Southern California environment news and trends

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."


Jessica Alba conserves water with turf lawn

Jessica Alba

Actress Jessica Alba and her husband Cash Warren are among the eco-friendliest couples in Hollywood. Inspired by her baby daughters Honor and Haven, Alba recently launched her own start-up called the Honest Co., which sells all-natural baby products like diapers and lotion (pictured above).

That dedication to environmentalism also extends to their home, where the Pomona-born Alba recently installed an artificial grass lawn instead of natural grass to save water.

"We have a lot of water shortages in Southern California and I grew up with having to take a bath in (a little) water and (people saying), ‘Don't flush the toilet unless it's, you know...’ Alba told Contact Music recently. “There are all these rules that you just sort of live by when you live with droughts... and when you have turf you don't have to water your lawn at all.”


Greening the aftermath of Occupy L.A.

Frank Stoltze/KPCC

Hundreds of Occupy protesters gathered downtown LA for a march through the financial district

Occupy L.A.'s days are numbered. The city has said the encampment cannot continue indefinitely. Officials are negotiating with protesters about decamping in exchange for office space and farm land where they continue their efforts, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Regardless, whenever the protesters voluntarily decamp or are kicked off the City Hall lawn, they're going to leave behind some very dead grass. This has been one point of complaint for city officials.

Last month Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said, "Look, our lawn is dead, our sprinklers aren't working . . . our trees are without water."

In a Nov. 7 letter to the mayor, Jon Kirk Mukri, general manager of the Department of Recreation and Parks, detailed the damage done to the two-acre site, which has more than 80 trees and 100,000 square feet of landscaped land.