See Nissan’s First Zero Emissions Car This Weekend

On November 14, 15 and 16, locals will have the opportunity to check out Nissan’s first ever zero-emissions electric car, the LEAF. This will be the first public unveiling of the LEAF in North America. You can check it out this weekend at the following locations:

Nissan's New Electric Car Debuts in LA this Weekend
Nissan's New Electric Car Debuts in LA this Weekend

November 14, 2009 10am – 9pm
Third Street Promenade
1351 3rd Street Promenade
Santa Monica, CA

November 15, 2009 11am – 8pm
Americana at Brand
233 S. Brand Blvd.
Glendale, CA

November 16, 2009 9am – 5pm
University Southern California
3501 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, CA

According to Nissan, the LEAF handles and accelerates like a V6 and has a top speed of up to 90mph. It will have an average range of 100 miles per charge and the battery will charge in 4-8 hours on a 220V home charging unit. At quick-charge stations, it will charge to 80% in about 26 minutes. Although Nissan has not released exact information on pricing, they say that they are “targeting a price in the range of other typical family sedans.” The LEAF will be on the road in some states in 2010, with mass-production beginning in 2012.

To attend one of the unveiling events this weekend, register on their website here.

Burbank Residents: Green Your Home and Get Free Stuff

Burbank Water and Power is conducting a beta test of a new residential energy and water savings program, the “Green Home House Call.” They need volunteers, preferably from single-family homes with automatic sprinklers, to help evaluate the program. As part of the test, you will receive free weatherization services, water efficient product installation, energy efficient lightbulbs and more.

If you would like to volunteer to be in the beta test group, please call 1.866.365.7358 to set up an appointment.

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Green in All Shapes and Sizes at Venice Eco-Fest

img_1556This year’s Venice Eco-Fest, held at Windward Ave. and Ocean Front Walk on Venice Beach, presented attendees with an impressive array of options.  You could arrange to equip your home with solar power, purchase clothing made from bamboo, receive a massage, listen to a Zappa-like band on the solar-powered stage, check out electric bicycles and motorcycles, eat sustainable food, and even sign up with the Green Party.  Or, you could do what a lot of Venice Beach visitors like to do on a beautiful summer day: just soak it all in.
Plenty of pics after the jump

Metblogs readers get a Viva la Greens cooking class discount!

I recently penned a story for the soon-to-be-defunct (now-resurrected and on newsstands thoughout Southern California–hooray!) Whole Life Times featuring a slew of local cooking classes that specialized in “green” courses–whether that was macrobiotic, vegan, gluten-free, what have you. I conducted such long interviews with these folks it seemed a bummer to have to condense it into the little blurbs that appeared in the magazine, and I vowed to myself to follow up with each of the chefs here, on LA Metblogs.

First in that series is Viva la Greens, operated by one Christy Morgan. We spoke via email the other day & she’d be down with offering you folks a Metblogs-reader-only discount on her classes! Y’all would get a whopping $15 off on her classes, from a Vegan Brunch class (“From Banana Pancakes, to Southwest Tofu Scramble, to Walnut Currant Scones, you’ll be able to impress your friends and family with these and more brunch foods you’ll learn in class. All hands-on so bring your apron!”) to a Healthy Decadent Desserts course (“Do you have a sweet tooth but feel guilty indulging in the usual sweets available to you from the grocery store? Join us for a special dessert class where you’ll learn to make your favorite treats all vegan from scratch with natural ingredients and no refined sugar.”) Her “Basics of a Plant-Based Diet” class is $20 off, too, for those of you belatedly attempting to get on top of that “eat healthier” New Year’s Resolution. Yay!

Sounds tasty to me.

Click here for her website & info on local classes.

Free Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs for L.A. DWP Customers

cfl_philipsEven if you didn’t get a free CFL for recycling a Christmas tree, you might still be in luck. The DWP is going door-to-door to its L.A. residential customers to give out compact fluorescent light bulbs. CFLs reduce energy costs while giving off the same amount of light as traditional incandescents. They last longer and use less fossil fuel produced electricity, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

I already use several of these in my home and will happily accept two more for free. My biggest complaint about the ones I have is that they take several seconds to “warm up” and emit their full light. I’ve read that some can take up to 3 minutes, but you can get CFLs now that have an “instant on” feature.

One other important note is that like all fluorescent bulbs, these do contain a small amount of mercury, so special care needs to go into disposal and clean up if one breaks. Both the City and County of Los Angeles offer hazardous materials recycling. If it’s more convenient, you can take them to any Home Depot.

I’m still waiting. Have you received your free compact fluorescents yet?

Idealism Meets Cynicism at Go Green Expo Los Angeles

I’m at the Go Green Expo Los Angeles in the Convention Center when I notice the plastic water bottles.  At the speaking event entitled “Broadcasting the Green Message,” the panel consists of best-selling author Josh “the Lazy Environmentalist” Dorfman, Boise Thomas, co-star of the “Alter Eco” television program on Discovery’s Planet Green, and Sherry Beall, host and producer of “Healthy Planet, Healthy Me!” on local Pacifica radio station KPFK. They’re sitting up on a dais, and have brought their own personal, reusable water bottles. Yet, prominently placed in front of each of them, with its label pointing at us, is a plastic water bottle, the King of the Landfill. Underneath the nearby speaker’s podium, which is transparent, are more water bottles.

Go green? after the jump

Eco-shop Regeneration, in Eagle Rock, going out of business!!! NOOOOO!!!

squeeeemustposessJust look at all those horrified exclamation points there in the subject line! Yes, it breaks my heart to say that Regeneration is being forced into closing its brick-and-mortar shop, by these foul economic times that have befallen us all. [shakes fist impotently at sky.] I doubt there’s much we can do to keep ’em open (and its Etsy site will remain open), but we sure as hell can send ’em out with a bang. Regeneration, I’m broke, and I swore all anyone was getting from me this year were cards, but you’ve made me recant. I’ll be there. With the paltry sum I have left before payday, I shall arrive, and buy as much as possible, and then in the grand tradition of any quality holiday shopping spree, I shall keep it all for myself, and everyone will still be getting just cards.

I saw Cracker open for the New York Dolls tonight, and their lyric here properly sums up my holiday shopping behavior:

” Well I was gonna bring you flowers, but I didn’t.
It’s the thought that counts and I think I’m a bit too broke.”

Green Grows Up at Santa Monica’s Eco Gift Festival


The second annual Eco Gift Festival, held at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium over the past three days, demonstrated how the “green” products industry has matured.  Last year’s inaugural Festival drew a good-sized crowd, and many of the mom-and-pop vendors reported brisk sales.  However, this year’s Festival was marked by the addition of some of the heavy hitters in the eco-friendly products field.  Linda Loudermilk brought her “Luxury Eco” line of couture clothing made from seaweed, bamboo, and other sustainable materials.  Former actor turned television director Melanie Mayron was on hand with her Mayron’s Good Baby line of baby products.  And green granddaddy Pangea, makers of eco-friendly personal care products for the past decade or so, was selling out its inventory.  

Go eco-shopping, after the jump