Friday, December 17, 2010

Real trees vs fake trees

Fake Tree Pro's:
Easy to use
Allergy safe

Fake Tree Con's:
Made of PVC. The production of PVC creates a lot of pollution.
Lead is commonly found in the PVC, witch is a health hazard.
Not bio degradable.
85% comes from China.
Have to store for most of the year.

Real Tree Pro's:
Absorbs carbon dioxide

Real Tree Con's:
Not easy to recycle
Watering during raising

So STWFer's, real tree or fake tree?

Friday, November 5, 2010

native plants of Southern California

General Characteristics of Dudleyas—Approximately 40 species native to California and Mexico
Members of stonecrop family (Crassulaceae)
Can survive 20 or 50 years with little care.
Some are summer deciduous, (actually disappearing in summer) and die if watered in summer.
Others are evergreen, or will remain evergreen in foggy climate or with light occasional irrigation.
Most like to go dry in late summer.
Some species resent any summer irrigation.
Plants attract birds who collect and disperse the fine seeds.
Seeds are also spread by wind, may sprout on bare banks in the region thus helping spread these beautiful and non-weedy native plants.
When dudleyas fail in cultivation it is usually from root rot from over-watering.
All can survive without summer irrigation, though leaves may shrivel.
The following dudleyas that are available in the trade and worth trying on this green roof.
Fingertips, Ladies Fingers—(Dudleya edulis)
Attractive, low (1 foot tall and wide) evergreen plant. Native to San Diego coastal region. Grayish green foliage is edible, a source of food of Native Americans. Can take light, occasional summer irrigation. Needs some summer irrigation for survival if grown in full sun in sandy soil. I have observed it growing in pine needle debris on a north-facing, tile roof at the top of the Del Mar hill where it survived at least 45 years that I know of and stayed green year round with no summer irrigation other than drips of moisture on foggy days from overhanging foliage. Can take summer water. Its “fingers” will stay more plumped up through summer if occasionally watered very lightly overhead (like a light summer rain) or by drip. Plants are available at Las Pilatas Native Plant Nursery.
Catalina Island dudleya,—(D. virens ssp. hassei)
Evergreen plant endemic to Catalina Island, makes an excellent ground cover. Plants spread in profusely-branched mounds 6 to 8 inches high and wide. Tolerant of heavy soil.
Frank Reinelt dudleya, Anacapa dudleya (D. ‘Frank Reinelt’, D. ‘Anacapa’)
Improved selection with tight low mounds, 6 to 8 inches tall and 12 inches wide with profuse yellow flowers in spring. Silvery leaves flush rosey-purple in winter. Available from Native Sons Nursery, others.
Candleholder dudleya—(D. candelabrum)
Among many island endemic dudleyas this one from Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and San Miguel islands is adapted to rocky soil. Rosettes of leaves are not finger-shaped, but measure 6 to 10 inches across. The leaves are chunky, green, flattened, and send up tight clusters of pale yellow flowers in spring, hence the name.
Britton dudleya—(D. brittonii)
Most popular of dudleyas, prized for its stunningly large (6 to 12-inch) rosette of luminous, whitish or silvery leaves. In spring sends up a tall (1 to 2 1/2 foot) flower stalk which turns red when it bears its yellow flowers. Makes a good pot plant since must have good drainage. Worth trying on the roof but may die from root rot and unlike other varieties named here, might need some brown leaves removed.
General Characteristics of Native AgavesMost agave’s are too large for use on a roof or are native to hot interior regions and do not do well along the coast. However, the following agave is native to the coast and small enough for a roof. It can be seen growing wild in Torrey Pines Park and on coastal bluffs throughout southern California.
Shaw agave—(Agave shawii)
Bold-looking, architectural rosettes (3-foot tall and 2 feet wide) of succulent, sharply-spined, leaves are handsome year round and can be used as an effective barrier against foot traffic. Individual plants eventually create large colonies forming strong, sculptural accents. Can be used in drifts for good effect. Once an individual has matured it will send up a 7 or rarely even to 12 foot tall flower stalk with attractive rounded yellow bloom clusters that are irresistible to hummingbirds. A negative factor to this plant is that after bloom the entire rosette dies (though not the clump.) In nature the plants remain highly attractive despite the dead rosette and browning flower stalk bearing seed pods after blooms fade, but in a garden or perhaps on a roof, people may feel that the one dead rosette should be removed from the clump of new plants that by now has grown up around it. Also the flower stems may be too tall for harmonious appearance on a roof.
Shaw agave can adapt to irrigation and occasional water may improve its appearance in dry weather especially in shallow soil.
The main reason for any objection to grasses on this roof is the possible need for occasional mowing for safety and appearance, which might be difficult on a roof. A second reason is the problem with seedlings sprouting in the lagoon area. Nonetheless, here are two native grasses that don’t not seem to be particularly invasive and might be a good choices, providing an excellent appearance year round, and also might do well on this roof with little or no mowing:
Red Fescue—(Festuca rubra ‘Slopesaver’)
Red fescue is native to moist climates in California and is widely grown as an ornamentalgrass to provide an informal greensward or bank cover in sun or shade. It is available as sod or seed in as many as 40 named cultivars, the best known of which is given above. Given regular irrigation it maintains a beautiful green appearance year round. Tufted drifts 3 to 12 inches high spread by rhizomes. This grass is disease and pest free. It can be grown without mowing or can be mowed with a weed wacker if desired. Gray selections are drought-resistant. Red fescue would provide an extremely attractive sod roof and has been successfully used for this purpose.
Blue grama—(B. gracilis)
A tough, very drought-resistant, bunch grass that forms slowly spreading tufts, 4 to 16 inches tall, of wiry grass. It must have full sun and will die if over-watered. Allowing it to dry out completely between summer irrigations may be the best way to keep it happy. Best adapted to the hot, dry interior where it goes brown in winter, this grass may stay partially green in winter in this coastal zone, but it may not do as well as red fescue in a foggy coastal zone.
*This information was taken from and STWF does NOT assume any credit for this article, it is the sole content of*

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Attention: Seniors!

Here's a scholarship contest:
The Castle Ink- Paperless Scholarship is available to students who demonstrate a commitment to recycling and the environment. You must be a U.S. resident currently enrolled in college or planning to attend college in 2010 or 2011 to qualify for this award. Applicants must submit an essay explaining how they "reduce, reuse, and recycle."

Go to their website for more details: Click here!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Environment & Politics

The topic on yesterday's agenda was the environmental propositions that Californians will be voting on this coming Tuesday. We looked at the Sierra Club's voter's election endorsements which can be found on their website.

Here's some background information on each of the propositions that the Sierra Club has taken a stance on:

Prop 20 (NO): Prop 20 would tilt the rules for drawing U.S. House districts in ways which would systematically decrease the number of environmental champions in the California Congressional delegation, and also systematically decrease the ethnic diversity of that delegation. (Gerrymandering)

Prop 21 (YES):Proposition 21 would ensure a dedicated and reliable funding stream for state parks through an $18 annual State Park Access Pass surcharge and, in return, would provide vehicles subject to the surcharge free, year-round admission to state parks.

For more information on Proposition 21, please visit

Prop 23 (NO): Big Texas oil companies are trying to buy their way out of cleaning up their California refineries and fuels. Companies like Valero and Tesoro recently announced that they plan on fully funding a November ballot initiative that would halt clean energy efforts and pollution control standards aimed at cleaning up our air and atmosphere for our kids and future generations.

Prop 25 (YES):Sierra Club supports Proposition 25, which would allow state budgets to be passed by a simple majority of each house of the Legislature. The anti-democratic two-thirds requirement for passing budgets has created opportunities for anti-environmental mischief. One of the most egregious examples came in 2007, when 14 Senate Republicans held the budget hostage to their demand for non-fiscal legislation weakening the California Environmental Quality Act’s application to global warming.

Prop 25 would move us closer to fiscal sanity and remove one avenue for anti-environmental legislative schemes.

Prop 26 (NO): The core question raised by Prop 26 is: who pays? Who pays to clean up air pollution, oil spills and toxic waste? Who pays for the health consequences of tobacco and alcohol addiction, of lead poisoning and diesel exhaust? Exxon, Phillip Morris and the other special interests behind Prop 26 want you, the taxpayers, to pay. They want to get off the hook for mitigating the damage they do.

(source: Sierra Club CA's November Election Endorsements)


Hi everyone,
Here's an update about what's going on with the club...

We've formed committees (see the breakdown below) so that we'll begin planning more events and selling more goodies (t-shirts, bags, etc.) soon! Nataliya K. (our secretary) will be making a flier for the art contest for a new logo.

Activities Committee
Nataliya K.

Fundraising Committee
Natalia S.

Volunteering Committee (will collaborate with the Activities Committee)

Also, we'll be meeting in the IS Garden the first Friday of the month (that we're in school) so please join us for our meeting next week in the IS Garden! Bring tools to work in the garden.

Monday, October 18, 2010

IS Garden

Last Friday we held our meeting at the IS Garden up by the bungalows and had a great time cleaning it up. For those of you who don't know, the IS Garden has a bench and tree in memory of Jim Rudolph, and the garden also holds the ashes of Jon Strebler's father. It was a shame to find it in such disrepair. Anyway, here are some pictures from the cleanup:

Alan attacking the pile of brush we gathered in front of Mrs. James' car. We love you, Mrs. James!

Alan carrying the brush along. He was just rockin' it that day. Also, I don't know why the picture turned out weird like that. I think it adds character.

People cleanin' up.

Mr. Steussy brought us some snacks from Henry's. They were tasty.

Some signs we found on the ground and gathered up. It was pretty sad. We couldn't match them up to their corresponding plants, because we didn't really know what the plants were. I think someone's going to help us out with that, I forgot exactly who.

Kamala and Jiem hard at work, rummaging through the little orange tree in the middle of the garden.

Yeah, you pick up that trash.

So thus concludes our experience in the IS Garden. Even with the cleanup required, it was a very nice place to hold a meeting. It also brought up the usefulness that a school compost pile could provide. We should look in to that. In any case, I hope we can continue to fix the garden and give it the attention it deserves.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Are fireworks bad for the environment?

Although firework shows are infrequent, we do see an effect on the environment. They spray out a toxic concoction of chemicals that do not break down. Instead they find themselves in lakes, rivers, and bays. Because of this we see mercury in fish, and back in the 70's fireworks played a roll in the thinning of the bald eagle eggs. We also see an effect on human health too, although its hard to prove. For more information please visit:

Friday, October 8, 2010

Plans for the Club

Hi everyone,
This is Rebecca and today's meeting focused on what we want to do this year, so to keep everyone in the loop here's what's going on with Save the World Fridays:

1. We'll be working in the IS garden (meeting there next Friday, actually). If you haven't been there in a while, be sure to stop by and check it out because there's some interesting behind it...

Things you might not know about the IS garden:
a) There's a bench and tree in memory of Jim Rudolph, a much loved math teacher who died December 5, 2006
b) Mr. Strebler's dad's ashes are there

2. We're going to be promoting bike riding and carpooling a lot more this year and we're hoping to either start a carpool network or, if the district has one, to use that.

3. We are encouraging students to empty the recycling bins (over by where the old bungalows used to be) of their classes, especially if you are TA-ing for a class.

4. We are planning on doing clean-ups (at beaches, rivers, etc.) during the year. Let me know if you are interested in that or show up at the meetings!

5. A new t-shirt design is in the making, if you have any ideas please let us know! We'll let you know when they're ready so you can buy one and (as always) they will be printed on organic material.

Many thanks to Clare Moran and Mr. Steussy who brought in baked goods today for the meeting! Also, kudos to Geoff and Ben who rode their bikes in today!

Be sure to come to our meeting next Friday on the 15th in the IS GARDEN!

Friday, September 24, 2010

The 2010-2011 year is here(:

This year we have many new additions including a new blog writer! Our positions for this year are as follows: 
President- Emmy Phillips (second term)
Vice president- Rebecca Chhay
Secretary- Nataliya Kotlova 
Treasurer- Sienna Crespin 
Blog writers- Emmy, Rebecca, and Brenda Marques 

We are currently working on our goals for this year, and are open to ideas! Also, if anyone knows someone who can print our t-shirts for a reasonable low price in San Diego, please let us know, we need a new vendor. Can't wait for the year ahead(:

Thursday, September 23, 2010


We're very exited for this year's Save the World on Friday's group. We had our first meeting last Friday and I was pretty amazed at the amount of people that decided to join us. Remember, STWF is about you making a difference on Fridays by riding your bike, taking the city bus, carpool or anything to help our environment, we really appreciated.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mission Valley Fire & Wildfire tips

This afternoon around 2:19, a fire on a canyon on the south side of I-8 below University Heights, near Camino Del Rio South struck up. The fire was contained by fire fighters and two helicopters. However, around 4 PM the fire struck again, and quickly rose up the hill side. Thirty home owners and many hotel guests from the La Quinta and Hilton Inn were evacuated. Several backyards were almost touched by the fire. The fire has since been contained. Four acres were lost, no one was hurt, and the cause of the fire is still unknown. An investigation is under way. Many of my fellow Californian's say that "while other states have snow days, we have fire days." It is true, in the last five years students in San Diego and neighboring counties got a total of two weeks off due to wildfires. Although some fires are natural, which may be the case in the recent fire, some can be prevented. Here are some tips on how to prevent wild fires from your friend Smokey Bear at
Campfire safety:
Burning debris:
Equipment maintenance:
House safety:
If you start a wild fire, call 911, don't get scared and run. The sooner you call the sooner the fire can be contained and less will be destroyed. If you see a wildfire, don't assume someone else has already called 911, call and describe the location of the fire, answer all questions, and speak slowly and clearly. If you are asked to evacuate because of a wildfire, visit the FEMA website for tips.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Moms! You'll love this!

I've always had an interest in children, what keeps them healthy and happy, what toys they need and what toys they can live without. As I babysit, I have observed different parenting styles; cloth diapering, dispoasables, forumla, breast fed, barbies, and dolls with no expressions. In a way, I've come up with a parenting style of my own, one that increases brain function and creativity, one that keeps my children healthy and safe, and one that is not only good for the environment, but my household too. There are toys out there that talk and move, there are toys that cry and laugh, even toys that read to you. In my opinion, those toys tell you  how to play with them. What I want, is the old fashioned, wooden trains, and dolls soft and cuddly made out of cloth. Now a days, it seems impossible, or two expensive to get those "origional" toys. However it's not, toys from are worth their buck, and are environmentally friendly! I believe that cloth diapering is not for everyone and everyone has their reasons for using disposables or not. However, there are a lot of misconceptions about cloth diapering that may swing you from disposables. Check out these top five misconceptions here: So, as you journey on the great adventure known as motherhood, remember that earth is a part of you, like a sister, and your gift to your child, is the earth. "The earth is a gift from our parents that we pass on to our children." Let's make sure you can give your child, the cleanest earth you possibly can, by using eco friendly toys and diapers!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Stainless steal, BPA free, reusable water bottles for sale!

STWF is selling BPA free reusable water bottles for only ten dollars! (They retail for about twenty to thirty dollars) They come with two different, inter-changeable caps, and are very stylish! Come pick one up from B3 or any member!

Monday, May 3, 2010


Earth Day 2010 photos are (finally) here! Check these out and more at


Have an old phone lying around? Two year contract ending soon? Think about donating it to the ECO
ATM! What happens at the ECO ATM? "[The] ecoATM provides self-serve electronic eCycling stations which quickly inspects and assigns real-time secondary market value, collects/bins portable devices, provides payment to the consumer, and administrates any additional trade-in promotions / discounts loaded by the OEM and/or retailer." It's Easy at 1-2-3
Step 1) Insert portable CE device or handsetStep 2) Used device automatically valued
Step 3) Portables automatically binned inside. User receives trade-up coupon, gift card, cash, and/or charitable contribution
For more information visit:
And for a ATM near you visit:

Friday, April 30, 2010

It's time to get proactive!

It's one thing to talk about the environment but it's another to do something for it! Got a resuable bag? Take it to the grocery store! Has your coffee tumblr been sitting at home while your at Starbucks? Take it to a local coffee shop! Car broke down? Take the bus not a costly rental car! Do all this already? Think it's just another daily activity and isn't really doing anything for the environment? Think again! The average driver goes about 70 MPH on the highway and gets about 18.3 MPG. Their carbon footprint from Jan. 2009- today is 0.03. However those who bused from Chula Vista (where a lot of SDHS kids live) over the same course of time had no carbon footprint acorrding to Even though you do something everyday doesn't mean it isn't a good thing for the enviornment. STWF loves it went saving the enviornment is a daily routine, but try something new once a week such as meatless Monday or shower less Saturday.What new thing will you do?

World Faire is rapidly approaching!

Come visit us next Friday May 7th, 2010 in the quad for yummy orangic and vegan baked goods! World Faire starts at 12:47 and ends at 2:24. What kinds of treats would you like to see?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Protecting the Bay

The Port of San Diego's environmental fund is helping to reduce pollution and keep hazardous wastes out of San Diego Bay. Two oil recycling centers have been installed as well as marine trash skimmers running from Shelter Island to National City. The skimmers were installed in December of 2009, and work like a pool skimmer running 24 hours a day seven days a week. They filter 500 gallons of water per minute. Trash is caught inside and sorted into debris, recycling, and trash. The Marina managers are impressed. As for the oil recycling centers, this is what general manager Bowman had to say, "The presence of the used oil center provides convenient recycling for boaters, prevents the marinas from having to dispose of costly hazardous waste, prevents oil from being dumped into the bay and encourages boaters and marina staff to use other best management practices. "We just had 300 gallons of oil collected and hauled away, cleanly, as opposed to being left behind for the marina to clean up."

For more information please visit:

Friday, April 9, 2010

How to host a "whats mine is yours" party

Many college clubs have started a trend thats good for the enviornment and saves you money! They are called "whats mine is yours" or "swap parties" where everyone brings one book, article of clothing, cook ware, whatever the designated item is. Then, people trade. Now you have something like new, and have gotten rid of something you no longer want! The cost to host the party is 0, unless you want to provide food and drinks. However, you can ask people to bring some food as well. Spread the word, the more people who come the better! (lots of people use facebook events) Have the party large enough to accomidate how many people are coming and thats all you have to do! Having a swap party? Let us know when and where (even if its not in san diego) in the comment section or on our facebook page. We can help spread the word(:
Check out: for more information.

Earth Day 2010

We will be going to Earth Day 2010 Balboa Park special thanks to our sponser
We need volunteers from set up 8:00 AM to clean up at 5:00 PM. Shifts are in 1 and 1/2 hour incrimints. Sign up in B3 or contact  Emmy Phillips, Yi Qiu Hu, Maeve Sullivan or Rebecca Chay, or sign up on our facebook page!
We will be selling shirts, bags, shoes, and pens!
I'm not sure where we will be located so check a map when you get there!

Friday, January 29, 2010

STWF news

 A lot has been going on with STWF and heres the latest and greatest news!
We are partnering with the Science Scholars club to create tee-shirts (with both our logos on them). We might also do future things with them as well.
We are ordering more of our tee-shirts (same design for bags and shirts, new colors), we still have recycled shoes for 20$ men sizes only.
Each member was asked to bring a design for a new STWF logo for next meeting. If you make one remember it must NOT be copyrighted. Remember that some websites, like Nasa will let you use their images if you credit their work somewhere on your design.
Max James mother of is sponsoring us again this year for Earth Fair in Balboa Park.
Our latest idea is to have an environmental week. (kind of like spirit week) Where one day you might take a two minute shower and the next you might plant a tree ect. Those who provide proof that they did the activity every day will be entered in a drawing to win some sort of prize.
Our next meeting will be in Ms Bermans room 1029, because we are doing something with Science Scholars.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Rain! & Other News

Hi everyone,
If you're receiving rain, and you probably are, please remember to turn off your sprinklers and any other unnecessary appliances. Also, instead of cranking up the heater, remember basic tips and just put on another layer.

In other news, our club wants to begin donating a portion of the profit we make to some sort of environmental/activist group. The organizations we're considering are either the American Red Cross or UNICEF; we would also specify that we want the funds to go to Haitian relief.

We're hoping to be able to donate half of the profit to whichever organization we do pick, and in the meantime, please begin thinking about what color bag/shirt you would like to purchase from our club.

The prices aren't changing, it's just that the proceeds are now going to bigger cause.

Bags - $10
Shirts - $12
We still have a couple in stock. Visit Mr. Steussy's room (B3) to purchase your items.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Little Composter that Could

A local resident Gianna Salazar of North Park California has been saving the world daily at the ripe age of six. What started out as a purchace of a composter from a closing store, is now helping Giannas garden florish. Lisa Pugliese, Giannas mother, puts un used vegetables, amoung other foods, in a bag. Afterwards Gianna sticks the food into the composter and turns the wheel. Not long after the compost is ready. "I really like turning the wheel its fun and looking at the food inside. I like how it helps the garden and mother earth" boasts Gianna. For more information on how to compost please visit
new composter! Pictures, Images and Photos