Green Living News & Tips Archive

Feb 2008

Re-Use Everything

  • Disposable items can often be reused for the same ordifferent purposes - margarine tubs, glass jars and manyfood containers and bags.
  • Paper that has been printed or written on one sidecan be flipped over and the blank side used in the printeror for writing drafts.
  • Blank back sides of ads and coupons from mailingscan be saved, stapled together and used for lists andscratch pads.
  • When printing from the computer, be sure to click"Print page 1 to 1", then turn the sheet over and insert itinto the hand feed to print "Print page 2 to 2", for doublesidedprinting. Or set your default printer settings todouble-sided printing.
  • I am sure you can think of many more examples ofreuse than I have here. Doesn't it feel good to be thriftyand use fewer natural resources every day?

- Sandra Trutt


Tree Care with Tree People

Saturday, March 15, Tree Care from 9 a.m. to noon,Downtown Los Angeles

Taking care of baby trees is such a joyful experience.You pull the weeds and grass surroundingthin trunks so they don't take water and nutrientsfrom the sapling. You loosen the soil to help the rootsexpand. You add mulch to protect and insulate the soilfrom the weather and add several buckets of water tothoroughly soak the roots. To be out in the sun, wind,and fresh air with a group of like-minded people is wonderfuland a day you'll remember and want to repeat.

You can join Tree People as they care for young pinktrumpet trees planteddowntown. To register,contact Lisa Sotello at .Shewill send you the meetinglocation and other information.

If you want to carpoolfrom church, contact Sandra Trutt. You must register at least a weekahead of time as these events often fill up.


Reduce Unwanted Catalogs

There is a new website that will help you conserveresources by way of not receiving unwanted catalogsin the mail. To opt out of receiving these mailings:

  • Make a pile of your catalog rejects that you wishnot to receive any more, or just rip off and save theaddress page.
  • Log on to:
  • Enter your name, the catalog name, and thecustomer # on the back of the catalog.

If you don't have a computer, ask a friend whodoes to help you reduce this wasteful use of paper.Thank you.


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Think Small When Recycling

It struck me one day about all the little pieces ofpaper, foil and plastic we use each day - wrappersfrom a tea bag, foil seals on food coffee cans and yogurtcups, candy packaging, cash register receipts. All thesecan be recycled and may often be overlooked as "justtrash."

These small pieces should be contained in a largerbag so they won't fly out of the bin on trash pick up day.You can use a plastic bag to collect bits of plastic andplastic bags. A paper bag can hold paper scraps.Be sure to tie, tape or staple the tops beforeputting into the recycle bin so it won'tbecome litter.Packaging often has recyclable cardboardand plastic film, including such items ascereal boxes, plastic film from napkins,cleaned foil from treats or cooking, and soforth. Once you start paying attention towhat you throw away, you'll be amazed athow much can actually be recycled.In no time you will notice that there is lesstrash to throw out each week. You are taking astep on your way to having zero waste.The Earth thanks you.

- Sandra Trutt

Jan 2008

We have completed four of our twelve projectsin the Action Plan to become a GreenSanctuary church. We have had our environmentallyresponsible investing class, taught byJoe Engleman. Our Transportation Survey wascompleted, the Green Concert with Jim Scottwas in October and we made holiday decorationsfrom recycled materials in December.

The projects we are still working on are:

1. Show a green film followed by letter writing
2. Do environmental education in conjunctionwith UU Emerson Church
3. Assemble home environmental audit kits
4. Develop guidelines for greener events
5. Establish a website for giveaways of useableitems
6. Encourage "reduce, reuse, and recycle"
7. Have green worship service
8. Work at a community garden and assembletake-home planting kits
9. (Extra Credit) Organize environmentallyrelated field trip


Practice Earth-FriendlyBeverage Service

The following are ideas from "Circle of LifeFoundation" on beverage service that is lessharmful to the environment.

Avoid using water from disposable plasticbottles. Bottled water has been shipped thousandsof miles before reaching us. The plastic inthe bottles can be recycled only once. Then itbecomes unusable and must be thrown out.Consider filtering tap water and putting it intolarge containers. Brita or other brand filters do agood job of making tap water taste better.

Use washable cups and glasses. If you areusing disposable cups, paper is better thanplastic. Paper eventually biodegrades. Plasticnever does.

Don't buy individual servings of water, soda,juice, iced tea, and so on as it creates largeamounts of trash/recycling. Disposing of trashand recycling both use energy and gasoline.Serve beverages from large sized containers.

In a busy world it does take extra effort to dothings differently. Thank you for makingchanges in your daily life that help the environment.


New Information About Plastic

We all have a good feeling about recycling.But there is a downside to it. An article in "CoopAmerica" magazine talked about a new term,"downcycle." Downcycle means a recycledmaterial that is changed into a lesser kind ofproduct, which often cannot be recycled again.

Some of the items in the recycling bins areremade into the same products over and overagain, aluminum, steel and glass.

Other products like office paper andnewsprint can be recycled six to 12 or even 15times. But after a while the fibers become tooshort to reuse and the remainder goes to a landfill.

Plastics #1 and #2 are downcycled after onecycle. They are then thrown away. Plastic bagsmay be recycled then downcycled. But oftenthey may be shipped overseas and incineratedor dumped in a landfill.

Make a commitment today to avoid plasticbags and bring your own reusable bags whenyou shop.

The Earth thanks you.

-- Sandra Trutt

Dec 2007

Holiday Gatherings with the Earth in Mind

As the holiday season is upon us, let us be mindfulof the environment as we gather with friends and family.Here are some things we can do to ease the impactof our lifestyle on the rest of the world.

1. Try to reduce buying in general and reuse what youalready have.

2. Think about your trash output ahead of time andsee if you can reduce the amount of trash yourevent produces.You can:

Aug 2007

New Green Living Workshop

Sustainable Works is starting up a new set of Green Living workshops in Santa Monica. One begins Tues., August 14th, 7p.m. to- 8:30 p.m. and a second one begins Wed., August 15th, 7 - 8:30 p.m. This works out great because they follow the same agenda, so if you have to miss one session you can always pick the class up on the alternate night.

The topics during the 6 week course cover: Water, Energy, Waste, Chemicals, Transportation & Travel, Shopping & Food.

Contact Barent Roth to join
$25 donation, S.M. Residents; $50 Los Angeles

Worth every penny!

Jul 2007

"Green" is the new in-word.

But what exactly dowe mean by saying we are trying to "green" our church?

Jun 2007

Our June Green Sanctuary meeting will beSaturday, June 2. We will convene after thepancake breakfast, starting our meeting atnoon and going until 1:30 p.m. We are writingour action plan and that is the primaryagenda item. Room 3 is the location, withtables for our paperwork. This meeting isopen to all members who want to help us craftthe 12 activities we need in order to become aGreen Sanctuary.

- Sandra Trutt
Co-chair, Green Sanctuary Committee

Dec 2006

Living Green for the Holidays

As the holiday gift-giving season approaches, weoffer tips on how we can put our ecological principlesinto practice. Some of us try to minimize unnecessarytrash and packaging, others look for gifts with lesseffects on the environment.

Instead of buying gift bags, buy a canvas bag to putyour gift in.

Buy an extra canvas bag for yourself to use whileyou are shopping. You can find used/recycled bags atthrift stores and yard sales.

Stock up on wrapping paper without patterns andribbons that will work year round. Check for recycledwrapping paper or reuse the wrapping paper on giftsyou receive.

Use alternative packing materials, such as crumpledup newspaper, rather than styrofoam peanutswhen packing boxes for mailing. Reuse boxes ratherthan buying new ones.

Consider giving consumables such as soap, food,or drink as gifts since they won't take up space or endin a landfill. For fair-traded coffee, tea, and chocolate,visit

Give non-tangible gifts, such as:

Green Living Cleans the Beach and Sponsors 2nd Sunday Supper/Green Building Tour

The Green Living Committee, which sponsored November’s Second Sunday Supper, participated, along with RE classes, in another Heal the Bay Clean-up at Annenberg Beach in October. We did one in March, too. Thank you everyone for a great Clean-up on the Beach, including Lois Hutchinson, Delaney, Nalani Santiago-Kalmanson, Akiko, and Beth. We will continue our commitment of having one more Heal the Bay Beach clean-up day, in March 2017.
November’s Second Sunday Supper included a Green Building Tour hosted by the Green Committee. Participants were issued “Green Passports” and urged to visit each of four stations to collect information from Green Guides about the green building features included in our 12-year campus renovation process — and pick up part of their meal at each stop. The stations were the Cottage/Bungalow, the Courtyard Shade Structure, Forbes Hall, and the Sanctuary and Offices.
During the balmy evening, members and guests also sipped drinks and nibbled on appetizers as they exchanged stories about the history of our campus and its buildings. A slide show featured photos of our historic buildings and their restoration and green features. Green Committee members who have made energy- or water-efficiency upgrades or added solar panels to their own homes were honored. Succulent plants and LED light bulbs were given away, so that people can start saving water and energy at home right away.
Neelam Sharma, Executive Director of Community Services Unlimited, Inc. (CSU), attended to learn more about green building as her non-profit organization kicks off their fundraising for a green remodel of the Paul Robeson Center at Vermont and Gage. CSU operates an urban farm at Expo Park, and will be offering participatory learning opportunities for South LA residents to learn organic farming, nutrition, and how to cook vegetables and healthy foods. The building will include a cafe and store as well as community meeting rooms, outdoor gathering areas, an urban farm and the “Veggie Bus” classroom and seed library. Neelam invited church members to their Family Brunch December 4. See for more info.
Thank you to our Green Living UUs — Alison Kendall, Beth Brownlie, Katie Malich, Haygo Salibian, Bill Blake, Linda van Lighten, John Zinner, Nalani Santiago-Kalmanson, Linda Marten, Helen Brown, Greg Woods, Audrey Lyness, Sarah Robson, Spencer Michaelson (YRUU), Rick Teplitz, and many more — for your commitment to our Earth!
Beth Brownlie and Alison Kendall