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Welcome to the Sonoma County Gazette ARCHIVE of PAST EDITIONS. Our NEW WEBSITE is up and running, so GazExtra is serving as your path to archived articles. Thanks for being part of our Sonoma County community...stay in touch...e-mail me - VESTA

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Conservation Works! How Sonoma County Can Do Their Part

Conservation really works, but don’t stop now.
As a result of conservation efforts, Lake Mendocino, projected to be dry by now, is actually 1% higher than last year’s low level of 60%. Continued conservation will ensure a high enough lake level to release water into the Russian River for the fall Chinook salmon run as well as for municipal water supplies drawn from the river.

Get free faucets and more.
Local water agencies are offering free low-flow plumbing hardware such as showerheads, faucet aerators, and hose nozzles. Some also offer water surveys and rebates for High Efficiency toilets and washing machines. For offers in your area, click on your local water agency at

Keep chemicals from medication out of our waterways.
Don’t flush old prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and supplements––or put them in the trash. The Safe Medicine Disposal Program has been expanded; pharmacies in most of the county are accepting medications––including liquids, lotions, ointments, and creams––in the original containers (take pill containers home and recycle). For more information, call 707-833-2553 (Russian River Watershed Association), 707-543-4368 (Sebastopol, Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, and Cotati), or 707-521-1820 (Guerneville and Sonoma, where the sheriff’s substations are also drop-off sites).

Go Local––Shop Local
Save your local economy…three stores at a time.

Go to for more information about saving locally owned businesses. For every $100 spent in an independently owned store, $68 stays in the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures. If you spent that in a national chain, only $43 would stay here, and if you spent it online $0 would remain locally.

Help offset global warming––buy mate beverages locally.
Loss of the rain forest accelerates global warming. Buying Guayakí’s yerba mate products helps reverse that process. Mate, one of the world’s most popular caffeinated drinks, is now part of the North American mainstream beverage market––Guayakí’s projects sales of $12 million this year. This Sebastopol company, which pays the 45 families of the Guayakí tribe for the use of its name, has helped restore 17,000 acres of rainforest by working with farmers, small businesses, and indigenous tribes, to create sustainable development.

National chains can do good things at the local level, too.
• Help Foster Kids

Drop off school supplies for foster kids at Sleep Train® Mattress Center on south Santa Rosa Avenue by September 30th or bring in children’s coats and jackets from September 21st to November 1st to benefit the Children’s Village of Sonoma County and Valley of the Moon Children’s Foundation.
• Help Others Find Their Strong Suit
Until September 30th, join the National Suit Drive. Donate gently used suits, sport coats, slacks, dress shirts, ties and belts at your local Men’s Wearhouse––1001 Steele Lane, across from Coddingtown Mall. Providing unemployed men with professional work attire builds their self-esteem and makes a good first impression during job interviews. (And you’ll be reducing landfill, too.) Last year 35,000 men received suits for that all-important interview. Go to for more information and applications for local non-profit partners.
• A pint for a pint
Baskin-Robbins donates coupons good for a pint of ice cream when you donate a pint of blood at the Blood Bank of the Redwoods on Monday. Call 707-545-1222 for appointments or blood drive locations.
• Easily recycle CFLs responsibly.
We all know how energy efficient and long lasting CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) are. But when they finally wear out, after 10+ years, you can’t put them in the trash, because of their mercury content. Now you can take them to the Customer Service counter at Home Depot, and they’ll recycle them responsibly.
• Buy organic cotton
Cotton, the most pesticide-dependent crop in the world, accounts for 25% of all pesticide use. The USDA estimates cotton uses more than 50,000,000 lbs. of pesticides in the U.S. annually (one T-shirt uses ¼ pound). Besides polluting our soil and waterways, pesticides adversely affect the health of agricultural workers.
Santa Rosa Indigenous Designs (707-571-7811) distributes organic and Fair Trade clothing through Whole Foods and online. Wal-Mart is the world’s largest provider of organic cotton––10,000,000 pounds’ worth in 2006, and J.C. Penney’s Simply Green line, available locally, includes organic cotton as well as other renewable and recyclable products.

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