Zero Waste Activities for Everyone

4 Reason's Marine Debris is Everyone's Problem
1. Waterway debris isn't just an eyesore. It's dangerous. And it sticks around for a long time -- especially plastic, which lasts for hundreds of years.

2. Each year, birds, fish and other mammals are killed or injured by waterway debris. Turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish. Birds get tangled in monofilament fishing lines or discarded nets. Fish get trapped in six-pack rings.

3. Marine debris also threatens boating equipment. Plastic bags and other debris can clog engine water intakes or get caught in propellers. Trash can damage or snarl fishermen's nets.

4. Waterway trash also looks bad -- and that's bad for business. After all, who wants to visit an ugly place?
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The choices people make about their yards, their pets and disposal of liquid and solid wastes have an impact on the ocean and on the streams and rivers that flow into the ocean.

Here are a few things that you can do:

Conserve water.
The more water you use the more water you send down the drain to be processed at sewage treatment facilities. This excess water can lead to sewer overflows and raw sewage discharges into streams, rivers and beach areas.

Use designated restrooms at beaches. This can help to decrease the amount of human waste that is washed into the ocean. Keep diapered children out of the water and dispose of diapers properly.

Properly dispose of pet waste. Bring bags to collect pet waste and throw it away in a trashcan. This helps decrease the amount of waste that is washed into streams, rivers and beaches when it rains.

Dispose of trash properly. Place all waste in a trashcan, not on the beach or in the water.

Use natural products in your yard. Whenever possible, minimize or eliminate the use of chemical herbicides and pesticides because they pollute the water.

Maintain your septic system, including the drain field. Follow manufacturer instructions regarding pumping and maintenance service. This prevents the discharge of raw sewage into storm drains, rivers, streams, and the ocean following heavy rainfall.

Properly dispose of boating waste. Empty portable toilet and sewage holding tanks into approved on-shore facilities. Maintain engines to minimize discharges of oil and gasoline.
Who doesn't love a day at the beach or at the park? Monterey is a spectacular coastal community in Northern California with a temperate climate year-round. Visitors from around the world come to Monterey to experience its natural beauty, cultural resources and rich historic past.

Looking for something to do?
If you are a tourist or a local resident, there are many ways that you can experience our pristine natural environment and protect it at the same time! Check out our listing of free events and activities in the local area that allow you to enjoy our natural environment with little impact to the environment, or your pocket book!

Enjoying Our Beautiful Parks?
The City of Monterey Parks Division maintains our city parks with drought tolerant plants, and efficient irrigation techniques. Since 2008, no pesticides or herbicides are used at or near any children's park and the shift has been made to organic fertilizers and herbicides, such as clove and lemongrass oil.

Does Your Hotel Recycle? Do you hate throwing things away, even while on vacation?

Here’s how you can recycle during your stay:

Recycle Around Town. The City offers recycling at public containers and many of the hotels, bars and restaurants offer recycling and other sustainable programs at their businesses.

Recycle at Your Hotel. Looking for a green hotel? Here's a list of local Hotels & Restaurants that recycle.

Summer Reminders...
Whatever you chose to do, take the time to hang out and enjoy, or rent a kayak or surrey and play like a kid. Remember to walk, take the free trolley, or ride your bicycle. Check out our simple Summer Reminders as you spend your days at play.

Visit the City of Monterey's visitor page to stay informed on happenings around town.

If you are boating, check the Harbor Master's page for critical updates and our page - On The Boat for tips about green boating.

There is just so much to do and enjoy at the beach, on the bike path, and in the surrounding parks. Always remember to be aware of wildlife and their surrounding habitat. Never feed or harass any animals and be sure to keep a safe distance from wildlife -- for your safety and theirs.
We have compiled a list of fun and (mostly) free events, activities, and exploration that you can do in the Monterey Bay Area. These experiences are not only fun, but also help to establish why this area is so beautiful and hopefully inspire people to take better care of it.


1. Take the Monterey Path of History tour, which visits more than 40 historic buildings and sites (Free self-guided and docent-led tours available).

2. Take a tour and sample hand-made sweets at Monterey Bay Chocolate Factory in Seaside.

3. Walk (cars are charged a fee, but pedestrians are not) into Pt. Lobos State Reserve and hike to the cove said to have inspired Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.

4. Follow in the footsteps of John Steinbeck’s characters in “Cannery Row” by exploring the tide pools of the Monterey Bay coastline, especially near Asilomar State Beach.

5. Bike, rollerblade, or jog along the scenic Monterey Bay Coastal Trail, an 18-mile stretch of paved pathway that runs alongside Monterey Bay.

6. Climb a real, full size 1956 steam engine at Dennis the Menace Playground, designed by Dennis the Menace creator’s, Hank Ketcham.

7. Learn about Monterey’s rich history at Pacific House Museum, from Native American times, through its days as the capital of Spanish and Mexican California, up to the raising of the American flag.

8. Visit the historic Custom House to see where California commerce began, and check out the California ‘bank notes’ – cattle hides traded by the Californio rancheros.

9. Wine-tasting in Carmel Valley or along the Salinas Valley River Road Wine Trail.

10. Visit the bookstore and redwood-shaded lawns at the Henry Miller Memorial Library in Big Sur, honoring the writer who spent 18 years in the area.

11. Grab a kite and head to the sand dunes in Seaside or at Marina State Beach for a day of play. (They’re a great place to catch the sunset, too.)

12. Conduct a clam-chowder tasting on Monterey’s Fisherman’s Wharf –the samples are provided free by several of the wharf’s restaurants!

13. Checkout the sea lions on the rocks at the end of the Coast Guard Pier.

14. Do some bird watching at Elkhorn Slough Estuarine Reserve or Salinas River State Beach.

15. Roam more than 80 miles of scenic mountain bike trails and roads on the former Fort Ord military base.

16. See thousands of migrating Monarch butterflies at the Butterfly Sanctuary in Pacific Grove between October and March.

17. Watch gray whales on their annual winter (December-March) migration between Alaska and Mexico from one of Monterey County’s promontories: Pt. Pinos, Pt. Lobos or the Big Sur coastline.

18. Enjoy spectacular Carmel Valley views from trails at Garland Ranch Regional Park.

19. Take an “Asilomar Ramble” tour with California State Parks rangers to explore 80 acres that includes historic architecture, forested hiking trails and sand dunes topped with wooden walking trails. Key sites include 16 structures designed by Julia Morgan (architect of Hearst Castle) between 1913 and 1928.

20. Walk into San Lorenzo Park in King City to discover the farming past at the Monterey County Agricultural and Rural Life Museum.

21. View jolly giant farmers standing 20 ft. high in the fields off Highway 68 at the entrance to The Farm. Crafted by local artist John Cerney, these larger-than life statues of packers, trimmers and irrigators are a tribute to the hard-working men and women of Salinas Valley. Follow up with some fresh veggies from the farm stand.

22. Drop into the Monterey Museum of Art during Third Thursday every month: admission is free and there’s live entertainment and wine-tasting to accompany the art.

23. Walk the boardwalk from Asilomar State Beach, skirting the golf course of the Inn at Spanish Bay, and picnic in the company of seals, sea otters, and other marine wildlife in Pebble Beach.

24. Build sandcastles on Carmel’s famous white, sandy, beach.

25. Visit the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History and pose by Sandy the Whale, a lifesize bronze sculpture.

26. Visit the Whaling Museum, count the number of wildflowers you see, or picnic where you can watch the waves.
Summertime is a time for play. Just a quick reminder of some of the easiest things you can do (and fun too) that are good for the planet and even good for you!

Recycle wherever you go! Make it a habit. Bottles, cans, soda boxes, cereal boxes, newspapers, and cardboard. It all goes in one bin now.

Walk to work! Or maybe ride the bus instead of driving. OR, my favorite, RIDE A BIKE!

Walk to the store! Or maybe ride the bus instead of driving. OR, my favorite, RIDE A BIKE!

Act like Jack! By making compost from food and yard trimmings, your compost will contribute to your plants reacting like the beans in Jack in the Beanstalk! It’s great stuff for mulch to retain water in your soil too.

Use the Library! Walk to the library and use their books instead of buying books. The money you make returning your bottles and cans for cash you can donate to the Library so that they can buy more books! Remember, they can find any book you want. Just ask.

Stop Junk Mail! Yes, recycling is wonderful but save a tree and don’t get it in the first place. Sign up at www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0262-stopping-unsolicited-mail-phone-calls-and-email  They charge a $1 now but it is well worth it.

Evaluate all your reports and systems at work! Stop wasting paper by printing one-sided reports and especially those that are not necessary.

Reuse folders, pens, pencils, one-sided paper whenever possible! Dedicate a section of your home closet or a section at work. Label the areas (to prevent it from becoming a chaos station).

Copy your stuff using BOTH SIDES! I see many handouts using just one side instead of copying on both sides. Take the time and save the paper.

Scan and PDF copies! Lots of times, at meetings, people do not