New Year’s resolutions are an opportunity for people to give themselves a fresh, clean start. This week, Santa Monica-based environmental group Heal the Bay suggested 10 resolutions for Southern Californians to give the ocean a clean start to the new year as well:

• Keep your trash out of the gutter. Debris that’s dumped onto city streets and sidewalks is eventually carried into the ocean by storm drains.

• Use a reusable bag at the store. Californians use an estimated 1.5 billion plastic bags a year, and less than 5 percent of them are recycled.

• Volunteer for beach cleanups.

• Check to see the water quality grades for more than 500 beaches on the Pacific Coast before your next seaside trip.

• Use a car wash that recycles their water, or if you clean your car at home, conserve water and use biodegradable soap.

• Cut down your household chemical consumption, and dispose of harsh chemicals at drop-off centers instead of pouring them down the drain.

• Pick up after your pet. Citizens walk their dogs without picking up the droppings more than 82,000 times a month in Los Angeles County.

• Turn off your facets when you’re not using them, and fix leaky pipes and install low-flow shower heads and toilets.

• Dispose of cigarette butts properly, rather than dropping them out your car window or plopping them on the sidewalk.

• Finally, reduce your waste. Purchase only what you will use and avoid items that are excessively packaged.

For more information, including how to volunteer, visit

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