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11 Things You Can Do To Reduce Your Impact on the Planet

As the third planet from the sun, Earth is in a great position to excel. We’ve got great life forms, gorgeous oceans, majestic mountains, and beautiful forests. We have invented and created so many more amazing things—from cars to planes to skyscrapers. However, with all these wonders, we humans are entrusted with great responsibility to care for our home planet as well. Exploring the wild side of Catalina may inspire you to be more aware of your personal impact on the environment. Here are 11 things you can do to reduce your impact on the planet:

1.) Plant a tree. Planting a tree can enhance the environment by purifying the air; Trees absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. And strategically placed trees—with abundant shade—can also cut down on household needs for air conditioning. Trees can also boost biodiversity and prevent storm water runoff from polluting oceans. Taking time to plant and care for a tree has the potential to help the Earth in so many ways.

2.) Take a walk. Or a bike ride. Or use public transportation. Or ride share with a group in a taxi. A decision to take an alternate way to work—other than driving yourself in your car alone—can help make a positive impact on the Earth. So many people in the workforce are used to driving gas powered vehicles to their jobs, but finding an alternative mode of transportation—even in a carpool—can help reduce pollution on the planet.

3.) Turn out the lights. Remember as a kid, when a parent would walk through the house shutting off lights or monitoring the thermostat? That’s a great habit to adopt into your own adulthood. Better yet, you can switch any older light bulbs in your home to LED. Keeping energy use low can help the environment, and it can help you save on your electric bill too.

4.) Hang it out to dry. Gas-powered clothes dryers can be a big energy drain. If you’re lucky enough to enjoy lots of Southern California sunshine, why not hang a clothesline outside? Line drying can even be done inside, no matter where you live. Air drying can take more time, but it can be worth it.

5.) Buy local. Farmers’ Markets are one way to shop local, but consider supporting smaller businesses and local mom-and-pop shops in your daily errands as well. These kinds of companies tend to require less transportation for moving their goods than other big box stores. This can effectively reduce your carbon footprint.

6.) Get thrifty. Online thrift shopping, such as of ThredUp and, are ways to support sustainable living. Giving clothing a second life as a donor and a thrifter is another way to reduce your impact on the planet. Fast fashion, with its practice of textile dyeing, can add to water pollution problems. Shopping second hand is one way to cut back on consumerism that harms the planet.

7.) Contain yourself. Are you a wrapper? Do you use foil and plastic wrap and plastic storage bags to save snacks and leftovers? Stop! These wraps cause so much extra waste and are hardly ever recycled properly. Mason jars and reusable glass containers are the way to go when storing food that you want to save.

8.) Bottle it up. There are so many great options for reusable water bottles. Buying cases of 40 single-use bottles just isn’t the right thing to do for the environment. Instead, invest in a refillable water bottle. This will not only cut plastic environmental waste, it will help you hydrate and reach your health goals too. When you are on the island, stop by Catalina Divers Supply to see their collection of reusable water bottles.

9.) Try Meatless Mondays. There’s a lot that goes into raising meat for human consumption. Cattle, chickens, sheep, and all animals farmed for meat also have a water footprint, which represents the amount of fresh water utilized in these animals’ lifespan. You don’t have to go full vegetarian, but consider trying it for one meal a week.

10.) Bag it up. Remember that plastic shopping bags are still detrimental to the environment. They can break down into toxic tiny particles that can contaminate soil and waterways. Don’t let that happen! So many grocery and retail stores sell great alternatives to reuse for all of your shopping trips. Be prepared, and carry a bag (or 3 or 4) with you for shopping trips.

11.) Get involved. Plenty of organizations have a mission to help the Earth, but local ones like the Catalina Island Conservancy can help individuals make a big impact in a small community. Its mission is to be a responsible steward of Catalina’s lands through conservation, education, and recreation. Get involved by joining a Conservancy activity like hiking or an eco-tour, or you can even volunteer here.

These are just 11 tips, but there are so many more ways you can implement to help reduce your impact on the planet. Start with your home and your local community because every small act to help can make a big difference.

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