Southern California environment news and trends

Extrabux planting trees for Earth Day

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Getty Images

For the more dedicated and efficient shopper, Extrabux is both a godsend and a necessity. For those of us a little slower on the uptake, a few clicks discover that Extrabux is an immensely popular online shopping portal (launched by a couple of twenty-something guys in San Diego) that offers coupons and cash rebates per transaction at an impressive array of retailers.

To leave a literal mark on Earth Day 2012, Extrabux has vowed to plant a tree for every purchase made on the site this weekend. Kicking off yesterday, Thursday, April 19 and running through Sunday the 22nd (which just so happens to be Earth Day), the site teamed with American Forests to help bring the initiative to life. Their goal is to plan “a whole forest.”

They also use the occasion to emphasize the 2008 Carnegie Mellon study which found that shopping online is a whole 35 percent greener than the traditional method of going to a physical store.

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Target giving away 1.5 million reusable bags for Earth Day

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Mr. T in DC/Flickr

Target is more than just one of America’s largest retailers. As far back as when the Minnesota-based company was known as Dayton-Hudson, the retailer has made a point to celebrate Earth Day. Back in the early ‘70s, stores handed out little trees to shoppers to mark the day. In 1992, celebrities like Leonard Nimoy, Bobby Kennedy Jr. and Olivia Newton-John took part in a Los Angeles “Earth Walk” with Target team members.

This year, Target stores will commemorate Earth Day by handing out 1.5 million reusable (and very stylish) shopping bags. Target will also continue to provide customers with a 5-cent discount for every reusable bag per transaction.

"Earth Day is the perfect time to remind guests that a small change can make a big difference in reducing waste, saving money and driving sustainable choices in their community," said Shawn Gensch, Target’s senior vice president of marketing in a press release. "At Target, we are pleased to do our part by making these choices easier for our guests."

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Southland Goodwill to attempt donation record for Earth Day

Corey Moore/KPCC

Gold confetti sprays into the air at Universal Studios Hollywood.

In commemoration of Earth Day 2012, Goodwill Southern California is teaming with NBC4 and Universal Studios Hollywood on a two-day drive they’re hoping will set a new record for the most items donated in 24 hours.

Universal Studios Hollywood is where donors can take new and/or “gently used’ items, including e-waste, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday, April 21 — 22. They can’t use furniture, mattresses, paper or plastic, so be forewarned.

"In celebration of Earth Day, Goodwill wants to raise awareness of the environmental impact donations have on the planet,” said Doug Barr, president and CEO of Goodwill Southern California in a press release. “Donating helps to keep millions of pounds of usable goods from ending up in landfills, and helps to save resources through re-use as opposed to new product manufacturing. We can then sell those items in order to provide valuable employment services to people in need.”

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Surfrider and Groupon partner on California water quality testing

elfidomx/Flickr/Creative Commons

It was announced this week that popular online coupon site Groupon has joined forces with the nonprofit Surfrider Foundation to raise money for water quality testing at local California beaches.

The campaign, which runs this week through Earth Day (Sunday, April 22), is soliciting $7 pledges through Groupon Grassroots, the recently launched philanthropic arm of the company. For each $7 donation, the Surfrider Foundation will be able to pay for one water quality test. Citing National Resources Defense Council statistics on the pledge site, there were more than 24,000 beach closings and advisories in the United States in 2010. To date, more that 120 donations have been made to the initiative,

“We are excited to employ the collective action model of Groupon Grassroots to raise support for the Surfrider Foundation’s water quality monitoring,” said Alexis Henry, Surfrider Foundation’s communications manager in a press release.  “We look forward to creating new awareness for the Surfrider Foundation as one of the local organizations in Los Angeles to be featured on Groupon Grassroots.”

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BevMo! to launch cork recycling program on Earth Day

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John Rabe

As Earth Day 2012 rapidly approaches, the proliferation of people, places and things turning up the green is almost overwhelming. Throughout the week, we’ll be wading though the myriad of eco-friendly actions to mark the arrival of Sunday, April 22.

For major beverage retail chain BevMo!, this Earth Day marks the start of a new cork-recycling program at all 115 of their locations throughout California and Arizona. And for the literal kicker: through a partnership with ReCORK and shoe manufacturer SOLE’s sponsorship, the recycled cork will be converted into a line of flip-flops.

"As something that's renewable, biodegradable and recyclable, natural cork is a fitting symbol with which to recognize Earth Day," said Alan Johnson, BevMo!'s chief executive officer in a press release. "We are excited about our partnership with ReCORK and pleased to make a contribution to the environment by providing our customers with an easy way to recycle their corks and thereby give used corks a second life."

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