This article is meant to answer all my friends and family members who ask: why do I want to move to California so badly?
All photos shown are from my recent trip to California.
1. The Flora
I've spent all 24 years of my life living in Pennsylvania and New York which have practically identical terrain and vegetation. Every time I visit California or another western state I am BLOWN AWAY by the diversity of plant life there. I wish I could try my hand at growing some of the beautiful flowers, succulents, and fruit trees that cover the west coast.
2. The Food
California is a very health conscious state and there are tons of restaurants that serve vegan, vegetarian, organic, and locally-sourced foods. There are also endless juice and smoothie places which I love. I was impressed by almost every meal I had in California.
3. The Hiking
There are mountains everywhere in California, but they're not all the same. They vary in height to small hills to 14,000 foot giants. There are mountains at the beach, in the desert, and in dense forests. The craziest thing is that there are hiking trails INSIDE cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, and even better ones just a short drive outside.
4. The Beach
I LOVE THE BEACH! I could spend all day at the ocean laying on the sand, swimming and getting pummeled by the waves, or talking a walk along the water. I'd love to live closer the the ocean and spend more time there picking up trash and enjoying the natural beauty of it.
I feel more accepted in California for my weird sustainable ways. They're almost always willing to fill up my reusable mug or give me something package-free. On the east coast I get crazy looks for just asking for no plastic bag. There's also a lot more interest in solar energy and electric cars in California, and more emphasis on water conservation which I love.
Here are some more highlights from my trip:
Click here to read my "100 Sustainable Swaps" series
Click here to see some of my favorite sustainable living products