The Keep America Beautiful Clean Community Systems was introduced in San Diego in 1977. The City Council and current Mayor Pete Wilson gave the green light for the organization to officially become an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, and the name I Love A Clean San Diego was born. First as the program slogan, then eventually as our organization’s name! We are proud of our work with Keep America Beautiful (KAB). This week, some of our staff are at the KAB conference to learn more. Here’s how ILACSD has been keeping San Diego clean (and beautiful) and, we have to brag a bit, a few cool programs of ours that have been nationally recognized by KAB:
-For 2013, we won the KAB Innovation Award! To further educate San Diegans about the importance of waste reduction and pollution prevention,we launched a Bring Your Own Reusables campaign, encouraging volunteers to switch from disposable plastic bags and gloves, and single-use water bottles to a more sustainable alternative when volunteering. Approximately 70% of volunteers (5,000+ out of over 7,000 participants) brought at least one reusable item to our largest volunteer event of the year, Coastal Cleanup Day.
-Cigarette Litter Prevention Program: I Love A Clean San Diego receives grant funding each year from Keep America Beautiful to combat the large cigarette butt litter issue facing local beaches, neighborhoods, and outdoor areas. ILACSD partners with the Surfrider Foundation San Diego Chapter to install permanent ashcans throughout San Diego County, and has launched programs in beach area communities including La Jolla, Oceanside, and Point Loma, and recently expanded the program inland in 2012 to include North Park, Mission Hills, and La Mesa. The successful program has an average 55% decrease in cigarette butt litter, proving that smokers can make the right disposal choice when proper infrastructure is available.
–Creek to Bay: This cleanup is part of what KAB calls the “Great American Cleanup”. ILACSD’s signature event, the Creek to Bay Cleanup, represents one of the largest environmental events of the year. Since the inception of this event in 2003, 44,528 volunteers have participated in this effort – resulting in the removal of 1.65 million pounds of debris from San Diego County locations. The mission of the event is to engage the community in removing debris from San Diego’s beaches, canyons, waterways, and parks. The 12th Annual Creek to Bay Cleanup is coming soon on April 26, hope to see you there!
-Last year, ILACSD was awarded 1st place for our Cigarette Litter Prevention Program
We’re looking forward to many great years ahead working with KAB! Got ideas for other innovative ways we can encourage conservation and protection of resources? Let us know in the comments!