4 posts categorized "Recycling Organizations"

August 07, 2009

LACCD Green Schools, Green Day Care, what's not to love?

It's back to school time and also the topic for the Green Mom's Carnival this month hosted by: Lynn on Organic Mania.

My closest connection to school is my consulting job with the Los Angeles Community College District where they are greening the entire nice campuses. Part of that action includes building several Child Development Centers  which will also include day care for the children of students. It will set the bar for other facilities and it couldn't happen too soon. 

This month one of the moms reported receiving this email from her day care center.

“In a construction project elsewhere in the building, a contractor applied a concrete floor sealant that produced and odor and fumes that were so strong we had to evacuate the children from the building.”

Rightly so, she was concerned. She kept her child home an extra day and wrote the group wanting to know how to "detox kids". She was only half kidding, but a high-level discussion followed; how to monitor the air, what levels of VOCs are ok, which paints are better...  this isn't a green lite crowd, we are serious about the conditions that kids live in.

Picture 35 All of the above discussions won't happen among the parents with kids at the LACCD facilities, however, because the buildings are being constructed or rehabbed with sustainable and safe products within the building guidelines. As such, the LACCD is setting a new standard for other schools to follow. If they can do it in LA, it can be done anywhere. 

In the LACCD's Guidelines and Standard (page 95)for new buildings, the LACCD states upfront what items get red-lined and not allowed in new construction.

  • Cadmium
  • Chlorinated Polyethylene and Chlorosulfonated Polyethylene
  • Cholorofourocarbons (CFCs)
  • Chloroprene (Neoprene) with the exception of MEP Equipment
  • Formaldehyde (added)
  • Halogenated Flame Retardents
  • Hydrocholorfluorocarbons (HCFCs)
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Petrochemical Fertilizers and Pesticides
  • Phthalates
  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) with the exception of roofing and piping
  • Wood treatments containing Creosote, Arsenic or Pentachlorophenol
  • Endangered Wood Species

If you've been following the Green Mom conversations, you'll know that Phthalates, PVCs, Flame Retardants, Formaldehyde - well - the whole list gets us going. How nice that someone is finally taking action.

The LACCD also requires that adhesives and sealants meet GreenSeal and government standards. That covers the VOC fume problem mentioned above. No VOC's no fumes. The best part of these buildings is that they become experiential learning labs for how to make a home or an office sustainable and toxic-free from the start. 

The Project Track program "provides free services to students enrolled in child development programs, employees working as child-care providers, and parents with children younger than five years of age."

The LACCD is developing a sustainable benchmark for all campuses to follow - build green, teach green, learn green, live green and bring the next generation along in your footsteps. 


July 31, 2008

Taking a Time Out

I keep two personal holy days each year, May Day and Mary Day. May 1 is for planting flowers and July 31 is for replanting myself and celebrating the gift of being able to roll the dice for another year.

I'm heading for the beach with a book my gal pal Celeste sent me, munchies, and my cell phone. I can unplug from email, but not my phone. A couple days ago, Beth and I were talking about living the balanced life and I have to agree, mine's not very balanced, there are days when all I see is a computer screen. So... if you're near little Coronna beach today, pull up a blanket and grab some melon. Cheers!  Mary


June 18, 2008

Stephanie Barger is Zeroing in on Zero Waste

Barger_2Meet Stephanie Barger, the Founder, Treasurer and Executive Director for Earth Resource. She's also a nonprofit Consultant and Mortgage banker. On June 26, you can add Event Planner as she and many other concerned business professionals are coming together at the Irvine Ford Plant to learn how to create a zero waste producing business.

That's no small feat. Imagine what you would look like if you had to carry ALL the waste you generate every day in a bag tied to your belt. How long could you function? Now imagine trying to eliminate that "bag" for a whole company.

ZeroCity planners, big and small business, manufacturers and facility managers will all be there. It's open to the public. If you're in Orange Country next week, you may want to drop by.

June 26, 2008 - 8 am to 5:30 pm at the Ford Motor Company, 1 Premier Place, Irvine, CA 92618.

For more information or to register go here.

May 21, 2007

Recycle your sofa with Help1up

H1ulogo_2Recycle the sofa and help someone get back their life at the same time. Help1up is an organization that will take your old furniture and give them a second life with those who have nothing to sit on.


Help1up is the program of NFBA, a non-profitNational Furniture Bank Association (NFBA). It's the furniture industry's unified charitable effort.  Not only does it help those who lack furniture, it also helps to curb waste and create a sustainable environment.


This is a free service to the general public and made possible through a network of dozens of furniture banks across the country. Furniture banks collect used home furnishings, give the donor a tax-deductible receipt, then provide the furnishings directly to families in need. Typical furniture bank clients are women and children escaping domestic violence, families living below the poverty line, and victims of natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina.


According to Don Lawrence, VP Communications, "Furniture banks collect and distribute over one million pieces of home furnishings each year. That translates into tens of thousands of tons of perfectly usable furniture which would otherwise end up in landfills and incinerators. The industry is astutely focusing on Americans' increased environmental awareness, and Help1Up provides the perfect vehicle to broadcast that commitment."


Now you know what to do with that sofa-to-go. Just make sure you replace it with furniture that is sustainable.


Call them for more info:

Don Lawrence, Vice President, Communications
(800) 576 0774 Toll Free
Email: [email protected]