Andy Shrader wrote -
Green Education, Inc., in partnership with Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz, Green Vets LA, Homeboy Industries, LA Conservation Corps, Sustainable Works, California Greenworks, and Heal the Bay, propose the “LA Epic Reusable Bag Giveaway” pilot program, to create and distribute reusable shopping bags in lower-income Los Angeles neighborhoods as the City’s plastic bag ban goes into effect.
Using informational inserts in the bags, we will spread the word about cost-savings and environmentally-urgent energy efficiency and water conservation programs, so that bag recipients can also reduce their utility bills.
This program will positively impact communities in four different ways:
1) Immediately increasing stable income and employment for two of LA’s most at-risk populations: homeless, disabled and returning combat veterans, and formerly-gang involved and recently-incarcerated men and women;
2) Educating low-income and traditionally difficult-to-reach populations about ways to reduce their monthly utility and shopping bills by learning about new energy efficiency and water conservation measures introduced by the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP);
3) Improving environmental quality by reducing energy use, and reducing the use of single-use plastic shopping bags which often become blight and part of the litter stream in our neighborhoods and waterways;
4) Building a bridge of social connectedness between two previously disparate communities who share similar challenges around assimilation and acceptance into the mainstream society;
5) Bring back to Los Angeles a vibrant sewing handicraft industry.
The LA Epic Reusable Bag Giveaway pilot project will employ Green Vets LA veterans in making reusable shopping bags, and Homeboy Industries in silk-screening them, and will engage the community organizations, LA Conservation Corps, California Greenworks, Heal the Bay, Sustainable Works, Green Education, Inc, and Environment California in distributing the bags.
Once the pilot project is up and running, the Team will continue the “LA Epic Reusable Bag Giveaway” fundraising process by involving local businesses (such as grocery stores, local utilities, sports teams, film studios, et al) to sponsor the project in exchange for their logos being imprinted upon durable shopping bags that will be used weekly by Los Angeles consumers for the five- to ten-year expected life of these durable shopping bags. (Nobody knows quality and durability like combat veterans.)
Green Vets LA is a non-profit vocational rehabilitation program that works closely with the West Los Angeles V. A. Hospital to provide job training for returning, homeless and/or injured armed forces Veterans.
Homeboy Industries serves high-risk, formerly gang-involved men and women with a continuum of free services and programs, and operates several social enterprises that serve as job-training sites.
LA Conservation Corps' primary mission is to provide at-risk young adults and school-aged youth with opportunities for success through job skills training, education and work experience with an emphasis on conservation and service projects that benefit the community.
Green Education, Inc. is committed to providing opportunities to underserved communities by creating the programs, projects, systems and relationships required to educate and prepare individuals for green industry career paths and entrepreneurial opportunities.
California Greenworks is a nonprofit environmental educational organization which strives to improve the quality of life in communities across South Los Angeles. We are chartered to promote environmental protection in urban watersheds, community revitalization and economic development throughout Southern California urban communities.
Heal the Bay is a nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to making Southern California coastal waters and watersheds, including Santa Monica Bay, safe, healthy and clean. We use research, education, community action and advocacy to pursue our mission.
Sustainable Works is a nonprofit environmental education organization which works to ensure that the concepts of sustainability and the actions associated with living a sustainable lifestyle are integrated into the daily activities of individuals, institutions and businesses.