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GREEN GUIDE

Public Benefit Organizations
Back to Natives This Irvine-based nonprofit aims to promote native plants and restore local habitats. The mission is straightforward: to open land overrun by non-native weeds back up to native plants, thereby increasing animal habitats. Back to Natives is always looking for volunteers. backtonatives.org

Zero Trash Laguna This grassroots initiative organizes monthly trash pickups at various sites within Laguna Beach. Powered by volunteers and supported by local businesses, Zero Trash Laguna has become involved in lobbying for more trash cans and recycling bins in the downtown area. Cleanup days are held on the first Saturday of every month, and meeting spots are listed on the website. zerotrashlaguna.org  

Save Our Beach This nonprofit got started by a couple who live on the beach and pick up trash in their free time. After gaining popularity, they started Save Our Beach, which helps clean trash off of Seal Beach, Long Beach and other Southern California locations. saveourbeach.org

Resources
OC Green Guide One of the original resources for eco-aware Orange County residents, this invaluable site has expanded into the Green Guide Network. Launched by Laguna Beach native and current CEO Casey Cochran in 2006, the site contains articles, advice and listings for green businesses. greenguidenetwork.com

The U.S. Green Building Council Orange County Chapter The website serves as an information portal on sustainable events and learning opportunities for residents of Orange County. Green news and events are posted regularly. usgbc-oc.org

The Ecology Center This nonprofit organization aims to spread the word about green living through a wide range of environmental seminars and guest speakers. Located in San Juan Capistrano’s oldest wooden structure, the center offers an excellent resource for learning for the entire community. theecologycenter.org

Transition Laguna Beach Transition Laguna’s aim is to lead Laguna Beach toward a greener future. Their emphasis is on encouraging community members to seek out sustainable food, energy and water sources. transitionlaguna.org

Services
The Big Green Box A great concept for businesses, Anaheim-based The Big Green Box is a battery recycling program that cuts the number of steps involved in this sometimes confusing process. The only steps left: Order the box, fill it with batteries in need of recycling and send it back. Return postage and battery recycling fees are part of the cost. This convenience makes eco-consciousness that much easier for businesses and corporations. biggreenbox.com

Rent-A-Green Box The concept behind Costa Mesa’s Rent-A-Green Box is both simple and simply brilliant. The company rents boxes made from plastic trash collected from landfills to people who are moving – when the move is finished, they pick the boxes up again. Not only are they reclaiming landfill trash, but they’re also keeping cardboard boxes from being used. In order to make sure that your valuables are safe, Earth Friendly Moving sells post-consumer recycled packing products too. rentagreenbox.com

Go Green Moving This full-service Orange County-based moving company uses the crates and packing materials offered by Rent-A-Green Box, along with their own fleet of biodiesel-powered trucks, to provide green moving solutions throughout Orange County. gogreenmoving.com

Green Dump Truck This Dana Point-based junk hauler specializes in diverting waste from the landfill. They work with donation centers, salvage yards and recycling centers to find a second life for up to 60% of the material they carry away. greendumptruck.com

Green Earth Cleaning Green Earth Cleaning offers a new, non-toxic dry cleaning process using a liquid silicone solvent instead of petro-chemicals. Their process is revolutionizing the industry as more and more dry cleaners license the right to use this new, emission-free method. There are nearly 40 Green Earth-licensed cleaners in Orange County, easily found by using the store locator on their website. greenearthcleaning.com

Nature Lakes This water management service works to repair and maintain lakes and all mechanical lake systems using completely organic methods. For over 30 years, Nature Lakes has been preserving natural aquatic eco-systems. naturelakes.com

Go Green Mobile Shredding Go Green offers small and large businesses the chance to destroy all those important documents that have been piling up around the office. The company uses an Environmentally Friendly Mobile Shredding vehicle and recycles all shredded materials. gogreenmobileshredding.com

SPUD (was Organic Express) An Internet food retailer, SPUD specializes in organic fruits and vegetables and other healthy food products. The company is known for working with local farms and cutting down the trail of fossil fuels left by food purchases. All shopping is done online and delivery is often free. spud.com

Creations Landscape Design With the philosophy of “maintaining a friendship with the environment,” Creations helps businesses and private residences develop a sustainable landscape. creationslandscapedesigns.com

Goodwill of Orange County As a state-certified collector of e-waste, Goodwill collects electronic waste, paper, textiles, and secondary materials for recycling. It’s a safe and easy way for individuals and businesses to dispose of their electronics, working or non-working, at no charge at one of Goodwill’s 35 donation centers. (Goodwill offers free pick-up for 20 items or more.) Goodwill also owns and operates Landmark Services, a document destruction service that ensures the protection of confidential documents. Landmark delivers locked and secured containers to businesses and residential customers; then drop off documents at 1601 E. St. Andrew in Santa Ana, where they are shredded and later converted and sold to recyclers or paper stock companies. In addition, Goodwill recycles textiles, mattresses, appliances, metal, and cardboard. ocgoodwill.org

Products
Earthpack Headquartered in Irvine, Earthpack specializes in providing eco-friendly retailers with post-consumer recycled bags and boxes for packaging. Their environmental passion also extends to a number of local environmental groups, which they actively support. earthpack.com

Green Nest Since its inception in 2003, Green Nest has been helping turn homes across the country into environmentally safe “nests”. They offer a variety of green household products, ranging from natural carpets to organic bed linens. greennest.com

Laguna Bamboo Instead of hardwood cabinetry, Laguna Bamboo offers furnishings made of durable bamboo, a sustainable resource that can be used for several different types of furniture. lagunabamboo.com

Holistic Body Care This online retailer specializes in chemical and preservative-free beauty products.  All items are vegan, organic and hand-blended. holisticbodycare.com

For Parents
Garden Kids This line of clothes for children is totally organic, made by hand in the United States and using only low-impact dyes. All items are available for purchase online. gardenkidsclothing.com

Sustainable Kids Located in Costa Mesa, Sustainable Kids makes clothing with a focus on the environment. Fabrics are certified organic or recycled, dyes are made with organic pigment and all packaging comes from post-consumer recycled products. The company also offers a postage-paid clothing donation box with every purchase – each donation goes to their Hands & Feet Project benefitting children in Haiti. Sustainable Kids clothing is available at CC Roo Kids in Costa Mesa. sustainable-kids.com :: ccroo.com

Retail
Simple Peace Taking the reusable shopping bag to the next level, Corona del Mar-based Simple Peace makes bags and totes from hemp and recycled cotton. They also work with Moroccan artisans, importing baskets as part of a fair-trade co-op. simple-peace.com

Road Less Traveled This store epitomizes passion, from the products sold (all organic, recycled, sustainable, or fair trade) to the information gathered and shared. More than just a shop, Road Less Traveled has become a great resource for anyone trying to embrace the green lifestyle in Orange County. 125 N. Broadway Ste. C, Santa Ana :: roadlesstraveledstore.com

Restaurants and Food Stores
118 Degrees Serving a menu of raw, organic cuisine, the entrées here are the epitome of healthy while maintaining a high level of taste and an artful presentation. You’ll also find a collection of organic wines and cocktails, like the Kiwitini made with kiwi juice, agave and sake. The green vibe applies to the restaurant structure itself as well with a bar made of recycled sorghum and a ceiling constructed of recycled bottles. 2981 Bristol St. Ste. B5, Costa Mesa :: shop118degrees.com

Avanti Café This highly praised café does a good job of mixing organic ingredients with detailed attention to cuisine. The menu is creative with items like the Rubenesque sandwich filled with roasted tofu, caraway and beet cabbage. 259 E. 17th St. Costa Mesa :: avantinatural.com

La Sirena Grill La Sirena went green in April 2007 and hasn’t looked back. They source local/organic ingredients, use compostable cutlery and order seafood based on the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch List. The food draws raves across the board as does the environmental commitment of owner Scott Cortellessa. There are four Orange County locations. lasirenagrill.com

The Lost Bean This organic coffeehouse in Tustin shows serious commitment to the environment: Not only do they exclusively sell fair-trade, organic coffees and teas, they also give 30% of their profits to various charities. The commitment to the environment runs deep with the staff, whose name tags are made of cut-up gift cards. Disposable cups are made from a corn-base rather than plastics, and paper cups come from post-consumer recycled paper. 13011 Newport Ave. Ste. 104, Tustin :: thelostbean.com

The Stand Serving a surprisingly wide-ranging menu considering its size, The Stand is a well known hole-in-the-wall among green food lovers. Most items are vegan and feature organic fruits and veggies. Try the avocado burrito and definitely tack on a fruit smoothie. 238 Thalia St., Laguna Beach :: 949.494.8101

Trader Joe's Started in the late 1950s, Trader Joe's has grown into a major grocery store that sells a variety of specialty and whole food items. All products promise no artificial colors, no MSG, no artificial trans fats, and no genetically modified ingredients. Trader Joe's is located at several locations throughout Orange County. traderjoes.com

Whole Foods Market This healthy food store has been dedicated to serving its customers natural and organic foods for more than 30 years. Whole Foods Market now has more than 310 stores in North America and the United Kingdom, including several locations that span OC. wholefoodsmarket.com

Fresh & Easy This healthy foods chain offers products with no high-fructose corn syrup, added trans fats or artificial colors or flavors. freshandeasy.com

Zpizza With wheat, gluten-free and organic crust options, organic tomato sauce and soy cheese, Zpizza has made quite a name for itself. The restaurant, which started in Laguna Beach and is headquartered in Irvine, now has franchises across the country and in Saudi Arabia. The company has consistently supported community programs throughout the county. zpizza.com

Housing
D’Bodinus Eco-Luxury This Newport Beach design firm offers both consultation and sustainable products for home interiors. Products are made from FSC-certified timber and earth-friendly, chemical-free textiles. 4greendesign.com

Living Green Homes The Huntington Beach-based Living Green Homes is well-schooled on all topics relating to green home design and construction. They offer consultancy, architecture, building, and remodeling services for those who seek to live in a sustainable, environmentally friendly home. living-greenhomes.com
–STEVE BRAMUCCI and GRIFFIN ROGERS





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