Welcome to Viva-city and Downtown San Diego

City Life - Going Green

Green Gift Wrapping Suggestions from www.thedailygreen.com

• Reusable cloth shopping bags. Wrap the gift in a bag that keeps on giving. Most grocery stores carry cloth shopping bags that can be used over and over.

• Reusable plastic shopping bags. Whole Foods Market has shopping bags made from recyclable plastic bottles. The bags are colorful and practical.

• Holiday gift bags. Reuse the bags from gifts you receive.

• Reused gift wrap. Save the wrapping paper from gifts, fold it up, and put it in a box so I can easily find and reuse it next year.
• Kitchen towel. Who doesn’t love new kitchen towels! Wrap your gift in towels made from organic cotton.
• Scarves. Rather than wrap an entire box, tie a decorative scarf around the box and attach a tag made from a recycled gift card.

• Sunday comics.

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Using it All – Every Last Drop

Don’t waste the last 10% of your favorite soap bar. Here are a few suggestions on using every last bit:

Put left over soap bars in a metal can, place can in a pan of water, bring to a boil until the soap is melted. Place the can into the freezer. Once frozen, cut the bottom off the can and pop out a bar of soap. You can grate the soap with a cheese grater to quicken the process, and it’s a fun activity for the children.

Or, put left over soap bars into a plastic baggie. When you have enough spare bars, put a little water in the baggie and let sit overnight. The next day pour off the excess water and let the soap sit for a day before using.

Too much work? Drop the small bar into an old cotton sock and use it to wash your body.

Or, toss the left over pieces of soap in your linen or clothes drawers/closets. This will deter silver fish and moths.

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Saving Water

• Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Dispose of tissues, inspects, and other such waste in the trash rather than the toilet. Source: American Water & Energy Savers

• Don’t flush the toilet every time. Remember, “if it’s yellow kept it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down.” Source: WikiHow

• Kitchen sink disposals require lots of water to operate property. Start a compost pile as an alternate method of disposing food waste instead of using garbage disposal. Source: American Water & Energy Savers

• Don’t use running water to thaw food. Defrost food in refrigerator the night before. Source: Water Use it Wisely.

• Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean. Source: Water Use it Wisely.

• By turning off the shower while you wash your hair, you can save up to 150 gallons a month. Source: Water Use it Wisely.

• Use bath towels multiple times between washings. Hang the towel on a rack to air dry after you shower. Source: WikiHow

• When you wash your hands, turn off the water while lathering with soap.

• Also, turn the water off when brushing your teeth, it saves 5 gallons.

• Rinse your fruit and vegetables (especially lettuce) in a bowl, and use the dirty liquid to water your plants.

• Discard the stale water from your pet's dish in houseplants.

• Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers. If your faucet is dripping at the rate of one drop per second, you can expect to waste 2,700 gallons per year. Source: American Water and Energy Savers.

• Make it a competition. By timing your shower and keeping it under five minutes, you can save up to 1000 gallons a month. Source: Ideal Bites.

• Keep a bucket in the shower to catch water as it warms up or runs. Use this water to flush toilets or water plants. Source: American Water and Energy Savers.

• Spreading a layer of organic mulch around plants retains moisture and saves water, time, and money. Source: American Water and Energy Savers.

• When running a bath, plug the tub before turning the water on, then adjust the temperature as the tub fills up. Source: American Water and Energy Savers.

• Water your plants deeply but less frequently to encourage deep root growth and drought tolerance. Source: American Water and Energy Savers.

• Turn off the water while you shave and save up to 300 gallons a month. Source: American Water and Energy Savers.

• While staying in a hotel or even at home, consider reusing your bath towels. Source: American Water and Energy Savers.

• When cleaning out fish tanks, give the nutrient-rich water to your plants. Source: American Water and Energy Savers.

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Saving Electricity

• Avoid "vampire" electronics from sucking power. Plug electrical appliances into a power strip. When the appliances are not in use, turn off the power strip. According to Ideal Bites, 40% of all electricity is used to power home appliances while they're turned off.

• Turn off your dishwasher's drying cycle.

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Saving Light Sweet Crude

For shorter distances why not walk? Starting up the car and driving it around the block, can use a lot of fuel. Walk the kids to school. Everyone will benefit and you will be able to listen to your children attentively instead of concentrating on traffic. Your children will also burn up a few calories as well, which is no bad thing with the global childhood obesity pandemic.
 Source: Green Tips by Jane Smith

Ride your bike for distances that are too far too walk. Riding is another extremely environmentally friendly form of transport. You will be amazed at how much fuel you will save in a week by biking to the office instead of driving. Riding a bike is an excellent way to burn calories and improve your aerobic fitness. 
Source: Green Tips by Jane Smith

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Clean Green

• To clean household fixtures, moisten a soft, clean cloth with vodka, then apply a little elbow grease. Source: thedailygreen.com

• To preserve flowers, add a few drops of vodka and a teaspoon of sugar to the water in your flower vase. It should help keep your flowers fresh longer. Change out the mixture with fresh ingredients daily. Source: thedailygreen.com

• To repeal insects, pour a little of vodka in a spray bottle and squirt on the little buggers, or yourself as a repellent. Source: thedailygreen.com

• For shiny hair, add a jigger of vodka to a 12-ounce bottle of shampoo. Source: thedailygreen.com

• To clean mold, fill a recycled spray bottle with some bottom-shelf vodka. Spritz on moldy area, then let sit for 15 minutes. Scrub away with an old toothbrush. Source: thedailygreen.com

• To cut the lime buildup on a chrome sink or tub, add two tablespoons of salt to 1 teaspoon of vinegar making a thick paste. Source: Ashley Grimaldo

• Create your own cleanser and save money by 1/4 cup baking soda, 1 tablespoon liquid detergent, and just enough distilled vinegar to make it cloudy. Source: Ashley Grimaldo

• Food crusted in your microwave? Bring 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup vinegar to a rolling boil in the microwave then simply wipe clean. Source: Ashley Grimaldo

To shine chrome sink fixtures that have a lime buildup, use a paste made of 2 tablespoons salt and 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar. Source: www.vinegartips.com

• Remove soap buildup and odors from the dishwasher by pouring a cup of white distilled vinegar inside the empty machine and running it through a whole cycle. Do monthly. Source: www.vinegartips.com

• Remove stains from coffee and teacups by scrubbing them gently with equal parts of salt (or baking soda) and white distilled vinegar. Rinse clean. Source: www.vinegartips.com

• Remove ugly film in narrow-necked glass jars, flower vases, and bottles by letting undiluted white distilled vinegar sit in them for a few hours. Add a little rice or sand and shake vigorously to loosen stubborn stains. Repeat if necessary. Source: www.vinegartips.com

• Discourage ants by spraying undiluted white distilled vinegar outside doorways and windowsills, around appliances and wherever you find the pests coming in. Source: www.vinegartips.com

• Get rid of fruit flies by setting out a small dish of undiluted white distilled vinegar. Source: www.vinegartips.com

• To remove a label, decal, or price tag, cover with a cloth soaked in white distilled vinegar. Leave the cloth on overnight and the label should slide off. Source: www.vinegartips.com

• Straight vinegar reportedly kills 82 percent of mold. Pour some white distilled vinegar straight into a spray bottle, spray on the moldy area, and let set without rinsing if you can put up with the smell. It will dissipate in a few hours. Source: care2.com

• Use baking soda and white vinegar to flush your drains. Warning: Don’t breathe the fumes! Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed with 1/2 cup vinegar. Cover the drain until the fizzing stops, then pour 2 cups boiling water into the drain. Repeat if needed. If the clog is stubborn, use a plunger.

• To clean up mildew and mold, use a mixture of lemon juice or white vinegar and salt. Source: www.worldwatch.org

• Dip the cut side of a lemon half into baking soda to remove stains, wipe with a wet sponge and dry. (Don’t use on delicate stone, like marble, or stainless steel as it may discolor). Source: realsimple.com

• Combine lemon juice to a teaspoon of cream of tartar and make a paste. This can be used to whiten grout. Source: realsimple.com

• To remove tough food stains from light wood and plastic cutting boards, squeeze onto surface, rub, and let sit for 20 minutes before rinsing. Source: realsimple.com

• Add a teaspoon of lemon juice to your dishwashing detergent to increase the grease-cutting power. Source: realsimple.com

• To brighten white laundry, add ½ cup lemon juice to the rinse cycle. Source: realsimple.com

• To remove soap scum and hard water spots, add ½ cup lemon juice to your dishwasher’s rinse cycle.

• Grind up lemon peel in your garage disposal to fresh and clean.

• A paste of baking soda, salt, and hot water makes a great oven cleaner. Source: www.worldwatch.org

• Baking soda and cornstarch are both good carpet deodorizers. Source: www.worldwatch.org

• Baking soda can deter ants - pour a solid line in areas of activity and they won't cross it.  Source: Green Living Tips.com

• Eliminate odor after you've cleaned up pet accidents by sprinkling baking soda over the dampened area; allow to dry, then vacuum. Source: Green Living Tips.com

• Wash chemicals and pesticides off fruits and vegetables in a pot filled with water and 3 - 4 tablespoons of baking soda added. Source: Green Living Tips.com

• Sprinkling baking soda in the bottom of rubbish bags will help to control odors as you add trash. Source: Green Living Tips.com

• To give your dishwasher a good clean, run it through a cycle and use baking soda instead of detergent. Source: Green Living Tips.com

• Americans spend roughly $8 billion on dry cleaning every year. Many drycleaners use the toxic chemical called perchloroethylene (perc for short). Perc is classified as a “groundwater contaminant” and “hazardous air pollutant” by the EPA. And 70% of the perc used in dry cleaning ends up in nature. Source: Ideal Bites.

• Dry cleaning is not always necessary; clothing makers often place the “dry clean only” label on tags because they can list no more than one cleaning method and can be held liable if an item is damaged when the owner follows the listed procedure. Source: Treehugger.com

• Avoid purchasing “dry clean only” label clothes.

• Use drycleaners that utility wet cleaning, CO2 cleaning.

• Take your wire hangers back to the drycleaner.

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Recyclable Items

• All plastic bottles and jars.

• Clean plastic food packaging (no compostable plastic or PLA, styrofoam plastic film, bags, or utensils). Rinse.

• Plastic buckets, tubs, pots, and toys. Crates, totes, laundry baskets, and lawn furniture. Note: all items must fit into the blue recycling bin.

• Glass (glass jars, juice bottles, wine bottles). Rinse, remove lids.

• Aluminum cans (soda, water, coffee and tea drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, fruit drinks, beer and malt beverages, and wine coolers and distilled spirit coolers). Rinse, don't flatten.

• Steel cans (pure steel cans, cans with a thin tin coating, soup cans, pet food cans, beverages, aerosol cans). Rinse. Empty aerosol cans completely. If a magnet sticks to the can, it's definitely steel.

• White office paper (copy, typing, and computer paper).

• Mixed paper (paper bags, colored paper, glossy newspaper inserts, magazines, brochures, junk mail, manila envelopes, chipboard, paperboard, phone books, envelopes with or without plastic windows). Flatten cereal and food boxes.

• Newspaper. Don't tie with string. Keep paper dry.

• Phone books.

• Cardboard. Flatten box, remove plastic mail insert.

• Shredded paper should be bagged.

• Paper or frozen food boxes.

• Aluminum foil and foil trays.

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Items NOT recyclable at this time!

• Window glass, drinking glasses, glassware, ceramics.

• Plastic or wax coated paper.

• Milk cartons.

• Plastic utensils.

• Styrofoam packing.

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