I Am TreePeople : Carrie Wassenaar

“We could make a huge impact,” Carrie Wassenaar says, reflecting on simple steps people can take at home to grow a green LA. Carrie is a shining example of an Angeleno taking action.

A transplant from the midwest, Carrie’s love for nature started young. “My mother was huge into gardening,” she recalled. Even after 18 years in Los Angeles, she misses the rich, green surroundings of her hometown. But as she’s set down roots here in the city, she’s incorporated elements of her childhood upbringing into her routine.

Every year, she tackles a new sustainable lifestyle shift. She drives a hybrid car, planted drought-tolerant natives in her yard and, in 2014, installed solar panels on her roof. Last year was all about rainwater harvest. Carrie was the first person to join the LA StormCatcher movement

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She’s already making use of the 1,300 gallon tank, thanks to El Niño.

“It’s been so fun!” Wassenaar said . “During the last storm, I kept running outside to check on it!” The cistern is doing well and is almost entirely full, even after the first storm. She plans to use those captured drops to water her trees and vegetable garden, as well as to replenish our struggling aquifer.

A bioswale (in construction) allows water to replenish our groundwater stores.

A bioswale (in construction) allows water to replenish our groundwater stores.

The updates to her yard haven’t gone unnoticed, either. “My neighbors are always asking about it,” she said. Her actions have earned her a bit of notoriety in her community, as her neighbors ask questions about drought-tolerant landscaping and rainwater capture.

She’s a great spokesperson, too! She knows these upgrades are saving her money and making our city water- and climate-resilient. “These updates have made my life easier, not harder,” she exclaimed, encouraging fellow Angelenos to follow suit.

Ready to get started? Let us help you! Sign up for a FREE rainwater harvesting workshop to learn how you can capture water, too! 

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Erika Abdelatif is TreePeople’s Social Media and Digital Content Manager. When she isn't creating a climate-resilient LA via the Facebook, she's probably writing in a coffee shop, infesting the internet with memes, or watching an open mic.