January & February 2023

Whether you’ve set a New Year’s resolution for yourself or are simply determined to be more sustainable moving forward, here are some small (and large) steps you can take to lead a more environmentally conscious lifestyle. While you may want to embrace sweeping changes wholly and completely, it is important to keep in mind that incremental changes over time can add up to make a big difference. No one needs to be perfect right away, and “doing sustainability” imperfectly is more effective than overwhelming yourself and reverting back to old habits. Here are some of our suggestions:

Conduct a waste audit.

  • Evaluate where your largest areas of personal waste come from. Save the trash you generate in a week, or keep daily notes so you can analyze your results. Generating mostly food waste? Maybe you should consider composting (are you utilizing the City’s residential composting program yet?), or reorganize your fridge so leftovers aren’t forgotten. Single use plastics piling up? Invest in reusable alternatives. Once you’ve identified your largest areas of waste you can set out to tackle it effectively.

Practice conscious consumerism.

  • While voting season may only officially come during certain Novembers, you can vote with your dollar year-round by practicing conscious consumerism to support people and policies that match your ethics. It might be worth the effort to reflect on the brands and businesses that you purchase from and evaluate whether those companies support politicians in the form of donations, or are known to generate large amounts of pollution, or treat their workers fairly. Consider the footprint of where you spend your money as an extension of yourself.

Focus on the small wins.

  • Large lifestyle changes can feel daunting. If this is the case for you, start small and build from there as you can. If adopting a vegan diet seems like an unattainable goal, try Meatless Mondays, or reducing beef consumption during the week. Switch to biodegradable hygiene or cleaning products (hello, Refill Shoppe), or vow to bring your favorite thermos with you when you get your morning coffee. You don’t need to overwhelm yourself with changes – sustainability must be maintainable for it to truly be practiced.

Embrace community.

  • Participating in activities bigger than yourself can combat isolation that can breed self-serving and potentially environmentally harmful behaviors. Establishing and embracing community looks different for everyone. Start small with conversations at the farmer’s market, introduce yourself to your neighbors, try a new yoga class, visit a local park, etc. The City of Ventura is fortunate to have access to community gardens, local beach cleanups, many parks (including an ADA accessible play area at Arroyo Verde Park), and Certified Green Businesses that cater to a variety of needs and can foster connections between like-minded folks. 

Be kind to yourself in this new season of life, and be kind to each other as we all work on establishing new habits and unlearning old ways that no longer serve us or our planet. Happy New Year, Ventura!

Find local Certified Green Businesses

Featured Video:

2021 Sustainability Speaker Series - Becoming a Conscious Consumer

Video thumbnail shows a smiling woman wearing a white collared shirt.
Check out the Sustainable Ventura Youtube channel
Environmental Program Updates

Volunteer Heros

Spruce Up Cornucopia Gardens Volunteer Event

HUGE thank you to the folks (some pictured above) who came out to Cornucopia Community Gardens this past December to help restore and beautify the educational garden spaces as part of Environmental Sustainability & Parks and Recreation's Spruce Up Cornucopia Gardens Event! Volunteers mulched, cleared debris, and wiped down equipment while we enjoyed coffee (thank you, Kaapicat Café!), each other’s company, and snacks. The work accomplished by these groups and individuals will be instrumental in hosting Gardening Series classes and community enrichment to come at Cornucopia Community Gardens. Keep an eye on the Sustainable Ventura social media pages for future volunteer events, or visit our website for more ongoing volunteer opportunities.

Green Schools

Jumping into the New Year 

In 2022, the Green Schools Program educated science classes at Ventura High School and provided on-site support at almost all VUSD elementary campuses to boost the Lunchtime Recycling Program, where students sort their lunch waste into trash, recycling, and compost. This diverts food waste from the landfill to reduce methane emissions and create healthy soil amendment products. 

Looking ahead, 2023 will bring even more educational support for Ventura schools and continued waste diversion.

For more information about the Green Schools Program, contact Stephanie Terry:

[email protected]

Shop Green

One of the most effective ways to increase your sustainable footprint is to support local Certified Green Businesses. These are businesses that have voluntarily implemented environmentally responsible practices specific to their business type using industry standards in areas like water conservation, waste reduction, energy conservation, and pollution prevention.

With nearly 100 Certified Green Businesses in Ventura, there are many local options available when purchasing gifts for friends and family. Look for the Green Business seal of approval in the window or go online to see the full list of Certified Ventura Green Businesses! 

For more information, visit GreenBusinessCA.org

Or contact Lars Davenport: [email protected]

Recycling Tip

Do you know which paper products are recyclable? Paper items accepted in the curbside recycling program include: newspaper, colored paper, white computer paper, cardboard, magazines, catalogs, wrapping paper, junk mail, and envelopes (with or without clear windows).

Paper products to keep out of the recycle bin include: paper towels, napkins, tissues, receipts, wax paper, and paper coated with plastic or wax. 

Please do not throw loose shredded paper directly in the recycle bin. Shredded paper can be bagged or contained in a cardboard box or a cereal box and then placed in the recycle bin.

Upcoming Events

Community Cleanup & Recycling Event


Household Hazardous Waste Event

1/21 & 2/18

Surfrider Beach Clean-ups

1/28 & 2/25

Ventura Compost Co-op: 2022 recap

The end of 2022 brought the introduction of a newsletter exclusive to Ventura Compost Co-op members: The Worm's Digest. The first edition went out in December, with more installments to come in 2023.

Our Ventura Compost Co-op has diverted over 1,055 lbs of organic waste from going to landfills from March to November of 2022, and although not completely accounted for yet, we anticipate another 300 - 400 lbs was diverted by the end of the year. This would not have been possible without the amazing work of our Co-op members and the continued support of our local Queen of Compost, Camila Guzman.

Thanks for composting, and rot on! 🤘

Join the Compost Co-op
Here's What We've Been Reading...

This forgotten technology could solve the world's palm oil problem

NASA Sensors to Help Detect Methane Emitted by Landfills

Exclusive Offers for City of Ventura Residents
View employment opportunities with the City of Ventura here.
Facebook  Instagram  Youtube