These days going green can feel overwhelming. That’s why everyone needs to know about The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano—we can all use more eco-friendly inspiration in our lives.

A historic off-white craftsman cottage with an outdoor kitchen and wood burning oven is where going back to our roots meets a user-friendly aesthetic.

We want to share this special spot with you because we think it’s the best place to learn about sustainable living. Yeah, you could google how to go green, but it’s way more fun to experience this first hand. We acted like kids on a field trip. I almost left on a bus full of middle schoolers from the excitement—whoops! The Ecology Center has tons of awesome workshops, programs, tours, and farm dinners (sign us up!) that empower the community to come together and live an eco-centric life. Sound intense? It’s not.

Native plants, flowers, bees and butterflies are everywhere in the garden surrounding this adorable house—and the inside? Can we please live here? We were greeted by founder Mark Evan’s lovely wife, Kristin who was running Tools for Change. It’s basically a general store/resource center that sells everything you need to save the planet plus more. Local honey, bee pollen, gardening tools, worm boxes, recycled t-shirts, books, seeds, rain barrels, the list goes on. After some hardcore window shopping, we remembered our mission and followed the self-guided tour around the house.


My favorite section was the Food Lab (I wonder why). This is the garden with insane amounts of gorgeous greens that we actually harvested. We were also coveting the hen house, but once the rooster strutted towards us, we decided to head back towards the garden.

It’s hard to keep track of all the ideas in our heads about how to do what’s right. The Ecology Center keeps it fun, easy and accessible. They focus their mission on five core pillars: food, water, energy, waste, and shelter. Each pillar has an Eco-Lab section with a color to match, incase we got lost walking around the house (the center is surrounded by the only organic farm in Orange County, and yes we almost went frolicking in the fields). Cute little signs explain how you can help—at home and ultimately, as a community. Their insight reminded us to think about the impact we have on the planet—and trust us, it’s a lot.

The Ecology Center is on point. They didn’t bore us with facts; they didn’t make us feel guilty about our choices, but encouraged us to make the world a better place, starting with their super awesome interactive self-guided tour. Check it out, take the family, and remember to get the little ones excited about respecting mama earth. Be simple—start small.

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