Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Where are we going?

What crosses your mind when you think of your family? Do you think about where they came from? It seems as though nobody stays in the same place for very long. The United States was a place of refuge, hopes, and dreams. Looking into our past is such a great way of moving forward. And we are always moving forward in life. Although, many people say times were easier back in time. 

Today I was interviewed by a co-workers fiance' who is taking an asian american studies class. There is a lot to learn about our families. It's kind of funny because you never imagine your grandparents and parents growing up. They remain encased in their adult form performing different actions they say they used to do all the time. I can't imagine my mom skinny and in love with Elvis. Watching Jimmy Hendrix play live in Monterey. I only remember her with a big belly. I can't believe my grandmother was an athlete. I remember her watching her soap operas. 

Where does the time go? It really does just pass us by.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Conservation...Don't Waste!

Is conservation a new idea? 

We are quickly approaching the year 2009, our human population continues to increase, and our one and only Earth is suffering the impacts. Many individuals living on our highly unique planet will most likely put their comfort and well being before it. Digging holes in search of oil leaves large gaping wounds that resemble sores. Housing development fills up the mountains and hillsides where thousand year old trees once planted their roots. Diversion and damming of natural watersheds prevents the anadramous fish from completing their migration. 

I've been looking at Environmental Science and Resource Management Graduate Programs. There are very few to choose from in southern california. Wish me luck.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Baby Garlic

I was cooking dinner a week and a half ago and one of my garlic cloves was sprouting. I decided to plant it in some soil and see how well this little fella grew. To my surprise, the little sprout grows a little more each day. Nick thinks it's because I talk to it every day. I really like nurturing my plants just like I nurture my companion animals. They are part of the family. The oldest plant I have I got for my 22nd birthday from my good friend Nadine. So, I have had this plant in my possession for 4 years. I have no idea what type of indoor plant it is but it's beautiful and it makes me happy to see it doing so well every day. That plant has taught me a lot about taking care of other life forms. I've almost killed it many times but it came back to life with a little love and care. 
That's all for now. 

Saturday, October 11, 2008


It has been one week since Nick and I finished our first vermicompost bin. This is his first and my second one. My family had a compost pile in the backyard growing up. I don't think we put any food scraps into it and all of the worms came naturally. My first vermicompost bin wasn't really mine it was purchased and set up by my awesome housemate Caitlin and I just contributed food scraps. We had some troubles with drosophila, rain, and pretty extreme solar heat. Sadly the bin was discontinued when we both moved on to new locations. 

I'm hoping not to kill any of our worms this time around. I think they're doing great so far. Nick and I work really hard not to produce a lot of trash. We believe we throw out about 3 pounds of waste a week. Everything else goes into the vermicompost or the recycling, which we have to take to work locations who actually have recycling, unlike our apartment complex. Our apartment complex houses 80 multi-family units. The trash is picked up at least three times a week. I know this because our unit faces the street where the 3 cubic yard dumpsters are picked up and hauled away at 7am. I have asked maintenance if we could get the free recycling bins and services from the city and their response was this,"I'm going to tell you like it is Lauren, it's just not a priority and it's probably not going to happen." I offered to point out some really good spots for the recycling bins and I was given the same answer. 

I just don't understand.

The property manager could save so much money from not having the trash picked up so often. The tenants who do care about recycling would be happy because they wouldn't have to drive all of their recycling to work. And the landfills will not be filled with items that could have been recycled. All they have to do is say yes. 

The last Los Angeles apartment Nick and I lived in said that they tried recycling before and it didn't work because people would put their trash in it. They decided to give it another go because I was a little more persistent and offered to hand out educational material for them. I didn't have to pass out any information and a lot of the residents used the recycling correctly. The management saw how well it was working out and they decided to implement the free recycling at their other properties. I think that the management really cared about the happiness and well being of their tenants. We also paid lots of money to live in a very small luxury style apartment. 

The place Nick and I live now is called luxury and we really like our loft but it's cheaper then our last apartment. Our new place is very cozy. Hence the inclusion of our happy vermicompost into our happy little home. 

Of course there's the dingy colored water. I'll save that for the next blog. 

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Surface Runoff

Today I visited the restored Las Virgenes Creek. The area was cemented and blocked up for human use. Now it's starting to look more like the riparian vegetation it once was. 

The creek is right next to a small local mall with not one but two Starbuck's Coffee shops within walking distance from each other. My fellow naturalist enjoyed our coffee drinks and the outdoor surroundings. We listened and saw two House Finches above us in an ornamental tree. 

The creek will fill with rain run off and flow into Malibu Creek. Two days prior to this visit to the creek I noticed a Waste Management Truck stealthily driving down the mountain just North of the creek. It was driving away from the Calabasas Landfill. The truck looked so small and the area looked pretty well disguised. You couldn't tell there was a landfill just beyond that mountain unless you've seen it from a distance. I've seen the Calabasas Landfill from Inspiration Point, if you look North East from the top of that location you can see the Landfill. I couldn't help but wonder how the surface runoff from the landfill did not flow into the newly restored Las Virgenes Creek. 

What a difference a day makes.......

I live in Los Angeles, CA and 
I want to change the world.

I felt pretty guilty for moving to the South Lands on December 30th, 2007. After living here for a month and thousands of hours job searching. I found my dream job as an Interpretive Naturalist. I no longer feel as guilty. I actually feel very happy having the opportunity to teach children and the general public about their every day impact on the earth. We can always do a better job. 

I'm going to share my Naturalist adventures of the Santa Monica Mountains.