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Sustainability Pledges

Pledge to Make Your Lifestyle More Sustainable

You know the saying, "Every little bit counts"? When it comes to sustainability, this is very true. The collective efforts of individuals can make a huge impact for conserving resources and protecting the environment so our children and grandchildren can prosper.

You may have taken a pledge to make the world more sustainable at one of the Port's community events. Here's a little more information about each pledge and what kind of positive impact you can make.

Even if you didn't take a spin to make a pledge on our Wheel of Sustainability, we invite you to chose at least one of these pledges and do your best. So will we!

I Pledge to...

...teach a younger person to protect the environment

...to turn off the lights when I leave a room

...pick up all litter that crosses my path

...turn off the faucet while I brush my teeth

...plant a tree within one year

...replace a light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb

...learn my city’s recycling rules and apply them

...have a meat-free day at least twice a month

...put my groceries into a reusable bag at the supermarket

...walk, bike, carpool, or bus to my destination at least once a month

...give a used book or magazine to someone who hasn’t read it

...turn off my computer off at night or when it’s not in use

...give a potted plant instead of cut flowers for Valentine’s Day

...wear warmer clothes in my house during the winter

...have my drinks in reusable cups as often as possible

...grow something that I can eat this year

 I pledge to teach a younger person to protect the environment
There's an old saying: "If you give someone a fish, he can eat for a day. If you teach someone to fish, he can eat for a lifetime." The same is true when it comes to protecting the planet — we need to ensure that future generations are given the tools to sustain themselves. Share the good information you get at work or school with a younger person. Invite experts to speak at your church or community groups. And don't forget to teach by example.

  I pledge to turn off the lights when I leave a room
It's a widely-held belief that some lights use more energy to "power up" than to run for long periods of time. This is rarely true; the U.S. Department of Energy has guidelines for calculating energy savings by turning off lights: http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/lighting_daylighting/index.cfm/mytopic=122 80.

A general guideline would be to always turn off incandescent lights when not in use, and turn off fluorescent lights when you won't be using them for 15 minutes or longer.

 I pledge to pick up all litter that crosses my path
There are all kinds of things wrong with litter: Animals can eat it and get sick, it gets into storm drains and ends up on our beach or in the ocean, it can present a fire hazard, it attracts criminals who think no one is tending a littered house or business, it lowers property values, and it expends your city's energy and resources. If a loose piece of paper or cup is in your path, pick it up and properly dispose of it. If you're interested in going above and beyond the call of duty, join one of the Litter Free Long Beach Neighborhood Cleanup events: http://www.litterfreelb.org/community_involvement/index.htm
 I pledge to turn off the faucet while I brush my teeth
Almost everyone knows that it's a good idea to save water because of droughts, but did you know that getting water from its sources to our faucets accounts for almost 20 percent of all the electricity and 30 percent of all the natural gas used in the California? You use additional energy when heating or cooling water, too. Saving water saves energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions! Here are some more ideas for saving water: http://www.watersavingtips.org.

 I pledge to plant a tree within one year
Trees do amazing things for us: they provide food and homes for wildlife, they shade buildings and cars to keep them cooler, they make neighborhoods more beautiful, they reduce noise pollution, and they absorb greenhouse gas from the air. Ask your local nursery what kinds of trees thrive in your climate. Instructions for planting can be found at: http://www.tree-planting.com/. Most cities have guidelines for tree planting along streets. For Long Beach guidelines go to http://www.longbeach.gov/pw/street_maintenance/street_trees.asp
 I pledge to replace a light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb
ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs use 75 percent less energy than standard bulbs and should last as much as 10 times longer. They also generate less heat and can cut down your cooling costs in the summer. But not every light fixture is right for a CFL bulb. Check the ENERGY STAR webpage, http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=cfls.pr_cfls, for more information. The bulbs, if unbroken, can be recycled at Home Depot.

 I pledge to learn my city's recycling rules and apply them
Every city has different guidelines for what can be recycled — and how — because the equipment, sorting procedures, and ultimate destinations are different. It's important to know what can go in the bin because the wrong items require extra processing -- manpower and energy. Find your city's recycling rules on its website. Here's the recycling webpage for the City of Long Beach: http://www.longbeach-recycles.org/home/recycling/residential.htm.

 I pledge to have a meat-free day at least twice a month
Feeding, housing, processing, transporting, and selling meat uses way more energy — and water — than simpler foods like fruits, grains, and vegetables. Plus it's healthier to cut down on meat consumption. When you do eat meat, try to find grass-fed beef, organic poultry, or pork that isn't treated with chemicals; or products grown using more humane methods.
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