The Real Housewife of Santa Monica

Archive of ‘Weekly Green’ category

Eco Coastal Cleaners – Local shout out!

When I had a job I used to take my clothes to the dry cleaners once in a while. One day this eco friendly place popped up in the Sunset Park area of Santa Monica. Now they’re MOBILE!!

The owners are local people – they live a few blocks from us and we’ve known them for years. You just call them up, once they have your payment info. it’s all automatic. Last week I left a few sweaters in a bag on my back gate & they picked them up. I just stuck a note inside saying when I’d need them and BOOM they were back on my gate on the required day!

No more toting your stuff over to the dry cleaners. Love using local businesses and when they are eco-friendly it’s even better!

Free Home or Office Pickup & Delivery

Non Toxic chemical free process
Eco Friendly Dry Cleaning Since 2000
Reusable “ECO” Garment Bags
Reduce Reuse Recycling program
Home/Office Pick Up and Delivery
UGG Boot Cleaning

Weekly Green – Re-using Zip-loc bags

I decided to start up my “Weekly Green” postings again since the environment is an issue that weighs heavily on me as it might on you too. Before I start – let me just say that I fail in my efforts to live green, every day. But I try to make small lifestyle changes to be better. My main goal is to teach my children to want less, to go for a walk or hike instead of shopping, to think carefully before buying/wanting things (make sure the things they buy/want are high quality, can be passed on to someone else, and are not part of planned obsolescence).

Have you seen that Saturday Night Live that Tina Fey hosted a couple of years ago in which she plays Bedelia’s mom who’s been invited to the sleepover? The boys who’ve just snuck in the basement window are shocked that her mom is there. Bedelia thinks her mom is way cool.

You brought your mom to this?

Oh yeah, she’s the best! She re-uses Zip-loc bags, she dry shaves. I’m like, “Sign me up!

Here’s a link to the whole skit for SNL fans! (Apologies if you have to endure the Cristina Aguilara “Red Sin” Perfume ad first!!)

I’m afraid I’m that mom. I rinse out Zip-locs.

My counters DO look a mess due to the bag drying fields.

My kids get re-used Ziplocs for lunch (on the rare occasion I use them) And SO CAN YOU!

Why re-use ZipLoc bags?

1. It takes water & petroleum to make them. With 7 billion people living on the planet, both water & petroleum need to be used wisely. (Supposedly about 1,000,000 plastic bags are consumed EACH MINUTE.)

2. You probably heard by now that there is a garbage patch somewhere between the size of Texas and 1.5 times the size of the United States (though it is fluid & changes constantly) out in the Pacific Ocean. Although it’s a democracy of garbage, some common types of garbage found there are plastic bags.

3. You may say, “Oh well, at least it’s all confined to that area.” But since the plastic bags are made of petrochemicals that leach into the ocean, we are also slowly poisoning our ocean (which is essentially the Earth’s air conditioner!)

To learn more just Google “garbage patch pacific ocean” or check out 5 Gyres site.

I realize one nerdy mama re-using Ziplocs ain’t gonna save the world. But hopefully my kids can observe my efforts to be mindful about the resources we use.

To learn more:

Read about the Garbage Patch.

Replacements for typically plastic household items
Life Without Plastic

Blog of a Californian mom whose been living plastic-free since 2007!!
My Plastic Free Life

Story of an Austrian mom whose family goes plastic free for a year.

Waste not, want…less?

I dropped the ball on my “Weekly Green” posting. Not that I don’t have a TON of them in mind. But I felt overwhelmed about where to start. That and I didn’t want to come across as smug about being eco-conscious. Or maybe I just got lazy? It’s hard to compete with food porn.

Anyway, I’m bringing it back! Hopefully it’ll be in the spirit of collaboration not a know-it-all posting. I just want to share my ideas and hear other peoples’ as well.

So, here’s a teeny tiny one:

Our toaster oven bell no longer functions. I just noticed that this morning when I found this dried out old bagel in there.

Petrified bagel.

You know what happens when you leave a bagel in the toaster oven for an hour? It becomes hard as a rock.

A few years ago I would’ve just tossed it. It’d be a lot easier to toss it. But it’s a waste of food. The more I read about the Horn of Africa’s famine

Warning: this is a BIG image – it was impossible to read the smaller version.

Graphic from

and even here in the “Land of Plenty” I try to use everything. There are a few things that help with this endeavor:

1. Plan meals ahead of time BEFORE grocery shopping. I am a pretty disorganized person and usually fly by the seat of my pants. If I happen upon a farmer’s market, I’ll buy things just because they’re beautiful when I have no clear idea how or what I’ll do with it. This is great if you are Alice Waters or a Top Chef contestant. Also, works really well if you’re a natural cook who knows what to do with things. (Rebecca Trotsky) I am neither. I have really only been cooking for a year and have 2 toddlers. This limits my research & cooking time significantly. To waste less, I plan 2 or 3 meals per week and then add only those items I need to my shopping list. This has helped me a TON. Buying fewer items means I have less clogging up my fridge. I also have a lot less stress about having to use things up out of guilt.

I don’t care how pink that rhubarb is, keep on walking, girl.

2. Find recipes that use leftover veg or day old bread. A great example is the quinoa cakes recipe. You can literally chop up any leftover veg you have into the mixture. Another example is the Spring Vegetable Risotto with Goat Cheese which I’ll post this week. Bread can become croutons.

3. ROAST any leftover veg you don’t end up using. Just have a night of leftovers/odds & ends. G is usually at work late & my kids usually don’t care that much about dinner anyway so I just do it for myself!

But what about this old bagel I’ve just shown you?

Here’s my GREEN idea(r): freeze it in a Zip-Loc bag & use for croutons. I am really into croutons right now! I make plain, garlic & dijon mustard. That’s it so far but they are gooooooooood. I actually add any bread that is over a day old that I know is in danger of being tossed. Next time I need croutons (which is every 2 days right now!) I use whatever bread is in that bag.



Stay tuned for link for DIJON CROUTONS! (coming VERY soon…)

If anyone’s reading this (besides my sister) I’d love to hear what steps you’re taking in this vein? It’s always helpful to get ideas from other folks…

You too, Lib!

Weekly Green::Reusable Water Bottle

I need a new nozzle! How much water to make & ship THAT?

I’ve had this for a few years now and it definitely looks like it fell off the roof of my car a few times. I got it to carry my water around with me so I wouldn’t buy water in plastic bottles. I heard this would, ironically, save some water.

How much water does it take to make a plastic bottle for bottled water?

1.85 GALLONS of water.

Can you believe that?

Well, this article is a couple of years old so things may have changed slightly but still!

All I knew when I got my bottle was that:
1. It takes more water to MAKE a water bottle than is actually INSIDE the bottle!
2. It takes petroleum to make the plastic.
3. It can only be recycled once and not into another water bottle. (Although in parts of Europe that capability does exist.)

This is a really easy step to take – REI sells these and you can also order them online. I take it empty on the plane and fill it up (yes, using bottled water on the plane which sucks.) But then I have my bottle for the rest of my trip.

Devil’s Advocate Question: how much water does it take to make this aluminum bottle AND when you do the math(s), is it still the eco-friendlier path to take?

What do you all think about aluminum versus plastic water bottles? Do you care? If you do care or if you couldn’t care less, I can’t wait to hear from you below!

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