With Valentine’s Day coming up, we’d like to highlight the local environmental initiatives that we LOVE in our community. We’re very fortunate to have a great plenitude of diverse and effective environmental programs in our neighborhoods! Please feel free to share your favorite local environmental initiatives in the comments section below. We’ll send the first 5 commenters a handy journal book. Thanks!
|As an avid surfer, who spends a lot of time at the beach and in the ocean, I try to be very aware of the impact of my sport and waste that makes its way to the oceans. Traditional surfboards are made of some pretty nasty materials!! But I love the efforts of the locally based non-profit Sustainable Surf, who is working to bring awareness and change to the surfing industry through eco-board certification, program to recycle styrofoam into new surfboards, and their education programs on how to live a “deep-blue life,” as well as locally based eco-surfboard manufacturer E-Tech (who I can’t wait to buy my first eco-board from!). I also love local beach clean-ups run by Heal the Bay and our local Surfrider Foundation chapter. Beach clean ups are a great way to involve people of all ages throughout the community while teaching them about the importance of preventing litter from entering our storm drains and waterways and keeping our beaches and oceans clean and healthy!!
|My community in the Santa Monica mountains is working with Citizens for Los Angeles Wildlife (CLAW) to erect barn owl nesting boxes as an alternative to rodenticides. I love this program as it’s an important step in helping to reduce the vulnerability of wildlife and domestic animals in the area.
|These guys are doing some amazing work – very informative and very inspiring: www.hokunui.com
|There is a wonderful organization based in Manhattan Beach called Grades of Green that got its start at my daughter’s elementary school by four moms wanting a better world for their children. With a vision of making environmental protection “second nature” in young minds, this program to promote student environmental responsibility at one school was so successful that the founders decided to start a non-profit so that other schools would have free and easy access to the tools and information needed to green schools. From trash-free lunch challenges to “Walk to School Wednesdays” to reduce transportation emissions, Grades of Green is inspiring and empowering students and their broader school communities to protect the environment.
|I’m a big fan of the local bicycling co-ops in our community: Bicycle Kitchen, Bike Oven, Bikerowave. They empower bicyclists with essential bike repair skills, get more bikes onto LA streets, and make our planet less dependent on fossil fuels.
|I’ve spent the last three plus years working with communities in rural El Salvador to build climate change resilience and enable the sustainable management of natural resources. EcoViva is a small nonprofit based in Oakland CA that works directly with these communities to help provide technical capacity and build strategic alliances. Working with such visionary community leaders was an honor and incredible educational experience in organizing community efforts to build sustainable livelihoods and strong environmental policies.
|Working on the Reserve’s Organic Waste Composting Project Protocol has allowed me to fully understand and appreciate the enormous benefits that comes from composting not just to the climate, but also to soil and vegetation. Composting helps prevent food waste from releasing methane during decomposition in landfills and helps our drought-stricken community have healthy soil for our gardens. The City of LA hosts composting workshops to teach residents about backyard composting, worm composting, grasscycling, and smart gardening techniques. They also offer residents discounted compost bins for the price of $5 (worm bin) or $20 (backyard composter).
|Tree People has been a major promoter of rainwater harvesting – particularly during California’s drought. Southern California has yet to see much rain during this El Nino year, so every little bit counts! Their partnership with Rain Barrels International makes it really easy for locals to pick up a low-cost rain barrel to install at home.