The Guilanians’ five-year-old son does his part to make Playa Vista more sustainable
By Robyn Paris
When Serenade condominium complex board member Mike Valerio had the idea last year to invite a Playa Vista child to help recycle residents’ used bulbs and batteries, Tim and Lindsey Guilanians had a hunch their energetic five-year-old son Tanner would love the job.
They were right. Every month for the past year, Tanner (who starts Kindergarten in the fall) enthusiastically dons a construction hat presented to him at last year’s Serenade social and, accompanied by his father, visits each floor of all three buildings in the complex to collect bulbs and batteries in a big red bucket.
Tanner and his dad take their haul to the Hyperion Treatment Plant in Playa del Rey, which Tanner hilariously characterizes as “stinky,” for recycling. (The facility also accepts TVs, printers, VCRs, and other electronics.)
Cliva Mee, head of the Serenade Social Committee and creator of the special hard hat Tanner wears, explains that Mike’s idea was all about “giving a kid a chance to make a difference at a really young age.” She adds, “Lindsay and Tim are remarkable parents — they look for ways for their children to contribute, which lays a nice foundation for volunteering later.”
Environmental consciousness seems to run in the Guilanians family. Lindsay notes that her father, former Solana Beach Mayor Joe Kellejian, spearheaded the ban on smoking there, making it the first city in the United States to ban smoking on the beach. Due to his tireless efforts, more California beaches soon followed.
“It’s fun to watch Tanner get excited about the same things my dad gets excited about,” she says.
Tim’s father Andre built a dry-cleaning empire and was always very conscientious about responsibly disposing of the chemicals used. Tanner, his three-year-old sister Lila, Tim and Lindsey regularly participate in local beach clean-ups as well.
“The goal of the whole exercise is teaching responsibility to Tanner. … I think it’s had a positive impact. He’s tried to apply it in other ways.”
Tanner volunteers some proof: “I picked up all the garbage at my school,” he says. “It was my idea.”
The Tanners have lived in Playa Vista since September 2014. Their cozy, two-bedroom home features several distinguishing elements, including a framed display of drink coasters hanging on the wall. Tim collects coasters that tell the story of outings to meaningful local establishments (like a bar in Solana Beach, a Tommy Bahamas in Irvine and a Los Angeles brewery) and far-flung destinations such as a favorite pub in Munich, Tim’s favorite city. A bowl of exactly nine lemons in the kitchen predicts good luck and good fortune, according to an old wives’ tale.
Lindsey’s mother and sister, Solana Beach interior designers Mary Kellejian and Kelli Barrett, designed the Tanners a residence that, while not 100% feng shui, is designed to be inviting and comfortable.
Tim and Lindsey anticipate that Tanner will continue to collect bulbs and batteries for as long as they live in Playa Vista.
Lindsey describes it as an excellent father-son bonding activity.
Tanner says “It’s good not to waste.”