How To Green Your Home For Free, Less = More

photo-6I attended the Green City Fair organized by the TreePeople.  The setting was beautiful in their adopted park within the hills off Mullholland Dr in the Beverly Glen neighborhood of Los Angeles.  Unfortunately, there is no public transportation anywhere close to the facility though TreePeople has been lobbying the city.  Instead, I drove the shortest distance and parked inside Franklin Canyon Park in northernmost Beverly Hills then hiked 1.5 miles up and around a little lake and reservoir through a neighborhood of homes with awesome views all the way up to the event.

TreePeople is a not-for-profit organization (401c3) with a mission, “to inspire, engage and support people to take personal responsibility for the urban environment, making it safe, healthy, fun and sustainable and to share the process as a model for the world. builds community around planting and caring for trees and everything nature.”  I have planted trees with the organization in many of my own neighborhoods in and around Los Angeles.  They are a big participant in the Million Trees LA program that is pushing to plant 1 million trees in the City of Los Angeles.  TIP: If you live in the City of LA you can get 7 free residential trees to plant in your yard.

There were booths hawking all kinds a green products, from dental/orthodontic care to compost to farming services directly to your doorstep to hand-made product like the bag below from June Fifteen.


photo-7I participated in a DIY Greening your space as a renter workshop, though it fully applies to owners as well.  The program covered water, food, energy, waste/compost, chemicals, gardening and shopping.  Basically, a super-consise version of my excellent 7 week Green Living Course offered by the City of LA.

Here are a few tips to help you green while not noticing a difference:

  • Convert your toilet to low flow for free.  Just fill a bottle with water or sand and place it in the upper tank of the toilet.  This displaces the water and makes the toilet think it is fuller than it is.  I can’t imagine that anyone in your household or guest would ever notice the difference.
  • Control your flow in the bathroom.  LA Department of Water/Power was giving away aerators to make your bathroom sink low flow.  The interesting part is that flow has actually increased, the stream is just redirected.  Also, being given out was adjustable-flow shower heads.  For the record I believe one must have proper flow in the shower to ensure 100% cleanliness.  I also want to do my part to save water without losing the most important part of the shower, water flow.  Water flow in my shower has again increased while using a low flow devise.  Best part is that I can variably control low flow to high flow on the head.
  • Unplug-1-unplug all. Plug your home theater or home office electronics that can be turned off when not in use into one power strip.  Then all you have to do is unplug one thing instead of a lot more.  They even have power strips that you can control which outlets receive power.
  • Get that lint out of there.  Clean the lint tray in your dryer before each use, this could save 30% on energy use for this appliance.  Better yet, use a solar dryer and hang your clothes out to dry.

Check with your energy provider to see if they are offering free stuff, like light bulbs.  Unless your provider is the sun, in that case kudos to you.

– GreenUp! Guy

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