Friday, November 28, 2008

Speaking of Saving Resources: Water

Eartheasy has 25 ways to help you save 10 gallons of water a day in your home.

And we've got a list of tools to help you as well:

Faucet aerators can reduce your water use by up to a gallon per minute (280 gallons per month)!  And they're easy to install and super inexpensive to boot.  Perfect for kitchen and bathroom sinks.

Evolve showerheads reduce water flow to just a trickle once your shower is the perfect, toasty temperature.  So, if you're doing something else while waiting for the water to warm, you won't waste nearly as much to the pipes.

Showerhead shut off valves are simple and super-savers.  Just flip the switch while you're lathering up or shaving instead of having to mess with the bath fixtures.  Flip again when you need water again--a navy shower made easy.

Smart faucets operate similarly. When you're not pushing a convenient lever, the water flow stops at the sink to give you time to lather your hands with soap.  When you're ready to rinse, you simply lean on that lever again.

Shower timers will keep you on track for your desired water-conserving shower.

Shower buckets can be used to collect water while you're waiting for the stream to get hot enough--instead of going down the drain, it can be used to water the plants!

Time to get saving.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

bring your own bag

Since it's Saving Energy and Resources month at All Shades, we want to share with you a tried and true way to save both that's so simple it has its own acronym: BYOB.

By bringing your own shopping bag to the grocery store, farmer's market and any other place where you leave with more than you walked in with, you save the materials and energy that go into making those throwaway bags.  Sure, you can reuse them, but why not go farther to reducing first? That saves petroleum, water, and trees at the start.

We know you're on board with this, which is why we carry Chico bags, Ecolution bags of all kinds, and our very own ASOG variety.

My Own Bag, has a whole host of facts and figures on bags and bag consumption worth checking out.  For example, the plastic bag was introduced in 1977 and we now use 14 billion of them in the U.S. alone every year, requiring 12 million barrels of oil to produce. (And those bags that seem harmless do harm thousands of marine animals and stick around for hundreds of years.)

Read even more on the subject of ever-present bags here.

To bringing your own this holiday shopping and eating season!

Monday, November 24, 2008

More T-Day Tips

We wanted to share with you the incredible, edible tips from last weekend's podcast of KCRW's Good Food.

There are plenty of recommendations for how to have a truly memorable, creative Thanksgiving from the perfect bird-brining solution to sweet potato salad to serving only foods for which your kids are actually grateful.

There's also a feature on a contributor to SuperVegan who shared plenty of meat and poultry-free ideas for a green, grateful feast.  The recipe for chestnut soup with porcini mushrooms and root veggies is on the Good Food site here.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thanksgiving: A Merry, Green Meal

We at All Shades wish you a merry, magical Thanksgiving on Thursday!

In that spirit, we want to tell you about some T-Day tips.

First, The Pioneer Woman has some wonderful recipes (along with how to brine a turkey) to take care of your menu snafus.

And if you have yet to choose your turkey, we want to recommend making yours a free-range, organic bird. If you want to go the extra mile, you can even choose a heritage variety. Heritage birds are breeds that were foregone for the industrial tom breed we're used to seeing at the supermarket.  By getting one, you're supporting farmers, preserving traditional breeds, and getting delicious poultry to boot.

There are still some sustainable turkeys left at LocalHarvest, an organization bringing local farm products to chefs and eaters like us (a great resource all year round).

If you're skipping the turkey altogether, you can find some unique, delectable vegetarian recipes that will please as much as the 45 million birds that will be served on Thanksgiving from Nava Atlas.

And finally, here's our absolute favorite vegan pumpkin muffin recipe (just be sure to use vegan margarine!).  They are doughy, moist and a giant hit!   Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

FREE Solar Workshop!

We want to invite you to our first Solar Workshop with the folks from Phat Energy.

Solar 101 
Thursday, November 20th
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Find out everything you need to know to go solar.

** Please call (323) 665- 7454 for details and to reserve your space. This event is FREE. **

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Urban Sustainability and Self-Reliance in Changing Times

You're invited to a special event this Sunday evening:

Urban Sustainability and Self-Reliance in Changing Times
Sunday, November 16th
6:00 p.m. -9:30 p.m. 
821 Traction Ave. #108
Downtown LA, CA 90013
[between Alameda & Santa Fe
and between 2nd & 3rd Street
in the Arts District]

This unique event hosted by Project Butterfly in downtown L.A. (and in conjunction with ASOG's sustainability coach Deborah Tull) will feature an interactive workshop, All Shades of Green products, and a meal shared by guests.

What will the workshop include?
DIY projects
Lights in a jar
Rainwater catchment
DIY cleaning supplies
Sustainable living topics like recycling and energy efficiency

What about dinner?
It will be organic, vegetarian, and delectable.  And dessert? Solar oven-baked cookies!!

**$25 for the workshop and delectable meal if you sign up by Friday. $30 after that.

 Find out more here (scroll down the page).

Remodeling Workshop #1

We've got a series of remodeling workshops for you this season to help you re-do and make new with whatever shade of green you fancy.

And since our theme this month is Saving Money, Saving Energy, Saving Resources, there are ways a-plenty to use recycled, sustainable materials as you remodel your home like recycled glass countertops, eco-tops surfaces, and recycled glass pavers and tiles, just to name a few. (Our on-staff Green Building Professional knows of many more to tell you about.)

So, we hope you'll join us for one or all of these events, the first of which is this Thursday evening.

Remodeling Workshop #1: KITCHENS AND BATHS
Thursday, November 13th
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

**Call to find out more and reserve your spot today! (323) 665 - 7454. $30.00 for one or $75.00 for the series.**

**Participants receive a 5% discount on anything in the store and 10% off workshop-related products**

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Buying Local for the Holidays

We've gotten pretty well-versed in buying local, seasonal food. And in Los Angeles, we're lucky to have fabulous farmer's markets with delicious produce all year round.  Food grown nearby is more nutritious and fresher and saves big on fossil fuels compared to trucking it 1,500 miles from farm to family room. (Find your nearest Farmer's Market here.)

But what about other stuff, especially as we begin the hunt for holiday gifts?

By buying stuff for you and yours from an independent, local business, you support the economy of your very own community.  

According to Green Christmas, you also get to encourage what makes your neighborhood unique, get better, more personal service, promote competition and diversity, and make a huge economic impact in your own town (whereas if you buy from a big box store that money goes, well, somewhere else.)  

And on top of that, you get to cut down on environmental damage by getting more stuff that's locally made as well as locally sold.  Where else could you find incredible local, handcrafted soap covered in felted wool made by an employee at our local Trader Joe's?

We hope you'll stop in to see us and the other local, independent retailers, bookstores, service providers, and art galleries in Silver Lake and beyond as you plan your holiday purchases this year.  

(Here's a SL directory of local businesses and service providers; and here's a national one from the Organic Consumers Association.

After all, you can save gas and soak up the enviable fall weather by walking or biking to boot.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Saving Electricity: The Gadget Hall of Fame

We want to share with you some of our bestsellers for saving power in your home or apartment.

We've told you before about the Smart Power Strip.  It's so smart that it powers off what you've got plugged in when you're not using it. Pretty smart and pretty energy savvy.  And no clicking required.

We've also told you about the Kill-A-Watt.  You plug it into any appliance you've got and it automatically tells you how many kilowatt hours it's burning every minute, hour, or week.  Then, you make your decisions about which devices are sucking up too much juice to justify having them, and those that are worth their weight in gold for their efficiency.

Now, we'd like to remind you again of LEDs.  One LED can last 60,000 hours making it the most efficient over the long haul when compared to the 1500 after which a conventional lightbulb fizzles out.  Add to that how they don't have any mercury, can last for years, and can save you 80% on your lighting bill and the argument is pretty well-powered.  While they cost a pretty penny up front, you actually save money over the long haul.

We're happy to give you all the info you need as you make choices that will save power and save money at the same time.  Just give us a ring-- (323) 665 - 7454 or visit us online.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Election Sale Extended!

Our "in with the new" election sale has been extended to this Sunday, November 16th.

Come on in for a 30% discount on all kinds of good, green stuff to pamper you and to give as gifts for the upcoming holiday season.  See you soon!

Saving Energy Product of the Month: Solio Classic

What could be more efficient than harnessing the sun's energy to charge up the gadgets we depend on every day?

The Solio Classic universal charger fans out to soak up the sun for all kinds of handheld electronic gadgets--cell phone, MP3 player, digital camera, you name it.  Plus, it cuts waste by cutting out all those separate chargers for separate gizmos.  This charges them all--in one place.

For every hour you charge the Solio Classic in the sun, it'll give you 20 minutes of talking time or 50 minutes of listening time.  So, if you can pop it in daylight for a longer period, you'll be charged and ready to go for longer.  Plus, it holds its charge and can be uses in the wall as well if you just have to stay indoors one day.

And, come into the store to get yours--it's not like we're lacking for sunshine, even in November, even in February around here.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Introduction to Organic Gardening Workshop

This Saturday, our staff sustainability coach who has served as the organic gardener and cook at the Zen Monastery Peace Center is teaching a workshop for all of us who want to learn how to grow our own food.

Rising food prices and tough economic times are just two more reasons to start tending your own veggies.  Add to that keeping diverse seed varieties around, nourishing the soil, the joy of digging in the dirt (which studies show increases happiness and improves immunity), and enjoying delicious, organic produce and the benefits certainly abound.

The workshop will cover how to:

*create nutrient-rich soil
*build beautiful vegetable beds
*save water and energy
*utilize companion planting and crop rotation
*control pests

Introduction to Organic Gardening
Saturday, November 8
9:00 a.m. to noon
@ a private residence in Eagle Rock

**This extensive workshop is $35.00. Call to find out more and reserve your spot today! 
(323) 665 - 7454. **

Save Energy, Save Money, Save Resources Month

For November, we're turning our attention to 
saving energy, saving money, and saving resources.

You'll find products and workshops in line with this month's theme here and at ASOG in the days to come.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Sale!

Happy Election Day!!

In honor of IN WITH THE NEW
we've got a table, racks, and jewelry cases full of sale merchandise to make room for new and lovely sustainable products.  
So come in from now through this Sunday, November 8th and get 30% off loads of stuff, 
some of it from last season, some of it timeless:

*Camper shoes
*Simple shoes
*Ecolution men's dress shoes
*California Baby natural body care products
*100% Pure natural body care products
*Jewelry galore

Sunday, November 02, 2008


We hope you're visiting your local polling station Tuesday, November 4th.

If you're looking for resources on voting for environmental issues and candidates, look no further than the League of Conservation Voters. Here, you can view its environmental scorecard of how candidates have voted on eco-issues and track specific ones you care about.

Or Patagonia's Vote the Environment.  

There, you can hear personal stories of why and how other folks are voting.

And for all things Los Angeles, visit LAVote to find out where to go Tuesday and get the scoop on the ever-important propositions  and measures that affect our state and cities.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Last Sustainable Kitchen Product of the Month

If you're ridding your kitchen of plastic, your next question may be: "Okay, so now what do I put my leftovers, cut-up carrots and extra tomato sauce in?"

The answer: glass or stainless steel containers.

And we've got a new stainless steel option at ASOG.  Tramontina's handy stainless steel, enamel-coated containers stack together and are loads lighter than glass.

They're food safe and people safe and their only plastic part is the lid (kind of unavoidable).

Say goodbye to petroleum products and hello to an organized, snazzy, sustainable kitchen.