Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Green Apple School Supplies

As back to school winds down, we want to share at least a couple more backpack essentials for you or yours.

With Green Apple School Supplies, the name says it all.  Right now, we've got their all natural rubber erasers, pens and pencils, and rulers--all staples for any desk.

The pencils are made from wood scraps in a pencil-making factory, proving that going green eliminates waste and looks naturally better, too. 

Same goes for the pens, made from all recycled plastic parts.

As for the rulers, invention is taken a step further.  Not only is the plastic recycled, but most of material for these rulers comes from recycled yellow pages!  Gotta love that.

Monday, September 29, 2008

SL Chamber is Green

The Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce is working on a green section of its website.  And since we're proud to be part of the Commerce Green Committee, we thought we'd tell you about it.

It's got links to environmental local, state, and national organizations and resources for you to check out.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Abbot Kinney: Connecting to the Green Lifestyle

Sunday is the 24th annual Abbot Kinney Festival in Venice.  This year, we're in for a treat.

There will be a substantial Green Living Section, "Connected," boasting food, drinks, bike valet, eco-art workshops, and even more than that.  Its aim? To "shift the focus from products to people," as in zooming in on how green living is more about caring community partners than solely about products.

What we're in for:

How to make mini-terrariums? Check.
Free trees from Million Trees LA? Check.
An Artists' Lounge for your viewing pleasure? Check.
A whole host of Los Angeles environmental movers and shakers?  Check.
A gourmet green food court? Check.
Alternative fuel vehicles on display? Check.

So, if you'd like to make a connection with other green livers this weekend, be sure to check it out.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Waste Not Want Not

We hope you can join us this Saturday morning, the 27th, for a zero-waste kind of workshop:

Radical Recycling and Composting
Saturday, September 27th
10:00 a.m. - noon
Led by Sustainability Coach, Deborah

The workshop is $25.00 with pre-registration by Friday!  We think you'll think it's worth it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

All Shades of Green

Since we're all at different places on our paths to sustainable living, all different shades of green if you will, we try to provide products for every stage of the journey.

So, if you're the forest green of a seasoned eco-liver, we've got stuff for you.  Or, if you're the lime green of a tender new shoot, we've got plenty of things for you, too.

This product is in the latter category. If you haven't gutted your kitchen of all things plastic and invested in glass or stainless steel storage containers, you can feel good about hanging onto all those plastic baggies still in your cupboards knowing they will no longer be one-use items.

With a plastic bag dryer, at least you can reuse baggies for a reasonable number of times by simply washing each with soap and water and hanging it on this compact drying rack.  It's especially good if you're going to be using those baggies for non-food items--then these can be reused for a very long time indeed. And, there are probably other ingenious uses for this sustainably harvested gizmo when you've moved on from plastic bags.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Zero Waste Lunch Gear

We've got all the gear you need to achieve a zero--waste lunch for all the to-go lunchers in your household.

For sandwiches, behold the wrap n mat, which we've blogged about before, a reusable sandwich sleeve that eliminates disposable plastic sandwich baggies, saving money and resources.

For hot or cold lunches that go beyond a sandwich, we carry To Go Ware stainless steel carriers. This inspired, two- tiered food carrier is something you  can bring along with your own meal already packed or you can bring to a restaurant to be filled with the meal that's been made there for you.

For little nibbles between meals for little nibblers, there's the super-popular Snack Ball from boon.  It's food safe and strong enough to endure all kinds of crushing and tumbling.  And, of course, it's totally reusable.

Finally, for meals that require more than opposable thumbs, we've also got the To Go Ware bamboo utensil packs. Lightweight and, need we say, reusable, this handy pack contains any eating tool you'd need, be it chopsticks or fork, knife or spoon.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Our Sustainability Coach Shares: Interview With Good Food

We're proud to announce that Deborah, our store Sustainability Coach, was recently on KCRW's excellent program, Good Food with Evan Kleiman.

Please listen to the eleven minute segment by scrolling down the page here.

And here are her simple seven secrets of sustainability in that favorite room of the house in case you missed last Saturday's workshop:

Tip #1 - Consider the types of food you will buy.

Tip #2 - Always store foods in ceramic, glass containers and stainless steel/aluminum containers.

Tip #3 - Pay attention to ways that you can conserve energy in cooking.

Tip #4 - A sustainable kitchen has the potential to create zero waste.

Tip #5 - Grow your own herbs and vegetable.

Tip #6 - Bring awareness and compassion to our relationship with food.

Tip#7 - Prepare yourself to be more sustainably "on the road" by carrying an "urban eco-pack."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Saturday: Sustainable Kitchen Workshop

We hope you can join us this Saturday, September 20, for another ever-popular topic to be explored:


Our Sustainability Coach, Deborah, will help you on your path to personal and planetary wellness through the choices you make in your kitchens at this workshop.

It's Saturday morning from 10:00 a.m. to noon and is $25.00 with pre-registration.  Please call the store to find out more or reserve your spot!  (323) 665 - 7454.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Waste Free Lunches

We hope that Back To School is going beautifully for all of you with BTSers in the house.

Here's a great resource to help you go waste free with you and your students' lunches this year: wastefreelunches.org.  

Have you heard about that science/math project where you carry around your trash for a week to see how much stuff you actually throw away four times a month or fifty-two times a year? According to Waste Free Lunches, each school-age child generates 67 pounds of lunch-related trash every year. Multiply that by all the kids at your child's school and we've got a serious math problem on our hands. 

What to do about all that trash going to the landfill?  You can ditch the mini snack bags and plastic baggies and invest in stylish and lightweight reusable utensils, lunch carriers, napkins, and water bottles.  You can even get your whole school community involved in the problem-solving fun with the "how to" section of the website as your guide! (And, you could save over 200 dollars a year per person in the process.) Read all about the success stories across the country here.

Stay tuned for more specific ideas of what products might work for you as you embark on the zero waste adventure.  To reusability and beyond!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Anniversary Party: After

Thanks so much to all the folks who made our First Anniversary Party so special last week!

We're honored to have so many people to partner with on their paths to sustainable living, no matter what shade of green they happen to be. 

Thanks also to Tim and Jim who provided the music.  You can explore Tim the fiddler's website here.

We'll be seeing you...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Gotta Love Livity Bags

We love Livity Outernational for its splendid hemp clothes and accessories.

For school (or work) days, consider a bag designed with sustainable materials by folks over in Topanga Canyon.

We've got an oh-so-useful backpack for riding bikes and carrying books in stock along with a great laptop bag:

Friday, September 12, 2008

Banana Paper Notebooks

Back to School just went bananas.  Banana Paper Company makes notebooks and paper supplies from, you guessed it, bananas, along with coffee, pineapples and other agricultural by-products in Costa Rica.

Tree free.  Acid free. Eco-paper indeed.

Check this out: 10 million tons of banana stems (pinzote) are thrown out every year.  Same goes for coffee beans--ripe ones have a thin shell/peel that's tossed before the beans go to market. So, Banana Paper rescues these agricultural wastes and turns them into something useful--namely paper and notebooks for school, journals, or any sort of project. (They've also got sturdy covers and can take a backpack beating.)  

Even in our digital world, the U.S. consumes 100 million tons of paper each year.  With cooky, conscious Banana Paper, that paper can come free of trees.

We've got a number of fun designs in the store that you just might go bananas for.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September Workshop Roundup

School is in session all over Los Angeles. At All Shades, it's time for September Workshops.  
We're back in the swing of things around here and classes start September 13th!  
So, swing by and fill the seat reserved for you.

Introduction to Sustainable Living in L.A For Families:
recycling/composting, energy, water, agriculture, non-toxic home.
Saturday, September 13th
10:00 a.m. -12:00 noon

The Non-Toxic Home: Start Fresh This Fall!
Tuesday, September 16th
 7:00 p.m. -9:00 pm
@ All Shades of Green

The Sustainable Kitchen: Cooking for Personal and Planetary Health
Saturday, September 20th
10:00 a.m. -12:00 noon:
@ All Shades of Green

Radical Recycling and Composting
Saturday, September 27
10:00 a.m. -12:00 noon

**All workshops are $25.00 at pre-registration or $30.00 at the door.
Call to reserve your spot today! (323) 665 - 7454. **

Monday, September 08, 2008

We're Turning One on Wednesday!

We hope you'll come by this Wednesday, September 10 tohelp us celebrate our
ONE year anniversary.

Wednesday, September 10th
6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
3038 Rowena Avenue
Silver Lake, Los Angeles 90039
(323) 665 - 7454

How we'll be celebrating:
*Live music.
*With a 10% discount on everything in the store!
*Free food.
*A raffle.
*Presentations by our sustainable living specialists
*Great, green company, of course.

This is a wonderful opportunity to rub elbows with like-minded Angelenos and check out the latest eco-living products. And if you've never made it into the store before, consider this your special invitation to check us out!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Water-Wise Living Continues

The last month of summer is often the hottest.  So, with water still (and always around these parts) on the brain, here are a handful of water-wise living tips from a recent workshop:

Turn off the faucet when you don't need it--that means teeth-brushing, face-washing, even when you're just scrub-a-dub-dubbing your hands or body at the sink or in the shower. 

Fix leaky faucets and toilets (a leaky faucet can waste up to 100 gallons of water a day!).

Run your dishwashers and washing machines only when they are full.

Install a water purifier that will provide cleaner and healthier water for
drinking and cooking. At All Shades, we reccomend Aquasana for an affordable and thorough water filter--and we've got them in the store.  You can also visit www.waterfiltercomparisons.net to find out more about your water filtering choices. 

Every drop counts!

Friday, September 05, 2008


Pencils, Shmencils, now there are Colored Smencils!  Smencils are pencils made from recycled newspapers that have bold, creative, gourmet scents, naturally. 

Why settle for regular pencils, especially when you get get unwooden ones invented from a recycled materials that will keep you alert with your favorite yummy scent?  Smencils are environmentally-friendly in other ways too, like their biodegradable erasers and safe fragrances.  You can also recycle the tube they come in and even that ring of metal below the eraser (called a ferrule, a fact we share in the spirit of sharing learning that's new to us).

Here are some tree, pencil and newspaper facts from the Smencil website for you to chew on, instead of your new Smencil eraser:

"Recycling a single run of the NY Times saves 75,000 trees."

"The average tree can filter about 60 pounds of air pollution every year."

"If everyone in the U.S. recycled just 10% of their newspapers, we would save about 25 million trees each year."

So, here's to a new school year of writing that recycles, smells good, and completes your assignments to boot.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


Finally, there's a binder that's totally sustainable and fulfills all your bindery needs.  Plus, it's a blank, beige slate, ready for your unique doodles and decorations.

We've got rebinders in stock (small are 2.50; large are 6.99). We've got super plain notebooks in the same vein for all your notetakery needs as well.

Each is made of cardboard/chip board from 100% recycled fibers (which shakes out to about half post-consumer waste and half post-industrial waste).  And when you're done with it? That's right.  The cycle  continues.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Back to School Month

As if you didn't already know, September is Back to School Month.  So, we're taking our thematic cues from all those book-toting students of all ages out there and stocking the store with what you or your little scholar might need.

As a preview, here are a few things to focus on when choosing supplies and planning school days:

Prepare a waste-free lunch.  That's one whose packaging is all stuff that can be recycled, or better yet, reused again and again.  Reusable lunch containers are all the rage for learners and eaters big and small.

Choose totally recycled paper for notebooks and loose-leaf sheets, or paper from an unusual source that's tree-free and sustainable (more to come on those options!).

Bring your bottle!  A working brain is a thirsty brain, and same goes for a body. So, we've got SIGG bottles of all shapes and sizes so you can take water with you and skip the plastic bottle that's toxic for you and the world.

Consider sustainable, non-toxic writing utensils and markers.  Just think of all the throwaway plastic pens in our landfills.

And finally, you'll need something to carry your stuff in.  We've got bags for digital and old-fashioned school supplies made of wonderful stuff like hemp.

Come in and see if there's anything on your list that can be rethought and made green.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Inventions Never Cease

We've blogged about the amazing Green Glass Company before.  It brings old glass to life in new ways.  And while that's often for lovely glasses and tumbler and goblets (all of which we sell), it's got a few tricks up its sleeve, too.

We've got a bottle coat rack


a bottle vase (or candle holder) at All Shades now.

Both are made from bottles rescued from the waste stream.  Now, that's rethinking for sure.