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

 

Make sure to check out changing leaf colors all over the reservation

 

Composting

As the scorching heat begins to fade and the leaves begin to fall, we look forward to the autumn season. One of the biggest chores this season will be cleaning up and raking all the fallen leaves. To make autumn a bit more green we can take one of the season’s biggest chores and turn it into a great sustainable project that will make good use of those leaves by composting. Compost is decomposed organic matter that is rich in nutrients and can be added to the soil as a fertilizer or conditioner that will help plants grow.  Compost can be made of most organic matter around your home including yard waste and food scraps. Did you know that the EPA estimates that yard and food waste make up 30% of U.S landfill waste, that’s a whopping 79 million tons of waste! Turning your yard and food waste into compost is a great way to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills and benefits the environment by returning nutrients to the soil. There are so many more benefits to composting besides landfill waste reduction, benefits include:

  1. Compost will enrich the soil and help it retain moisture and fight plant diseases and pests
  2. Reduces the need for chemical based fertilizers that can pollute surface and ground water
  3. Promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria and fungi that break down organic matter
  4. Reduces methane emissions from landfills and reduces your carbon foot print by diverting organic wastes from landfills

Compost is made from three basic ingredients: browns, greens, water.

Browns: are dead leaves, branches and twigs

Greens: are grass clippings, vegetable waste, and fruit scraps

Water: provides moisture to help break down the brown and green organic matter

How to Compost at Home

There are many different ways to make a compost pile; we have provided the following for general reference. Helpful tools include pitchforks, square-point shovels or machetes, and water hoses with a spray head. Regular mixing or turning of the compost and some water will help maintain the compost.

Backyard Composting

  • Select a dry, shady spot near a water source for your compost pile or bin.
  • Add brown and green materials as they are collected, making sure larger pieces are chopped or shredded.
  • Moisten dry materials as they are added.
  • Once your compost pile is established, mix grass clippings and green waste into the pile and bury fruit and vegetable waste under 10 inches of compost material.
  • Optional: Cover top of compost with a tarp to keep it moist. When the material at the bottom is dark and rich in color, your compost is ready to use. This usually takes anywhere between two months to two years.

The EPA provides more great information about composting including how to compost indoors and outdoors. Visit www.epa.gov to find out more