Maebeth Lopez, Advance Planning Land Use/Environmental Planner – Sustainability, County of San Diego Planning & Development Services
Make 2020 a remarkable year by challenging yourself to try simple sustainable lifestyle changes each month. Sustainable living is not only good for the environment, but also results in good health and savings.
Consider these month-by-month tips as you look forward to a new year:
Lower your heating and cooling bill by having proper insulation, a time-tested step to help save energy year-round. Check out San Diego Gas & Electric’s No-Cost Home Energy Upgrades through their Energy Savings Assistance Program.
Use green cleaning products (i.e., floor cleaners, all-purpose cleaners, laundry soap, and dish soap) to minimize toxin exposure, save money and be healthy. Find Safer Choice-Certified products.
Capturing 1 inch of rain on a 1,000 square foot roof is equivalent to 600 gallons of water! Find out where you can purchase your rain barrel and if you qualify for a rebate.
San Diego County parks offer more than 350 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horse riding, and finding a great picnic spot. Find a park or choose an adventure on Get Outside San Diego’s website.
Ensure that you have a minimum of 100 feet of defensible space and have no touching or overhanging tree branches on your roof. Remove any dead or dying trees or plants or leaves that could spread fire. The Fire Safe Council of San Diego offer no-cost chipping and defensible space services to help homeowners reduce wildfire risk.
Save up to $80 a year on energy costs by choosing ENERGY STAR appliances. Run your dishwasher and do your laundry during off-peak hours. SDG&E offers up to $350 in rebates on efficient appliances.
You can conserve water and while also protecting the quality of our local streams, lakes and ocean. Using a few inches of mulch prevents weed growth and other pests but can also save 40 gallons of water per day, by preventing soil evaporation. See more ways to reduce outdoor water use on Department of Public Works Watershed website.
-Bringing reusable bags when shopping
-Stop buying bottled water and using a refillable water bottle
- Saying “No” to plastic straws.
Waste Free SD offers more tips and resources on how to reduce plastic use and adopt a zero-waste lifestyle.
40% of food in the US goes uneaten while 40 million Americans do not have consistent access to adequate and nutritious food. SaveTheFood.com has a “Guest-imater” to help calculate how much food to prepare based on how many people you’re serving and how much they typically eat.
Give gifts that support a healthy lifestyle, like cooking classes, or a membershio to a fitness group. For children, give responsibly sourced gifts that inspire creativity and imaginative play. Create memories, not waste, with these zero-waste gift ideas that can be applied anytime.