Southern California environment news and trends

Recycle old Facebook posts for greener living

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As the world becomes a sustainable place, beverage maker Honest Tea has created a cheeky new app that promotes greener living through recycling old Facebook posts. 

Created in conjunction with ad agency Amalgamated, the application allows users to scroll through past Facebook status updates for ones that garnered the most likes and commentary. As reported by Triple Pundit, whenever an approved post is “recycled,” it will re-post with a message promoting sustainability. Recyclebank users can also collect points redeemable for rewards.

It’s part of Honest Tea’s Great Recycle campaign, which has the goal of the company recycling every bottle they produce by the year 2020. The campaign was launched on Earth Day in New York City with a 30-foot bin in Times Square with the goal of collecting over 45,000 bottles.


Santa Monica Beach gets smart green trash cans -- that don't recycle

Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, Santa Monica beach got 500 new, spiffy trash cans with green features. In addition to reminding people not to litter, these cans come with a QR code that takes smartphone users to the new Santa Monica Beachcast — a mobile site with tips on keeping the beach clean, a quick signup feature for upcoming beach cleanups, information on beach water quality, and more.

However, these trash cans won’t let you recycle. That means everything put in these greener-themed trash cans will go straight to the landfill.

Why aren’t recycling options provided on Santa Monica Beach year round? “Santa Monica’s been very conservative in their distribution of common area recycling,” says Andrew Basmajian, communications coordinator for the City of Santa Monica’s Office of Sustainability. “A lot of people would like to see more [recycling bins]. It’s just that a lot of it gets stuck in committee. It’s a difficult thing to do. It’s very expensive to maintain the infrastructure.”


How to trade for local, homemade treats: LA Food Swap

Consider yourself a fine cook and sustainable foodie? Sign up for the LA Food Swap — for a chance to taste and take home homemade, homegrown, and foraged treats made by your neighbors and show off your own delicious creations — free.

LA Food Swap is a bit like Artisanal LA, the seasonal event showcasing local, artisanal treats — except at LA Food Swap every attendee is also a local culinary creator, and no money exchanges hands. Every couple months, swappers get together at a meeting spot with their homegrown, handmade, and foraged treats in tow. There, each swapper gets to check out what everyone else is offering, writing down bids for potential trades. Once the bids are in, swapping begins in earnest.

The last swap happened last weekend at Reform School in Silver Lake. “Sunday’s food swap was incredible with such a diversity of homemade, homegrown, and foraged foods,” says Emily Ho, a sustainable foodie and founder of LA Food Swap. “Bread and butter, ginger and elderflower cordials, foraged mulberry jam, kumquat frozen yogurt, s’mores kits with homemade graham crackers and marshmallows, nasturtium capers, granola, beautiful fresh herbs… you name it!”


10 Earth Day freebies and deals in Los Angeles

Still haven’t made plans for Earth Day tomorrow? Get to know the green options in Los Angeles while taking advantage of money-saving deals with our Earth Day guide to Los Angeles:

1. First, pick up a free reusable bag if you don’t have one yet at the Nature Conservancy booth, which will pop up next to the main Clock Tower at the Original Farmers Market starting at 11 am. The bag will get you Earth Day specials at participating vendors throughout the market.

2. Then get $1 off your take-our order at M Cafe by reusing that reusable bag — and enjoy a free cup of organic coffee too for remembering your reusable mug — all day on Earth Day.

3. Or enjoy a free sustainable seafood lunch from the Border Grill Truck, which will be at the California Science Center from 11:30 am to 2 pm on Earth Day. Just say the secret password: @AlaskaSeafood.