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
Valentine’s Day Eco-Facts
Valentine’s Day, it reminds most people of chocolate hearts and long stemmed red roses, but did you know chocolate and flowers are two of the biggest non-environmentally friendly industries out there. Chocolate or cocoa crops are the most environmentally unfriendly next to cotton crops due to the fragile nature of the plants. Cocoa plants require adequate moisture and temperatures, which is why these crops are usually grown in tropical rainforests. To meet the demand for chocolate more and more rainforests are deforested to make room for larger yields of these plants. Cocoa crops also have the highest pesticide, herbicide, and fertilizer use. With over 58 million tons of chocolate being produced every Valentine’s Day the accumulation of deforestation and pollution is more than staggering.
Another interesting fact, did you know that 4 billion flowers are purchased in the United States including those bought on Valentine’s Day and that about 78% of all purchased roses come from other countries like Columbia and Ecuador. The total pollution generated from growth, production, and transportation is estimated to be 9,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide which just happens to be a leader in greenhouse gases.
Love and friendship are in the air this month and what better way to show your appreciation for a special someone and the planet than to have an eco-friendly Valentine’s Day this year. We have listed plenty of thoughtful eco-friendly Valentines gift ideas that will truly warm those green at heart.
Eco-friendly Gift Ideas
Adopt a Wild Animal
Know someone who is an animal lover, then symbolically adopting a wild animal on behalf of your Valentine might be the key to their heart. There are many organizations around the globe that lead efforts in conservation, saving animals and their habitats. Symbolically adopting an animal provides these organizations the funds for their efforts, and as a special thanks for adopting, most organizations send an adoption certificate, species card, and possibly a plush animal and much more. Each organization is different and has many adoption package selections, here are a few to check out: The World Wildlife Fund, The National Wildlife Federation, The Sierra club, and the Defenders of Wildlife.
Plant a Tree
Planting a tree with someone or for someone is a great way to green up your Valentine’s Day this February. Planting a tree is a gift that will last for years to come while making the Earth a little greener. When choosing your tree keep the environment in mind and choose trees that are native to your area. This will help promote native vegetation and reduce the spread of invasive species into surrounding habitats. Some examples of native trees to California and the Soboba Tribal Reservation are: the California Sycamore (Platanus racemose), Oak (Quercus spp.), White Alder (Alnus rhombifolia), and Manzanita (Arctostaphylos spp.).
Make a Gift from Eco-friendly or Recycled Materials
Making a gift from organic materials for your Valentine can be a good gift that is good for them. Some ideas for homemade gifts are sugar scrubs, candles, and soaps, which can all be made with all natural ingredients. Another way to show your appreciation in green, is to craft your own cards. Using organic papers, non-toxic ink, and recycled and reusable items can add a touch of pizazz to your personalized card.
Eco-friendly Flowers and Living Plants
If giving flowers this Valentine’s Day consider gifting living plants or flowers grown sustainability. Living plants can improve indoor air quality significantly and will be a gift that gives all year long. If a beautiful bouquet of roses is what you’re aiming for, choosing eco-friendly growers is perfect for sustainability efforts as well as enhancing growing programs for farm workers and artisans. Try out these eco-friendly flowers: Eco-friendly flowers: http://www.ecoflowers.com/ & Organic flower bouquet: http://www.organicbouquet.com/
Pesticides, high fructose syrup, wax, and destroying the environment are not qualities you want coming from the chocolate you’re giving your Valentine this year. Do your loved ones a favor and consider giving out organic chocolate. Organic chocolate has so many benefits it’s a sure gift hit. Organic chocolate include cocoa beans grown without pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers that can be harmful to people and the environment. Growing practices are eco-friendly and worker friendly.
Eco-friendly Valentine’s Day Outing Ideas
Take a Walk
If you plan on doing something special with your loved ones this Valentine’s Day try a walk that with a green theme. Taking a walk with someone can be thoughtful and inspire great conversation. Walking on nature trails, in parks, or just around your neighborhood is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and spend a little time with someone special.
Go on a Picnic
Just like a walk, a picnic allows you and your Valentine to appreciate the environment together. Enjoy conversation, food and fun in the outdoors. Choose natural scenic locations for that added touch of green and top your picnic off with organic food choices and a great bottle of organic wine. Since it is February and it can be chilly, if you find your day showered by rain move your picnic to a botanical garden or inside next to a toasty fire place filled with suitability cut wood.
The Soboba Environmental Department wants to wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day and Eco-friendly February. Remember Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about buying, you can celebrate without destroying the environment or your wallet.
The Soboba Tribal Earth Day is just around the corner on April 20th 2017. The Soboba Tribal Environmental Department looks forward to seeing everyone there an look out for more details about Soboba Earth Day coming soon.
The Soboba Tribal Environmental Department would like to thank all Tribal members and colleagues for making 2016 a successful year. The department looks forward to the New Year and hopes together we can make it a green 2017!