Maintaining a community's health is about achieving balance between the physical environment, and the human element to ensure long term maintenance of community identity and quality of life over time. In Orange, our community is special not only because of our physical geography and environment, but also because of our unique neighborhoods, our diverse housing types, employment opportunities and community services and amenities. Orange residents can help to maintain our community health and identity by incorporating "green living" choices that benefit the environment, your personal health, and reinforce our community ties. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Tips for Green Living
What’s your impact? – Begin changing your habits by identifying your impact on the environment. Calculate your carbon footprint at the U.S. EPA Household Emissions Calculator. Test yourself, again, in six months as a loose measure of your success.
Take a walk – Whenever possible, walk through the town you love. Don’t forget your environmentally friendly sunscreen on those hot days. It’s also great to use stairs rather than elevators to get a little exercise and cut-down on your energy use for the day.
Are you too hot? – Smog makes it hotter. So, drive less and save yourself a heat spell.
Buy local – Support your local businesses to reduce your fuel consumption and save time. From the Plaza to The Block to the hills of East Orange, Orange has great restaurants and shops! You might even see some friends.
Do you have a green thumb? – Support local farmers and gardeners, and/or buy organic. This Saturday, saunter down to the Old Towne Farmer’s Market located at the corner of West Palm and North Cypress, site of the old Villa Park Orchard's Packinghouse, or you could visit the farmer's market at the Village at Orange every Thursday morning, rain or shine. If you have a green thumb, save a little money, and grow your own organic garden. Rent a plot at Orange's Community Gardens located at Main Street and Maple Avenue. Nothing taste better than a fresh tomato from the vine!
Are you a fish lover? – When having fish for a meal, avoid eating the threatened species. Look for seafood eco-labeled with Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification. The Council is a global non-profit working with industry, scientists and conservation groups to promote standards for sustainable, well-managed fisheries.
Go natural! – Wear clothes made from natural fibers. Avoid synthetic materials. Cotton and bamboo clothing are but a few green alternatives. Avoid products made from threatened wildlife, such as furs and other skins. Visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS) for a list of threatened or endangered plant and animal species.
Do you need lumber? – If you are planning a project requiring wood, buy FSC certified wood. The symbol indicates that the wood was grown and harvested with the highest social and environmental standards. Visit the Forrest Stewardship Council (FSC) for more information.
Read the signs – Play in designated areas so as to avoid harming or disturbing local wildlife. If you are out for a nature walk, please don’t collect protected plants. These plants are protected because they are struggling to survive. Some may also harbor dangerous or pesky animal life, such as the wild barrel cactus, which can house spider colonies.
Our community’s health and identity is largely dependent on the preservation of our parks and open spaces. The City of Orange is committed to preserving our natural resources for the enjoyment and health of today’s residents and that of future generations. Open space refers to the City’s parks, trails, creeks, and undeveloped natural habitat.
Orange is the proud caretaker of 24 City parks and recreational facilities (about 251 acres of parkland) as well as several regional parks including Irvine Regional Park, Santiago Oaks Regional Park, and Peters Canyon Park. The City also boasts about 7,000 acres of natural open space, particularly in the east end of town where rolling hills and natural vegetation still dominate the landscape. Parks and open spaces offer people a safe haven from daily routines and stresses by providing a place to commune and enjoy the outdoors. We hope you use and appreciate your community spaces.
The City’s creeks and other water bodies also provide visual and recreational benefits and support the natural cycle of water, while helping to filter the region’s water supply. Orange actively manages storm water run-off, striving to minimize water pollutants and urban runoff volume. Storm water pollution from contaminants, like soil, trash, leaves, oil, pet waste, fertilizers and pesticides, is carried in urban runoff through the storm drain system and collects in our creeks, wetlands and the ocean. These pollutants can build-up creating public health risks and natural resources decline including a contaminated food and water supply and declining wildlife habitat and outdoor recreational opportunities. So remember... don't litter, dump, or wash improper materials into the street. It all drains to our creeks and oceans!
Santiago Creek is one of only a limited number of natural creeks left in southern California. A paved bike trail parallels portions of the creek with future plans to extend it. Orange’s creeks and open space areas are also home to a variety of wildlife, native plants and animals. Orange contains a portion of the 37,000 acre Nature Reserve of Orange County. This reserve and the undeveloped areas and hillsides in Orange support several sensitive habitat types such as the Coastal Sage Scrub, and countless native, "endangered" and "threatened" plants and animal species. In a manner of speaking, these creatures are our neighbors, and our community health is predicated on mutual survival. Help the City protect our open space. The next time you walk your dog, hike or bike with friends, or picnic with your family, please remember to respect your environment. Appreciate wildlife from afar so as to avoid undue harm or disruption. If you are curious, there are a number of natural wonders to watch for in Orange and throughout the region. Visit a Natural History of Orange County for a comprehensive resource on local wildlife and habitats.
Healthy people are a central element of the greater healthy, sustainable community. Healthy individuals are often more productive at work, require less healthcare, and are more likely to have habits that reduce overall impacts on the environment. For example, healthy, active individuals are more apt to walk, bike or use mass transit when given the chance, consuming less fossil fuels and producing less air pollution. The literature on health is extensive, but here are a few general pointers, most would agree upon.
Take charge of your personal health – First, schedule regular health check-ups for your eyes, ears, teeth and immunizations. Second, reduce stress whenever possible. Third, stretching and regular exercise can help you reduce stress while losing weight and increasing your energy. Fourth, eat right. Consume more fruits and vegetables and cut down on fat intake. Always consult your physician before starting a new health or fitness program. Finally, quit smoking and minimize caffeine, alcohol and nicotine.
Maintain a healthy diet – Eating right is part of the holistic approach to personal health. Here are some common pointers that we all forget from time to time. Eat a balance and variety of foods. Consult the classic food pyramid. Support your local farmers by buying fruits and vegetables from a farmers market, or go organic! Modest portions and frequent meals are better for maintaining healthy weight and energy levels. Carrying small, health snacks can limit the unnecessary stops for fries, ice cream and other less than ideal treats. Whenever possible, avoid bad fats (saturated and trans) in favor of the good fats (mono and poly), like olive and fish oil. But remember, it is generally good to minimize excess fat intake. For proper digestion, it is always good to eat no later than three hours before bedtime. Plus, you might sleep better.
Avoid dehydration – The golden rule is to drink 8 glasses of water a day, more on hot weather days. For their safety, children and the elderly should be monitored during hot weather, especially if they are on certain medications. I’m sure your neighbor would love to hear that you’re concerned about them.
Get active – Are you on the couch wondering what to do? Get out of the house and enjoy all that the City of Orange has to offer. Your community has a host of great parks, trails, and communal activities to inspire your love of life. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
When was the last time you enjoyed the Southern California sun? Don’t waste your weekend indoors… grab the football, Frisbee, picnic lunch and the kids and hit the parks. Jump on your bike, jog, hike or just take a leisurely stroll on one of Orange’s trails. Stop at Hart Park and checkout the bike trail that runs along Santiago Creek. Start by visiting the City’s Trail Information Center
If you are still searching, please check out your Community Services for leagues and other fun activities.
The trails are for all. Please practice safety while enjoying your day.
Orange has always been proud of its history! Our historic buildings, neighborhoods and Plaza commercial district are all critical components of Orange's community identity, and the City has taken a prominent role in promoting historic preservation. Historic preservation by its very nature is green. As noted by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, "(t)he greenest house is the house already built." Prolonging the life of a historic building and adapting it for contemporary uses while protecting its integrity conserves building material and energy resources that would otherwise be used for demolition, debris removal and new building construction.
Due to relatively limited construction technology and utility infrastructure, building material choices, transportation limitations, and financial constraints, historic construction typically utilized materials readily available in the community, incorporated design features and building orientation reflecting site context, required efficient use of materials, and high levels of craftsmanship. Building materials and construction techniques were also selected for their durability. In the neighborhoods of Old Towne Orange these considerations can be seen in the extensive use of river rock from the Santiago Creek bed in porches and chimneys, deep porches and eaves, and the extensive use of windows for cross ventilation and natural lighting of building interiors. Historic areas like Old Towne Orange also benefit from mature landscaping and large canopy trees that provide shade and heat relief for buildings and outdoor spaces during warm weather months.
Old Towne Orange also promotes a Green lifestyle through its walkability, convenient relationship between goods, services, and neighborhoods, and the public transportation options that provide access to the entire southern California region by rail or bus. The physical form of Old Towne also fosters good public health due to:
A sidewalk network and flat topography that make it ideal for walking or jogging;
Easy access to Hart Park and the Santiago Creek Trail for swimming, biking and organized sports; and
High levels of social interaction in a neighborhood setting.
According to the Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG) Historic Preservation Subcommittee (June 2008), "Preservation maximizes the use of existing materials and infrastructure, reduces waste, and preserves the historic character of older towns and cities." In fact, many historic buildings were originally designed with sustainable features, such as:
Working shutters to reduce heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter;
Deep awnings to reduce heat gain (by as much as 65%);
Substantial roof overhangs and eaves for managing climate control and protecting against foundation erosion from roof run-off;
Window arrangements and styles designed for cross-ventilation such as double-hung windows that allow heat to escape when the top sash is lowered or draw cool air when bottom sash opened on the shaded side of the house;
High ceilings to allow for circulation and light; and
Historic masonry buildings are especially durable benefiting from greater thermal mass, which regulates temperature through the mass of the walls.
To further improve the green rating of your historic property, consider the following types of improvements within the walls of your home or building:
Historic, single-glazed, double-hung windows may not require replacement to be energy efficient. Instead, focus your efforts and money on jamb insulation, weather stripping and trim repair to increase the window’s overall energy efficiency (or R-value);
Reusing historic hardware also benefits the environment by reducing waste, while looking fantastic;
Upgrade aging heating systems, appliances, and light bulbs with new, energy efficient equipment;
Replace faucets and toilets selecting from a wide variety of new water conscious options designed for historic building installation;
Visit architectural salvage yards or yard sales for sinks, bathtubs, cabinetry, flooring, and other items needed for historic home restoration projects;
Before starting on any restoration or remodeling projects for your historic home or building, please consult the Old Towne Design Standards and contact the City's Historic Preservation Planner with the Planning Division for guidance at (714) 744-7220.
Live the good life! Join us and help Orange preserve our environment and our community, for our children’s future.