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

 

 

The Soboba Tribal Environmental Department would like to thank all the Tribal Members and colleagues for making 2018 a success. The department looks forward to an environmentally sustainable GREEN 2019! We invite all Tribal Members and colleagues to join us this year for all of our great events like the Soboba Tribal Earth Day in April and our Community Clean-up this summer. Check out our website throughout the year for updated event photos, departmental news, eco-friendly tips and articles.

Protecting the Environment in the Winter

Many people only think about protecting the environment during the spring when the trees are green, animals come out to bask in the sun and Earth Day rolls around to remind us. Since the Earth doesn’t take winter breaks we must remember that the planet needs our help keeping the environment healthy. The winter months can bring a slew of weather like snow, rain, and extreme drops in temperature. So we do what we can to stay warm and keep the snow, ice and other winter elements at bay. Often times heating and winter maintenance comes with an environmental cost that can be harmful to the planet and human health.  The following are common environmental issues associated with the winter months and the tips you can use to reduce your impact on the environment.

Emissions

Many people in the U.S. keep their homes heated by using fireplaces and wood burning stoves. What most don’t know is that these types of heat producers emit large amounts of soot and carbon pollution that creates poor air quality indoors and outdoors. Older types of fireplaces and wood burning stoves are especially hazardous because they were not designed optimally to avoid creating larger amounts of smoke, which is a toxic carbon emission. Studies show that the smoke from these heat sources contains a high level of harmful particles when once breathed in, can cause an increased risk of asthma, acute bronchitis, increase risk of respiratory infections and under long term exposure can lead to declined lung function and even premature death.

Ways to help your health and the health of the environment is start by minimizing how many wood burning fires you make this winter. If you can, switch completely to a gas or electric fireplace or gas heating system for your home. If you feel like you just can’t live without the heat from a burning fire and really don’t want to switch to gas or electric, then think about upgrading to an EPA certified wood burning device. EPA certified wood burning stoves are much more efficient and release 60% to 80% less smoke. There are other more efficient types of wood burning stoves that use pellets or the best type of clean burning stoves that use biomass or biofuels.

Eco-Paving

If you live in an area where rain and snow come with the winter months and you’re thinking about re-paving or paving driveways or sidewalks you might want to go with an eco-paving design. One of the biggest environmental setbacks created from having paved surfaces is that when it rains, snows, or any precipitation is generated water cannot be absorbed into the ground because the pavement or asphalt is blocking the ground. Water run off is typically diverted into a particular area like a storm drain and is not able to absorb into the ground to recharge groundwater. Groundwater is one of our most valuable drinking water resources and when it is pumped out of its ground storage called an aquifer, it must be replenished if we are to keep using it.

Eco-paving includes something called permeable paving which is designed to absorb rain or water from snowmelt. Some alternative materials that include pervious asphalt, pervious concrete, interlocking pavers, and plastic grid pavers, allow rain and snowmelt to seep through the surface down to underlying layers of soil and gravel. In addition to reducing the runoff from the rain that falls on them, permeable pavements can help filter out pollutants that contribute to water pollution. Permeable pavements can also reduce the need for road salt and reduce construction costs for residential and commercial development by reducing the need for some conventional drainage features.

Snow Smarts

One of the best things about winter can be enjoying the snow, whether it’s on the slopes or at your home it’s always a blast jumping into a  bank of fresh powder. Snow and ice can also be a huge inconvenience and a big environmental contamination problem. As snow accumulates through the winter, it can become contaminated with salt, litter, dirt, and other pollutants from roads and runoff. When the snow melts that water will eventually be washed away into storm drains, waterways, and even the ocean. The litter can clog storm drains while the contaminated water that passes through will pollute any waterway or body of water it collects in. Most contamination comes from the chemical methods used to help melt snow and ice on highways, roads, and driveways. Chemical deicers can be toxic to plants, animals, and people, so it is important that we reduce the use of these methods to help preserve water quality and reduce water pollution. One alternative to chemical deicers is a product called Magic Salt. It is a specially treated rock salt that is 70% less corrosive than regular rock salt and earned the EPA design designation that is given to products that are considered environmentally safe. Another choice that is a great green option is Ice-Clear. This liquid can be directly sprayed onto your pavement, and is made of corn extracts or sugars, which react with the pavement to prevent ice and snow form sticking. This product is best used when applied before ice and snow occurs. For a complete list of deicers that are environmentally safe, please visit the U.S. EPA website to search for products.

Drafty Leaks…Burrrr Chilly

The cold winter’s air is dying to make its way indoors and you would be surprised to know just how much cold air is coming into your home from drafts and leaks. According to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, reducing drafts from leaky windows and doors has the potential energy savings from 5%- 30% a year. You can better conserve heat and energy by weather stripping and caulking leaks. Even window treatments and curtains can improve your energy efficiency by trapping heat in.

Coming Soon! The Soboba Tribal Earth Day is just around the corner and promises to be tons of fun. The Soboba Tribal Earth Day Event date has yet to be determined, please check back with us for dates and times, thank you.