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Coastal Steward Pledge for Classrooms and Youth Groups

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Become a Coastal Steward!

Give me FIVE things that I can do NOW. I want to take the Pledge! Become A Coastal Steward Give me LOTS of choices so I can create my own action list. I want to take the Pledge!


Kids cleaning up shoreline at Lake Poway


 

I want to make a difference for our coast and ocean!


Join your friends and neighbors to become a California Coastal Steward! Either take our pre-made, "Just tell me what to do!" pledge, or personalize your pledge using the action list below. Questions? Please email coast4u@coastal.ca.gov or call (800) Coast-4U. THANK YOU for protecting our coast and ocean!

STEP 1: Click on at least 5 actions from the list below to create your "to do" list. There is a number after each action. Commit to take the action at least that many times, and to attempt to make it a habit in the future.
STEP 2: When you've finished, fill out your information and click submit. You may print out your list yourself or request that we mail it to you.
STEP 3: Once you've taken action, you're a Coastal Steward! Send your completed "to-do" list back to us and we'll send you a "Coastal Steward" tote bag and a certificate of participation. (Organizations and groups are encouraged to take the pledge, but a group pledge will receive only one tote bag gift. Student groups should check out the pledge for classrooms and youth groups.)

Actions are organized in the following categories:

If you want to clear your selections and start over, click here:

Most of the actions below will reduce the carbon that you produce, lessoning your contribution to climate change. Anything that helps you use fewer resources, less water, or less energy reduces your carbon footprint! California's coast is vulnerable to sea level rise, increased intensity of storms and flooding, and ocean acidification, so we must all take action to reduce climate change.


 

IN THE HOME


     Reduce Waste to prevent marine debris

Get your name taken off junk mail lists. Learn how at www.stopjunkmail.org. (x1)
Seek out products with minimal packaging and avoid products with excessive packaging. (x5)
Buy products in bulk when appropriate. (x5)
When packing food for lunch or a picnic, put food in reusable containers rather than disposable plastic and paper bags. (x5)
Use cloth napkins and towels instead of paper napkins and paper towels. Use a sponge or towel for cleanup jobs in the kitchen. (x5)
Clean and reuse glass jars for storage. (x5)
Refill a water bottle instead of buying a new one. (x5)
Use pens that can be refilled, rather than disposable pens. (x1)
Instead of disposable razors, purchase a razor with blades that can be replaced. (x1)
Use the backsides of paper for scratch paper, grocery lists, and phone messages. (x5)
Reuse gift bags, ribbons, and wrapping paper. (x2)
Donate unwanted clothes, furniture, and other items to thrift stores or charities, and when possible, purchase needed items at thrift stores and garage sales. (x1)
If you receive a package containing foam peanuts, reuse them yourself or take them to a shipping store that will reuse them. (x1)
Use old newspapers instead of foam peanuts to cushion fragile items in packages. (x2)
When mailing a package or moving to a new home, reuse old boxes. Ask a market or other store if they have old cardboard boxes that you can have. (x1)
Recycle all glass, aluminum cans and foil, glass bottles, paper, and all plastic that is accepted by your recycling facility (usually recycle codes #1 and #2). (x5)
Buy recycled products whenever possible. Buy products with the highest percentage of post-consumer content that you can find. (x5)
When given the choice between a recyclable glass container and a disposable plastic container, choose glass. (x5)
If you find a six-pack ring, break or cut the loops of plastic before disposing of it. (x5)
Share magazine or newspaper subscriptions with a friend. (x1)
Use the library to borrow books and magazines. (x3)
Start a compost bin. Visit the CalRecycle website for tips. (x1)
 
     Conserve Water

Turn off the water while you hand wash dishes. (x5)
Run your dishwasher only when you have a full load. (x5)
Turn off the faucet when you brush your teeth or shave. (x5)
Instead of running the faucet for a cold drink of water, keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator. (x5)
Reduce the time of your showers. Shoot for five minutes or less. You could also try a "navy" shower: Get yourself wet in the shower, then turn the water off while you lather up. Turn it back on to rinse off. (x5)
If you have an old showerhead, purchase a new, low-flow showerhead. Any new showerhead made in the U.S. will use a maximum of 2.5 gallons/minute. (x1)
If you take baths, don’t fill the tub up all the way. Only use as much water as necessary. (x5)
Purchase an inexpensive, low-flow faucet aerator for the sinks in your kitchen and bathroom. These can use as little as 1 gallon of water per minute. (x1)
Repair any faucet leaks as soon as possible. (x1)
Place a bottle of water in the tank of your toilet to reduce the amount of water used for flushing. (x1)
If you have an old toilet, replace it with a new one. If your toilet was made after 1992, it uses an average of only 1.6 gallons/flush. (x1)
Run your clothes washer only when you have a full load. (x5)
Purchase a new, high efficiency clothes washer, which can reduce the water used by 40%. (x1)
Keep a bucket in the bathroom and kitchen for when you’re waiting for the water to warm up. Collect the cold water and use it to water plants, wash the floor, or flush your toilet. (x5)
Replace water-loving plants (like conventional lawn) with native and drought-tolerant plants. (x1)
Water outdoor plants early in the morning or late in the day to reduce the amount of water lost to evaporation. (x5)
Adjust sprinklers so water doesn’t run off onto the sidewalk or street. (x1)
Set your lawn mower to a high setting. Taller grass needs less watering. (x1)
Make sure that your hose has a nozzle that can be turned off when not in use. (x1)
 
     Prevent Pollution

Purchase organic and locally grown food whenever possible. (x5)
Divert rainspouts from paved areas to areas with lawn or other vegetation, in order to increase the infiltration of water into the soil and reduce run-off into storm drains. (x1)
To clean the driveway or patio, use a broom instead of the hose; this reduces the dirty water flowing into storm drains as well as conserves water. (x5)
Cover outdoor trash cans securely. (x5)
Keep storm drains clean and clear of debris. (x3)
Use low-phosphate or phosphate-free detergents. (x5)
Use latex paint instead of oil-based paint. (x1)
Use less-toxic methods of pest control in your garden. Visit the City of San Francisco’s Public Utilities Commission website for ideas. (x3)
Use less toxic cleaning products such as baking soda and vinegar. Download the Clean It! brochure for ideas. (x5)
Properly dispose of household paints, chemicals, batteries and electronics. Never dump paint or chemicals down the sink or in gutters or storm drains. To find a hazardous waste collection facility near you, visit http://www.earth911.org/. (x2)
 
     Get Active

Support companies that practice responsible environmental policies. (x3)
Run a neighborhood cleanup campaign. (x1)
Talk with your friends, family, neighbors, etc. about the marine debris problem, especially the problems associated with plastic debris. (x3)
If you don’t like the practices of a company, write them a letter to express your dissatisfaction and to encourage them to change. Choose another company to give your business to. (x1)
Educate yourself about local and state environmental and coastal initiatives. Share your views with others and encourage them to go to the polls with you on Election Day. (x1)
Assist in the campaign to pass an environmental initiative that you believe in. Canvass your neighborhood, make phone calls, or put up signs. (x1)
Write a letter to the editor of your newspaper about a coastal issue. (x1)
Write a letter to an elected official to encourage them to take positive action on an environmental or coastal issue. (x1)

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All done? Submit your list, or continue to make your selections.



AT SCHOOL


When packing food for lunch, put food in reusable containers rather than disposable plastic and paper bags. For tips, visit www.wastefreelunches.org. (x5)
Start a "waste-free" lunch program at your school. Wastefreelunches.org can help. (x1)
Use pens that can be refilled, rather than disposable pens. (x1)
Use the backsides of paper for scratch paper, and for printing drafts. (x5)
Start a recycling program at your school. (x1)
Start a worm compost bin at school. (x1)
Talk with your friends and classmates about the marine debris problem, especially the problems associated with plastic debris. (x3)
Do a campus environmental audit. Get information from the CalRecycle.(x1)
Demand environmental education. Visit www.calepa.ca.gov/Education/EEI to learn about the "Education and the Environment Initiative" in California. Visit www.creec.org for the CREEC Network's environmental education announcements and statewide resource directory. Talk to teachers, principals, and school boards about how environmental education can be incorporated into local schools. (x1)

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AT WORK


When packing food for lunch, put food in reusable containers rather than disposable plastic and paper bags. (x5)
Use routing slips to circulate reading material, and use email and voice mail whenever possible to reduce paper use. (x5)
Refill a water bottle instead of buying a new one. (x5)
Use pens that can be refilled, rather than disposable pens. (x1)
Use the backsides of paper for scratch paper, phone messages and for printing drafts. (x5)
Share magazine or newspaper subscriptions with one or more people in your office. (x1)
If you receive a package containing foam peanuts, reuse them yourself, share them with someone else in the office, or take them to a shipping store that will reuse them. (x1)
Use old newspapers instead of foam peanuts to cushion fragile items in packages. (x2)
When mailing packages, reuse old boxes. (x1)
Start a recycling program at your office. (x1)
Start a worm compost bin at work. (x1)
Buy recycled products whenever possible. Buy products with the highest percentage of post-consumer content that you can find. (x5)
Seek out products with minimal packaging and avoid products with excessive packaging. (x5)
Give your business to companies that practice responsible environmental policies. (x5)
If you don’t like the practices of a company, write them a letter to express your dissatisfaction and encourage them to improve. Choose another company to give your business to. (x1)

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TRANSPORTATION-RELATED


Take public transportation, bike or walk instead of driving. (x5)
Carpool instead of driving alone. (x5)
If you're buying a new car, purchase one that gets high gas mileage instead of one that gets low gas mileage. (x1)
Get regular tune-ups. (x1)
Take your car to a carwash that recycles water. (x5)
If you must wash your own car, wash it on the lawn to reduce soap runoff. The soap you use to wash your car pollutes local waterways. (x5)
Clean up fluid spills with cat litter or other absorbent, and promptly fix any oil leaks from your car. (x1)
Recycle used oil and antifreeze. Never pour it down the drain or into the street. For recycling facilities in your area, visit www.earth911.org. (x2)

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OUT AND ABOUT


Bring a bag with you when you go to the store instead of accepting a paper or plastic bag. If don’t have a bag with you, ask yourself if you really need a bag for the item purchased. (x5)
If you find a six-pack ring, break or cut the loops of plastic before disposing of it. (x5)
When purchasing a drink at a café or other take-out location, refill a reusable mug instead of accepting a disposable cup. (x5)
At a take-out restaurant, request that your food be packed in paper instead of plastic. Seek out restaurants that routinely use paper instead of plastic packaging. Take only the number of paper napkins that you truly need, and if you don't need utensils (e.g. if you're taking the food home) don't accept them. (x5)
When packing food for lunch or a picnic, put food in reusable containers rather than disposable plastic and paper bags. (x5)
Purchase seafood that is sustainably harvested, and avoid seafood that is not sustainable. For details, visit Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch page. (x5)
When boating, be clean and green. (x1)
When at the beach or in town, look around for trashcans or recycling bins. If the bins are inadequate, inform the responsible person or agency. (x1)
Never place trash in an overflowing trashcan. If you notice certain public trashcans that are constantly overflowing, inform the appropriate authorities. (x1)
If you fish, always collect your used hooks, lines or nets when you leave. These items can harm people and wildlife if left in the environment. (x3)
When walking your dog, always clean up its waste and dispose of it in a trashcan. (x5)
If you smoke, dispose of cigarette filters in ashtrays or garbage cans. Filters are not biodegradable and should not be left on the ground. (x5)
Leave beaches and parks cleaner than you found them—bring along a garbage bag and pick up trash even if it’s not yours. (x1)
Clean up a local beach. The Coastal Commission organizes the annual California Coastal Cleanup Day and a year-round beach cleanup program called Adopt-A-Beach®. You can get more information by calling (800) Coast-4U or emailing coast4u@coastal.ca.gov. (x1)
Volunteer for one of the many non-profit groups that are working to protect our coast, ocean, and waterways. You can find a list of these groups on the Coastal Commission’s website, in the Marine, Coastal & Watershed Resource Directory. (x1)


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All done? Submit your list, or continue to make your selections.



Thank you for choosing to become a Coastal Steward!
When you've completed your selections, please provide us with the information below in order to receive your "to-do" list and gift. California residents only, please.

We will not share your name, address, or email with any other organization.

Name:
Address:
City:
Zip Code:
Email Address:
 
I will print out my list myself.
Check this box before clicking SUBMIT to create a printable version of your personalized to-do list in a separate window. If you do not check this box, a copy of your list will be mailed to you.
 




Once you've taken action, you're a Coastal Steward!
The final step will be to mail your completed "to-do" list to us (the address will be on your list), and we'll send you a "Coastal Steward" tote bag and a certificate of participation




















Children running from the waves, Muir Beach, by Margaret Prokurat















































Cleanup at Ocean Beach, San Francisco















































Invasive species removal and native planting at Upper Newport Bay















































Kayaking, Elephant Arch, Channel Islands, by Chuck Graham















































Best Friends, Goleta Beach, by Joe Ouye















































Pier Panic, Seal Beach, by Melody Bridge McLane