Located half way between Los Angeles and San Diego, the charming sea side city of San Clemente offers a more relaxed pace of life coupled with an average of 342 days of sunshine each year. This stunning city is also home to La Casa Pacifica which is famously known as President Richard Nixon’s Western White House. The President lived and worked at this beautiful estate when he wasn’t at the White House.

It is obvious when visiting San Clemente that the residents take pride in their beautiful neighborhoods. But it takes an entire community working together to keep an area healthy and vibrant; residents, businesses and organizations working towards the goal of preserving the natural beauty of their shared spaces.

One such business that has made environmental awareness and community involvement part of its business-as-usual is Holiday Inn San Clemente Downtown.

The hotel partners with Sunrise Rotary Club to put together full dinners for military families and local charities during Thanksgiving and Christmas. They work closely with Camp Pendleton which is just down the road to live up to the hotel’s motto, “anything for the military.”

The Holiday Inn San Clemente Downtown is also a supporter of the i-5 Freedom Network, which is a non-profit organization “committed to ending Human Trafficking through community awareness and response training.”

The hotel has received The Blue Water Award from the San Clemente’s Watershed Taskforce. This award is presented to schools, local businesses and associations that make use of creative methods to reduce their impact on the area’s creeks, beaches, and ocean.

The Holiday Inn San Clemente Downtown is also an IHG Green Engage Hotel which is a corporate, world-wide sustainability effort through the InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG). They are provided with an online sustainability tool that helps them to minimize the hotel’s impact on the area’s environment. The program recommends over 200 Green Solutions that are based on the hotel’s local conditions to reduce the impact the hotel’s energy use, carbon output, water use and waste have on the local environment.

Through IHG Green Engage the hotel also participates in the wonderful Clean the World program as does other IHG hotels in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Clean the World is a nonprofit corporation that collects and recycles unused soap and shampoo products and gets them to people in need mostly in developing countries to help prevent hygiene-related illnesses.

According to IHG they now have 277 hotels participating in this program and through this partnership they have recycled and distributed approximately 418,000 pounds of soap and shampoo waste, and distributed over 1.4 million bars of soap to the developing world. In 2015, they extended their partnership with Clean the World to the European Union and Switzerland and in 2016 we will make the program available for all hotels in these areas to participate.

The City of San Clemente also takes sustainability seriously and to that end has implemented a Sustainability Action Plan. Here are just a few of the ways the city has improved the local environment:

  • The City of San Clemente requires that all events held in city facilities and/or city property must provide recycling at that event.
  • There is waste reduction and recycling programs in all city offices and facilities.
  • The City of San Clemente provides recycling education programs and materials to all San Clemente schools, residents and businesses.
  • The city requires all commercial properties (and some residential) to include drought-tolerant landscaping and efficient irrigation systems in the development review process.
  • The Clean Ocean Program. From the city’s site: “The Clean Ocean Program’s mission is to protect and preserve public health and the environment through education and implementation of activities to reduce urban runoff and stormwater pollution and to promote waste reduction and recycling from industrial, commercial, municipal, new development/construction and residential areas.”

These entities are just two examples of the hard work and dedication that goes into making a difference in a city. We all have a responsibility to take action in our own communities. Whether that means engaging your family in recycling in your own home or reaching out at the city level to make sure your area is doing all it can to make sustainability a part of how your city does business.