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A Chance to Get Your Green On

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On Thursday, Sept. 16, Los Angelenos can invest their greenbacks to make the world a greener place at Sustainable Works' third annual fundraiser at Writer's Boot Camp in Bergamot Station. This non-profit environmental education organization that has been helping students, homeowners (including apartment dwellers like me) and businesses "green" their living and work spaces for more than 11 years.

Proceeds from the benefit will help Sustainable Works continue transforming communities, colleges and businesses through environmental education and action.

I took the six-week Green Living workshop twice because the first time around I was less committed and only made it to three of the classes. Then An Inconvenient Truth came out, and I thought: "Hmm, maybe I should work harder to reduce my environmental impact." The second time around I didn't miss a class and I learned how to:

• Use less water (I was raised to brush my teeth leaving the water running - pretty wasteful);
• Rid my apartment of toxic chemicals (I couldn't believe how many toxic chemicals were in my kitchen cabinet, and I discovered even my Tom's toothpaste had sodium laurel sulfate (SLS -- a degreaser that makes things foam [Tom's now has an SLS-free formula]);
• Reduce my energy usage (by turning off most of my "instant-on" electronics); and
• Ride the bus or walk more often to reduce my transportation impact (when I realized how many in my class rode the bus, I decided I couldn't be a car snob if I wanted to be "green."

Through the social action network, All at Once, Sustainable Works has partnered with the Jack Johnson 2010 To the Sea tour that is raising money for environmental, art and music education. Every dollar contributed (up to $2,500) to Sustainable Works up to Oct. 1 will be eligible for a matching contribution from the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation.

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Silent Auction from a prior year's benefit

Thursday's fundraiser will feature organic beer and wine, an eco-friendly silent action and drawing, an educational green room and an artist's gallery. The silent auction will feature donations from local businesses including the Ambrose Hotel, Akasha Restaurant, Earthflow: Permaculture for Humanity, YogaWorks, Sheraton Delfina, Willow Spa, Patagonia and Jurlique.

The gallery will feature work from Shepard Fairey, Todd Bank, Marina Deb Ris and Julie Kornblum. Photographs taken by writer, blogger and trash collector Sara Bayles, will also be displayed. Bayles has dedicated herself to collecting, weighing and documenting beach trash in 2010 and blogging about it on The Daily Ocean.

Organic, local cuisine from Urth Caffé will be served followed by an update on recent developments with Sustainable Works and the presentation of Eco Star Award winners. The Eco Star Award is presented to environmental champions at businesses and in the local residential and student communities. Comedian and Santa Monica resident, Jake Johannsen is hosting the evening. The evening will wrap up with some low carbon footprint dancing.

Date: September 16
Place: Writers Boot Camp in Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Avenue, Building I, Santa Monica, CA 90405
Cost: $75 general admission; $65 for members; and $40 for students
Info: www.sustainableworks.org or fundraiser@sustainableworks.org; (310) 458-8716
This is a chance to have some fun and discover which businesses are making Santa Monica and Los Angeles a greener place.

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Bidders mill about the silent auction

All photos courtesy of Sustainable Works

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