Brittany’s Green Routine

Being environmentally-conscious doesn’t have to be confined to your blue bin. If you look closely, not so environmentally-friendly materials, such as micro-plastics, are hidden in everyday products. Follow Brittany’s Green Routine to learn how you can reduce waste, phase out hidden plastics and simplify your health and beauty routine! And check out our Pinterest boards for even more DIY inspiration!

 

routine definition

Routine (noun). – A sequence of actions regularly followed.

Everyone has routines and once you start, they are pretty hard to break. Since working at I Love A Clean San Diego, I’ve been inspired to be more eco-friendly in my day-to-day life, but I didn’t know where do start. Then I realized I could start by having what I now call my “green routine”. What is a green routine you might ask? A green routine is a type routine you create which benefits the environment. I realized I could save money while also being eco-friendly by creating some beauty products with ingredients I already have in my house.  For this week’s blog, I wanted to change it up and share some of my favorite DIY recipes I incorporate in my daily green routine!

Original-Lip-Scrub-with-textBrown Sugar & Honey Lip Scrub: Need to get rid of chapped lips? This is my favorite lip scrub

What you’ll need:

1 teaspoon of brown sugar

1 teaspoon of honey

Mix them together, lather your lips with the scrub, rinse with warm water, and pucker up! Your lips will feel moisturized, soft, and not to mention, this scrub is tasty!

Honey, Nutmeg, Cinnamon Face Mask: This mask is perfect for when you experience breakouts or are looking to brighten up your skin tone! You can use this has a spot treatment or as a mask. Honey is not only hydrating, but it helps soothe inflammation as well as fight against bacteria – that’s why it’s great for so many things! For sensitive skin I recommend leaving this on for 2-3 minutes.

What you’ll need:

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1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of nutmeg, 2 teaspoons of honey

Coconut Oil: Plain and simple, a jar of this does wonders and is extremely moisturizing.  Not only is this something I cook with but I use it for a variety of things which cuts down the number of products I use and minimizes the waste I create.

  • Skin Moisturizer: After a good (plastic-free) skin exfoliant, I take a dab to keep my skin smelling great and soft. A little goes a long way!
  • Hair treatments: I’m notorious for using heat products on my hair, so every once and a while I like to give my hair a little bit of love. After washing and conditioning my hair, I rub coconut oil through the ends of my hair to prevent breakage. You could also use coconut oil as a hair mask and rubbing the oil on your scalp helps with dandruff. I recommend keeping the oil in your hair for around ten minutes then rinsing.Coconut Oil
  • Lip moisturizer: Instead of using chapstick before bed, I use coconut oil, sometimes with a dab of honey, as a replacement. Be sure to pair it with the brown sugar lip scrub mentioned above!
  • Makeup remover: This is something I would normally spend a lot of money on. Instead, I take a small amount with my fingertips and rub it on the areas of my face until it melts. Then I take a wash cloth to wipe it off with warm water. That’s it!

And Guys, don’t worry, we have a recipe for you this year’s No Shave November too! This recipe sent to us by Alexandra Engel to help keep your beards fresh and clean. Blend together, rub through your beard, and rinse.

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A little beard oil goes a long way! *Flowers will not grow out of your beard after using this recipe.*

  • 3 fl. oz. Sweet Almond oil
  • 25 oz. Vitamin E oil
  • 25 oz. Argan oil
  • 30 drops Tea tree essential oil – prevents ingrown hairs and fights breakouts
  • 30 drops Rosemary essential oil – stimulates hair growth
  • ~20 drops Spruce essential oil (optional)
  • ~20 drops Pine essential oil (optional)
  • ~20 drops Cypress essential oil – astringent and antiseptic for oily skin.
  • ~20 drops Bergamot essential oil – antibiotic and deodorizing.

I hope you enjoy my favorite green routine recipes as much as I do. Not only are you saving green bills but you are also helping to keep the environment clean by eliminating micro plastics and cutting down on waste!  For more fun DIY beauty tips, crafts, and green living tips, be sure to check out I Love A Clean San Diego’s Pinterest boards

 

Fallbrook’s Recycling Ninjas

Emily M.It is never too early to take action towards waste reduction. After meeting with the Fallbrook Street Elementary School Recycling Club, Emily wanted to share the students’ enthusiasm about recycling with all of you! Read on for some inspiration to start a recycling program at a school or office near you!

From the time students enter the halls of Fallbrook Street Elementary School, they are coached to become strong leaders. Joshua Mills’ 5th grade class is a shining example, leading the school in efforts to be more environmentally active. As part of their rotating class jobs, students serve as recycling collectors, traveling from classroom to classroom “like ninjas” so as not to disrupt the learning environment. They compile the school’s recycling into a central bin and remove any non-recyclable items.

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You don’t have to be a student to be a recycling ninja! Check out the Ocean Conservancy’s Recycling Ninja pledge here.

What keeps them motivated to be dedicated recyclers? “Recycling is important to me because I like to have a clean environment,” said one student. “I like to keep my school clean,” said another. Many of them echoed this sentiment: “I love to recycle because I don’t want paper going to the landfills because you can recycle and reuse it.” To help encourage other students and teachers to adopt this perspective, they created informative posters displayed around campus and presented at a school-wide leadership rally.

As they look ahead to 6th grade, the students are excited to continue this recycling program. One student mentioned he is transferring schools, but intends to bring this knowledge with him to his new school.

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The contents of this jar represent items commonly mistaken as food by marine life such as albatross. These items include plastic utensils, a lighter, and bottle caps.

During I Love A Clean San Diego’s free presentation, we built upon their recycling foundation and discussed next steps – further ways to reduce overall lunch waste. When I left, Mr. Mills was already scheming on how to teach math through a classroom worm bin.

To conclude our interview, I asked the students one thing they want the people of San Diego to know. They had some sound and simple words to live by:

“Don’t put things that you shouldn’t recycle in the recycling bin.”

“Don’t pollute because we won’t have good air.”

“If you see some garbage, pick it up, even if it’s not yours.”

“Pick up after your cats and dogs.”

Based on the variety of these responses, we can see how one small step towards waste diversion can lead to a lifetime of environmentally-minded choices.

Comment below to tell us about what your school is doing to help keep your community clean and green!

Interested in having our educators visit your classroom? We are currently scheduling for the 2015-2016 school year. To schedule, please email our education department at education@cleansd.org.

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No yard, no problem! Composting in small spaces.

amanda-2-photoshopToday’s blog comes from our Hotline Manager, Amanda! Earlier this year, she wanted to increase her composting knowledge, much like our Education Manager and Master Composter-in training, Erika. After taking a series of classes, Amanda wanted to share these two new methods that are great for small spaces. Read on to learn the basics of two innovative composting methods; perhaps you’ll find one that works for you! 

Many of you already know about traditional backyard composting, but there are other options out there to help you recycle your organics at home. Today, I’ll cover some basics on two composting methods you may not have heard of yet: vermicomposting and bokashi.

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Erika keeps her vermicompost under her desk and just as it should, it doesn’t smell!

Vermicomposting is a method of composting where organic material is broken down through the use of worms, red wigglers and red tigers being the best types of worms for this method. Vermicomposting is a great option for apartment and condo dwellers or those that do not have yard waste available. It can be done on a small scale (even under your kitchen sink!). Mostly food scraps are added to the vermicompost bin, as opposed to traditional composting where large amounts of carbon rich yard waste is needed. Vermicompost bins are available for purchase, and some residents may even be able to purchase subsidized bins – click here to see if you qualify! Or if you are feeling handy and you want to build your own vermicompost bin, check out some basic instructions from the Solana Center for Environmental Innovation.

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Practice makes perfect! At this station, kids learned how to sort out compostable vs. non-compostable items.

I Love A Clean San Diego has also integrated our newly acquired composting knowledge into some of our education offerings as well! Recently, we partnered with the City of Chula Vista & the Chula Vista Recreation Department to augment their youth after-school program, Empower Hour.  ILACSD educators lead  several hands-on activities during May & June to cover topics such as waste diversion, recycling and composting.  During the composting activities, the kids learned how to sort recyclables from compostable materials, and even got their hands dirty during the compost bin and worm discovery activities. If you’re interested in learning more about our education presentations, please contact our Education Manager, Erika at education@cleansd.org!

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Here’s ILACSD’s Program Assistant, Joseph leading the worm exploration station!

Here are 7 tips to maintaining your vermicompost bin:
1. Worms don’t have lungs, they breathe thru their skin. Fats and oil will coat their skin and they can no longer breathe, so avoid putting fatty or oily foods in your vermicompost bin.
2. Worms don’t like motion, vibration or extreme heat/cold.
3. Your bin should never smell, an odor would likely mean you are over feeding your worms.
4. If you are adding watery food, add some paper as well.
5. Moldy food is ok to add, the bacteria actually helps give the worms a head start on digesting the food.
7. Food scraps are best in smaller pieces.

Are you ready to start composting? Find local resources, such as bins, worms and classes near you at www.WasteFreeSD.org!

Bokashi is another composting method where you can pickle your food waste and thus store for later use in your traditional compost pile. What makes it unique is, unlike traditional composting, dairy, meat and bones can be used with this method. An inoculant, a combination of anaerobic microbes, is used to pickle the food waste and are available for sale online or you can also find online tutorials. Once you get your inoculated grain/paper and a 5gal bucket (or larger!) you are ready to go.

Simply add your food waste to the bucket and some inoculated gain/paper as you go along. After you bucket is full, it will take ten days to two weeks for your pickled food scraps are ready to be added to your traditional compost bin. As you are adding to your bokashi bin, place a plate on top to keep pests away. If you see white mold it is ok, only be concerned if you see green ,red or brown mold. Bokashi workshops are offered by Solana Center for Environmental Innovation, but keep an eye out for them on www.WasteFreeSD.org because they fill up fast! 

Summer Water Savings Solutions

Today’s blog comes from our Education Manager, Erika. To help all of us to better understand the relationship between our water use and drought conditions, Erika has taken it upon herself to become well-versed in the ways of water conservation. Read on to learn more about how you can help America’s Finest City reach its water conservation goals! 

 

 

It’s not news that San Diego and the rest of California is experiencing severe drought conditions. In April, Governor Brown imposed mandatory restrictions in municipal water use, designed to save 25% of state drinking water supplies. Despite the fact that most San Diegans are aware of our drought, according to the Equinox Center, “the member agencies of San Diego County Water Authority experienced a 2 percent increase in average daily water consumption on a per person basis” in 2014. While it is my opinion, the best way to conserve water is to evaluate your eating and purchasing habits; although these savings won’t be reflected on your water bill. So, here are some ways you can #wastenowater this summer.water conservation

Educate yourself.

Figure out where you are using the most water in your home: watering the lawn, long showers, or perhaps there’s a leak? One of the first steps is learning how to decipher your water bill and read your water meter (and teach the kids in your life to do the same!). Once acquainted with your standard water usage, any abnormalities will alert you of any leaks. Another simple solution to identify toilet leaks is to put food coloring in the fill tank; if dye travels to the bowl, you know you have a leak.
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There are also lots of resources available including free water savings kits from SDG&E – click here to request yours today

Go beyond the bucket.

I’ve been hearing stories of people capturing shower water while waiting for it to heat, which is awesome. Most people use this water for irrigation; however, there are plenty of other uses for this water. Try using it to fill the toilet fill tank, as water for your animals, or to fill ice cube trays and water jugs. If you plan to do laundry or cleaning that day, you can keep it to mop or use for hand washing your delicates. 

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Scrape and Soak.

When washing dishes, make sure to scrape excess food into the trash (or compost) before rinsing. You can use a bucket to minimize excess water use, too. Also, if you are fortunate enough to have a dish washer, make sure to have a full load before starting. Water saving doesn’t have to start with dishes. Use a bowl to wash fruits and veggies and be smart about the size of the pot you use to cook.

Gray your garden.

graywaterIrrigation accounts for a large percentage of water use, especially in the summer. Our solution, go gray(water)! Laundry to landscape graywater systems don’t require permits. Take a course or study up through YouTube on how to be most efficient in your garden. Also, you can never use too much mulch! Mulch and compost can prevent evaporation from your soil and your plants will love it, too! Don’t forget to use water wise and native plans and try out a rain barrel! Whenever I see a sprinkler watering the sidewalk, I adjust the head to point toward the grass.

 

These habits don’t develop overnight, so place sticky notes around places that are atypical of your routine (and don’t forget to recycle the notes once you are done!).

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Brittany’s litter-free beach day guide

Brittany FischerToday’s blog comes from our administrative assistant, Brittany! San Diego native, born and raised, Brittany it goes without saying that she loves our beaches and 4th of July. To get you jazzed for the long holiday weekend ahead, she has put together some of her favorite waste-free tips for a day at the beach!

 

 

Looking for something fun to do for the upcoming patriotic holiday? Why go anywhere else when you live in a city full of beautiful beaches! The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holiday’s to spend at any beach in San Diego. With so many people at our beaches, there is one thing that tends to be left behind and that’s trash. This 4th of July, Clean Beach Coalition will have large trash and recycling bins located at Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, Mission Bay, and Pacific Beach to give every beachgoer a chance to continue to keep the beach sparkling clean!  Last year alone, the CBC bins collected 96,860 lbs of trash and 2.8 MILLION pounds in the last 8 years. Pretty impressive, right? In order to prevent more trash from ending up on our beaches this holiday, I wanted to share some of my favorite things to pack in order to stay green while still rocking red, white, and blue!

CBC bins

Keep an eye out for our huge trash and recycling bins. They’ll be hard to miss so be sure to put them to good use!

The key to staying green is to pack up all your reusable items to prevent any trash! Here is my easy to follow step-by-step guide to a waste-free weekend!

  1. For starters, instead of using a Styrofoam cooler, bring a more durable reusable cooler. Not only will it last you years, it prevents any Styrofoam pieces from ending up on our beaches and the Pacific Ocean where it will never biodegrade.

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    Plastic pieces are easily mistaken for food by marine animals causing serious health issues. Here are pieces mixed in with sea kelp recently found at a cleanup.

  2. When packing up your goodies, try using reusable containers to transferring and reusable silverware! Here are a couple of my personal favorite snacks to bring to my Fourth of July beach festivities:

Fourth of July Rice Crispies Treats are a favorite of mine. Not only are they easy to make, but you can put them in a reusable container and be set to go! Check out the recipe here!

Fruit Kabobs! All you need are some wooden skewers, strawberries, bananas, and blueberries and you have an ecofriendly, patriotic snack!

plastic free treats

Fruit kabobs are the perfect plastic-free treat! Although the skewers will eventually go in the trash, wood will naturally biodegrade with time, unlike plastic.

 

3. Feeling thirsty? Fill up a reusable water bottle and bring it with you! Did you know American’s throw away 35 billion water bottles a year? It’s important to reduce bringing plastics to our beaches because once plastic enters the ocean, it is extremely difficult to clean up. Don’t have a reusable water bottle? Check out some of ILACSD’s reusable water bottles online!

patriotic water bottle

Brittany always carries her reusable water bottle wherever she goes whether it’s the beach, a park or work. Check out our merchandise to get you own ILACSD gear to sport around town!

4. Don’t have anything to pack up the rest of your goods? Use a tote bag! My favorite tote bag can be washed and reused over and over again. Do your best to not bring plastic bags to the beach, not only are they not recyclable but if blown into the ocean, marine mammals can accidentally mistake them for food.

Still not ready to end your beach time this weekend? Come show your patriotism in a new way with I Love A Clean San Diego on July 5th for the Morning After Mess Cleanup. From 8-11am we will clean up the excess trash left behind on Mission Beach from the holiday celebrations. Plus, the first 400 volunteers will receive a free tee from REI!

Whether you decide to stay in San Diego this 4th of July Weekend or travel elsewhere, please enjoy the scene, but keep it clean. Have a safe and wonderful 4th of July!

 

 

 

ILACSD Brides Dish Eco-Wedding Tips

Today’s blog comes from our recent newlyweds and bride-to-be on our staff, Natalie Roberts DeCarli, Emily Nelson, and soon to be Sarah Lott Buchholz. With so many people getting married or a part of a wedding this summer, we wanted to pass along our wedding planning knowledge to all of you! Read on to learn about how to plan a wedding with the earth in mind!  

Weddings – what a whirlwind of excitement, fun, and –  dare I say it – PLANNING. With so many choices and add-ons, it’s easy to overwhelm our brides, our wallets, and our landfills. Luckily, there’s a plethora of eco-conscious wedding tips. Here’s a few that are ILACSD bride tested and approved!

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ILACSD Environmental Educator, Emily and her now husband, Stan. Congrats, newlyweds!

Invitations & RSVPs: Evites and invitations made from recycled post-consumer material are definitely  the most environmentally friendly options. To go one step further, design your invitation as a timeless keepsake. Emily designed her invitation with that thought in mind; on one side there was a picture of the happy couple, and on the other side were the wedding details. That way, guests can display it in a frame or on their fridge along with other photos.

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Sarah created a custom profile and hyperlink to make RSVPs easy to manage and waste-free at rsvpify.com.

To manage RSVPs, Sarah found an easy to use online option called, rsvpify.com, where she created a customized profile and hyperlink for guests to access. Afterwards, she simply listed the hyperlink along with her phone number on the invitation instead of using mailed paper RSVPs. Plus, the website has a seating chart option. Time, money, and resources saved! 

emily's plates

Check out VerTerra plates! They are plates made from palm fronds that have already fallen to the ground.

Meal time! When in doubt, choose reusables.  Often times you pay a little extra, but in the long run, it’s the most eco-friendly option.

Eco alternative: Plates made from biodegradable materials instead of plastic! A great option that Emily found, called VerTerra plates, are plates made from palm fronds that have already fallen to the ground.

Bridal and wedding party accessories: Start by taking an inventory of what you already have. Emily found the perfect pair of heels to go with her wedding dress sitting in her closet! As for the wedding party, options like Union Station, make it easy for bridesmaids to rent a dress instead of purchasing one that they may never use again.

chalkboard exampleDécor: Tap into your networks! You never know who might have extra tables, easels, vases, etc. For example, Emily got silver dollar eucalyptus from a neighbor that has a tree in their backyard. Plus, at ILACSD, since several staff members are getting married in 2015, we plan on having an internal wedding décor exchange!

Avoid unnecessary printing: Chalk boards are great for wedding programs, menus, and seating charts, rather than printing items for each individual guest.  This not only saved our brides money on printing, but also greatly reduced paper usage at their weddings.  Plus, the chalk boards can be reused over and over again, for future parties and general home décor.

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Natalie enjoying her big day!

Favors: “We wanted something practical, meaningful, and would appeal to all our guests. Our solution? Seed packets! We offered a variety of flowers and herbs, leaving the guests free to select what they are most likely to plant, and displayed them in a flower box.” – Emily, Environmental Educator

 “After attending many weddings that gave each guest their own personalized wedding favor, we had a collection of  favors that we really didn’t need.  When looking into favors, we couldn’t really think of anything we felt people of all ages would want or need, so we decided to skip favors all together.  Plus, they often cost a few hundred dollars for a large wedding, and involve a lot of packaging for each individual item.” -Natalie, Senior Director of Operations

Check out other great alternatives on our pinterest board!

Post wedding: There are a lot of ways to donate, sell, or lend various wedding décor for reuse. Several websites including:

Plus, you might earn some money back while giving these items another life rather than taking up space in a closet or garage.

Goodwill or should we say Greenwill?

SONY DSCToday’s blog comes from our Hotline Assistant, Ani! As our Hotline Assistant, she is always on the hunt for great recycling resources to recommend to hotline callers as well as those who use our database, www.WasteFreeSD.org. Recently, she took a tour of Goodwill’s different locations to see exactly what the life of a donated item looks like. What if no one buys it? Where does it go? At the end of the tour, Ani was surprised to learn about all the different initiatives that Goodwill is taking to benefit the environment and keep items out of our landfills. Read on – we bet you’ll learn something new!

I had the great pleasure of going on a Goodwill Tour alongside city officials from Escondido, Oceanside, Poway, and Encinitas. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Goodwill goes above and beyond to find every donated item a home! 

My portion of the tour started at a local retail store where I witnessed Goodwill employees receiving donations on the back-end of the store. I saw how they carefully cleaned and priced items, this location alone receives donations from up to 150 donors a day! If you are looking to donate some unwanted items, find a Goodwill or second-hand store near you by searching our database, www.WasteFreeSD.org!

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Forget what you know about Goodwill – check out the Clairemont Retail Store’s trendy boutique style display!

I also learned about the rotation process. If an item does not get sold, it is relocated to another store in hopes that a special someone will notice its uniqueness and purchase it.

Our next stop was the Kearny Mesa Bookstore, a new location centered in a lively shopping center next to coffee shops and restaurants. There I learned that books are organized by genre and author to offer customers a better experience when browsing.

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Check out their E-business Warehouse and much more online!

The last 2 stops are where I learned just how dedicated Goodwill Industries is to diverting waste from the landfill. At their E-Business Warehouse donations are maximized by increasing their value online. Customers can browse through over 22,000 items listed online and bid on unique, lightly used items.

The last stop of the tour is a spot where donated items end up if they are not sold in any of their stores and are auctioned off in bulk. If not auctioned after several attempts, Goodwill AfterMarket separates the items, then recycles ALL donation items.

Do you have items that are well past their prime and can’t be used it their current state? Our database also has plenty of recycling resources for odd items including shoes, clothing, and more!

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Goodwill will take your single shoes and recycle them! Find a location near you at www.WasteFreeSD.org

It truly was an informative tour! Waste diversion is possible and Goodwill is contributing to San Diego’s zero waste plans in an immense way. Thanks for the great tour, Goodwill!

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Our knowledgeable tour guide (far right) along with all the tour attendees including city officials from Escondido, Oceanside, Poway and Encinitas!

Do you have items at your home or office that are in need of a new home or perhaps need just a little T.L.C? Check out our online recycling and repair databases, WasteFreeSD.org and RepairSD.org, to find landfill alternatives near you!

 

Meet Moriah!

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Today’s blog comes from our new Community Program Coordinator, Moriah Saldaña! Originally from Redlands, Califorina, Moriah first joined ILACSD nearly two years ago as a Program Assistant, working evenings and weekends while in school. Well, Moriah recently graduated with her Masters degree in Public Administration and we welcomed her on board full-time as our Community Program Coordinator. Read on to learn more about the newest mastermind behind our cleanups! 

Q: What brought you to I Love A Clean San Diego?
A: What stood out to me about ILACSD was the organization’s focus on individual empowerment to create noticeable changes in our community and our environment. I have been passionate about the environment since I was a little girl, going on river walks and learning about native plants with my mother.  It wasn’t until college though that I found myself able to make small but noticeable changes at my university, such as advocating for composting food waste on campus and starting the university’s now annual bike week.  Once I moved to San Diego I looked for an organization that would allow to me continue my passion for better our local environment, and ILACSD was a perfect fit!

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Last month Moriah completed her Masters degree in Public Administration from SDSU. Congrats, Moriah!

Q: What environmental topic are you most passionate about?
A: I think that one of the best ways to make a positive environmental impact as an individual is through being a smart consumer, so it is important to me that everyone has access to the information they need to “vote with their wallet.”  I make a conscious effort to buy items that use less or ideally zero plastic packing and that do not contain ingredients that our harmful to our environment, like microbeads.  Shopping in this way not only reduces your environmental footprint but also encourages companies to make more sustainable choices when developing their products.

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“…it is important to me that everyone has access to the information they need to ‘vote with their wallet.'”

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Moriah, Natalie and Lexi at this year’s Creek to Bay Cleanup. Be sure to join them for Coastal Cleanup Day happening Saturday, September 19th!

Q: What is your favorite ILACSD program?
A: The two annual countywide cleanup efforts that we coordinate, Coastal Cleanup Day and Creek to Bay, are my favorite events at ILACSD.  The amount of teamwork, energy, and thought that goes into these large scale events highlight what a great team we have here at ILACSD.  I am consistently impressed at the volunteer turnout and environmental impact at these events. The next one, Coastal Cleanup Day, is set for Saturday, September 19th – be sure to save the date! 

Q:“When I’m not at a cleanup you can find me…”
A: San Diego has provided me with the unique opportunity to explore the world of craft beer! I love the culture and the artisanship of the craft brewing industry in San Diego, so in my free time I am often imbibing at a local brewery or experimenting with home brewing in my own kitchen. I, also, use growlers as much as possible for at-home consumption so that I am not generating so much waste with cans or bottles. 

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Outside of the office and organizing cleanups, Moriah spends her time brewing her own beer!

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Sometimes your booth gets placed in the middle of a reptile exhibit!

Q: Since joining ILACSD, what has been your most memorable moment?
A: As a Program Assistant with ILACSD, I had the opportunity to go to a lot of community fairs and events in order to tell people about our organization.  There was one event where my booth was located in the middle of the reptile exhibit at Agua Hedionda Lagoon Discovery Center. I had never touched a snake before, but within an hour I had one wrapped around my neck, and then a different one around my wrist for almost the entire day.   There was also a massive tortoise walking around the fair, as well as a bearded dragon that took residence on top of my flyers. That was definitely the most interesting community event I have attended.

If you haven’t met Moriah already, there is a good chance that you will at one of our upcoming cleanups. Stay connect on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as our website to learn about how to get involved!

34% – we can do better!

SONY DSCToday’s blog comes for our Hotline Assistant, Ani, who is always on the look out for ways to reduce, reuse and recycle.  Many of us know the basics of recycling: paper, rigid plastic containers, aluminum, however, there is one part of the home that is often neglected, the bathroom. Read on to learn how you can keep perfectly good recyclables out of the landfill, and instead give that shampoo bottle or toilet paper roll a new life!

 

bathroom-recyc_5Let me start by asking, do you recycle your empty shampoo bottles? What about the toilet paper roll? Surprisingly enough, not many people do. A survey conducted by the Ad Council, a non-profit organization, revealed that only 34% of Americans recycle bathroom items. More surprising, 22% of Americans would not toss bathroom items in the recycling bins if the bin is located outside the bathroom.

What kind of changes can we make to form a habit of recycling in our bathroom? Here are some suggestions:

1. Place a recycling bin in the bathroom to serve as a constant reminder to recycle

2. Inform others in the household of the items that can and cannot be recycled (see graphic).

3. Assign a recycling expert in your household. I found it useful to assign my youngest niece the role of “Recycling Expert”. She is responsible for making sure everyone in the household recycles properly.

4. Make a bathroom recycling sign. Unilever, a consumer goods company, cleverly developed “Rinse. Recycle. Reimagine” in partnership with Keep America Beautiful and the Ad Council.

How do we recycle these items? Give your recyclable bathroom items a new life by lightly rinsing out the left over contents from empty bottles and removing the lid or plastic pumps (not yet recyclable).  Remember to recycle empty cardboard packaging like toothpaste boxes and tissue boxes. And also make sure that aerosol cans, like air fresheners and shaving cream, are completely empty before recycling (yes, you can place empty aerosol cans in the blue bin, yay!)

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“Rinse. Recycle. Reimagine.” It’s that easy!

So what happens after it is tossed into the blue bin? Bottles composed of PET plastic are recycled and used in carpet fiber, fiberfill for winter jackets and sleeping bags, car upholstery, and boat sails. Other recyclable materials composed of HDPE plastic are turned into flexible construction pipes, and patio furniture. To read more about what other recyclable items become, visit IWantToBeRecycled.org

Another solution to our abundant aBack-to-MAC-Program_2ccumulation of bathroom recyclables is shop for items with minimal packaging or shop in bulk. Products like LUSH Cosmetics strive to minimally package goods in store and opting out on packaging is always an option. You can also earn incentives for recycling your empty make-up containers in-store. Take MAC Cosmetics for example. If you take six empty MAC Cosmetic product containers back to the store, they will give you a free lipstick through their Back to M.A.C. program.

If you want to purchase items in bulk, check out Blue Dot Refill in Ocean Beach. Tunnamed-2hey offer customers the opportunity to bring their own empty bottles and jars to fill up on shampoos, body care products, and cleaning agents. They also accept empty bottles in-store for other customers to fill up and use, so start saving those bottles so you can use them again!

Lastly, another great way to limit the need to shop for bathroom items is by making them yourself right at home! Check out these great recipes on our Pinterest page and be on the lookout for a future blog all about simple DIY beauty products tested and approved by ILACSD staff!

 To get answers to other recycling questions, visit our database www.WasteFreeSD.org!

 

 

 

Reclaim and re-imagine to reduce construction waste

amanda-2-photoshopToday’s blog comes from our Hotline Manager, Amanda! You may remember her from one of our most popular blogs, “Curbing Food Waste by Gleaning” which was all about reducing food waste. Now, she’s focused on reducing another common landfill item – construction and demolition debris.  Whether you’re knocking down walls or swapping out home embellishments, you’ll be surprised how much can be recycled and repurposed! Read on to learn more about how you, too can help give these items a second life! 

Are doing some remodeling around your home?  According to the County of San Diego’s Public Works Department, each year 20% to 35% of the waste that goes to landfills in San Diego is generated from construction and demolition. This amounts to more than 1 million tons countywide. You probably already know a lot about recycling, so today we suggest thinking of a different “R” for your materials; reclaim and reimagine! You will keep valuable materials out of the landfill and make your home dazzling at the same time.

If the building materials you have are in good condition, consider donating them to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, which has locations in Mission Valley and Escondido. Items sold at these locations help to support Habitat for Humanity’s programs in San Diego County. Also, if you’re looking for materials to use for projects around your home, you can shop at ReStore too!

Construction Blog pic 1 (Habitat for Humanity ReStore)

Habitat for Humanity ReStore not only accepts donated home materials, you can shop as well!

 

Reconstruction Warehouse is a local company that is also available to accept your reusable construction related materials and offers a place to shop for these materials. Reconstruction Warehouse builds custom furniture from reclaimed wood, and it’s quite beautiful!  Click here to find out more about their pick-up program, plus you can also find them on Etsy!

Construction Blog pic 2 (Reco Warehouse Pallet Wall)

Reconstruction Warehouse makes beautiful custom pieces out of reclaimed wood. Visit their website to learn more!

 

If you are lucky enough to come across some unique and/or antique items in your home remodel, Architectural Salvage is a great option to consider. They specialize in period building materials; from vintage doorknobs to stained art glass windows, and eclectic one-of-a-kind treasures. If you aren’t sure if your materials of value, give them a call and they will be able to lend a helping hand! Learn more about Architectural Salvage here.

If you would like a little help in your home remodel project, The ReUse People of America provide deconstruction services in San Diego County. They assist with deconstructing a building, rather than demolishing it. In doing so they are able to salvage up to 80% of the buildings materials. They can assist with both full and partial deconstruction, and they are a nonprofit organization which allows you to make tax-deductive donations to them by allowing them to keep your valuable deconstructed materials. More information about the ReUse People can be found here.

Lastly, other items you may end up with after a home remodel include Asphalt & Concrete, Brick/Masonry/Tile, Dirt and scrap metal. These are all items that can be recycled! You can find a location for these items, along with info on the companies listed above, by visiting WasteFreeSD.org!

Construction Blog pic 3 (general C&D recycling)

Our friends at EDCO also operate SANCO, a recycling center in Lemon Grove specifically for construction and demolition debris. Click here to learn more!

 

 


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