earth week 2021 - thursday

The world outside our home is set up for our convenience, but that convenience also comes at a steep price - one that we'll be paying for thousands of years.

Planning ahead and bringing your own reusable items to use outside the home can help you save money and protect the environment. Combine that with lower carbon emitting travel plans, you'll be well on your way to living more sustainably.


  • Only about 23% of plastic bottles are recycled within the U.S. Source

  • Americans throw away 100 billion plastic bags annually. That’s about 307 bags per person. Source

  • Half a million straws are used in the world every day - and none of them can be recycled. Source

  • A typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. Source

  • Airplanes account for about 3.5% global warming in any year, even though they makes up only 2.5% of the carbon pollution. Source

reduce your plastic footprint

Bring Your Own Bags

Though they seem small and light, plastic bags have a large environmental footprint. A reusable bag saves money over time, reduces your carbon footprint, and reduces the amount of plastic ending up in the environment.

Bring Your Own Utensils

Most plastic forks, knives, and spoons cannot be recycled. Try bringing your own utensils (and dishes) from home to use instead. This will cut down on lots of plastic waste.

Skip the Straw

Unless you specifically ask for it, straws are banned in California restaurants. But the ban has led to an increase in reusable straw options, so invest in the environment by using your own reusable straw.

Take Out the Takeout Container

Though it's made from plastic, Styrofoam - a common to-go container - cannot be recycled curbside. When it comes to your restaurant leftovers, bring your own container and pack it up yourself for a guilt-free way to enjoy your meal at home.

Reuse That Reusable Bottle

Although buying a reusable bottle has a higher cost up front, over time, the bottle pays for itself and reduces the impacts of the plastic bottle. By the way, cent for cent, tap water is always cheaper than bottled water.

Make Your Own Snack Packs

Convenience foods usually come with convenient packaging that you can tear and throw away, but all of that trash adds up. With a little planning, prep time, and a reusable container, you can create your own convenient snacks to eat while you're out.

Digitize Everything

Skip printing maps and boarding passes by having everything downloaded to your mobile device ahead of time.

reduce your travel footprint

Turn Off the Thermostat

Whether you're leaving for a few hours or a few days, adjusting or turning off your thermostat helps reduce your energy demand, lessening your carbon footprint as well as your energy bill. Invest in a $30-$50 "Smart" thermostat to help you manage the settings and receive a PG&E rebate.

Ride a Bike

Need to take a quick trip to the store for something small? Ride a bike there instead of driving. Riding a bike is great exercise and much of Solano County's city roadways are bike friendly.

Use Mass Transit

Just one trip per week on one of SolTrans' electric buses in place of driving a fuel-powered vehicle can prevent around 200 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions and help improve air quality.

Carbon Offset Travel

Book your travel with companies committed to offsetting the carbon footprint of your journey. You can make donations to non-profits or GoldStandard companies that fund tree plantings, alternative energy, and energy efficiency projects.

Fuel Economy Sticker,

Find and compare a specific vehicle's carbon dioxide emission rate:

  • Visit and click on “Find a Car.” From the vehicle search results page, click on the “Energy and Environment” tab. A vehicle’s greenhouse gas emissions rate (g/mile) and GHG rating can be found there.

  • When shopping at a dealership, check out tailpipe CO2 emission rates on vehicle Fuel Economy and Environment Labels. The labels also feature a 1-to 10 Fuel Economy and Greenhouse Gas Rating to enable easy comparison shopping.