Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category

Be water-wise

Autumm Joy Sedum

Autumm Joy Sedum

As you all know, California is experiencing a record drought.
Mandatory reduction measures in water-use are coming soon.

Meanwhile, you can make many water-saving improvements in your home and garden AND get rebates from DWP.
Install high-efficiency toilets and washing machine.
Collect water from gutters in rain barrels.
Replace your turf grass lawn with drought-tolerant landscaping.

For ideas on what plants to choose, visit LADWP’s California Friendly Landscaping

Walk around the Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase
Saturday April 25 from 10am to 4pm

Take a “Be Water-Wise” gardening class online from MWD (The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California)
Visit Descanso Gardens to get inspired by the recently opened Low-Water Beauty showcase, which includes a permeable driveway.

Attend Save Water-Save LA, town hall organized by SORONC Green Team
Sunday May 17: 12 to 3pm, at Castle Height School, 9755 Cattaraugus

Deni Mosser + Elisa Leonelli

Tree People

copper rain chain

Rain chain (c) Deni Mosser

Do you want to learn how to collect rain, so you can use it to water your garden?
How about replacing grass with drought-resistant California Plants?
Register for these FREE workshops from TREE PEOPLE

Rainwater Harvesting
Native Plants and Turf Reduction

Saturday September 15 – 9:00am – 1:00pm
12601 Mulholland Drive – Beverly Hills

Provided: Workshop materials+Light breakfast and snacks
Registration is required
To register, visit the online calendar at
Registration Deadline: September 12, 2012

Questions? email: Linda Eremita or call (818) 623-4878

Text by Elisa Leonelli

Riding the EXPO

Expo-Culver City

It was exciting, even for a jaded adult like myself, to ride the Metro Expo Line on the opening day of the Culver City station at Venice and Robertson, and the kids seemed to love it.  The atmosphere was festive, with a music trio playing and cheerful ladies handing out bus route schedules and reusable canvas bags.  I hopped on for free and rode to USC, my Alma Mater. The tracks sloped gently up and down to climb the overpasses crossing La Cienega and la Brea, otherwise the train rode at street level stopping at various intersections and stations, running at a leisurely pace. I got off at Expo Park and took in the lively scene of kids playing in the large round fountain in the middle of the Rose Garden. Waiting for the next train on the return, it was heart-warming to see so many habitual commuters, not just first-day joy-riders.  This type of public transportation, a long time coming in Los Angeles, does really help get people where they need to go, without a car.
Please send us comments about your experiences riding the Expo Line, along Exposition Blvd. It travels all the way to downtown L.A., where you may connect to the Red Line to Hollywood and North Hollywood, the Gold Line to Pasadena and East L.A.,  the Blue line to Long Beach.

Text and photos by Elisa Leonelli

Expo Park-USC

Fracking in Baldwin Hills


Last night we attended a Hammer Forum, a conversation with Bill McKibben, the Vermont author, founder of the environmental action group, and Josh Fox, director of Gasland, the documentary about the devastating effects of hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas.
They alerted us to something we didn’t know about: the PXP oil company has been employing fracking in the oil wells of Baldwin Hills, just south of Reynier Village, causing environmental damage and danger of earthquakes.

Read about the May 15 press conference in Kenneth Hahn Park.
Download the issue brief by Food and Water Watch.
Sign a Petition for Governor Jerry Brown to ban fracking in California.

Text by Elisa Leonelli

Rain barrels

Red rain barrel

Don’t you wish you could have collected some of the rain that fell yesterday to use it in the coming dry weeks to water your garden?
Well, now you can by installing rain barrels under your downspouts.

Tree People has a promotional sale next Saturday, April 21, at the Windward School Garden, during the 4th Annual Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase.
10 am to 3 pm – 11350 Palms Blvd, LA 90036
You may purchase each red barrel for the discounted price of $100.

Pre-pay by credit card and your barrel will be ready for pick-up.
Then you may call Jerry at The Gutter Guy (310) 217 7678 to perform the simple installation (or do it yourself)

Read our earlier posts about this inspiring yearly event from
April 13 2011April 26, 2010 – April 25, 2010March 29, 2010May 24, 2009
Please send comments, if you attend this year.


Elisa Leonelli

Expo Line

Expo map

Earlier this year the MTA had announced a November 15, 2011 “target date” for the Expo Line opening of the La Cienega/Jefferson station.  Now that deadline has been pushed forward several months with no “official date” announced.  Today’s LA Times article.
For us residents of Reynier Village the completion of the Expo Line Phase 1, all the way to the Culver City Station at Robertson and Venice, will be the most useful, allowing us to travel to downtown quickly.  Then the construction of Expo Phase 2, taking us to Downtown Santa Monica, which started in September 2011 and is scheduled to be completed in early 2015, will be quite a dream.  Let’s hope it will happen before we all get too old.
For more info keep checking and

Happy Holidays!

Elisa Leonelli

Go Solar

We attended the Reynier Village solar workshop organized by Open Neighborhoods at PermaCity, and gathered lots useful info that we want to share.
It’s never been as affordable as now to install solar panels on your home.
You get rebates from DWP that favor early adopters, currently $ 2.20 per watt, plus a 30% direct write-off on your taxes.

Permacity is offering a 33% group discount (which simply means 3 homes within 1 square mile), and that brings your cost down to $4.40 per watt, before the rebates.  Final cost $ 1.60 per watt, or about $ 9,600 and up for a 6 KiloWatt system, sufficient for a small 1,500 square feet home.
Check out their website for more info or email Herb Mendelsohn.
You should talk to your neighbors about doing the installation at the same time, then email us to tell us you are going ahead.
If you want NO upfront costs, you can lease your solar system and pay about half of your current monthly electric bill to Sun Power for 20 years.
If you’d like to attend another group workshop, register on the Open Neighborhood website

If you’re ready to get a free solar assessment about the costs and timing of installation on your home, call: 310-893 3100.

It makes economic sense to go solar at this time, you will save on your utility bill, and to switch to a clean and renewable energy source will also help reduce the use of dirty coal-generated electricity in our city.

Text by Elisa Leonelli