Making Waves at Kids’ Ocean Day!

On May 24th, I Love A Clean San Diego celebrated its 20th Kids’ Ocean Day, fostering the next wave of environmentally informed and engaged students. Kids’ Ocean Day is not just an excuse for students to hang out at the beach during the school day. It actually begins weeks before in the schools with ILACSD staff facilitating educational presentations for local elementary school students! These students then join ILACSD and a team of volunteers at the beach for a litter cleanup and the formation of an aerial art piece.

During the assemblies, ILACSD educators teach students about the importance of marine life, how their actions affect the ocean, and how they have the power to protect the health our environment. “It was absolutely fantastic. We had kids eager to go to other beaches to clean them up. I can’t say enough good things about how much the kids loved the assembly,” said one teacher from Los Peñasquitos Elementary. The teacher explained how they loved their students being able to see others come together to make a difference for their community during the beach cleanup. The teacher was thrilled to have their students participate in Kids’ Ocean Day, saying, “Thank you so much for this incredible experience. We can’t thank you enough for this opportunity.”

Over the 20 years that ILACSD has hosted Kids’ Ocean Day, we have engaged 20,816 participants and removed approximately 7,280 lbs. of debris from San Diego’s coastline. 

Each year, the five participating California cities determine a statewide-theme for the artwork. The 2018 theme – “Waves of Change” – evokes images of our youngest generations propelling us forward towards a cleaner, safer, and more mindful future. It illustrates how our daily choices, including what we eat, wear, discard, and purchase, have far-reaching effects. This message is broadcast to the world through the art formation. It serves as a call to action for others to join the cause and be mindful of consumption and disposal habits. Check out this video to see the final aerial art image being formed!

Students collected plastic debris on Mission Beach using re-purposed water jugs!  

“Kids’ Ocean Day is my favorite day of the year,” said Emily Nelson, Education Manager at I Love A Clean San Diego. “This entire event, from the assembly to the cleanup and aerial artwork, showcases the power of the individual, no matter their age. I hope each child realizes just how important and powerful they are.”

We would not have been able to make “Waves of Change” without the help of our sponsors, our volunteers, teachers, and students!

Thank you to all of our Kid’s Ocean Day sponsor for investing in a cleaner San Diego!

California’s Coastal Commission’s Whale Tail Grant Program and
the Protect Our Coast and Oceans Fund

Qualcomm Foundation
Cox Communications
Jack in the Box
Bumble Bee Seafoods
Alta Environmental
Wells Fargo
CRC CARES
U.S. Bank
ViaSat
Kohl’s
Einstein Bagels
Starbucks
Outside the Lens

 

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It’s Almost Bike to Work Day: Are You Ready to Ride?

Bike to Work Day is less than a week away! Are you ready to ride? Celebrated regionally in San Diego this year on Thursday, May 17, 2018, Bike to Work Day is a nationally recognized event that encourages everyone to GO by BIKE and supports biking as an everyday, environmentally friendly commute choice. However, if you’re not a regular rider, it’s important to think about a few things before you jump on two wheels. Here are a few things to review and prep to have a successful Bike to Work Day!

Before the Big Day

What You Need:

Well, first and foremost, you need a bike. According to iCommuteSD, “Participating in Bike to Work Day means using pedal power. Beach cruisers, mountain bikes, road bikes, elliptical bikes, electric bikes, and bikeshare bikes are all great ways to GO by BIKE.” You’ll want to make sure the type of bike you have is suitable for your ride (maybe avoid a beach cruiser if you’ll hit a lot of hills on your route). You’ll want to make sure your bike is in good condition before you go. Check the brakes, tires, and chain to make sure they are properly maintained. Make sure your bike fits you comfortably. Check your seat height and handlebars.

If it’s been a little while since you’ve been on your bike, chances are it needs a little maintenance.

If you don’t have a bike of your own, you might want to make sure you have a plan for utilizing a bikeshare bike on a day they will likely be very busy! Luckily, a few bikeshare programs will be running a Bike to Work Day special! Discover Bike, LimeBike, Mobike, and Ofo will all offer free bike rides for up to one hour on Thursday, May 17 to the first 100 people from 6 – 9 AM. Just use the following promo codes: Discover Bike (33844), LimeBike (LIME2WORK), Mobike (sandiegobtw), or Ofo (SDBTWD2018).

Break out your bike lock and helmet!

Outside of a bike, you’ll want to make sure you have a helmet! Safety is key on a bike. If you take a spill, you’ll want to make sure you have a helmet on and any other protective gear you prefer. California law requires everyone younger than 18 to wear a helmet.  On top of a helmet, you’ll want to make sure you have a way to lock your bike up (unless you use a bikeshare bike). You can protect your bike with a lock (make sure you lock up your bike properly if you have any quick release tires) or utilize one of many bike parking or bike locker options.

Does your bike have a basket or spot to store a few things? If not, make sure you have a backpack or something to carry any items you might need to take to and from the office. If you have a long ride ahead of you, consider leaving a change of clothes and shoes in your office a day before. Make it easier on yourself and carry less by having anything you need to freshen up after your ride already at the office.

Depending on when you ride, you might need to consider lights for your bike as well. Being seen is vitally important! If the sun will be down for any portion of your ride, come prepared with lights. For longer trips, you might consider a patch kit and tire pump, but luckily, there will be plenty of pit stops on Bike to Work Day. Don’t forget your manners! Know all the hand signals for riding and always keep bike etiquette in mind!

Read up on the rules of the road before you bike if you are unfamiliar!

Plan Your Route:

Know where you want to go! It’s important to be safe when you share the road with motorists. Be prepared by knowing the best route to your office for when on two wheels! The best route to work in your car may not work so well on your bike. Use the iCommuteSD interactive Bike Map to help figure out the best way to GO by BIKE.

Get Registered:

Register for Bike to Work Day to get all of the information on pit stop locations and be a part of the thousands of commuters throughout the San Diego region participating in Bike to Work Day on Thursday, May 17. When you register for Bike to Work Day, you can pick up a free t-shirt at one of 100 pit stops throughout San Diego County from 6 to 9 AM (participants must show proof of registration to claim their free t-shirt). 

While You Ride

People riding bikes have the same rights and responsibilities as people driving cars. You can use a rack or backpack to keep your hands free. Hand signals should always be used to indicate your turns. Avoid using headphones or a cell phone. Be aware of traffic laws just like you would in a car! Use bike lanes when available, but know your rights on the road when sharing with other vehicles!

Stay safe and feel free to take a break while you ride!

 

Need a Break? Hit a Pit Stop

A total of 100 Bike to Work Day pit stops are planned across San Diego County, which will be open from 6 to 9 AM on Thursday, May 17 for anyone who registers. Pit stops offer fun breaks for bike riders to rest and pick up a free t-shirt, snacks, and encouragement. Some stops may even be able to assist with minor maintenance if you run into an issue. For a list of the Bike to Work 2018 pit stop locations and to see what is offered at pit stops along your route, check out the pit stop map.

Go Beyond Bike to Work Day

GO by BIKE All Year Long

The fun doesn’t stop after Bike to Work Day! San Diego has over 1,570 miles of bikeways in the San Diego region, you can get almost anywhere by riding a bike. You can participate in the City of San Diego’s Transit Tuesdays every week on your bike. iCommute is always a helpful resource to get started with riding tips, information about taking your bike on transitbike safety tips, and more.

We’re excited about your biking adventure and would love to see how it goes! Share your Bike to Work Day story with us by tagging I Love A Clean San Diego in your Bike to Work Day photos on social! PEDAL ON!

 

Over 6,000 Volunteers Celebrated Earth Day by Cleaning Up San Diego from Creek to Bay

This past weekend, we celebrated Earth Day by hosting our 16th Annual Creek to Bay Cleanup where we empowered an estimated 6,000 volunteers to give back at 113 cleanup sites around San Diego County! Volunteers including residents, corporate groups, and civic organizations transformed their appreciation for San Diego’s environment into action for Mother Earth by putting in the time and effort to give back in their local communities. During this three-hour cleanup, volunteers enhanced the overall health and beauty of San Diego’s natural environment by removing more than 175,000 pounds of trash and debris from San Diego County.

Volunteers joined site captain, Brittany Novick (Miss Scuba International), to help celebrate her birthday and Earth Day by protecting the environment at the Mission Beach Belmont Park cleanup site!
Among the debris, there were several notable odd items collected during the cleanup including: 19 shoes at one site, a giant teddy bear, and a bathrobe.

Volunteers also restored the local environment through beautification projects such as painting park structures, planting native plants and trees, mulching, and weeding. Thanks to thousands of volunteers, 113 parks, beaches and community spaces received special care to keep the area healthy and beautiful for the community.

Painting was just one of many beautification projects that volunteers could take part in on top of litter removal at Creek to Bay!

Creek to Bay was an opportunity for the community to go green in more ways than one. With a push toward zero waste practices, we encouraged all youth and adult volunteers to be more sustainable by choosing to bring at least one reusable item for the cleanup like a water bottle, work bucket, or gloves. Many stepped up to the challenge! Volunteers could showcase their zero waste commitments in the Sony Photo Contest with the 2018 theme of “Rocking Reusables” or by entering the Bling Your Bucket Contest. Both contests offer prizes to the winners to celebrate their sustainability and creativity.

Gabriel used recycled items to decorate his bucket for the Bling Your Bucket Contest helping cut back on the waste created at the cleanup!

Creek to Bay also received attention from several of San Diego’s elected officials who visited cleanup sites in their respective districts including:

  • San Diego City Councilmembers Barbara Bry, Myrtle Cole, Mark Kersey, David Alvarez, and Georgette Gomez
  • Assemblymembers Todd Gloria and Shirley Weber
Councilmember Bry helps kick off the Creek to Bay at the Scripps Pier site!

The entire I Love A Clean San Diego team could not be more thrilled and inspired by the results from the Creek to Bay Cleanup. Joining the team this year as Community Events Coordinator, Nik Kennedy reflected on his first Creek to Bay Cleanup experience:

This was my first year planning Creek to Bay, and after months of preparing it was amazing to be a part of the event! From recruiting volunteers to organizing activities, I was excited to see so many neighborhood volunteers come out and beautify Azalea Park and all of San Diego County! This was such an undertaking, and it was incredible to watch all of our work pay off for a cleaner environment.

Major thanks go out to all of our sponsors for the Creek to Bay Cleanup!

Creek to Bay would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors and partners! Thank you all for your commitment to a clean, green, and beautiful San Diego!

Thank you to all of our Creek to Bay sponsors for investing in a cleaner San Diego!

City of San Diego, Think Blue
Wells Fargo
CBS 8/CW San Diego
Republic Services
EDCO
Walmart
Cox Communications
County of San Diego
County of San Diego Watershed Protection Program
Project Clean Water
Anheuser Busch
City of San Marcos
General Dynamics/ NASSCO
Dart Container
Sony
Bank of America
Dudek
Teledyne Instruments, Inc
San Diego Regional Airport Authority
City of La Mesa
Port of San Diego
City of Imperial Beach
City of Chula Vista
Michael Baker International
U.S. Bank
BAE Shipyard
Brown and Caldwell
Mitchell Financial
City of Escondido (Utilities Department)
City of Escondido (Recycling Division)
Dog Beach Dog Wash
Power Crunch

From the entire ILACSD team, THANK YOU to every volunteer, partner, sponsor, and community member who made Creek to Bay such an incredible success! We couldn’t do it without you!

 

Be a Wave of Change at Kids’ Ocean Day

This May, I Love A Clean San Diego will bring 1,000 elementary school students, teachers, and volunteers to the beach to become a living piece of artwork at South Mission Beach to celebrate the annual Kids’ Ocean Day. Through a partnership with the California Coastal Commission, ILACSD will host San Diego County’s 20th Annual Kids’ Ocean Day! Kids’ Ocean Day kicks off before we even reach the beach with in-school assemblies to educate the students on the importance of our ocean, how it is being harmed due to human actions, and how we each play a role in protecting the health of our oceans. Then, on May 24th, these students will unite in a beach cleanup, followed by the formation of an image only visible from the sky. Check out the video below to get a glimpse of what to expect at Kids’ Ocean Day.

This year, the statewide theme is “Waves of Change,” evoking the powerful force we can be when united in our actions. Forming the aerial art message through the collective efforts of each individual sitting in the sand is a perfect metaphor for how our combined daily habits like refusing single-use plastics have incredible power in shaping the health of our environment. We are grateful to have so many young participants engaging in this cause and hope this event will propel their momentum in acting as wise environmental stewards.

Revealing I Love A Clean San Diego’s 2018 Kids’ Ocean Day “WAVES OF CHANGE” Aerial Art Design:

2018 Kids’ Ocean Day Aerial Art Design

If you would like to be a part of this event, we’re looking for adult volunteers (18 years of age and older) to lead students during the cleanup and the aerial art. If you’re interested, you can find more details on the Kids’ Ocean Day event page or register here! As a thank you, all volunteers will receive a photo of the completed aerial art image as a keepsake! We hope you’ll come together with us this year to be a wave of change for our environment!

 

Rethink Recycling That Same Old Date

Valentine’s Day…it’s almost here! For some of you, that could mean absolutely nothing (shout out to all of my sustainable singles – I’m happy to be in good company). But for those of you who find yourself coupled up this February, it can be a struggle to celebrate your sweetheart with a holiday that often seems to focus on consumerism and neglect conservation. As an organization that has love in our title, we’re here to help you with some ideas on how to show love to your special someone and San Diego’s environment without the added waste!

Let’s be real, dates can be a little monotonous. As a single, 20-something, I have personally been on a countless amount of dates that, aside from the person I was with, were completely interchangeable. For me, it was the dates where we did something just a little creative and normally pretty simple that I always recall. Here are a few of my personal favorites that might inspire you to change up the usual dinner and a movie with a box of chocolate and flowers.

Hammock Hangouts

Once, a date surprised me with a sweet little hang session…and I do mean hang. After setting up a hammock at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, we talked, relaxed, and enjoyed the sunset at one of my favorite spots in San Diego. With all of the scenic spots around San Diego, you have a vast amount of options to explore and enjoy with your date.

Share a sunset view with someone special.

Blanket, Basket, and your Babe

If you’re not into the hammock and hangout idea, grab a blanket and a basket instead. When my date filled up a basket with delicious snacks and all the necessary reusable items for a picnic, I was amazed. Is it just me or does throwing down a blanket at Kate Sessions Park beat any table you could be sat at in a restaurant?

Prep your picnic with reusable items for a sustainable outing with your significant other.

Cook as a Couple

While dining out is the popular go-to for dates, I still prefer the night my date and I stayed in to cook a homemade meal together. Whether you prefer to prepare a meal for your partner or cook as a couple, the experience is one you won’t forget. Don’t forget to plan your menu in advance so you can buy any ingredients in bulk and avoid excess packaging.

Cleanup with your Cutie

Want to drastically change up your idea of a perfect date? Show your date you care by creating a cleaner community to enjoy together. Sign up to volunteer with your sweetheart for a Saturday filled with sunshine and sustainability. Head into Valentine’s Day with full hearts from eco-friendly experiences, and join us for the Cupid’s Cleanup on Saturday, February 10th at 10:00 AM in Ocean Beach at Robb Field. Celebrate after the cleanup at Mike Hess Tasting Room. As a thank you to those who participate in the cleanup, Mike Hess will be running a special for all volunteers offering beers for only $5 each!

Volunteer with your Valentine at ILACSD’s Cupid’s Cleanup on February 10th.

No matter how you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, just remember, we only have one planet to love. Let’s make sure we treat it right. ♥

Give More Love and Less Waste This Holiday Season

The holidays have officially arrived! It’s time to spend some quality time with the people we love and reflect upon all the things in our life that give us a reason to be thankful. With all that you’ve helped us accomplished so far this year, we have a lot to be thankful for in our offices! We’re thankful for dedicated volunteers who continually show up cleanup after cleanup and never let their passion for our planet fade. We’re thankful for beautifully clean beaches, litter-free landscapes, and healthy habitats. We’re thankful to be serving a cause that is so near and dear to all of uscreating a zero waste, litter-free, and environmentally engaged San Diego region.

We’re also thankful to know we’ve got supporters like you to help us do even more for our communities moving forward. There are several ways in which you can help support ILACSD this holiday season:

Participate!

In our offices, we’re beyond thankful to all of our volunteers! Each and every one of you makes the work we do possible. While our volunteers have already made such a huge impact on San Diego, there is still work left to do. If you have time off for the holidays, use that opportunity to register for one of our final cleanups or workshops before the New Year and help end the year standing stronger than ever for a clean San Diego!

Spread some joy by introducing your loved ones to your love of volunteering!

Educate!

Spending time with your loved ones over the holidays? Share with your friends and family what you’re thankful for this year, like your ability to make a difference for the environment and your community! Invite those special people in your life to join you at a cleanup or zero waste workshop to learn more about ILACSD. Or talk to them about how we can all take small steps to positively impact our planet – like by reducing our food waste! If you host dinner, consider supplying your guests with reusable containers for leftovers with a little environmental love note!

Celebrate!

Holiday festivities go hand in hand with gift giving. While we all understand that consumerism isn’t the best for our environment, there are ways we can be eco-friendly with our gift exchange. Give the gift of going plastic free with reusable alternatives to single use items. Check out the ILACSD online store for reusable water bottles, straws, sporks, cups, and totes! Not only do these items make terrific holiday gifts or stocking stuffers, your purchases directly help our environment by providing the necessary resources needed to host our 250+ cleanups throughout the county in 2018. Oh, and don’t forget that a cloth napkin can make for an awesome alternative to wrapping paper (this helps decrease the 2 million tons of wrapping paper that will end up in a landfill this year)!

Cloth napkins make a great gift AND gift wrap so you can skip the wasteful wrapping paper!

Donate!

Are you considering making a financial gift this season to support environmental classroom education, community cleanups, and recycling resources? There is no better time than #GivingTuesday! #GivingTuesday is a wonderful opportunity to give back to the causes we care about online while sharing the stories of why they matter. Make a difference on Tuesday, November 28th by making a #GivingTuesday contribution to ILACSD. Your gift makes a tremendous difference, no matter the size! And don’t miss the opportunity to share your support on social media with an “UN-selfie.” We want to hear why a healthy environment is important to you so tag @ILoveACleanSD on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram and use the hashtags #GivingTuesday and #ILACSD.

Whatever way you choose to celebrate this season, the ILACSD team wishes you a very safe, happy, and clean holiday!

 

Brews by the Bay: A Celebration of Environmental Action!

On Thursday, October 12th, I Love a Clean San Diego hosted our annual Fall Social fundraising event, Brews by the Bay, at the iconic Catamaran Resort and Hotel, overlooking Mission Bay. This outdoor soiree brought together some of the top environmental leaders and community members of San Diego for an evening of music, fun, and a celebration of those who are making a difference to better our environment.

Guests were treated to the musical styling of Peter Hall while they enjoyed picturesque views and a tasty drink!

Guests were treated to the musical talents of Peter Hall, who played a variety of folk and classic rock songs, as well as the special guest emcee talents of Fox 5 News’ Brad Wills. With delicious food provided by the Catamaran and lively libations provided by Barefoot Wine & Bubbly and Baja Brewing Company, the event was the largest fundraiser of the year, with all proceeds supporting environmental change in San Diego County. A diverse and interesting silent auction included fabulous items such as tickets to Disneyland, a signed Mark McGwire baseball, camping gear from REI, staycations at many of the finest San Diego resorts, fashionable clothes by Patagonia, and much more. Guests who wanted to try their luck in the opportunity drawing had the chance to purchase “wingspan” lengths of tickets, which was quite the sight!

Senator Toni Atkins presented ILACSD with a Proclamation recognizing our work leading environmental action in San Diego!

Senator Toni Atkins started the program off with a passionate speech on the importance of each individual taking personal responsibility for the health of our community and presented I Love a San Diego with a Proclamation recognizing our dedication to creating a zero waste, litter-free, and environmentally engaged San Diego region. Brews by the Bay also provided the opportunity for I Love a Clean San Diego to recognize folks who give their time and energy to improving our community. Each honoree was presented their award (made from recycled ceramics!) by our local elected officials. The 2017 I Love a Clean San Diego honorees are:

Corporate Employee Engagement
Patagonia (Small Business Honoree) presented by 78th District Assemblymember Todd Gloria
SDG&E (Large Business Honoree) presented by 77th District Assemblymember Brian Maienschein
Volunteer of the Year
Jonathan Applebaum presented by County of San Diego Supervisor Ron Roberts
Leader of Tomorrow
Katrina Berge presented by City of San Diego Councilmembers Barbara Bry and Lorie Zapf
Zero Waste Innovation Award
City of Chula Vista presented by City of Chula Vista Councilmember John McCann

I Love a Clean San Diego would like to thank our following sponsors: SycuanSDG&ECox CommunicationsSonySenator Toni Atkin’s OfficeSan Diego County Airport AuthorityHarrison & Associates, and Morgan Stanley who have made this event and the work we do around San Diego County possible. We also thank everyone who joined us for Brews by the Bay, making it our largest fundraiser ever! Thanks to your support we have the ability to perform even more cleanup and beautification events, to engage more volunteers, to bring more environmental educational programming to our schools and communities, and to provide important recycling information to thousands of San Diegans throughout the county. Now that’s something to celebrate. Cheers!

Thank you all so much from your ILACSD team! Cheers!