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Welcome to Sustainable Carlsbad!

Protecting Carlsbad’s environment and natural beauty are important community priorities and a major goal in the City Council’s 5-Year Strategic Plan. We are launching this environmental sustainability newsletter to keep our community informed about environmental programs and projects, upcoming events, practical tips for sustainable living and opportunities to get involved.

You are receiving this new e-newsletter because you’ve shown an interest in similar topics in the past. If you would not like to get these updates, let us know, and we will remove you from the list.

Spring cleaning with sustainability in mind

Ushering in the spring season often signals a fresh start, and, for many people, this means spring cleaning and decluttering at home. Here are easy ways to make your spring cleaning easier on the environment:

Repair or donate items

  • Repair broken items to bring new life to something you love. Visit a local Fixit Clinic to get hands-on repair help. (We have one coming up on April 13.)
  • Consider donating items you no longer need. Many nonprofits will pick up useable items directly from your home or business.

Get rid of bulky items

  • For items that have gone beyond their useful lives, Carlsbad residents can schedule three bulky pickups a year, with up to five items each time. See a list of items that qualify.
  • Call Republic Services at 760-332-6464 to set up a time.

Dispose of household hazardous waste properly

  • Items like light bulbs, household cleaners and paint can cause pollution if they’re put in the trash. Instead, Carlsbad residents can drop the items off for free at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility, 1145 East Taylor St. in Vista on Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Residents can also pay $10 to arrange for a pickup service. (It’s free for people 65 and older.)
  • These videos show you how and where to dispose of common household items safely.

Swap your cleaning products for greener options

  • Instead of disposable products like paper towels, wipes and single-use mop pads, choose reusable alternatives like cloths, washable mop heads and sponges that can be washed and reused multiple times.
  • Making your own cleaning solutions with simple ingredients like vinegar, baking soda and lemon can be just as effective as store-bought cleaners without the harmful chemicals. Plus, they’re often more budget-friendly and reduce the need for single-use plastic bottles.

Go deeper

Read the law requiring cities to keep 50% of their waste from ending up in a landfill.

Carlsbad’s “urban forest”

April marks Carlsbad’s 20th year as a designated Tree City USA, which recognizes the city’s ongoing commitment to “urban forestry.” What’s that? Read on…

Trees play an important role in cities. They provide shade, clean the air, reduce noise pollution and allow residents to connect with nature. A large “urban tree canopy” and well-placed trees also lessen the need for heating and cooling of buildings, which saves energy.

Carlsbad manages thousands of trees throughout the city and has committed to adding an average of 500 new trees every year through 2025.

How you can help

You can help the city expand its tree canopy by planting a free tree in your front yard. The city has an approved list of street trees, many of which are drought tolerant and provide important habitat to local birds.

Contact our parks team to see if your property qualifies at 442-339-2824 or

Go deeper

Read our tree plan

See a California map showing “urban forests”

Understanding urban forests

Celebrate Arbor Day

Join us for a volunteer tree planting event in honor of Arbor Day. Your participation will help us expand Carlsbad’s tree canopy.

Arbor Day Volunteer Event

Saturday, April 27

8 to 10:30 a.m.

The Crossings at Carlsbad Golf Course

5800 The Crossings Drive

No experience needed! Our team will provide a demonstration of the right way to plant a tree.

  • Wear work gloves, a hat, sunscreen and closed-toe shoes.
  • Tools and snacks will be provided.
  • RSVP to Sarah Czech at

Go deeper

Learn about Tree City USA

Celebrate Earth Month in Carlsbad

Join the City of Carlsbad at events throughout April celebrating Earth Month. Every action you take, big or small, helps ensure a sustainable future for our city.

Visit to learn more about our Earth Month events and how you can help care for our beautiful environment.

April 6, 9 a.m. | Pine Park

Earth Month Celebration

Compost & Mulch Giveaway

April 13, 10 a.m. | Dove Library

Fixit Clinic

E-Waste Collection

Grow Your Garden: Garden to Table Workshop

April 20, 9 a.m. | Register for a cleanup site starting April 1

Creek to Bay Cleanup

April 27, 9 a.m. | Register to get the Carlsbad event location

Shred & Recycle It!

April 27, 9 a.m. | La Costa Canyon High School

Donate, Don’t Waste Collection

April 27, 8 a.m. | The Crossings Golf Course

Arbor Day Volunteer Event

Go deeper

Learn the history of Earth Day

Teach kids about Earth Month

What's a Climate Action Plan?

Every year, city staff present a report on the city’s Climate Action Plan and progress made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated in our city. This year’s report is scheduled for the April 16 City Council meeting.

What’s a Climate Action Plan

California laws require greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced according to the following schedule:

  • By 2020, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels. Carlsbad has surpassed this goal.
  • By 2030, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 1990 levels.
  • By 2045, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 85% below 1990 levels.

Climate Action Plans outline how cities plan to achieve these goals.

  • In 2015, Carlsbad became one of the region’s first cities to adopt a Climate Action Plan with measurable goals.
  • The plan outlines strategies and policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a measurable way and meet ambitious targets set by the State of California.

City staff are preparing an updated Climate Action Plan, which will be shared with the public and presented to the City Council for consideration this summer.

Go deeper

Read the legislation requiring cities in California to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions:

Expanding Carlsbad's EV charging network

One of the ways the city promotes sustainability is by installing electric vehicle chargers around Carlsbad and requiring certain new development projects to do the same.

The city has already installed 28 public EV chargers, and another 10 are planned for the Village in 2024. Combined with chargers at shopping malls and other privately owned locations, there are more than 200 charging stations available to the public.

Go deeper

Learn about different types of EV charging

Love nature? Get to know our trails

If you want to connect more with nature and enjoy Carlsbad's healthy outdoor lifestyle, sign up for the city's Happy Trails newsletter. We'll share news throughout the year about the city's trail system, hiking reviews, nature guides and more.

Sign up for Happy Trails e-newsletter

That’s it for our inaugural edition. If you know someone who might like to receive this newsletter too, please use the “forward to a friend” feature. If you have suggestions for future stories, please let us know.

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