Our Environmental Commitment

The National Park Service has a strong commitment to a healthy planet.

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Dedicated to a Healthy Planet

It’s the mission of Cabrillo National Monument to preserve the park’s resources and serve the public in an environmentally sensitive and sustainable manner. We are dedicated to demonstrating environmental leadership through the implementation of sustainable and best management practices; the use of alternative energy; energy efficient appliances, vehicles, instruments, and power tools; recycling; and the use of recycled and recyclable products as an integral part of the park’s operation in the accomplishment of our mission.

Recently, the National Park Service issued “Environmental Purchasing in the National Park Service – A How-To Guide,” which steers us in the management of an effective environmental program. The Guide states:

As the single largest employer and consumer of goods and services, the Federal government’s footprint is significant with economic, social, and environmental impacts on local and regional communities where government facilities operate and function. “Greening the Government” is a phrase that has gained popularity among Federal agencies and describes a wide variety of efforts undertaken to reduce government’s overall environmental impact.

Some of the employee recycling containers at Cabrillo National Monument
Recycling is important to Cabrillo National Monument staff - we have containers for different materials conveniently located on our lunchroom patio.

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Cabrillo National Monument takes “Greening the Government” seriously, and applies it to our everyday activities. It’s our policy reduce both visitor and staff waste through the regular recycling of the following:







Fluorescent bulbs and ballasts


Motor oil


Information technology equipment

Recycling containers at Cabrillo National Monument
Blue-topped recycling containers are conveniently located next to trash receptacles in visitor use areas and parking lots.

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Recycling containers have been conveniently placed next to trash cans in visitor use areas and parking lots, to encourage visitor recycling.

For educational school field trips to the park, we have developed a Zero-Waste Lunch Program, consisting of handouts and pre- and post-visit activities to encourage recycling and waste reduction.

We purchase products with a minimum amount of packaging, and actively encourage vendors and manufacturers to reduce packaging.

Alternative fuel vehicles
Cabrillo National Monument is proud of its fleet of alternative fuel vehicles.

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For in-park travel, staff utilizes donated electric GEM and Think vehicles, and 25% of our vehicle fleet is Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).

Solar panels on Visitor Center Complex
Solar panels installed on the roof of the Visitor Center breezeway.....

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Lower Maintenance Facility solar panels
.....and on the roof of the Lower Maintenance Building provide 20-30% of the power needed to operate various facilities at the park.

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We strive to reduce the use of fossil fuels through the use of alternative energy, including solar and natural gas, and the incorporation of energy-saving features in the park’s buildings, including natural light, insulation, and passive ventilation.

Recycled content office products
Examples of some recycled office products we use at the park include letterhead, copy and printer paper, file folders.....

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Recycled content office products
.....along with calendars, business cards, and sticky notes.

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Recycled content barricades
Even our visitor safety barricades are made from post-consumer recycled plastic.

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Recycled content bench
Recycled plastic made the "lumber" that made the bench that you can sit and enjoy the view from.

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We purchase environmentally-preferred products made of post-consumer recycled and recyclable materials. An example of some of the green products we purchase:


File folders

Printer cartridges



Plastic lumber for benches and erosion control


Motor oil

Trash bags

Paper towels

Coffee filters

Pens and pencils

We purchase the most energy-efficient appliances, instruments, and tools compared to cost to give the taxpayers the best value

We use water-based and low volatile organic compounds (VOC) paints and stains.

We reduced our chemical inventory, phasing out most cleaning chemicals and use Simple Green-D, in addition to utilizing environmentally safe products in the cleaning, care, and maintenance of the contemporary facilities and historic structures and museum collection.

The park initiated an Environmental Management System (EMS), a Servicewide program where parks can evaluate what impacts they may be having on the resources and how to minimize, mitigate, or eliminate the impacts. There is a rigorous tracking process to allow for full documentation of these impacts and solutions year by year.

Vending machines
Think of energy conservation when you see vending machines?  Most people don't - but the park's soda and snack machines are energy efficient.

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The vending machines in the Visitor Center complex have been fitted with Vend-Misers to reduce energy consumption during times when the machines are inactive, such as at night and during low visitation periods.

We share best management practices with the visiting public and other parks.

We encourage you to look at additional ways that you can reduce, reuse, and recycle – and join the National Park Service in maintaining a healthy planet.

Last updated: February 27, 2015

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive
San Diego, CA 92106


619 523-4285

Contact Us