Mission Statement

The Soboba Tribal Environmental Department is committed to protecting, restoring, and enhancing natural resources on the Soboba Reservation for all tribal members past, present, and future.

What We Do

The Environmental Department works to raise awareness of all aspects of the environment. This includes solid waste issues, pollution prevention, water and air quality, conservation measures, household hazardous waste disposal, and many other areas. In addition to community outreach and education efforts such as participating in community events, the department also hosts an annual Tribal Earth Day event and community clean up days. We also conduct surface water quality testing on streams running through the reservation, collect and manage geographical data, and create programs to address environmental concerns.

An easy way to begin learning about the environment around you is to visit the United States Environmental Protection Agency website and use MyEnvironment


2018 is finally here, and the Soboba Tribal Environmental Department would like to thank everyone for their participation and support that made 2017 such a successful year. The department looks forward to the upcoming year with annual events such as the Soboba Tribal Annual Earth Day and Community Clean Up.

The Soboba Tribal Environmental Department has made great strides this last year reducing waste and consumption by holding zero waste events and conducting routine recycling and solid waste assessments for tribal administrative operations. This year the department would like to continue their efforts in promoting sustainability and increasing zero waste, so join us at home or in your office and 

Let’s be accountable and start being sustainable in 2018!


So what exactly is sustainability? The environmental definition of sustainability: the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting of natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance. This definition is based on the principle that everything we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. To achieve sustainability we need to create and maintain conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony to support present and future generations.

The practice and philosophy of sustainability was such a pivotal concept to maintaining long term environmental and human health that the National Environmental Policy Act or NEPA was signed into law in 1970. This law requires federal agencies to assess the environmental effects of their proposed actions prior to making decisions. By assessing the impacts of societies’, actions such as development for new structures, fossil fuel usage, and water consumption, allows for us to see what potential damage could occur to ecosystems and natural resources. By looking at the effects of actions on the environment, steps can be taken to ensure that irreparable harmful consequences can be avoided. This supports the creation and maintenance of conditions under which people can exist and still be productive socially and economically while maintaining environmental health and prosperity of our planet for many generations. According to the National Research Council the main driving force for sustainability practices are us, the citizens of Earth. People across the world, from celebrities to your everyday extraordinary Joe, business owners, and various branches of government, have been pushing for greener practices. Sustainably based choices are not only ethically and logically responsible, but they cut costs, save people money, and produce innovative products that lead to new industries.

Sustainability and NEPA have become so important to the EPA, that it has committed to sustainable strategic approaches to the 2014 – 2018 EPA Strategic Plan that is used routinely as a management tool to guide the Agency’s path forward. The Soboba Tribal Environmental Department is also committed to adopting more sustainable practices such as reducing waste, recycling, and promoting zero waste events. Here are the three sustainability principles in the EPA’s plan that can be adopted by anyone to guide their way to a greener new year.

  1. Conserve, protect, restore, and improve the supply and quality of natural resources and environmental media (energy, water, materials, ecosystems, land, and air) over long term.
  2. Align and integrate programs, practices, tools, incentives, and indicators to achieve as many positive outcomes as possible in environmental, economic, and social systems.
  3. Consider the full life cycles of multiple natural resources, processes and pollutants in order to prevent pollution, reduce waste, and create a sustainable future.

Becoming more environmentally conscious is one of the first steps to creating a sustainable future. Looking at our actions and their impacts on the environmental around us is the next step, whereas executing measures that promote the balance of living and keeping the environment healthy is the goal for the future. There are many ways to start a green journey so here are some tips to get you on your way!

Conserve energy- reduce dependency on fossil fuels. GAS WON’T LAST. Yes, its true fossil fuels that make up the major players in energy production are limited. The earth only has so much before its gone forever, so start switching to energy saving or alternative fuel appliances. You can also

  • turn off lights and unplug appliances when not using them
  • use natural lighting when possible
  • Limit your technology upgrades (fossil fuels are used for production, use, and disposal of these products).


Conserve Water- water is another finite resource and should be conserved for the health of the environment and society.

  • Install low flow shower heads
  • Limit showers to 3-5 min daily
  • Use rain water to water plants

Reduce Food Waste- according to the EPA 21% of all waste in landfills is food waste, could you imagine if there was no food waste it would cut garbage down by 52,500,000 (fifty two million five hundred thousand) tons of waste.

  • Eat the products you have before rushing out to buy new stuff
  • Make a list of items you need before going to the store, this reduces the chances of buying duplicate or unwanted items
  • Plan meals ahead of time to ensure your using perishable items accordingly

Reuse- hundreds of millions of tons of solid waste are thrown out every year. This contributes to the fossil fuels used for the production of items, disposal, and use of natural resources like wood or paper, and addition to pollution from byproducts created during the production process.

  • Bring your own shopping bags, recycle plastic ones
  • Use travel mugs and reusable cups instead of disposable one-time use ware.
  • If you have items that haven’t reach their full lifespan like old clothes or furniture, consider donating them to avoid an end at the dump. Vice versa if there are items you need, you might consider browsing your local consignment or thrift store.