Water Wasters Beware!

May is Water Awareness Month and it is only fitting that today’s blog comes from our friends at the San Diego County Water Authority! You may remember a blog from last fall called, When in DROUGHT, turn to us!” that focused on water use restrictions and how ILACSD staff conserve water in their lives. As water restrictions have intensified, we wanted to make sure you’re are up-to-date. Read on to learn new ways to conserve water in your life! 

When in Drought

State Mandates Water-Use Cuts

This means we all need to do our part to save water every day, every way

May is Water Awareness Month, and what we all need to be aware of is that the governor has ordered mandatory cuts in water use to start June 1.   If we all do a little more to save water, it can add up to big savings for our region – in terms of water and avoiding financial penalties from the state.

Each local water agency has a conservation target to reach from June 2015 through February 2016. These cuts range from 8 to 36 percent depending on each agency’s level of per-capita water-use. If a member agency does not reach its conservation target in the coming months, the agency could face fines. 

Summer is almost here, the peak season for water use.

  • watering yardLimit outdoor watering to two days per week, less if you can.
  • Leaks should be corrected immediately – sign up for your free WaterSmart Check up today!
  • Decorative water fountains must use a recirculating pump.
  • Use a broom to clear driveways, sidewalks and paved areas instead of a hose, which is prohibited.

Are you looking for even more ways to conserve water?

  • Opt to stop watering you lawn areas and let them get a tan this summer! (forget Orange is the New Black, Brown is the new Green!)washer
  • Shorten your showers. Shaving 1 minute off your shower time saves 150 gallons a month! 
  • Collect the warm-up water from your shower and use it to water plants.
  • Wash only full loads of clothes and dishes.
  • Turn off the faucet when washing, shaving or brushing teeth – you’ll save about 2 gallons per minute!
  • Install water-efficient appliances and take advantage of rebates at WaterSmartSD.org.
Sarah watering plants

Sarah, ILACSD’s Development & Marketing Coordinator, uses old water to water plants at the office instead of pouring it down the sink!

Already doing everything to conserve? Share what you’re doing with SDCWA on Facebook and Twitter

Check with your local water agency to see what restrictions are in place in your community. If you aren’t sure which member agency to contact, go to whenindrought.org for the member agency locator, more conservation tips, and rebate information.

Thank you for saving water every day, every way!

 

 

WasteFreeSD tips for a weekend off the grid

Erika-teamToday’s blog comes from ILACSD’s Education Manager and outdoor enthusiast, Erika! In preparation for Memorial Day Weekend, one of the busiest times of the year for San Diego’s outdoor spaces, Erika has put together her top eco camping tips! Whether you’re going to the beach or the desert, you’ll be able to fully enjoy your holiday weekend!

 

Summer is approaching, and with that, you will most likely find me outside camping.  One thing that really bothers me when I am in nature is seeing trash. To do my part, I try to camp, zero waste style. At first, I thought it would be difficult to ditch granola bars and instant coffee but realized I am much healthier and happier when making less waste. The most important thing is to plan ahead and be prepared.

Zero waste food - eco camping

Do some meal prep before your trip to save time and minimize waste!

When it comes to camping, most waste is generated with food. We have become so reliant on the convenience of instant meals but rarely think of the health and environmental implications. To combat this, follow these eco tips:

Stove: Between me and my friends, we have a Jet Boil and camping stove, making cooking a synch. Take it one step further: buy your gear used! Check out Geartrade.org or your local REI for great used deals!

Utensils: A lot of people bring disposables when camping and picnicking but it is incredibly easy to wash your dishes at the campground. To save on water, I bring a tub to contain that water. Remember to use biodegradable soap!

mesh bag - bulk

Reusable bags are great for produce and bulk food items like coffee and trail mix!

Snacks: Buy ahead of time and in bulk. When buying in bulk, I bring my reusable mesh produce bags to limit my plastic use. Recently, I made a bunch of these bags with different materials and sizes. These bags also make light weight snack bags, when hiking, so I don’t need to use resealable (Ziploc) bags. Click here for instructions to make your own! If sewing isn’t your thing, you can buy them here.

Coffee: Yes, this is a whole separate line…you can buy coffee in bulk, bringing your own produce bag and use a French Press. Another option is getting instant coffee that comes in a glass jar and you can reuse the jar!

Other beverages: Either grab your growler and head to the local brewery or go for cans in a box. Saint Archer and Ballast Point, both sell 6 packs in cardboard boxes, which you can use for a fire starter.

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Reduce your use. Fill a growler!

Water: Invest in a reusable water container – they have any size, and with any material – glass, stainless steel, plastic – you name it!

Ice: I tend to shy away from packing items that need ice, so I don’t find this too big of a problem. If you want a cold one, though, use reusable ice packs – you can even make yourself!

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Love campfires? Check out these DIY fire starters using toilet paper rolls and dryer lint!

Cleanup: Most people use paper towels, which you can burn in the fire. I gravitate toward bandanas and reusable kitchen towels.

When camping, I have found that I typically use a couple of trash bags, primarily for food scraps and recycling cans. Other than that, I am waste free! Obviously, I am a little more extreme; however, with planning ahead, we can all make a difference in our environment!

If you are more of the staycation type, and plan to hit the beach over this holiday weekend, be sure to keep an eye out for our Clean Beach Coalition bins! Millions of people will visit San Diego’s beaches to celebrate Memorial Day Weekend. To ensure that everyone has a way to conveniently dispose of trash, we place temporary trash and recycling bins throughout Mission Bay, Mission Beach, Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach. The bins will also be out over the 4th of July and Labor Day.P1050996

And if you’d like to volunteer with us after the holiday weekend to pick up any litter that didn’t make its way into the trash can, we’ll be out at Tamarack State Beach in Carlsbad the Tuesday after Memorial Day. To sign up, click here.

 

Showering the Bride-to-Be, the WasteFreeSD Way!

Erika-teamToday’s blog comes from ILACSD Education Manager, Erika! With more than half of the ILACSD team either getting married or involved in a wedding this summer, it was a no-brainer to put together some eco-friendly party planning tips! Read on to learn more about how you can plan a zero waste bridal shower for the blushing bride in your life! 

Wedding season is quickly approaching. As people gear up for cocktails and bouquets, remember to ditch the disposables and choose eco-friendly alternatives. Here’s how I planned a zero waste bridal shower:

Last month, I threw my sister a bridal shower. We both live sustainably, so we tried to create a party which reflected our lifestyles. We focused on 4 aspects that most showers and for that matter, parties in general, include: invitations, decorations, food and favors.

Invitations: We decided on using evites rather than hard copies. There are many other similar online invitation options, including another staff favorite, Paperless PostIncluded were green tips:

bride to be evite

evite - bridal shower

Sending evites is great for the environment and it’s also a huge time-saver!

 

Other green options: Online invites aren’t your style? No problem! Try recycled content or seeded paper cards.

eco friendly invitation alternatives

If your heart is set on sending out hard copy invitations, check out some of these eco-friendly alternatives!

 

Decorations: We focused on decorating with items we already had, and only buying things that we would use again. We mainly used flowers and succulents in vases that we already had. For more cohesion, we bought burlap, cut them into strips to use as bows and accents. We also decorated with tons of framed pictures. With some of the pictures, I included text showing some of the grooms favorite things about the bride-to-be.

table setting - bridal shower

Use items you already have to reduce waste and save on expenses!

Food: We fixed a vegetarian brunch, which included, homemade granola, fruit from the local farmers market, and substituting mushrooms for chicken in an Asian fusion salad. Platters, plates, utensils, and napkins were all reusable.

erika - veggie brunch

Animal products account for California’s largest water use. Try some vegetarian recipes to help conserve water!

Eco tip: Animal products account for California’s largest water use. Try using meat as a side or going without!

Gifts: Guests went all out with reusable gift ideas! One gift was wrapped in a handmade blanket, one was in a basket, and others were wrapped in dish towels!

ditch the wrapping paper

No gift wrap = less waste and less cleanup!

Favors: We elected for making our own trail mix. Trail mix was bought in bulk using reusable jars and bulk bags. The mix was distributed into mason jars amounting to zero waste!

zero waste favors

There are tons of zero waste favor ideas! Find more on our Pinterest here!

Do you have other eco-friendly party planning tips? Share them in the comments below or on our social media networks: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Be on the look out this June for our blog about eco-friendly wedding tips brought to you by our brides-to-be Natalie, Sarah and Emily!

 

Curbing Food Waste by Gleaning

amanda-2-photoshopToday’s blog comes from our Hotline Manager, Amanda, who came across this incredible environmental resource called “Gleaners”. When she first presented the idea of gleaning, much of our staff thought it was a play on words to promote green cleaning solutions, we were wrong. Read on to learn more about this eco-friendly trend!

In California, we’re blessed to have ample fruit trees and great sunny weather to grow fresh food, but did you know that a lot of it goes to waste because it isn’t harvested? Perhaps you have a fruit tree at home and have more lemons or oranges than you know what to do with?  Don’t worry! We have a solution, and it’s gleaners.

glean def

There are a lot of things we glean: information, resources, and in this case, fresh food. Gleaning, performed by gleaners, is the act of collecting excess fresh foods from farms, gardens, farmers markets, grocers, restaurants, state/county fairs, etc. to provide it to those in need.

Why should we Glean?

According to the USDA, an estimated 23 million Americans, including 6.5 million children, live in low-income neighborhoods that are known “food deserts,” where affordable, quality, and nutritious foods are inaccessible. And yet hundreds of thousands of pounds of edible produce is landfilled each year!

gleaning

Local gleaners help collect fresh fruits and vegetables at no-cost! The collected food then goes to local food banks to feed those in need.

Gleaning helps to close the gap, connecting local residents with an abundance of home-grown produce, to people who need it most. This process occurs all around the United States. In San Diego, gleaning has taken a more unique, urban form with a focus on volunteers gleaning excess fruit from residential properties and farms to be donated local food banks.

If you’re in need of help to glean fruit or vegetables from your property, search “gleaners” at www.WasteFreeSD.orgLocal gleaning programs, including Cropswap Carlsbad, and Senior Gleaners of SD County, listed in our recycling database, can both pick up excess produce, as well as offer volunteer opportunities for those looking to donate their time.

Food waste is a serious problem in the US, prompting the EPA to get involved in reducing food waste. They have created a food recovery hierarchy,which helps to promote the best ways to reduce food waste and put excess food to the best use. The diagram below shows that the first priority is reducing the volume of food produced with the second being feeding hungry people with any excess food; gleaners do precisely that. 

fd_recovery_hierarchy_lg

The average american throws away roughly 20 lbs. of food each month while 23 million Americans lack access to nutritious food.

For more information about reducing food waste, please check out the blog Five Easy Ways to Reduce Food Waste, written by our environmental educator, Emily. Also, if you see a need in your neighborhood and want to take action or want to learn more about gleaning check out the USDA’s toolkit to help.

As always, be sure to visit our one-stop recycling resource, www.WasteFreeSD.org, to find recycling and environmental resources near you! 

ILACSD volunteer spotlight

For today’s blog, we’d like to turn the spotlight towards one of ILACSD’s past volunteers, Lauren. Although Lauren has since moved to the east coast, she hasn’t forgotten her roots here in San Diego, where she first developed her love for the ocean. Read on to learn more about her perspective as a volunteer and how her experience developed into being so much more than a school assignment. 

Lauren - guest blogSo you’re from San Diego… That generally implies that you have a large collection of bathing suits and flip-flops and an inherent love of the ocean. As a San Diegan myself I cannot disagree with those thoughts. I do, in fact, own a few too many bikinis, a number of flip-flops, and I have a great love for the ocean. No matter if I am tanning, swimming or paddle boarding, I enjoy spending my free time on the coast. At times, however, when the shores are littered with trash and debris, it can be hard to truly enjoy and appreciate the beauty of San Diego’s beaches. Enter, I Love a Clean San Diego, a local non-profit organization that not only promotes clean coastlines, but also involves the entire County of San Diego community in its efforts.

My volunteer efforts with ILACSD began as a high school assignment; in order to graduate, I was required to complete 12 hours of service work during each of my four years. To ensure that volunteer efforts were being evenly distributed throughout the community, the school also required students to volunteer with a different organization each year. Senior year, I decided to dedicate my time to environmental issues and participated in multiple beach clean ups with ILACSD. I partook in my first clean up alone and later invited my mother to participate in others with me. Working as a team not only helped my mother and I bond, but increased our ability to clean the given beach. I have benefitted from my beach clean up experiences in other ways as well; I now have a greater love for the San Diego community and appreciation for our beaches. Witnessing the great things a group of San Diegans can accomplish by donating a few hours of their time to cleaning the coast makes me proud to be from America’s Finest City.
guest blog - mt. soledad
The  beach cleanups organized by ILACSD provide all San Diegans with an opportunity to demonstrate the pride they have in their city and beaches and get involved in local efforts to maintain safe and clean beaches for all. A schedule of upcoming beach cleanups can be found on the ILACSD website.

Written by Lauren Van Abel, paddle board enthusiast and marketing specialist.

Creek2Bay hits home for ILACSD staff

SONY DSCToday’s blog comes from Annie, our new Hotline Assistant! She joined the ILACSD team in February and now that she has settled into her new role, we’d like to officially introduce her to all of you! Read on to learn more about Annie and find out what made her first Creek to Bay Cleanup so meaningful.

First and foremost, I would like to introduce myself, my name is Anais “Annie” Rodriguez. I have been with the ILACSD team for a couple months as the newest Hotline Assistant. I assist hotline callers with their recycling questions and help maintain the County of San Diego’s Recycling and Household Hazardous Waste Database, www.WasteFreeSD.org. Before joining ILACSD, I graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in Environmental Science with an emphasis in Environmental Policy.

As a new team member at ILACSD, the Creek to Bay Cleanup was a completely new experience for me. I was eager to spend time with volunteers and to clean up my community. This year, the Creek to Bay media site was at Southcrest Community Park so this event really hit home for me, since I grew up a few blocks from the park and the areas we cleaned up.

Southcrest pano - Moriah

The day started a bit gloomy but cleared up right before the cleanup kick-off, perfect timing! Volunteers at the site were ready to get to work right after registering. I helped volunteers sign up for service projects and handed out supplies.

InvasiveSpeciesRemoval

Lots of large items and invasive plants were found in the creek bed but with the help of our amazing volunteers we removed a lot of it!

EmilyAnais

Emily, Environmental Educator and Annie, strike a pose while sorting trash collected at our Southcrest cleanup site!

When registration was over I sorted out trash in the dumpster with other ILACSD staff. While sorting we found: toilet seats, car seats, metal frames, cans, and bottles. We went ahead and removed all recyclable items and placed them in the correct bin so unnecessary items didn’t end up in the landfill. We also received a few big items like a kitchen sink, a bed, and 3 shopping carts. Unfortunately, many of the big items were found in the creek bed, but with the help of our amazing volunteers we were able to remove it! I immediately saw the aesthetic difference of the creek and reflected on the importance of proper disposal of trash and recycling. One volunteer really stood out to me because he expressed such excitement about what we were doing there and how he is eager to make behavioral changes that will benefit his community.

Besides picking up trash, there were opportunities to participate in a few other service projects at Southcrest Park. Volunteers removed invasive plants from the creek bed, stenciled storm drain along the nearby streets, as well as painted park benches and other areas to remove graffiti. The park was left looking as good as new!

SONY DSC

We’re thankful for the ongoing support of County Supervisor Greg Cox! Here he is lending a hand by painting picnic tables to help beautify the park!

I had an amazing time getting to know our volunteers, working with the ILACSD team, and cleaning up my community! It was also so inspiring to see my nieces and their friends get excited about cleaning up our community. It was also a great example of the importance of not littering! The whole experience left me feeling empowered and motivated; I can’t wait for the next clean-up

But before we start talking about our next cleanup, we’d like to debut our preliminary totals for this year’s Creek to Bay Cleanup! Drum roll please……..

SONY DSC
left to right: Moriah, Community Program Coordinator; Natalie, Senior Director of Operations; Lexi, Community Program Manager.

We would like to thank all of our 5,700 volunteers who took the time to make their communities clean and ensuring that our local waterways stay free of trash and pollutants! Thanks to your help, we cleaned and beautified a record number of 106 outdoor spaces and successfully removed approximately 125,000 pounds of debris countywide!

We would like to also thank our event sponsors and partners for all the help and a special thanks to Lexi Ambrogi and Natalie Roberts for coordinating such an awesome event.

Be sure to save the date for our next countywide cleanup, Coastal Cleanup Day, happening Saturday, September 19th, 2015! More information can be found at www.CleanupDay.org.

SONY DSC

The ILACSD team hopes to see you at our next countywide cleanup, Coastal Cleanup Day, happening Saturday, September 19th!

 

Gardeners come together at Creek to Bay

Today, we would like to highlight yet another amazing Creek to Bay site captain team! Recently, our Development and Marketing Coordinator, Sarah, sat down with Kaley, a Community Health Specialist from the International Rescue Committee (IRC) who helps lead the New Roots Community Farm program. Read on to learn more about how this diverse group of community members have come together to do much more than pick up litter.

IRC logoFirst, let’s start with a little background; what does the IRC do? The International Rescue Committee (IRC) provides health care, infrastructure, learning and economic support to people from around the world whose lives and livelihoods have been uprooted due to conflicts and disasters. Every year, the IRC resettles thousands of refugees in 22 U.S. cities, including San Diego, in efforts to help people, “survive, recover, and gain control of their future.” (www.rescue.org)
One of their most popular programs, the New Roots Community Farm, helps promote food security for approximately 90 refugee families who reside in the City Heights area. Each family has a plot where they plant, maintain and harvest food that they bring home to their families. They even have a booth at the City Heights Farmer’s Market each Saturday, as well, where farmers can sell their produce to bring in extra income for their families. 

But the IRC’s reach doesn’t stop there. About three years ago, the New Roots team was introduced to ILACSD through a combined partnership with Ground Works San Diego – Chollas Creek and Linda Pennington; both of which are longstanding ILACSD supporters and advocates for the well-being of City Heights and Chollas Creek. Their collaboration was a natural fit because a portion of Chollas Creek, a 32 mile natural waterway and drainage system, runs along the backside of the New Roots Community Farm. Unfortunately, the creek has been known to attract illegal dumping and litter so when it rains those pollutants move downstream impacting several neighborhoods along the way.
Linda Pennington at last year's Creek to Bay cleanup!
When asked, “What motivated your team to volunteer as site captains?” Kaley replied, without hesitation, “The free dumpster” which may seem like a comedic response but she further explained that ILACSD’s support, training and cleanup materials were great incentives to join. Additionally, her team was motivated by the fact that having pollution near a growing garden is not only unsightly, but could eventually lead to health issues. Thanks to this collaboration, the team at New Roots Community Farm now hosts quarterly cleanups in addition to their involvement with Creek to Bay and Coastal Cleanup Day, ensuring a healthy and safe garden for all to enjoy!

IRC garden - site capt blog

The New Roots Community Farm located in City Heights is located on a 2 1/2 acre lot and provides 90 families with individual plots to feed their families.

Ensuring safe food is not the only focus for this cleanup site.  Although 90 families have plots at the garden, they often don’t see one another. Creek to Bay helps bring together one of San Diego’s most diverse communities, consisting of about dozens of different cultures and ethnicities, to enhance their local environment. It also provides them with a safe outlet to explore areas outside of the gardens. Since being introduced to I Love A Clean San Diego, volunteers have developed a native plants garden, walking paths, and removed pollutants from the creek bed. Above all else, the garden and Creek to Bay has helped to provide the gardeners with a greater connection to their new home in San Diego.

Join Kaley and her team at the New Roots Community Garden cleanup site in City Heights or choose from our other 105 sites at www.CreektoBay.org!

Standley Middle School Goes Green!

Emily, ILACSD Environmental Educator

Today’s blog comes from our Environmental Educator, Emily! Emily spends most of her time traveling to different schools around San Diego County and teaching students about different ways they can help protect their local environment. Now, schools all around the county are starting to implement more efforts to be green. One shining example of this is the Green Team from Standley Middle School in University City. Today’s blog highlights the inspiring efforts of these students and their advisor. Read on to celebrate their successes and gain ideas for starting a Green Team at a school near you!

Their journey begins in 2013, when Shelley Rannikko and her colleague took a group of students to Yosemite National Park. This trip inspired the students to become eagerly engaged as environmental stewards. As Shelley recalls, “the ten hour road trip was the perfect place to brainstorm about how we could spread the word of recycling at school through a club called ‘Green Team’.”

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In the short time since its inception, the Green Team has made a significant impact on their campus. Here’s a look at how the club is structured, and what they’ve been able to accomplish:

Mission: The purpose of our team is to educate the students and families of Standley Middle School about the importance of recycling and how to accomplish it. The team is in its second year and maintains over 35 members, with more wanting to join every day! They meet during Academic Prep.

Member Responsibilities: Students are given chores that change weekly. Chores include:

  • Bin Placement – bins provided through an Educate! grant
  • Bin Return
  • Garbage Ghosts – using trash pickers, they pull recyclables out of campus trash cans and place them in the recycling bins
  • Radical Rinsers – rinse recyclables, like plastic bowls, lids, and milk cartons
  • Green Team Ambassadors – pass out Green Team Bucks to students using the recycling bins
  • Recycling Engineers – take cleaned items to the recycling dumpster
  • Bottle Brick Makers – pack Gatorade bottles with non-recyclable items; bricks will be used to construct a bench on campus,
bottlebricks

These students are packing bottle bricks, which will ultimately become a bench at their school! Great example of reuse and waste diversion!

Recycling: Since its start in 2013, the Green Team has recycled:

STANDLEY’S STATS ON RECYCLING
Item Pieces or Pounds
Juice Pouches 3370
Go Go Squeezes 474
Chip Bags 2000+
Milk/Juice Cartons 150*
Plastic Bowls, Plastic Containers 200+*
Cans and Bottles 300+ pounds

*Collection started last week

Through the TerraCycling program, the students are able to recycle more than the average blue bin. GoGo Squeezes and Juice Pouches are sent to TerraCycle, where the company pays for shipping and gives money back to non-profit organizations or to a charity of your choice from their website. Check your waste hauler’s requirements, or look into innovative programs like this one!

posterGetting Others Involved: The Green Team has implemented a loyalty recycler card program to encourage students to recycle. Additionally, Green Team Ambassadors walk the quad during lunch, giving out Green Team Bucks for placing recyclables in the appropriate bins. For every six stamps or Green Team Bucks, students can earn an otter pop!

The Green Team creates videos that are shown school-wide during the Principal’s Chat. These videos promote fundraisers, the loyalty recycler card program, membership in the club, and explain what can be recycled on campus. Even Principal Bill Pearson got involved by researching how to reduce paper fliers and informational posters. His solution? Turn existing bulletin boards into chalkboards! A combination of exterior flat paint and unsanded tile grout made this possible, and it brings a bit of character to the quad.chalkboard

Looking Ahead: In addition to the bottle brick bench, the Green Team hopes to combine efforts with the Garden Club to create worm bins and start composting at their school.

If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to contact Shelley Rannikko, the Green Team Advisor, at (619) 920-2183 or srannikko@sandi.net.

 

Related Links for more information:

What is TerraCycle?:  https://www.youtube.com/user/TerraCycleVideos

Drink Pouch Recycling Brigade: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vG5CdXhRtrE

Bottle Bricks: http://www.utne.com/environment/eco-bricks-zm0z12ndzlin.aspx

Kicking off Creek to Bay registration!

It’s one of our favorite days of the year...the day that Creek to Bay volunteer registration officially begins!

Plan to spend the morning of April 25th with ILACSD staff and thousands of other volunteers from across San Diego County to protect and enhance San Diego’s treasured natural spaces. But don’t take our word for it. Read on to hear from one of our newest site captain teams, the Trails Committee of San Elijo Hills from San Marcos!

Once upon a time, there was a group of concerned residents who recognized a growing litter problem in their community. Instead of turning a blind eye, they chose to band together to protect their neighborhood by hosting cleanups. They called themselves the Trails Committee of San Elijo Hills. Soon after forming, they realized that they needed some help to get their vision off the ground. So Crystal, a member of the Trails Committee of San Elijo Hills, and her team turned to ILACSD for guidance and supplies.

In a recent conversation with ILACSD, Crystal shared that “The Trails Committee of San Elijo Hills is just a small group of dedicated community members. Without I Love A Clean San Diego, pulling off a cleanup of this magnitude would have been a huge effort.”

San Elijo Hills Trails

In Crystal’s words: “ILACSD is already so good at coordinating cleanups” and “they make it so easy” to get involved that it was a no-brainer to volunteer for Creek to Bay.

Well, this little group of concerned citizens organized their first cleanup last year as part of ILACSD’s annual Creek to Bay Cleanup. The results? To their surprise, more than 100 people showed up to clean up all 18 miles of the San Elijo Hills trails! What originally started as a small group of concerned community members grew almost ten-fold overnight. When asked about her favorite part of the Creek to Bay Cleanup was, Crystal replied that she enjoys connecting with others that are passionate about protecting the environment and seeing them get excited about what they are able to accomplish in just three hours.

Crystal also shared with us that cleanups like Creek to Bay are important for two reasons:

1) Volunteers physically remove the trash – instantly making our environment better.

2) The cleanups bring awareness and educate others about the problems that littering causes – encouraging community members to think twice before littering has a lasting impact.

Volunteers of all ages, including youth, are encouraged to participate!

Volunteers of all ages, including youth, are encouraged to participate!

For more information and to register for Creek to Bay, please visit www.CreektoBay.org! If you’re feeling on the fence, take these words of encouragement from Crystal, “Three hours seems like a lot of time to give on a Saturday morning, but by the end you’ll surprise yourself. You’ll have a lot of fun and you’ll also gain a greater sense of pride for your community.”

San Elijo Lagoon in Encinitas

San Diego County is connected through a network of watersheds and the San Elijo Hills Trails of San Marcos are no different. Trash flows from the trails, to Copper Creek, into San Elijo Lagoon in Encinitas (another C2B cleanup site!) and eventually out to the ocean!

 

 


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