We spent the last couple of weeks in sunny California, which was a welcome break after more than a year of working on Itty Bitty Greenie – and also a chance to meet up with my family, who flew in from Canada to join us on our holiday.
I’ve never explored this part of the world, and was delighted to find that not only does it offer wonderful attractions for the kiddies (Disneyland anyone?), it is also a very eco-conscious place. Of course, you first have to get past the fact that the population of motor vehicles is actually greater than the population of people…
I always seem to have my green radar on, so I tend to notice things like green-rated hotels, an abundance of hybrid vehicles and the recycling trucks that run on natural gas.
As we settled in to our lovely beach house with the organic fruit and yogurt bar down the street, and the massive Whole Foods market and amazing farmers markets where we did our shopping, I realized I was in eco heaven!
A few other eco things I found interesting about California:
- – California is first state in the U.S. to ban BPA as a harmful toxin in baby bottles – in legislation that was passed this month
- – there is an abundance of amazing eco products for children and I couldn’t resist taking home things from California Baby, Tomat for Kids, and more.
- – they offer incentives for recycling, and have an elaborate recycling program with strict laws on use of post-consumer materials in everything from trash bags to newspaper and sustainable building materials (In 2010, Californians recycled an average of 45,305,983 beverage containers each day. Each day? Wow.)
- – there are tax incentives for things like the use of hybrid vehicles and solar power installation in homes
- – almost everywhere, there are random things with eco value – like at Legoland, many of their park benches were made from recycled milk jugs – cool!
- – the state is known for its wineries, and in recent years there has been a push on sustainable wine growing. Many top-class wineries are using eco practises for production – which made my wine shopping a joy!
Overall, I fell in love with the fact that living sustainably and making green choices seemed to be second nature and extremely mainstream, while at home in Australia it often still feels like an alternative lifestyle choice. Awareness is growing here, but it was inspiring to see how easy it can be, to be green.