Just because I love it.
Dazzle them with a zero-waste gift.
If you want to skip out on the immense amount of packaging that happens during the Holidays, go for the gift of an experience. This may be just one gift idea, but it comes with tons of options. Here are just a few:
- Pass to a State or National Park
- Movie tickets
- Tickets to a sports event
- Bungee Jumping (on the Santa Monica pier..whaaaaat)
- Camping trip
- Concert tickets to their favorite artist or comedian
- A meal at their favorite restaurant
- Surf lessons
- Cooking classes (Maybe with Spork Foods) :)
- A weekly community garden date!
- Dance lessons
- A yoga package
And the list goes on and on and on! Dazzle your giftees with an experience they’ll never forget. There’s less packaging involved, more fun involved and a better chance your gift won’t one day become trash :).
What experiences would you give?
You’re in luck! Bicycle Ambulance is a local bike shop that does seriously legit bicycle work at a seriously legit price. Most bike shops will try and charge you $75-$100 for a simple tune-up and some even want a fee just to LOOK at your bike. Not the Bicycle Ambulance!
Bike Ambulance is located at 2212 Lincoln Blvd. in Santa Monica. They offer services such as tune-ups, bike repairs, tire replacements, flat tires repairs & even a selection of new and used two-wheeled steeds! Their tune-up is around $40 and they work at the speed of light! The guys that run the shop are super chill and don’t mess around. I have had great experiences with them myself and have never heard an ill word. One customer even referred to them as, “an oasis in this car infested desert.” So if your bike has been sitting in your garage for few years or just needs a tune up, visit the guys at Bicycle Ambulance and get on your bike and ride.
Day-light savings is here and all of a sudden our days are shorter and darker. Bummer! Oh well, we can look at it as a chance to practice our energy saving skills. :)
Did you know?: Electricity production is the leading cause of industrial air pollution in the United States. Yikes!
Here are a couple of ways to save some energy & some money in these “dark” times.
- Replace an incandescent light bulb with a CFL: CFL light bulbs use 1/4 of the energy of incandescent bulb and last 10 times longer. According to the EPA, if every household in America replaced just one incandescent bulb with a CFL, we’d save enough electricity to light up 3 million homes!
- Replace an incandescent or a CFL bulb with a LED bulb: LED bulbs use one fourth to one tenth of the energy of an incandescent bulb. They last 48 to 100 times longer than incandescent bulbs and 10 times longer than CFL bulbs. They cut CO2 emissions by 90%…oo lala.
- The BoGoLight Solar-powered Flashlight: I have a few of these and they are magic! Set them out in the sun during the day and use them to light up your world at night! They have a few different brightness settings and the best part (besides them using ZERO electricity)…when you buy one, they give one to a family in need. Right now their focus is Haiti, but you can also pick where you want yours to go.
- The sun: If you have a lot of windows in your workplace or home, let the light shine during the day! Nothings better than a little natural sunlight, and it’s been proven to increase productivity.
As always, try to turn lights off in rooms you aren’t using, turn off electronics to avoid those vampire plugs and bundle up before turning on your heater. If you want to take your energy saving to another level, see if your electricity provider has a Green Program. As a LADWP customer, I get 50% of my energy from renewable energy sources. Every 20% increase brings your bill up a few bucks so do what you can within your budget. Remember, you’ll be saving a few dollars by using these energy saving tactics ;). It’s important to support renewable energy for job creation and sustaining a competitive market for their low impact product!
Food is a growing issue on our road to sustainability. As developing countries grow richer, millions of people will want to shift to the same calorie-heavy, protein rich diet that has made Americans so unhealthy. Demand for meat worldwide is set to rise 25% by 2015, but our planet can no longer deliver at this rate. We need to radically rethink the way we grow and consume food or we are on our way to eroded farmland, higher health costs & bland tasting food.
This shift is not about corporations, governments or public policy….it’s about us. We control what we buy and what we eat. Sometimes, we claim we can’t afford to buy healthy food, but maybe that’s because we’re so used to food being cheap. In the 1930s, people spent 25% of their income on food, today we spend 9.5%. We eat more food and spend less money. Does that really make sense? A 99 cent hamburger…could that actually be real food? No way. The companies that make this “cheap” food are seriously degrading our soil and pillaging our planet of it’s resources, not to mention increasing heart disease and diabetes. Let’s face it, nothing is cheap, and when it’s cheap, we’re paying for it somewhere else. So put a couple more bucks onto your food budget instead of buying another tank top or pair of shoes and add a couple of these goals on your list:
- Eat local: Visit your local Farmer’s Market or sign up for a CSA!
- Eat organic & sustainably produced food: Buying organic food is important. Organic foods are made without synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. We have to continue to buy organic produce to give a market to organic farmers. Ask your farmer at the local farmer’s market how they grow their food. Some small farmers aren’t certified organic because they can’t afford the fees.
- Boycott products made from genetically modified crops: GMOs are found in more than 80% of non-organic food sold in conventional grocery stores. Companies are not required to label their food GMO, so organic is the way to go! 6 companies now control 98% of the world’s seed sales. :(
- Become a vegetarian or vegan: Raising animals for food uses more than half the water used in the United States and is the biggest polluter of our water and topsoil. Every meal makes a difference!!
- Compost fruit and veggie scraps, coffee grounds and leftover food. When food scraps are thrown into landfills, they are compacted so tight that they cannot decompose, instead, they create methane gas. Methane gas is 23 times more destructive to the environment than carbon.
What else can we do to eat sustainably?
This was my first time to make DIY deodorant, I ran out last week and thought it was time. It is one of the easiest DIY recipes yet!
Here is my recipe in blog post form if your interested :)
And now…the test…
I’ve been testing it’s effectiveness for the last few days and I see no real difference. I sweat a little, but I have no ill odors as a result. It’s amazing! I’m never going back to stick deodorants. Save money and reduce your household toxins by making your own!
To order the book, Make Your Place by Raleigh Briggs, click here. It’s only $6!
These Texas oil companies are trying to scare the population into passing this prop by shouting words such as unemployment, jobs and taxes. The flaw in their logic is that Clean Energy has created 500,000 jobs since AB 32 was passed and the Clean Energy industry is growing at a rate of 10 times faster than the rest of the economy. They say this is about jobs, but the haven’t told us how they will be creating more jobs. Not too mention that 96% of the funding for Prop 23 is coming straight from two oil companies. They are clearly afraid of how quickly the clean energy industry is growing and are desperate to kill it and our future on this planet.
FACT: These two Texas oil companies have made 9 billion dollars in California alone in the last 5 years. Clean energy is affecting their bottom line and they are not concerned with the public health implications of suspending AB 32.
Valero & Tesoro are under the impression that they don’t have to answer the the public health of Californians, they can just buy themselves out of being regulated for their pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
Letting Prop 23 pass would be letting these oil companies taint the lives of future generations and takes away hundreds of thousands of potential jobs for Californians.
California is a model for the nation and the world when it comes to climate change action. If Prop 23 passes, we will be a model of what went wrong in the fight against climate change.
Here is more information on why people are saying NO on Prop 23.
And here is more information on why people are saying yes on Prop 23.
I’ll let you decide for yourself, but for me, the choice is clear…
No on Prop 23.
We went through Jennifer’s Death Cabinet & found lots of lurking toxins. So to cut down on toxins, packaging and money spent, we are showing you how to make your cabinets D-I-Y! We’ve already made All-Purpose cleaner & wood cleaner…this week, mirror cleaner!
The recipe is:
1.5 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup water
4-8 drops of orange, lemon, or grapefruit essential oil
Now, let’s test it!
Next up….D-I-Y Deodorant :)
What else do you want to see us make?