Catalina Island’s spectacular vistas and crystal-clear waters inspire awe in visitors from around the world. That natural beauty also inspires visitors to reduce their impact on the world around them. If you’re inspired to step a little lighter, here are 11 ways to reduce your impact on the earth when you visit Catalina Island.
Give back when you get here. Catalina Island offers many ways to give back once you get here. The Catalina Island Conservancy’s regular beach clean-ups take volunteers to the island’s remote windward side coves. Weekly volunteer opportunities help the non-profit preserve native plant life. Week-long Conservancy volunteer vacations offer an in-depth way to give back on your vacation. If your schedule doesn’t allow time for an organized volunteer effort, you can always grab any wayward trash you might see. You’ll not only be making the island even more beautiful, you’ll also be setting an example that is sure to inspire others.
Skip the linen change. It takes approximately 17 gallons of water – not to mention the detergent – to wash bed linens. Multiply that times the hundreds of thousands of visitors who stay on the island every year and the impact of unnecessary linen changes quickly becomes apparent. Check with your Catalina Island lodging provider to find out how you can skip the linen change.
Water, water everywhere. While weather patterns fluctuate, Catalina Island – like the rest of Southern California – is prone to droughts, some of which can be severe. Shorter showers, water only on request in restaurants and turning off the water while you shave and brush your teeth are easy ways you can join the community in conserving water.
Avoid plastics. Single-use plastics are having a dramatic impact on the environment around the world, including on the island. Wherever possible opt out of contributing to the problem. Easy ways to reduce plastic consumption including using reusable grocery bags and a utilizing a refillable water bottle. You’ll find several water stations in Avalon for refilling your bottle.
Dine sustainably. Many restaurants on Catalina Island embrace sustainability and feature seafood options that respect the ocean and the future of its inhabitants. By choosing those options you can help ensure that the ocean continues to have a bounty to share.
Respect the marine protected areas: California has done even more to protect marine life, setting aside several areas along the coast as Marine Protected Areas. Catalina Island is home to several and in these areas all fishing and collecting is strictly prohibited. A complete map is available at the Catalina Island Visitors Center.
Don’t litter: It may seem obvious, but disposing of your trash in a proper receptacle is simple and effort-free way to step lightly on the island. You’ll find both waste receptacles and recyclable containers conveniently located throughout Avalon and at Catalina Island campgrounds. If you are camping, make sure your food stays out of the reach of island wildlife like the Catalina Island fox.
Honor the efforts: Avalon’s businesses and elected officials have taken several concrete steps to reduce the environmental impact on the island. Those include banning polystyrene and plastic straws.
Support the Conservancy: Nearly 90 percent of Catalina Island is preserved and protected thanks to the efforts of the Catalina Island Conservancy. The non-profit was formed in the 1970s with the mission to ensure that the island endures, undeveloped and in its natural state, for generations to come.
Stay on the trail: Catalina’s extensive trail system includes 165 miles, including the 37-mile Trans Catalina Trail, that provide spectacular seascapes, dramatic views and unique perspectives. While it may it may be tempting to take a shortcut or set out cross country, staying on the trail will protect native plants and ecosystems.
Keep your distance: As tempting as it may be to get a close up, it’s safer for Catalina’s wildlife – and you – if you keep your distance.
Inspired to do more? Learn more about reducing your impact by visiting Care for Catalina, an effort organized by the Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau.