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What Can I Do?

Monday, Aug. 1, 2011

California has a great history, and one that has shaped how we must care for our environment in the present and future. Here are some ways that you can care for the environment that are unique to California's needs.

Ever since input-intensive agriculture began in the mid-1800s, California, a naturally arid region, has faced water shortages. Unfortunately, in the driest parts of the state, the demand for water has not lessened. You can help lessen this impact by reducing your water usage. Consider taking a military shower (turning the water off while you shampoo your hair or shave), and always keep showers to a five-minute maximum. Also make sure to run your sprinklers early in the morning or at night to minimize the number of times you need to turn them on. See more tips to conserve water.

The state has a long history of intensive natural resource use, beginning with the Gold Rush of 1949. You can do your part by reusing many resource-intensive products. Many towns in California have banned supermarkets from giving out disposable grocery bags, encouraging you to bring your own reusable bag instead. Many cities and towns have already enacted this ban, and others, including Los Angeles County, are considering implementing a 10-cent surcharge for customers who do not bring their own bags.

Recycling is important to California. Did you know about the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has had a Beverage Container Recycling program for over twenty years? Each time you buy a beverage is a single-use bottle (glass, plastic, or aluminum), you pay a California Recovery Value (CRV) of five or ten cents, which you can redeem at your local recycling center.

One of the most notable aspects of California's history is its diversity. In terms of ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, and even landscape, our state represents a wide variety of backgrounds. You can do your part to respect this diversity and promote a sustainable future for all by supporting organizations that pay workers a living wage, purchasing from local suppliers, and ensuring the products or services you invest in are socially responsible.

Tags: Take Action



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