Archive for the 'Events' Category

Come Together This Kids’ Ocean Day

Today’s blog post was written by Education Specialist, Alaine

We’re counting down the days for the 24th Annual Kids’ Ocean Day on Thursday, May 18th at South Mission Beach!

Last year, 950 students, teachers, and volunteers called for a “sea change” with this powerful image, reminding individuals to be conscious of their impact on the Pacific Ocean:

2016 Kids’ Ocean Day Aerial Design

This year, students from eight Title 1 schools across the county, along with students across four other cities in California, will attend an assembly about ocean conservation, learning how we’re connected to the ocean through the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the beaches we use for recreation. Students will then put their knowledge to practice and get hands-on experience protecting our marine environment.

2016 Kids’ Ocean Day volunteers

They will begin their day picking up litter across the beach to learn firsthand how different kinds of pollution travel through the watershed and harm our ocean. For some students, this unique experience will be their first visit to the beach!

2016 Kids’ Ocean Day volunteer

Following their hard work cleaning up the beach, each student will make their mark with our aerial art image. As small, individual dots in the big picture, they will unite to call humans to “come together” as protectors of our environment. Just how hundreds of people create a beautiful and powerful image in the sand, our combined small actions have a significant impact on the condition of our oceans. With over 5 trillion pieces of plastic floating in the world’s oceans, and a Pacific Garbage Patch growing to be twice the size of Texas, this is a crucial time to unite our efforts and address global problems to create a cleaner future.

2017 Kids’ Ocean Day aerial design

2017 Kids’ Ocean Day aerial design

If you would like to be a part of this event, we’re looking for adult volunteers (18 and older) to lead students during the cleanup and the aerial art. If you’re interested, please register here. As a thank you, all volunteers will receive a photo of the completed aerial art image as a keepsake! Stay tuned to our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) on May 18th to see the final image.

5 Ways to Celebrate a Green Valentine’s Day

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Today’s blog was written by Recycling Programs intern, Kayla!

Valentine’s Day is a day to share love, romance, and affection. Whether it means spending time with a significant other, family member or group of friends, it’s a chance to celebrate what matters most in life: our connection with others. Traditional gifts of flowers, boxed chocolates, and jewelry are popular on Valentine’s Day, but they come at a significant environmental cost. Valentine’s Day generates a vast amount of CO2 emissions in the production, transportation, and disposal of romantic gifts. The pulp and paper industry is one of the largest contributors to air pollution, deforestation, and our overcrowded landfills. Disposable items such as candy wrappers, cardboard gift boxes, greeting cards, and wrapping paper add up fast and most of the waste ends up at local landfills.

So how can you celebrate while also showing some love for the environment? Here are 5 ways to celebrate a green Valentine’s Day this year.

Find a Romantic Viewpoint or New Sunset Spot.

Sometimes a shared moment in nature is the best kind of gift. Go to the beach, find a new hiking trail, walk along the harbor, picnic in the park…get outdoors and spend some quality time with your Valentine! For new outdoor options, check out secret spots in San Diego for inspiration.

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Plant Together.

Instead of giving a bouquet of flowers or the traditional red roses, change it up this year and buy a plant for your Valentine. Plants are beautiful, less pricey, and benefit the environment. Plant your new “love” plant together in your garden and watch it grow and blossom over time. This can be a lasting reminder of your relationship and love!

plants

 

Cook a Romantic Homemade Dinner.

Valentine’s Day usually means reservations and crowds at your favorite dinner spots. You can avoid the stress and increase the fun by preparing a romantic dinner at home. Take this time to make that vegan recipe you’ve always wanted to try or prepare a favorite meal together. Couples who cook together, stay together.

When buying your ingredients, think local. Not only will your products be more fresh and tasty, but you will also be supporting your local businesses. Visit one of the many farmer’s markets around San Diego County for your ingredient needs. If possible, avoid packaging and make your meal vegetarian or vegan! This can help reduce landfill waste and lower your carbon footprint. We love these 12 Vegan Valentine’s Day Desserts from Minimalist Baker.

 

Create a Homemade Gift.

Sometimes finding the perfect gift on Valentine’s Day can be very difficult. Surprise your loved one with a homemade gift! Instead of buying something generic, show your Valentine how special they are to you. Craft a handwritten love letter or poem on recycled paper. Bake lavender cupcakes. Make this simple DIY lip balm in a reusable jar. Check out the I Love A Clean San Diego Pinterest for more ideas.

 

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Volunteer.

Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community! This Valentine’s Day, plan a volunteer day with your loved one. There are numerous options in every community–in fact, we have our annual Cupid’s Cleanup this Saturday at Bay City Brewing Co! This can be a way to meet new people, get some fresh air and make a difference in your community.

 

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How will you celebrate Valentine’s Day this year?

Sam’s First Time Driving Our EV

Many of us know by now that the benefits of driving an electric vehicle are plentiful, but a lot of us don’t know what it actually feels like to drive one. If you’ve been wondering about the experience of driving an EV, keep reading to hear what it was like for I Love A Clean San Diego’s Contract Manager, Sam:

Alright, step on the brake, I’m 90% sure this works just like any other car, I said to myself as I hopped into our Fiat Electric Vehicle for the first time. It was definitely unusual to see the layout of this car vs. a standard car. No stick shift, just buttons for transmission, battery life display, the works. It felt a little like I was in the DeLorean from Back To The Future. This car was so simple that it made me a little nervous at first, like I had to be missing something. Turns out, it was really just that simple.

I pushed the key into the ignition and began to rotate the key to start the engine, immediately noticing how quiet the engine was. I sat in limbo for a few seconds, wondering if the car was actually on and ready to go .  Compared to my own car engine, which rumbles really loudly (I prefer the term purr) the electric vehicle is as quiet as a church mouse. It’s actually a very strange, and pleasant experience. Press the “D” button, and you’re ready to go on a smooth, fast, quiet ride.  Handling was great, acceleration was great, and there really didn’t feel like much of a difference from a standard car at all. If anything, it felt like I was floating around instead of operating a very noisy piece of machinery.

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One of the most unique parts of the electric vehicle is the battery life display on the dashboard. It shows how the battery seems to magically charge in stop and go traffic. We’re in the future kids! Turns out that unlike conventional vehicles, that annoying foot-on-and-off-the-brakes traffic is good for electric vehicles, because they charge every time you stop. And you can top off the charge when you get home with the same ease of plugging in your cellphone.

“Wait, so, I can just plug the car into the wall at home? Are you serious? It charges like that?” It sure does. Like I said, the fact that it’s so simple scared me at first, but it’s the real deal, easy as pie. There’s no secret that this is the way of the future. Tesla, GM, Toyota, and virtually any automaker knows this. It’s just a matter of time before these babies are popping up all over the place.

It would be a major deal to have electric vehicles dominating San Diego streets instead of standard combustible engines. Think about it this way: the driving of conventional vehicles accounts for a whopping 47% of greenhouse gas emissions in San Diego County. If we all start driving electric vehicles, which don’t contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, it wouldn’t just be a step in the right direction. It would be an Olympic leap in the right direction. So, if you’re in the market for a new automobile, check out the electric vehicles that are currently on the market. There are great rebates to encourage people to buy them, so it’s a financially smart decision, too. SDG&E has a ton of information to help you find the one that’s right for you. We’ll see you on the road!

 

ZERO WASTE HALLOWEEN

Zero Waste: ENERGY

Whether you have a gas burning stove or an all-electric stove, this Halloween challenge yourself to make delicious treats without them! Most common nowadays is the electric stove, which can typically use between 1000 to 5000 watts of electricity, depending on the temperature needed. You can save energy, money, and time when you choose to utilize your oven less often. I found countless no-bake recipes with a quick search and tried out a few. ILACSD staff member, Erika, also had a no-bake cheesecake recipe up her sleeve!

Here are some simply spooky spells & treats:

No Bake Monster Teeth:

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Erika’s no-bake cheesecake:


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Zero Waste: PLASTIC PACKAGING 

No Halloween is complete without candy! Unfortunately, most candy comes wrapped in plastic packaging that is then placed in more plastic packaging to hold the assortment of treats. This creates unnecessary waste that will end up in our landfill since candy wrappers are not recyclable. One of the great things about buying in bulk is that you can control the amount you purchase and often times the price of candy is way cheaper than mainstream options. Bring a reusable cloth bag or mason jar to fill up on wicked treats that range from chocolates to gummy worms! Buying in bulk completely eliminates the need for single-use plastic bags and excessive packaging.

Zero Waste: GOURDS (PUMPKINS AND SQUASH)

Every year millions of pounds of pumpkins make their way into trash cans and ultimately rot in the landfill, adding to the amount of methane released into our environment. The Fall season is the perfect time to decorate with a variety of squash, but it also is the perfect time to cook or bake with them too. These delicious fruits often meet an early grave so consider these good, better, best, worst practices when picking out your pumpkin this year.

Good: Carving the pumpkin à baking the seeds or saving the bigger seeds to grow for next year à throwing away the rest of the pumpkin

Better: Carving the pumpkin or opt to decorate it with non-toxic materials to extend its life as decor à baking the seeds or saving the bigger seeds to grow for next year àcarving out most of the pumpkin flesh to puree and cook with à composting any leftover pumpkin material

Best:  Decorating the pumpkin with non-toxic materials (so it will last longer as a decoration) or not decorating at all (the pumpkin is a work of art itself!) à bake the seeds or save bigger seeds for next year’s harvest à puree the pumpkin flesh to make countless yummy Fall season dishes (pumpkin bread or pie, pancakes, hummus, lasagna), freeze leftover pureeà peel the skin to dehydrate for delicious crispy, pumpkin crisps à compost any leftover pumpkin material

Worst: Carving the pumpkin à throwing every part of the pumpkin away

 
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Zero Waste: Shopping

Streamline your Halloween shopping this year by incorporating some zero waste techniques. Repurposing is a tier in the zero waste hierarchy that is perfect for the occasion and allows for creativity to flow. Create your haunted Halloween world by reusing or repurposing decorations. If you’re planning a spooktacular celebration, borrow decorations from friends or hit some thrift stores. Second-hand stores are gold mines for inexpensive décor and costumes!

NEW WASTEFREESD COMING SOON

Feeling inspired? Look out for a freshly redesigned WasteFreeSD.org coming to a computer, phone, or tablet near you! This is San Diego County’s zero waste database, a resource that allows residents to find options to Reduce, Repurpose, Donate, Repair, and Recycle a certain item. The database has served as a resource for nearly 10 years and we are excited to share all the new features of it soon.

TRASH OR TREAT 

Attention all ghouls, goblins, and witches! If you’re looking for one more way to get involved this Halloween, join the ILACSD and Surfrider Foundation’s Hold On To Your Butt Committee to help remove debris on October 29th in North Park! For additional information, visit the event page.

 

 

I Love A Clean San Diego’s Fall Social

This blog post comes from staff member, Nicole, who is on the planning committee for this year’s Fall Social!

My favorite season in San Diego has always been autumn. The temperatures drop to a brisk 75 degrees and a few leaves fall here and there. The tourists return home until next summer, leaving the beaches, bays and hiking trails free for locals to enjoy. It’s a well known secret that the best time to get outdoors in San Diego is October– it’s still warm, but way less crowded.

Yep, October in San Diego is as good as it gets. That’s why I’m so excited to be on the planning committee for I Love A Clean San Diego’s Fall Social this year. Happening October 13th at the famous Catamaran Resort, the social combines three of my favorite things: a celebration of the fall season, breathtaking views of the San Diego Bay, and a good cause– keeping San Diego clean. 

What am I looking most forward to at the Social? It’s hard to choose. I think everything that we have planned is a great representative of America’s finest city. For instance, CNN named San Diego one of the 8 best beer towns in America, so its only fitting that our Social features a Karl Strauss Beer Tasting. I can’t wait for guests to try the seasonal Oktoberfest beer and take home the signature ILACSD glass that it comes in.

Heavy appetizers will also be available to fuel the fun conversations with old friends or new connections made throughout the night.

The social combines three of my favorite things: a celebration of the fall season, breathtaking views of the San Diego Bay, and a good cause– keeping San Diego clean.

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As a self-proclaimed Instagram addict, I’m also looking forward to our #ILACSDFallSocial photo booth. When you need a break from dancing to the live music, grab your friends and take a few snapshots. I think it’ll be a great way to capture the magic of the night. 

One more thing I can’t wait for…the Silent Auction! We have some seriously incredible prizes this year. Think staycations in La Jolla and Coronado, Disneyland trips, and even some cool gear from Patagonia, REI and Adventure 16.

It’s not too late for you to come be part of an incredibly fun night that also benefits our local environment. Get all the details below, and reserve your spot today. I’ll see you there!

I Love A Clean San Diego’s Fall Social 

October 13th 2016, 5:30pm-8:30pm

The Catamaran Resort

Click here to reserve your place 

Thank you to the incredible sponsors who are making our Fall Social Possible: SDG&E, Catamaran Resort and Spa, Sycuan Casino, San Diego County Airport Authority, and Sony. 

 

PB Site Captain Strikes a Chord with Surfers & Volunteers

Today’s blog is written by our marketing intern, Violette! She loves to surf, so keeping  trash out of the waves is very important to her!

This year on September 17th I love a Clean San Diego is hosting the 32nd annual Coastal Cleanup Day at over 100+ sites in San Diego County. In order to run such a large scale clean up, we depend heavily on the support of our site captains. This year, we decided to spotlight some site captains like Amanda of Tourmaline in Pacific Beach!

Here is a cutie with her reusable bucket at Amanda’s cleanup site!

Tourmaline Beach’s site captain, Amanda, has been a captain for 5 years and has evolved her cleanup site into a zero waste cleanup!

Living in Pacific Beach for about 11 years and learning to surf at Tourmaline are two factors that influenced Amanda to become the site captain of Tourmaline. The opportunity to give back to a place that is so special to her makes the cleanup more meaningful, and allows for others to create the same kind of connection. She wants to make sure Tourmaline stays clean by hosting a zero waste cleanups with reusable gloves, buckets, water jugs. She hopes to teach others the importance of having a waste-free cleanup!  The tight-knit community of surfers and families that enjoy Tourmaline Beach make up a large portion of the volunteers that come out to this site on Coastal Cleanup Day. These community members are often return cleanup volunteers, so they know to bring their reusable buckets, gloves and water bottles and contribute to Amanda’s zero-waste cleanup.

Amanda(left) with a few of her awesome volunteers!

For Amanda, becoming a site captain was an easy decision. She says all you need is a good attitude, because everything else is provided to you, such as training and supplies. Through her 5 years of being a site captain, one of the most important parts is the opportunity to make a meaningful difference and impact peoples’ lives. Part of that impact is helping volunteers realize that they can decrease the trash on the beach by reducing their plastic and non-reusable goods consumption in everyday life. Being a site captain allows Amanda to have meaningful conversations with volunteers that encourage a change in their views and actions in relation to trash and the environment. “I love the connection you can make with the volunteers, and seeing how quickly their views can change after one morning of picking up trash.”

lobster traps that have been found at tourmaline

Everyone benefits from the cleanups, and sometimes Amanda even sees surfers start to join in the cleanup when they leave the water! Old lobster traps are found often at Tourmaline Beach and these pose a danger to surfers, animals and all beach-goers. Knowing that all this trash could hurt someone or something is important for the volunteers to recognize, because for Amanda it’s all about hitting home with her volunteers. She wants them to see that the actions they take every day affect our beaches more than they know.

Amanda is stoked on finding trash and cleaning up our beaches, and wants everyone to feel the same. “Coastal Cleanup Day is a good deed on Saturday morning to start your weekend off right” Amanda says.

You don’t need to register for Tourmaline to clean up with zero waste – pledge to bring a reusable item or three to the site of your choice when you register at CleanupDay.org!

San Ysidro is Ready for Coastal Cleanup Day!

Hi, I’m Violette, the ILACSD marketing intern! For my first Coastal Cleanup Day (CCD) I had the opportunity to learn about a few site captains that help CCD have such a large impact on San Diego.

CCD16 - Central site capt mtg (7)

Irene sharing about San Ysidro with fellow site captains.

The 32nd annual Coastal Cleanup Day is around the corner (Saturday, Sept. 17), and we wanted to highlight a few of the site captains that help make this event possible! Site captains lead volunteers at one of the 100+ sites in San Diego County to help organize and impact that site. Irene, site captain of Howard Lane park, is one of many amazing site captains that help keep San Diego clean.

As a new Site Captain, Irene is going forward with a positive attitude and determination to coordinate a great cleanup.

Although this will be Irene’s first time as a site captain, it is certainly not her first cleanup. She and her Girl Scout troop have been doing cleanups in the San Ysidro area for about six years! Aside from the first time site captain nerves, Irene has the experience, and is eager to plan and execute a strategy to clean her site in the most effective way. She wants to use her influence as site captain to help others recognize the importance of properly disposing of trash, and bring hope for a cleaner San Ysidro.

Similar too many of our other cleanup sites, Irene sees illegal dumping and littering in these neighborhoods. Sometimes this occurs in such large quantities, that Irene is ready to take this into her own hands. As a member of the San Ysidro community, Irene hopes to inspire neighborhood pride by helping to create a cleaner community that the residents will want to keep beautiful.

some trash commonly found at many sites such as San Ysidro

Some trash commonly found at many sites such as San Ysidro

Being the leader of Girl Scout Troop 5912 also inspired Irene to become a site captain for Howard Lane Park. Leading a troop larger than most, and becoming a site captain is an opportunity to motivate smaller troops with the excitement to attend the cleanup. Not only do the Scouts have fun cleaning-up with other troops, but they also receive a patch! The free patches are very popular among scouts, and scout leaders like Irene. Irene always encourages her Girl Scouts to do more than what is expected, and hopes to bring that same attitude to her CCD volunteers!

a few patches girl/boy scouts receive after a cleanup!

Patch requests will be available at CleanUpDay.org following Sept. 17!

And here’s a sneak peek at this year’s patch design, too! Drum roll please….

CCD16-Patch

For others considering volunteering at Coastal Cleanup Day, Irene urges them to come out to set an example for others to care about the quality of their neighborhood. Most importantly, Coastal Cleanup Day is something that makes you feel good because you are doing good for the environment!

Thank you to the San Ysidro Community Foundation for supporting our San Ysidro sites!

Zero Waste Labor Day Party

This Labor Day, enjoy your friends and family while protecting the environment. Here are four Zero Waste Tips for the holiday weekend:

  1. Enjoy your beverage in a zero waste fashion- either have everyone bring their own mug or provide everyone with a fun decorated reusable cup. This way, all of your guests will know which container belongs to them and can continue to use it throughout the night. Take it one step further and exchange plastic straws for paper, glass, or metal straws. ILACSD sells these lovely metal reusable straws, too!sam instafamous
  2. Send out evites or make a Facebook invite instead of sending out mail invitations to save paper.
  3. Use reusable utensils and napkins.zero waste labor day weekend blog
  4. Buy some bulky food! This will reduce the packaging that would otherwise go to our landfills or end up as litter.
  • Most burgers, both meat and the veggie kind will freeze well and so do buns. Just take out the necessities for the party and freeze the rest.
  • Instead of buying packaged veggies and dip, buy bulk carrots, celery, broccoli, cucumbers, bell peppers, and any other veggies and cut them up. Serve them home-made ranch dressing or hummus and enjoy!

Reuseable bag for bulk items

We hope you use one or all of these tips to stay sustainable during your fun weekend plans. Happy Labor Day!

Morning After Mess at Belmont Park

Ah, the Fourth of July in San Diego. What else screams “holiday weekend” besides the smell of sunscreen, the countless beach umbrellas, and the blur of red, white, and blue colors donned by tourists and city natives on the beach? So many people enjoy the beaches in our beautiful city. With the influx of people on our beaches, unfortunately, comes litter. Thanks to an incredible team of volunteers, it didn’t stay long. 

Our shoreline is precious to us here in San Diego, so much so that Surfrider dedicated a day to restore them after the weekend holiday rush. This year marks the 8th anniversary of the Morning After Mess cleanup and I Love A Clean San Diego was more than happy to lead a site at Mission Beach Belmont Park, while CoastKeeper and Surfrider hosted three other locations in San Diego. In total, the cleanup prevented 1,138 pounds of trash and debris from making its way in the ocean after the holiday weekend!

From the 138 volunteers that participated Tuesday morning at our site, 50 lucky volunteers who arrived early received an awesome hat with the “Morning After Mess” logo. Volunteers walking throughout the beach were easy to spot with the bright red, white, and blue, fit for American pride.

The first 50 volunteers received a small thank you from our friends and event coordinators, Surfrider San Diego!

Before the cleanup, Clean Beach Coalition bins, sponsored by many local organizations and vendors such as Think Blue San Diego, FreePB.org, The Local,and PB Shore Club, were placed strategically to help eliminate trash from collecting on the beach and in the bay. Some volunteers expressed their appreciation and happiness when seeing the bins filled up with trash and items that would ordinarily be left behind in the sand. 

It’s hard to miss these Clean Beach Coalition bins – each one is the size of a twin mattress!

Many of the bins and trash bags were filled with items like empty food containers, used plates, and cups, and even larger items like grills, chairs, and broken boogie boards. 

Better in the bins than in the sand.

Volunteers kept track of the amount of waste they collected: cigarette butts, Styrofoam pieces, plastic bags, and any unusual items they found. Throughout the morning, volunteers found items like shoes, sunglasses, backpacks, clothes, and a few stranger items, like a cheese sandwich in a Ziploc bag left uneaten, metal scissors, and action figure parts.

Within just three hours , our volunteers collected over 400 lbs. of trash, 53 plastic bags and over 3,000 cigarette butts just at Mission Beach.

Our volunteers are dedicated to keeping San Diego and our oceans clean. If you are inspired to take action in your local community, check out our upcoming events or Adopt-A-Beach program to get involved! 

Family, friends, coworkers, neighbors – Let’s keep San Diego clean, together! Get involved at CleanSD.org!

Highlights from our Zero Waste Summit

Our education team just celebrated the end of our first series of community workshops! by hosting a Zero Waste Summit!

The Zero Waste Summit, a culmination of our Sustainable Living Series, brought together participants from throughout San Diego County to learn the ins and outs of going zero waste. At the Summit, participants explored Ocean Knoll Farm, while exchanging ideas for incorporating zero waste practices into their everyday lives. With help from The City of Encinitas, Jimbo’s, the Solana Center, Healthy Day Partners, and ILACSD, workshop goers went home with zero waste toolkits to jumpstart a more eco-conscious lifestyle. Take a closer look at how the event unfolded!

Participants were given the opportunity to meander through Ocean Knoll Farm, which provides fresh produce for local Encinitas school lunches, and check out the incredible work of Healthy Day Partners.

Thank you to Healthy Day Partners for providing an incredible space for our workshops at Ocean Knoll Farm!

Workshop goers participated in a “Swap & Shop” where they could exchange used items including books, toys, clothing, and movies. Learn how to host a “Swap & Shop” party with your family and friends!

Host a swap & shop at your office or your next get together with friends and family!

Participants discussed tips and tricks for going zero waste with experts from The City of Encinitas, Healthy Day Partners, ILACSD, The Solana Center, and Jimbo’s. Each booth focused on a specific zero waste topic including recipes for natural cleaners, the importance and simplicity of at-home composting, the personal and environmental benefits of purchasing local and organic produce, and were provided reusable containers and bags for restaurant left-overs and grocery shopping.

At the summit, participants visited our partner booths to get zero waste tips, tricks and giveaways!

The speaker panel that included representatives from The City of Encinitas, EDCO, Snooze Eatery, and Kitchens for Good, provided participants with valuable information, advice, and personal experiences to build the foundation for starting a zero waste lifestyle.

Participants enjoyed letting their creativity shine as they repurposed glass bottles into decorative vases and hummingbird feeders.

Repurposing is a great way to keep everyday items out of the landfill. Wine bottles become decor, or an old toy could become a planter.

Workshop goers were given the opportunity to enter a free raffle where they had the chance to win compost bins and a variety of reusable items including reusable produce bags, travel utensils, water bottles, metal straws, coffee thermoses, and more!

All of our participants walked away with at least one new tool to start on their way to zero waste!

A huge thank you goes out to all of our participants and partners who made the Sustainable Living Series such a success!

To participate in an upcoming workshop or cleanup, visit CleanSD.org!


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