Be GREEN in 2015!

It’s everyone’s responsibility to keep Ventura clean, beautiful and sustainable.  Here are FIVE simple GREEN tips to be sure to follow in the New Year.

1) Bring Your Reusable BagReusable Bag

Beginning July 1, 2015, large grocery stores and pharmacies in California will no longer be able to distribute single-use plastic carryout bags due to Senate Bill 270, which was signed into law by Governor Brown in September 2014. So, if you don’t bring your own bags, be advised that stores must charge 10-cents for each paper or reusable bag used. The money from the sale of paper bags will be used by the stores to offset costs associated with compliance and customer education.

Ventura City residents can obtain a complimentary reusable bag by contacting the City’s Environmental Sustainability Division at (805) 652-4525.

2) CAPTURE RAIN WITH A RAIN BARREL rainbarrel

A rain barrel discount program for City of Ventura residents is available through Environmental Sustainability and Ventura Water, while supplies last. The City, working in cooperation with Smith Pipe and Supply (3060 Sherwin Avenue), have put together a program offering the Channel/Bushman 60-gallon rain barrel (retail value of $85) for $42 plus tax with a Rain Barrel Discount Voucher.

3) CARRY YOUR OWN UTENSILS TO WORKHome-candy-font-b-color-b-font-multifunctional-portable-knife-fork-font-b-s

Bringing your own lunch to work?  Say no to plastic sandwich bags, paper plates, plastic forks, spoons and knives, and paper napkins. How? Bring your own reusable plates, drinking bottles and utensils. Keep a set in your desk at the office. If you decide to dine out for lunch, and you’re a frequent “doggie bagger,” be sure to carry reusable containers and reusable bags to transport any leftovers home.

4)  CUT DOWN ON WATER USAGE AND GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS BY EATING LESS MEATeat-less-meat

According to the EPA, approximately 634 gallons of water are used to produce just one hamburger! Additionally, a 2011 Environmental Working Group (EWG) report states, “if each American cuts meat and cheese from their diet for one day a week, it would be equivalent to taking 7.6 million cars off the road.”

When you do eat meat, always remember to eat organic (stamped USDA Organic) and “no-hormone ever,” to be assured your meat is of the highest, healthiest quality.  Also, buy from grass-fed, free-range farms that ascribe to a higher standard of living and treatment of their animals.

5) GET INVOLVED WITH ENVIRO-THERAPY Bike-trail-beach300

The holidays are a time when we gather with family and friends and enjoy many delicious meals, desserts and other holiday treats.  So it’s no wonder that starting in early January, many people have a desire to lose weight and resolve to eat healthier and exercise regularly.  A great way to achieve better health, reduce excess weight and stress, and to achieve a more balanced body-mind-spirit harmony is with Enviro-therapy.  What is Enviro-therapy?  It’s getting out into nature, thinking green and doing good for yourself and the community.

Bike and walk more, drive less.  This not only helps you, it helps for a sustainable environment because there’s less traffic, less pollution and less greenhouse gas emissions. Choose to watch a beautiful beach sunset vs. staring at your tablet or electronic device.  Visit a local farm and/or talk to your local organic farmers at a nearby Certified Farmer’s Market.  All these practices expose you to fresh air, your community and contribute to a more sustainable community.

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