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The Giving Tree

solidago velutina ssp. californica

In the story of The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein, children are given an example of a toxic relationship. The boy only comes to the tree to take what he needs for his own life, and essentially gives the selfless tree nothing in return. The plot of the story by Silverstein parallels the effect invasive plants have on our native plants. When invasive plants take root, they drain all the resources native plants need to thrive and cultivate. They take, but do not give. This means the native plants slowly start to disappear from the landscape, also causing all the other species that rely on those plants to suffer and begin disappearing as well. Suddenly a perfectly crafted ecosystem vanishes. By planting native plants, you…

How to create a Hummingbird Garden in Orange County

Epilobium canum ssp. canum

Since hummingbirds have to eat twice their body weight in nectar and insects each day, they’re protective of their good food sources in the garden and will fight aggressively to defend them. Hummingbirds do tend to try the red flowers first but their sugar content is what they really are looking for regardless of color. Hummingbirds prefer the native species (commonly Sambucus, Ceanothus and Arctostaphylos) for nesting. They prefer a mixed diet of nectar from multiple sources for their daily diet. Here are some locally native plants that are great nectar sources for hummingbirds: Arctostaphylos species, Manzanita Comarostaphylis diversifolia Summer Holly. If you live in Coastal Areas of Southern California it is a great summer flowering bush for hummingbirds. Diplacus species, Monkey flowers of all…

Green Your Gifts

holidaywrap3

by Chelsea Moreno, CSUF Communications Student The holidays are nearing meaning food, family, and gifts galore, but as friends and family gather, so does waste. According to the EPA, the holidays create 1 million extra tons of waste in the United States, a whopping 25 percent increase in just two short months. It’s never been more important or easy to reduce waste and have yourself a green, little Christmas. One way to start making your holiday’s eco-friendly is to reuse gift wrap. Whether it be old bags, boxes, paper or ribbons from Christmases past, reusing them saves them from the landfill and saves you money. Try using twine (it’s recyclable and compostable!), paper ribbon, and fresh foliage from your yard to spruce up your gifts…

Dreaming of a Green Holiday…

Furoshiki

Folks frequently look to us for suggestions on how to make the holidays less wasteful and more eco-friendly. Here’s some ideas, and we welcome you to send us yours to add to this list! Gift Wrap For gift wrap we encourage folks to use re-usable wrapping, “furoshiki”. Furoshiki are a type of traditional Japanese wrapping cloth that are a re-usable, eco-friendly way to wrap gifts, carry groceries, decorate the home, and so much more.  If re-usable wrapping seems too pricey we recommend using recycled materials to wrap gifts. Boxes you’ve saved, the paper packing materials that comes in boxes, old maps, paper grocery bags, magazine pages, old calendar pages – “brown paper packages tied up with string” can be so lovely! There are also lots of alternatives to…

Featured Artisan: L Facio Designs

Latham

L Facio Designs was founded in 2014 with the goal of creating an affordable candle that smells amazing while still using responsibly sourced materials, not mass produced but homemade and hand poured with love.  Their loyal customers make them feel like we accomplished that goal. All of their candles are made from 100% soy wax grown in the USA, with a classic cotton wick, fine fragrance and essential oils, and hand poured into a recyclable glass tumbler. Whether you love the relaxation of a candle or the simplicity of a reed diffuser, L Facio Designs has over thirty exciting fragrances to choose from including fun seasonal picks.  You’ll find something for all fragrance palates. Learn more at  www.lfacio.com. L Facio’s candles will be available for sale at the ENC Artisans Marketplace on…

Enticing Hummingbirds to your Yard

#hummingbird walk at the #EnvironmentalNatureCenter is 2:7:15- register at encenter.org

Everybody likes hummingbirds; they are energetic and fearless little warriors, guarding flowers and feeders with their lives from anything that might cross their path. Due to their charming allure and vivacity, hummingbirds enthrall watchers in any garden setting, leading people to invest in their own feeders in order to attract these birds in their own backyards. However, while these feeders exhibit bright colors that would attract any passing hummingbird for your viewing pleasure, hummingbird feeders have the potential to cause more harm than good. Feeders can keep hummingbirds from pollinating flowers or worse… cause them to become unhealthy due to dyes or because most feeders are not cleaned frequently enough. What if I told you that you that you could attract more hummingbirds with almost…

Room & Board Donates $25,000 to ENC

#RoomandBoard

The Environmental Nature Center (ENC) accepted a $25,000 donation from Room & Board South Coast Plaza on Thursday, November 13th at the South Coast Plaza showroom. The donation will help support the ENC’s Environmental Education programs.   The check was presented during Room & Board’s “Celebrate Sustainable Design” event. Special guest Wayne Inouye led an inspired conversation about sustainable architecture, focusing on his most recent project: designing a LEED Platinum home in Corona del Mar, furnished by Room & Board. “Room & Board has a long history of supporting community organizations.  We are very proud that they are our local community partner,” said ENC Executive Director Bo Glover.  “Room & Board is a good corporate citizen, committed to sustainability.  They literally practice what we preach.”…

Celebrate Sustainable Design

RoomandBoard

Join the Environmental Nature Center in partnership with Room & Board on Tuesday, November 13th for a lively evening with special guest Wayne Inouye as he leads an inspired conversation about sustainable architecture. Wayne will discuss his most recent project: designing a LEED Platinum home in Corona del Mar, furnished by Room & Board. Room & Board is committed to supporting American manufacturers and small, family-owned businesses. Its designs are made using wood, steel, cotton, granite—natural materials that stand the test of time. By seeking out U.S.-made products, this allows Room & Board to reduce its environmental impact, commit to responsibly sourced materials and reinvest in local communities. Guests will also learn about Room & Board’s local community partner the Environmental Nature Center and our dedication to ecological responsibility, sustainable practices and environmental education. “Room & Board has a…

Shop Local at the ENC Artisan Marketplace this Holiday Season!

The Environmental Nature Center (ENC) will present the Artisan Marketplace on Sunday, December 7 from 10AM to 3PM.  Guests will walk the trails and shop for handmade gifts from local artisans offering a variety of eco-friendly, sustainable, arts and crafts. The inaugural event will feature over 60 artisans, 6 food vendors and 2 musical acts. For more info visit encenter.org/artisan-marketplace. “Local businesses are the heart of our community. The money we spend shopping at local small businesses is circulated back into our local economy, building a strong, economic infrastructure,” said ENC Outreach Coordinator Sama Wareh.  “Supporting local businesses also lowers carbon emissions and provides more employment for the community.” A furoshiki station will provide visitors with the opportunity to learn green ways to wrap gifts, and a…

Discover a Different Type of Green House

RoomandBoard

Thursday, November 13, 6 to 8 P.M. Conversation begins at 6:30 P.M. at Room & Board, South Coast Plaza Village 1661 West Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana RSVP at http://www.roomandboard.com/encsouthcoast Please join us for a lively evening with special guest Wayne Inouye as he leads an inspired conversation about sustainable architecture. Wayne will discuss his most recent project: designing a LEED Platinum home in Corona del Mar, furnished by Room & Board. Guests will also learn about Room & Boards local community partner the Environmental Nature Center and our dedication to ecological responsibility, sustainable practices and environmental education. Bring a friend and enjoy light bites and wine from Tantara Wineries. Please let us know if you can make it. RSVP athttp://www.roomandboard.com/encsouthcoast

Why the ENC promotes the use of locally Native Plants

Penstemon centranthifolius

Invasive non-native organisms are one of the greatest threats to natural ecosystems. They can displace native plant and animal species and degrade our nation’s unique and diverse biological resources. You can do your part to help preserve our environment with the addition of locally native plants to your garden. If you live in Orange County there are over 800 species of plants native to Orange County to choose from. Native plants serve as habitat to native animals like birds and butterflies. They protect biodiversity. Native plants can also help your wallet.  Natives have adapted to the unique conditions of their environments, which means that they require far less water than non-native plants! Native plants can also reduce the costs of using pesticides, because they have…

Calling all Artisans!

Do you create something? Food? Handmade goods? Fine art? Music? Consider being a vendor at the ENC’s Artisan Marketplace on December 7, 2014! This holiday season the ENC is holding the Artisan Marketplace, where guests can walk the trails to shop for handmade gifts from local artisans offering a variety of eco-friendly, sustainable products. The ENC created this event to give the community a chance to support local artisans. “Local businesses are the heart of the community. The money we spend shopping at local ma and pa places gets recirculated back into our community, thus building a strong, economic infrastructure. It also lowers carbon emissions and provides more employment for the community. Local businesses are most invested in the future of the community, but big…

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