About Gray Water (Grey Water)

Gray water (or grey water) is what waste water is called when it comes from non-biohazard areas. So your laundry machine, sinks and shower/tub effluent is considered gray water. The toilet water (once you’ve flushed) is considered “black water.”

Gray water can be channeled and reused in a variety of ways. For instance, you can plumb your sink so that it feeds the water from washing your hands into your toilet tank. That way it will get one more use before becoming black water, and you won’t be flushing potable (drinkable) water down the toilet.) Keep in mind that ALL WATERING entering your home is drinkable. So you are washing, flushing and watering the garden with water that you COULD drink. Because of how valuable drinkable water is, many people and municipalities are trying to figure out how to make sure we all have drinkable water for many years to come. This is where gray water reusing comes into play.

The most popular reclamation use of gray water is for gardens. Assuming you are only using non-toxic soaps, detergents and cleaners, your gray water is more than safe (and in fact may even be nutritional) to your plants. However, gray water systems are complicated by the fact that many municipalities are not yet up to speed on how to allow residents to install these systems in a legal and sanitary fashion.

For more information on gray water systems, some pre-packaged options and the current legality issues read these two articles. The two together are very comprehensive.

Article on Gray Water from Low Impact Living
-Article on Gray Water from Natural Home Magazine

Drive 55

A number of months ago I sent out a newsletter with information about why driving 55 is great for our wallets and the planet. Now congress is considering reinstating a national driving speed limit of 55 as a quick way to help deal with our current energy crisis. If we all cut our speed, gas prices would also come down (per the law of supply and demand…less demand, more supply, VOILA lower prices.) I personally think going back to a national speed limit of 55 (as was done during the last energy crisis) is is a FANTASTIC idea…one of my newsletter readers and friends wrote this about his recent switch to driving 55 (note has been edited for simplicity with emphasis added by me):

Hey Alegre, Finally getting around to telling you about my driving 55mph experience which was spurred on by your email awhile back. After receiving your email about driving 55mph to save gas I wanted to relay my real life experience of doing just that. I drive a late 90s Volvo 940 and it is not the most efficient car but its what I have. In the past when I drove like Sammy Hagar I would get around 300-310 miles per tank. When I started driving like Jimmy Carter I started realizing that I was getting over 400 miles per tank (400-415) before having to fill up again. (25% increase! -Ed.) I was very impressed by the increased gas mileage but what made it equally as interesting for me was that what kind of awareness it opened up for me. Driving like Jimmy Carter you start to realize how many Sammy Hagar’s there are out there and how crazy we drive. It also is much more calming, less stressful and I often catch up gleefully to the jerk that is driving like a nut, flipping me the bird, wasting gas, and endangering lives to get to where they are going 5 minutes earlier. Justice! Anyway, hope this helps, feel free to post and edit or do what you. And keep up the great work. Cheers! Kevin

So please please please, do your part and drive 55!

July Newsletter
(to join our newsletter email us at cs@green-and-greener.com)

The store is now open and that’s meant that we’ve had the opportunity to meet and talk with a bunch of Green and Greener customers and you are COOL people (not that we were expecting any different!) Anyway, if you are in the LA area and you haven’t come in to the store yet, you should come visit us! We have a 10% discount for not-driving to the store. Here’s a map of the store’s location and public transportation options. There are also bike racks out front.

For those of you not in the area, we’ve been adding a ton of new products to the site including rechargeable batteries, light bulbs and household cleaning supplies. More to come as we get our website aligned with the physical store. You can see pictures of the new store here.

Also, we will be hosting July’s “Valley Green Drinks” on Thursday, July 24th from 7-10pm.

Humane Food Labeling: My friend Kim, made me aware of this website where they rank grocery stores according to how humane to animals their food is. Trader Joe’s was surprisingly low on the list and the link includes an email to encourage TJ to improve their practices.

Proper disposal of “household hazardous waste.” One thing I’ve become aware of talking to G&G customers is how confusing the disposal of certain everyday household products such as batteries, paint, prescriptions and CFL light bulbs. Every municipality is different, however, all of these items require proper disposal so as not to contaminate the soil and water of your local area. In Los Angeles, you need to take these items to a “SAFE” Center. You can also switch to rechargeable batteries (save money, energy and easy to recycle as any business that sells them, including us, is required by law to recycle them) and non-toxic paints (we can get those for you too!)

Local Los Angeles Park Activity Information: The Santa Monica Mountains Fund puts out this AMAZING quarterly guide, called OUTDOORS, to activities happening in the area including full-moon hikes, bird-watching, even group nature painting events.


Save money AND protect your electrical equipment with the SMART STRIP surge protector. Plug anything that must always be on into one of the “always on” outlets (like a fridge or fax machine) and then plug a “control” appliance into the white area, like your computer, with peripherals, like a printer, in the gray areas.

When you turn-off the “control” appliance, it will turn off everything else EXCEPT the always on units. It also ensures that your appliances aren’t drawing energy when they are plugged in but are off (called “phantom loads.”) Comes with a 6-foot power cord and $100,000+ protected equipment warranty.

Buy the 7-outlet SMART STRIP now, $31.99!
Buy the 10-outlet SMART STRIP now, $41.99!