity. In addition, invasive plants fuel wildfires, degrade grazing land, contribute to soil erosion, clog streams and rivers, increase flooding, and have negative impacts on our local water supply.
>>Los Angeles Regional Invasive Ornamental Plant Guide - This Guide is produced and distributed by the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council for the primary purpose of educating landscape professionals and the general-public regarding the cultivation, selection, use and management of invasive plants in our local landscape.
>>California Invasive Plant Council - Across California, invasive plants damage wildlands. Invasive plants displace native plants and wildlife, increase wildfire and flood danger, consume valuable water, degrade recreational opportunities, and destroy productive range and timber lands. Cal-IPC works with land managers, researchers, concerned citizens, and policy makers to protect the state from invasive plants.
Waterless Car Wash Products
Documentaries on WATER
>>FLOW - Interviews with scientists and activists intelligently reveal the rapidly building crisis, at both the global and human scale, and the film introduces many of the governmental and corporate culprits behind the water grab, while begging the question "CAN ANYONE REALLY OWN WATER?" Via flowthemovie.com.
>>Blue Gold: World Water Wars - "In every corner of the globe, we are polluting, diverting, pumping, and wasting our limited supply of fresh water at an expediential level as population and technology grows. The rampant overdevelopment of agriculture, housing and industry increase the demands for fresh water well beyond the finite supply, resulting in the desertification of the earth." A great primer on world wide water issues.
Literature addressing WATER issues
>>Food Not Lawns - combines practical wisdom on ecological design and community-building with a fresh, green perspective on an age-old subject. Activist and urban gardener Heather Flores shares her nine-step permaculture design to help farmsteaders and city dwellers alike build fertile soil, promote biodiversity, and increase natural habitat in their own "paradise gardens." Via chelseagreen.com.
>>Food Revolution - John Robbins exposes the dangers behind many of today's foods and reveals the extraordinary benefits of healthy alternatives. The Food Revolution will show you how to extend your life, increase your vibrancy and vitality, and take a stand for a more compassionate and sustainable world. Via foodrevolution.org.
>>Cadillac Desert - The definitive history of water resources in the American West, and a very illuminating lesson in the political economy of limited resources anywhere. Via amazon.com.
>>Gila: The Life and Death of an American River - Follows the ecologic history of the Gila River from its source in New Mexico, through its confluence with the Colorado River and into Arizona. Today, half of the Gila is dead, due to overgrazing, damming, and other practices.
>>Last Oasis: Facing Water Scarcity - The worldwide water crisis, according to this book, is due to its ready availability, low cost, people's overuse, and lack of respect for this life-sustaining resource. Solutions are giving for restoring and sustaining this essential lifeline.
>>A River No More - This is a definitive history of the development of the Colorado River and the claims made upon it from its source in the Wyoming Rockies to the Gulf of California, where it evaporates in the sand.