Thursday, March 26, 2009

No More Chlorine: RainShow'r Dechlorinator

This ASOG blogger feels better knowing that her shower water is filtered with one of the Rainshow'r Dechlorinators we carry. In fact, it gets rid of 90% of the chlorine pouring through a showerhead.

What's the fuss about chlorine?  Most municipal water, including ours, has chlorine to act as a disinfectant, something that's ruled out a lot of disease over the years. However, the by-products of chlorine could have some health risks, including cancer, as well. And since many of us are filtering it from our tap water, absorbing it through our skin and inhaling it into our lungs in a warm shower isn't too enticing either. 

According to Rainshow'r, "chlorine... attacks your hair, skin, and lungs... and can leave your hair dry and brittle and make your skin flaky and itchy. It can also trigger negative reactions in children, the elderly, and people with chlorine-sensitivity."

I know from my time spent in chlorine-heavy pools that this particular disinfectant is not for me. And I can attest that now my hair and skin are softer and less dried out with my filter.

Come check out the Rainshow'r dechlorinator specially chosen by our in house sustainability coach for your safety (and your future softer, silkier hair).

Plus, you can easily use it with a low-flow showerhead to save water while you suds up in your efforts to reduce your use and green even your shower time.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Healthy Child Healthy World

Our nonprofit of the month, Healthy Child Healthy World is all about creating healthy spaces for children to grow. The health of our children depends on the health of our world, and vice versa.

According to the HCHW website, this generation of children "face[s] an historically unprecedented rise in chronic disease and illness such as cancer, autism, asthma, birth defects, ADD / ADHD, and learning and developmental disabilities." And if the cause could be environmental contaminants and the some 80,000 chemicals we're exposed to in our lives now, they're working to eradicate toxins and create natural, green spaces to thrive in instead.

There's one for a bunch of huge issues: plastic, toys, school lunches, formula and sunscreen to start. Download them and read them, print a copy to bring with you when you're shopping and to share with your friends. 

If you feel daunted by the whole subject, check out their 5 Healthy Steps as a starting point (each contains more than one thing to do, but they're great general categories to focus on):

*manage pests safely
*use non-toxic products
*clean up indoor air
*eat more organic and healthy foods
*be wise with plastics

Here's to a healthy world and healthy kids inside it.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Growing Fresh Air in the Real World

In honor of our upcoming non-toxic home workshops at All Shades, check out this TED video with Kamal Meattle who transformed a building in New Dehli into a safe place to work and breathe using three common household plants. It helped everything from respiratory function to headaches to energy needs.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Benedetta: Better Skin Care

We're all more and more concerned about what we're putting on our skin with news of parabens, petrochemicals, phthalates, and other problems with conventional products.

With that in mind, we're happy to be carrying a new skin care line, Benedetta. 

Benedetta (blessed in Italian) carries truly fresh skin products, made in fresh, small batches with organic, biodynamic, sustainable ingredients.

Take it from Natalie, All Shades store manager and green building professional, who loves the rosemary and geranium cleanser for its wonderful smell and facial-like experience. She literally looks forward to her nightly cleansing routine now.

She can also vouch for the palmerosa and neroli oils. A little oil goes a long way toward making her skin feel super hydrated. 

Tracey gives them a two thumbs up, too!

You can read up on Benedetta's facial care offerings here.

And not only are Benedetta's beauty care elixirs sources from nature, but it's mindful of the earth in its practices, not just what goes into its products. 

Learn more about the toxic troubles of personal care products from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.  

Saturday, March 14, 2009

How To Grow Fresh Air

We are thrilled to carry this fabulous book about how to purify your home or office. That's right, indoor air is often worse than outdoor air (the term Sick Building Syndrome corroborates). And given that on many days most of our time is spent inside, there's definitely cause to clean it up.

One way to do it? Plants!  That's right, by bringing plants inside, we can improve our air quality significantly. If you don't believe us, take it from NASA. Scientists there found that certain plants not only breathe out oxygen, but they also breathe in chemicals that are found in common items from carpets and sofas to kitchen cabinets and computer printers.

(Plants also make us feel better according to Green Plants for Green Buildings!)

This book, How To Grow Fresh Air, is written by one of those NASA scientists and contains 50 plants that will help you breathe easier indoors. And we've got this valuable resource on our shelves.

 For more expansive information on this topic, please come to one of our March workshops: 

with sustainability coach Deborah Tull 
Wednesday, March 21st and Saturday, March 25th

Photo courtesy of Treehugger.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Green Space Revitalization Workshop, Wednesday March 18th

We're so pleased to have Kim Colwell of the Shambhalla Institute for an evening during which she'll illuminate how to create a balanced, energized, GREEN place to live.

7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
@ All Shades of Green
3038 Rowena Avenue
Los Angeles, 90039
RSVP to, (323) 309 - 2945 or (323) 665 - 7454.

About Kim: 
She has a BFA from NYU, is a second generation feng shui master, sustainable interior designer and partner at the Shambhalla Institute

Kim's work has been featured in JCK Luxury, Rapaport Diamond Report, Women's Wear Daily, California Apparel News, National Jeweler and Ideal Bites with interviews in C magazine, Fox and Wellness TV.

About the workshop:
*Sustainable design tips to re-purpose your existing items.
*Layout suggestions to create a warm, inviting envronment.
*Eco-friendly remodel strategies.
*Psychological tips to create a space that empowers and inspires.
*Design tips to stylize your home.
*How to enhance the energetic feel of your space.
*How to balance your environment with elements of nature to nurture a sense of well-being.

About space revitalization: 
An approach to design that refreshes, reorganizes, and reinvents your space with practical and economic design solutions using what you already have.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

How Do I Recycle That? (Jewelry)

Jewelry. We reduce, reuse, recycle Angelenos normally give it to goodwill so at least someone else may enjoy what once hung around our necks or wrists or from our ears.

Now, we can recycle it instead.

Liza Shtromberg, the owner of All Shades of Green, is proud to introduce the new recycling program at her jewelry store on Hillhurst in Los Feliz, Liza Shtromberg Studio.

LS Jewelry will accept any unplated platinum, 10K 14K 18K 22K gold, and sterling silver for recycling at a local plant (where it's melted down so it can be made into some entirely new bling).

There is currently enough mined precious metal in circulation
 to last for decades. 
If we all made a concerted effort to recycle old jewelry, we can avoid draining more of the planet's natural resources.

With the new program you can both give get: The store is offering 100% of the recycling proceeds as a store credit for you. They will absorb the 10% fee charged by the recycling company to give you more rewards for helping do our part to reduce unnecessary strain on Mother Earth.

To get started, simply head into the design studio with the jewelry you no longer wear. They will test the purity of the metal, send the pieces to the recycling plant, and then issue you a store credit upon settlement, (which typically takes about two weeks).

Visit Liza Shtromberg Studio to start recycling your precious metals:
2120 Hillhurst Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(323) 913-1444
Open 10a.m. -6p.m. Mon- Sat
Sun: 11a.m.-5p.m

Want to dig deeper as to why less mining for gold and silver is a good idea? Read more on the quandaries of quarries here.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Non-Toxic Baby

We know that one of the motivating factors for going green is to protect a baby or little one from harmful chemical exposure early in life, when they're most vulnerable.

Here are a handful:

Green to Grow baby bottles are both BPA (Bisphenol-A) and phthalate (plasticizer) free--better for the world and for baby. (Learn all about plastic in containers from The Green Guide.)

Natursutter natural pacifiers are environmentally-friendly versions of the old standards. Each one is PVC, chemical, and  phthalate free, making it something you won't mind having in your newborn's mouth.

A good read for a parent interested in having an eco-baby is Organic Baby by mother and interior designer, Kimberly Rider. She tells you what to consider, from cribs to bath bubbles to broccoli, and why it matters.

And finally, here are some ASOG-approved tips for creating a non-toxic safe haven for your little ones from a workshop Deborah and Shelley of Green to Grow hosted last May in honor of Eco-Moms and Mother's Day.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

SALE Items

We've got a brimming sale table in the middle of our store. 
So, if you've been saving your pennies for candles, personal care and kitchen products, clothing,
or other green goodies, you're in luck.

Come in and see what we've marked down 20%!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Starter Kit for Change Bags

We've got some beautiful tote bags in the store from Starter Kit for Change.

They're handmade from recycled materials and fabric remnants and remind us as we rustle through one at the farmers' market or a retail store that, as Gandhi famously said,  "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."

One small action, like bringing your own bag or buying recycled or supporting green businesses can truly spark change.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

March: The Non-Toxic Home

This month at All Shades we're focusing on helping you create a non-toxic home, one where you and your loved ones can breathe easy by inhaling clean indoor air and using products that are safe for people and the planet.

We hope to see you in the store to find out more.

And, we've got two workshops planned on the subject that are sure to illuminate.  

Here's the scoop:

Breathe Easy: Creating a Non-Toxic Home Inside and Out

Saturday, March 21st
10:00 a.m. to noon
Wednesday, March 25th
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Taught by Deborah of Creative Green
Please call (323) 665 - 7454 or email to register or for more information.

Quick Gardening Tip from our Weekend Workshop

Last weekend, Deborah led another organic gardening workshop at a private residence.

Here's one word of wisdom she has for those of you beginning to care for a garden:

Gardening is as much about observation as it is about doing. Every day, take time to observe what is happening with your plants, how they are growing and what's going on with the soil. Are there aphids? Is the soil dry? What are the leaves doing? It is only through observation that we begin to build a relationship and can intuit what the soil and the plants need.

Happy Spring Digging!

Monday, March 02, 2009

How Do I Recycle That? (Televisions)

We're starting a new series on the ASOG blog--
"How Do I Recycle That?" 
Every couple of weeks, we'll look at a household item that can be recycled, and give you tips on how and where to do it.  Here's to the third R!

The deadline for the national switch to digital TV may have been pushed back to June 12th, but that doesn't mean there isn't still confusion about it. In fact, last summer, half of American households had no idea when the switch was coming.

Here's the skinny so you're in the know:

By June, you can either get a digital converter box for your analog television (the government will give you a coupon to help!!) or get a new, digital TV. Otherwise, your screen will look like a snowstorm all summer and beyond. 

The environmentally conscious thing to do is probably to use the box, but if you're like me and your TV is so old the box didn't work with it or you're really in need of a set on which you can see what's taking place in your favorite films, you may be in the market for a new one.

So if you are opting for a new set, make sure to recycle your old one or we could end up with a whole lot of televisions in the landfill. (And you can consult this article on choosing a new one that's most energy-efficient.)

TVs are one kind of e-waste (electronic waste). And e-waste is the fastest growing component of our U.S. wastestream--in fact it beats the rest by far, growing three times as much as anything else (Earth 911). The bad news with e-waste's burgeoning is that it contains toxic stuff like heavy metals. In the case of TVs, they've got batteries, electronic circuit boards, and cathode ray tubes, all of which house hazardous materials.

It has been that electronics were shipped off to another country where unprotected children and their elders sifted through for the valuable parts (if you haven't seen it, Manufactured Landscapes is an excellent documentary about the excellent photographer, Edward Burtynsky, that deals with the subject). And here's a National Geographic article on that practice as well.

But now there are more and more options for genuine recycling of e-waste.

And at My Green Electronics you can similarly search for places to turn your electronics to have them recycled.

Let us know if we've missed any TV recycling opportunities!

And may you make it to the digital transition ready to plug in and switch on with a green conscience.