Tips to Re-ignite Your Inner Eco-warrior During Quarantine

How to create less waste: 
Store food in reusable containers and jars; compost; try to buy secondhand; carry your own water bottle; bring your own reusable bags and produce bags; eat more whole foods.

By: Lisa Rachal

This pandemic has caused me to use more plastic than I’ve ever wanted. Single use plastics like gloves, masks, packaged food, plastic bags, etc have felt crucial to the well being of myself and my community. As a result, it has been hard for me to feel like the environmentalist I aspire to be. However, when I see people continue to persevere on their zero waste journey/planet-conscious lifestyle, I am reminded to focus on the things I can do today to leave the planet a little bit better and I’d encourage you to try it. Here are some tips to help you get started. 

Tip #1 Refuse single use items and swap your single use items for a reusable option

This goes for anything you use once and discard: plastic water bottles, napkins, to-go cutlery, bags, masks, gloves, menstrual products, etc. Save yourself some money and help the planet by owning quality goods that can be utilized multiple times. Most of these reusable options are easy changes to your lifestyle, as you’ll likely already have these things. For example, if you plan on getting take-out, politely refuse their cutlery and straw, and use your own instead. Plus, you can keep a spare set with you so you always have a to-go set. Another example is to substitute plastic gloves for sanitizer, always have sanitizer ready then wash your hands as soon as the opportunity is available.

Tip #2 Reduce your input and output

Reducing what you consume and use is so important and easy change when it comes to being environmentally conscious. This means reducing how much you buy, reducing the amount of water you use, reducing the amount of electricity you use, etc. Buying only the essentials to help needs get met; turning off lights after you leave a room, turning off the water while you brush or wash. The same goes for reducing how much you throw away. Before you throw it away, ask yourself, “Can I reuse this in another way? Could someone else use it? Can it be recycled? Can I compost it?” If none apply, trash it but view landfills as the last resort. 

Tip #3 Pick up after yourself and your pets

Natural spaces like the beach, park or wilderness areas are some of the few places  we can go comfortably while in quarantine. Natural spaces and parks are currently understaffed, and are not able to be maintained like they used to, so if you plan on going to one of these spaces please remember to pick up after yourself and your pets. If you want to go the extra mile, bring that old shopping bag from the last time you went to the store and just gather trash while you explore. Then dispose of the trash you collected at the nearest trash can after your visit. The staff, wildlife and fellow nature enthusiasts would greatly appreciate it. 

Tip #4 Join a Buy Nothing Facebook group

I recently found out about this and I love my little buy nothing community so much. It is very simple, it is a cashless society. You trade, borrow, or give within your local community, so it is not far. This is a great way to get in touch with your community, gift things you no longer need, and ask your community for the things you may need, you’ll never know what you’ll find or discover.

Tip #5 Try one or two meals without meat per week

Eating less meat helps reduce the strain the meat industry has on the planet. If you can go vegan that is great but if you can have a few meals without meat, that is also great! It’s healthier for you and the planet.

Bonus Tip Use your agency to vote and/or speak out against companies that don’t have earth conscious practices. 

Your money supports the actions of the company you purchase from. If you don’t like their actions, but you love a product they produce, tell them. Share it with others; tell them the change you want to see. Corporations and companies need us, without our money they cannot survive, so hold them accountable and vote for policies and regulations that support the planet. 

Lastly, I want to acknowledge environmentally-conscious/ zero waste lifestyle is a privilege that not everyone is able to do, it takes time, effort, education, and resources. Do the best you can and share your knowledge with others who may not have been aware. How someone responds to that information is up to them. 

If there are any sustainability/ environmental tips you would like to see email me at [email protected]

Meet the Team


We are the team behind “The Egret Corner” newsletters and the Ballona Wetlands Land Trust’s outreach and education efforts, we also led various environmental research projects: The Ballona Creek Infrastructure Survey Project, A Guide to Fish Found in the Lower Ballona Creek & the Ballona Wetlands and Ballona Creek Water Quality Monitoring Program to name a few.

A bit about us…..

My name is Sofia, and I’ve been part of the team since 2019. I work for the communities of Los Angeles county in hopes that more people can appreciate, conserve, enjoy, and learn about nature.
Fun facts about me: My favorite color is green. I enjoy reading fantasy books, watching movies/shows, and playing board games. You can also find me in green spaces enjoying nature.

Sofia with a group of kids on a bridge at Madrona Marsh

My name is Lisa, I started off as a volunteer for the Ballona Wetlands Land Trust in 2017 and came back in 2018. While working here I look forward to continuing to improve public access to the Ballona Wetlands and other green spaces and improving public knowledge about Ballona.
In my free time, I enjoy yoga, cooking/finding amazing food, reading comics, movies, listening to podcasts and being outdoors.

Lisa posing with arms out on an empty road behind thick forest with yellow, orange, and green leaves.

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Join our newsletter the Egret Corner! If you are already subscribed to our email lists you will continue to receive our important advocacy and news alerts. This monthly newsletter will focus on our outreach, nature education, field research, and events regarding the greater Ballona ecosystem.

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day from the Ballona Wetlands Land Trust! How will you celebrate the earth today?


Per Order of the State Public Health Officer on March 19, 2020 all field trips, events and in-person meetings have been postponed due to COVID-19 until further notice. The Ballona Wetlands Land Trust will be practicing “Safer at Home” while continuing to contribute to our mission. Check here for further developments.

COVID-19 LA County Resources

New Project Alert!

New Project Alert! We received funding to develop a nature education curriculum for elementary school students. This curriculum would highlight the importance of healthy fish populations to humans and other wildlife, as well as discuss the general conservation and ecological balance of urban environments. Both indoor and outdoor learning experiences will be incorporated when feasible.

Remembering Donna Murray

It is with great sorrow that we announce the death of Donna Murray, a Land Trust Board Member and Volunteer.  We will miss Donna terribly, but her love of nature will live on. Donna was a strong believer in the value of outdoor education and we have renamed our field trip program in her memory.

CDFW Releases Final EIR for the Ballona Wetlands Restoration Project

Under the California Environmental Quality Act, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife(CDFW) has released the Final Environmental Impact Report(EIR) for the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve(BWER). The report was produced by CDFW lead, the State Coastal Conservancy and The Bay Foundation.

The Ballona Wetlands were once an approximate 2,000-acre expanse of marshes, mud flats, salt pans and sand dunes that stretched from Playa del Rey to Venice and inland to the Baldwin Hills. Today, BWER is less than 600 acres of open space, all that remains of the former wetlands, now owned by the people of California and managed by CDFW. -CDFW

To learn more visit

Ballona Wetlands Restoration Project Suffers Another Delay

In 2004, the State Coastal Conservancy drafted an initial restoration schedule for the Ballona Wetlands that tentatively set the end of 2006 as a timeframe for publishing a draft enviromental analysis for the project pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Unfortunately, the process for developing the draft analysis did not even begin until 2012, and the release of the draft has been repeatedly delayed. Currently, the draft analysis is scheduled to be made public in mid-2017.

Argonaut article