Articles from: March 2013

Pedal for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

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The seventh annual “Boonies to the Beach” bike ride benefitting Children’s Hospital Los Angeles will take place on Sunday, April 28. The ride begins and ends in Yorba Regional Park in Anaheim. Participants have three rides to choose from: a 17-mile “Fun Ride,” a 40-mile “Adventure Ride” and a 60-mile “Hammer-fest.” The ride follows the Santa Ana River Trail from the “boonies” of Yorba Park to Newport Beach and will cycle past Angels Stadium and the Honda Center. 

Gaslamp Popcorn Re-launches with Gluten-Free Options

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San Diego based Gaslamp Popcorn will hit major retail shelves across the state later this spring.  Re-launched as a better for you, all-natural, any time snack, the Gaslamp brand boasts a gluten-free attribute, appealing to more snackers’ dietary needs. 

Acquired in December 2011 by Rudolph Foods Company, Ohio, Gaslamp Popcorn has undergone plant upgrades in preparation for this re-launch.  Handmade in small batches, Gaslamp Popcorn is operated out of an energy efficient plant and is dedicated to providing its customers with sustainable, top quality products. Gluten free, all natural and locally grown and popped, the brand offers a healthy snack alternative. Gaslamp Popcorn is available for purchase in major retailers across California and can be purchased online nationwide in three flavors:  Kettle Corn, Cinnamon Caramel and White Cheddar.

LAcarGUY: Driving Green

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In an industry not known for its environmental stewardship, LAcarGUY stands out as an anomaly. Growing up as an avid surfer, President Mike Sullivan gained a true appreciation for the environment at an early age. Under his leadership, LAcarGUY is raising the bar to a lofty height for other dealers. “As the #1 hybrid dealer in the world,” Sullivan says, “we feel it’s our responsibility to live up to that accomplishment by “walking the walk” internally, whether its employee participation at Heal the Bay’s beach cleanup, zero waste holiday bbq’s or making sure our new buildings are all LEED certified.”

LAcarGUY follows a three-pronged strategy to ensure the company is doing its part for future generations. The first is to offer a strong lineup of eco-friendly cars—hybrids, electrics, clean-burning diesels and high mileage vehicles— within its overall product mix. The second is to continually strive to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. The third prong is to serve as a green ambassador in the communities that they serve.

School Safeguard: How to Build a Bike Train

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In 1969, according to the National Center for Safe Routes to School, 48 percent of kids ages 5 to 14 regularly walked or biked to school. In 2009, it was just 13 percent. One major reason for the change is that parents don’t feel safe letting kids bicycle around town on their own. Bike trains—in which an adult chaperone rides a predetermined route, adding children along the way—can make it easier and safer for kids to get to school.

 
To start a DIY bike train, find a group of interested parents through school and neighborhood message boards and newsletters; assess the area to create routes; distribute flyers and get feedback; determine bike train dates and times; host a community meeting and post selected routes online.
 
Source: Yes magazine
 

Windy Woes: Solving Wind Power’s Hidden Pollution Problem

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The U.S. Department of Energy reports that although wind power accounts for just over 4 percent of domestic electrical generation, it comprises a third of all new electric capacity. Even with the freedom from coal or oil that wind power creates, a major component of the generating devices, the turbine blades, has its own carbon footprint that needs examining.

Superior Soil: Organic Farming Sustains Earth’s Richness

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Famed as the happiest country on Earth, the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan is now aiming to become 100 percent organic, phasing out artificial chemicals in farming in the next 10 years. Agence France-Presse reports that Bhutan currently sends rare mushrooms to Japan, vegetables to up-market hotels in Thailand, its highly prized apples to India and red rice to the United States.

Jurmi Dorji, of southern Bhutan’s 103-member Daga Shingdrey Pshogpa farmers’ association, says their members are in favor of the policy. “More than a decade ago, people realized that the chemicals were not good for farming,” he says. “I cannot say everyone has stopped using chemicals, but almost 90 percent have.”

Food Feelings: Restaurant Ambiance Affects Diners’ Appetites

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The mood in a restaurant can help diners enjoy their meals more and eat less, according to study results published in the journal Psychological Reports. After transforming part of a fast food Hardee’s restaurant in Illinois with milder music and lighting, researchers found that customers ate 18 percent fewer calories than diners in the unmodified seating area. Brian Wansink, Ph.D., a professor of marketing and consumer behavior at Cornell University, in New York, explains, “It didn't change what people ordered, but what it did do was lead them to eat less and made them more satisfied and happier.”

Wansink, author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think, asks, “If softer music and softer lighting seem to get people to eat less in a fast food situation, why not try the same thing at home?”
 

Dishpan Plants: Waste Water Cuts Fertilizer Use

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The effluent created by household sinks, washing machines and showers, known as gray water, could provide a new, low-cost source of irrigation for landscape plants that cuts down on the amount of fertilizer required to maintain them. The nonprofit Water Environmental Research Foundation’s (WERF) new report shows that many plants used for landscaping benefit from the use of gray water (Tinyurl.com/graywaterreport).

Dining App for Special-Needs Diets

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Food Care, Inc.’s new EveryoneEat! Android and iPhone app allows anyone to make informed meal decisions at 180,000 restaurant locations nationwide, based on their nutrition needs and meal preferences. Users enter their basic information such as age, gender, height, weight, activity level plus any chronic health conditions and special dietary restrictions at FoodCare.me. Instant analysis enables them to search for dishes at restaurants by type of cuisine or restaurant name. “People need to easily answer the basic question: ‘Does this dish meet my dietary guidelines?’ and if not, “What’s off and by how much?’” says CEO Ken Marshall.

Time for Spring Cleansing

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Santa Monica-based Gentle Wellness Center will host a presentation entitled “Empower your Life: Cleanse & Detox” on Monday, April 1 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The talk, intended to teach attendees how to jump-start their health safely, effectively, and with lasting results, will be presented by Dr. Edison de Mello, founder and CEO of Akasha Center of Integrative Medicine.