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Sustainable Company Profile: Ball Corporation

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I Love A Clean San Diego is proud to partner with businesses making a difference in the environmental movement. Sustainably minded companies have the power to not only impact their customers, partners, and employees, but also initiate meaningful change in industry standards. Today, we are profiling one of our partners: Ball Corporation.

Founded in 1880, Ball Corporation is known among zero wasters, minimalists, and crafters for their versatile mason jars, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg of their commitment to sustainability. Ball supplies sustainable packaging solutions for beverage, food and household products, as well as aerospace and other technologies and services. Ball has been recognized by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index as an industry leader in their practices for packaging.

They have over 18,000 employees in more than 100 locations worldwide, and they create innovative solutions for packaging, such as the Widget Can, which allows craft breweries to package the tasty on tap experience of Nitrogen infused beer.

The Most Sustainable Package from Ball Corporation

Commitment to Sustainability

Sustainability and environmental stewardship are key components of Ball Corporation’s corporate responsibility. Sustainable packaging is high on their priority list, with an emphasis on enhancing the life cycle of their products and ability to recycle metals (Did you know metal food packaging is the most recycled container in the world? See the video above for more information on Ball’s sustainable packaging).

Ball partners with many organizations to improve regional sustainability and sustainability for the industry as a whole. Their partnership with The Recycling Partnership, for example, works to improve packaging recycling in the US.

In addition to sustainable packaging, Ball focuses on sustainable operations to ensure a healthy future for their company, their employees, and the environment. They introduced a plan to reduce the carbon footprint of their beverage cans by 25% by 2020 through optimizing the weight of the beverage cans and increasing the plant’s energy efficiency.

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Commitment to Community

Ball’s commitment to the communities in which they operate is impressive. They encourage their employees to volunteer with organizations and causes that are important to them. Ball employees log more than 32,000 hours of community service each year, and that’s just North America alone! Employees in the US and Canada are able to track their volunteer hours and earn $20 per hour to be donated to the charity of their choice.

Ball makes a difference in the San Diego community by supporting I Love A Clean San Diego’s programs! In addition to support of our recycling and hazardous waste database, WasteFreeSD.org, their employees participated in a cleanup through our Corporate Cleanup program last year at Coronado City Beach. Thanks to Ball’s support, our newly revamped WasteFreeSD.org will go live in the next few months, making it easier for San Diegans to find resources to reduce, reuse, repair, and recycle in San Diego County.

Learn More

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2016 ILACSD Accomplishments

2016 was a great year for I Love A Clean San Diego! Check out the highlights of our impact in San Diego this past year.

2016 ILACSD Accomplishments

2016 Accomplishments Breakdown:

We led 250 cleanups in 74 communities around San Diego. Of the 433,098 pounds of debris picked up at cleanups, the most common items were cigarette butts, plastic pieces, food wrappers, and straws/stirrers. 63,183 cigarette butts were found during last year’s Coastal Cleanup Day and through our Adopt-A-Beach program alone! The weirdest items? We found a dog house, wizard hat, wedding dress, and dentures.

Our Education team empowered more than 31,000 kids and adults through 750 presentations around San Diego County. The presentation topics focused on local San Diego environmental issues, such as watershed protection and zero waste.

Our Recycling Programs team received more than 13,000 inquiries through our hotline and recycling database, WasteFreeSD.org. The most frequently requested items: paint, motor oil, medicine, florescent light tubes, and sharps/needles. If you aren’t sure where to recycle these items in your area, visit WasteFreeSD.org and search by item and zipcode.

Want to get involved with us in 2017? Subscribe to our newsletter to hear about upcoming volunteer events. Subscribe to our Facebook events to get updates whenever we add an event. Adopt a beach, canyon, or park in San Diego through our Adopt-A-Beach Program to get involved on a more regular basis. Or join our Clean Committee to become a bigger part of the ILACSD team.

Zero Waste Travel with Emily

While schools were on break this summer, Emily, ILACSD’s education manager, took time to travel both domestically and internationally. During her journey, she learned about how other places manage resources and waste. Read on for her best tips for reducing waste while on vacation.Emily Taroko Gorge

Traveling is a popular pastime, and for good reason. Stepping outside our community exposes us to new ideas and helps us gain greater appreciation for our globe and the other inhabitants who share it.  Though traveling can throw off our normal routine, here are a few small, simple ways to maintain zero waste principles while on the go.

For the airplane:

  • Pack your own snacks and reusable water bottle to avoid the tempting pretzels and soft drinks. Although aluminum can be recycled continually, it’s better to avoid the energy used to manufacture and transport that can in the first place.
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Stainless steel container filled with bulk dried cranberries, pecans, and popcorn.

Eating throughout the trip:

  • Just like at home, dining in is more often zero waste than buying take-out. Even better, explore a local grocery store or farmer’s market. It’ll be easier to find items without packing, and you’ll get to experience a different aspect of the culture. Three items I always like to carry with me are a reusable water bottle, reusable spork, and reusable chopsticks. If I remember, I also pack my reusable stainless straw, though I usually just go straw-less. Pack any leftovers into the reusable container you used for your plane snacks.

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    This delicious udon tasted even better with my reusable chopsticks.

Accommodations:

  • According to the EPA, 16% of water use in hotels is attributed to laundry. Help reduce their footprint by only refreshing towels when needed. Additionally, search for hotels who provide a “light clean” service – a practice that includes simply straightening the sheets like you do at home instead of laundering bed linens daily.
  • Some hotels and hostels donate partially used hygiene items to organizations like Clean the World. To see if where you’re staying is a participant, and to learn how much they’ve donated to date, click here.
  • Look for accommodations that have innovative, sustainable options as a way to test out potential lifestyle changes. Our Air Bnb in Kyoto had a combination sink-toilet, something my husband and I had been talking about for several months. Now that we’ve had a trial run, we’re more likely to invest in one for our home.

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    After testing it out on our trip, now we’re even more excited to install a toilet-sink in our home!

Hygiene:

  • Opt for items with non-plastic packaging. On your next adventure, try bar shampoo or Toothy Tabs – dry toothpaste tablets brought to froth with a wet toothbrush. Both avoid the 3 oz. liquid limit for carry-on bags. Refill travel-sized bottles with your shampoo/conditioner/lotion at home before you go. I’ve been using the same set for over five years!

    https://i0.wp.com/cleansd.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/refillable-shampoo-osaka.jpg?ssl=1refillable shampoo Osaka

    Our hotel in Osaka provided shampoo, conditioner, and soap in refillable pumps.

Other:

  • Learn to use the waste systems in place for where you’re going. Take the time to stop and figure out how to divide your waste. You may even come home with a new idea about how to go green. Ten points to Gryffindor Seattle for having large-scale composting AND pictures of what to place in each receptacle. I witnessed multiple people stopping to read the sign before sorting their waste. The more educated we are, the more of an impact we can make.

waste bins Seattle

If you’re looking for more steps for zero waste travel, check out Girl For A Clean World on Instagram – she’s full of inspiration and innovative ideas. I’ll let this sign I saw in Taipei sum it all up:

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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!

Successful Zero Waste Plans IRL

Sam2016 - 131x172Today’s blog comes from our Contracts Manager, Sam, who has been attending several meetings related to San Diego’s Zero Waste Plan, including food recovery and organics recycling. The idea of zero waste can seem daunting or too far-fetched. Read on to learn about other cities that have successfully implemented zero waste practices IRL (in real life) and what San Diegans can do to help reach these waste diversion goals.

As we all know, “Zero Waste” is a hot button word around environmental circles these days. By its definition, Zero Waste is a commitment to diverting at least 90% of all waste away from landfills, and utilizing other means of proper disposal. But what does it look like in practice? How far along are we? What are the challenges? We will take a look at three California cities to see!

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Repurpose tip: extend the life of common items like glass bottles and jars by transforming them into home decor!

Let’s start with the current big kid on the block in all environmental programs, San Francisco. San Francisco has been among the leading pioneers in the nation for environmental programs, and zero waste is no exception. As a part of their commitment to 90% waste diversion by 2020, San Francisco has implemented composting and green waste recycling pickups at businesses and residences. Along with convenient disposal, San Francisco has also invested in providing the public with educational resources about reducing food waste, consumer and producer responsibility, and the list goes on! When other cities in the U.S. look to a city to replicate good behaviors, San Francisco is a wonderful place to start.

Next, let’s look at Los Angeles. Currently hovering around 75% diversion of waste away from landfills, Los Angeles’s goal is to to achieve a lofty 97% waste diversion by 2030 through SWIRP, which is an acronym for Solid Waste Integrated Resources Plan. LA’s infrastructure will soon follow in the footsteps of San Francisco to ensure that greater tonnages of green waste (yard clippings, food scraps, etc.) and compost can be properly disposed of instead of winding up in a landfill. Along with San Francisco, LA believes educational outreach for both food waste reduction and proper recycling techniques are critical to their long term goals. Looking to achieve 87% diversion by 2020, Los Angeles has made a firm commitment to realizing their ultimate “zero waste” initiative by 2030.

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Practice makes habits! Students practice sorting paper, cans, and food scraps into pretend trash, compost and recycling bins.

Last, but certainly not least, our wonderful home of San Diego. The macro-level goal is to achieve virtually 100% waste diversion by 2040, with yearly increments designed to test the progress. Along with LA, San Diego is playing catch up to San Francisco in regards to the infrastructure required to divert large quantities of green waste. Working with the State recycling agency, CalRecycle, as well as haulers and constituents to ensure the County meets its goals will be required if they hope to reach their goals:

  • 75% by 2020,
  • 90% by 2035
  • “zero” waste by 2040

In order to achieve this, the County will need to divert an additional 332,000 tons to offset the current 67% diversion rate. They hope to do this by encouraging haulers to divert more away from landfills, educate San Diegans, and of course divert more green waste away from landfills. Click here to learn more about San Diego’s Zero Waste plan. 

Sustainable-Living-Series-Summit-flyerIt’s exciting times! Zero Waste is no longer just a dream, but it is now a successful process! And with the process, we can see the evolution towards greener, healthier, and more beautiful communities. I Love A Clean San Diego is doing its part by revamping our comprehensive recycling database, WasteFreeSD.org, to include zero waste tips and tricks to fit any lifestyle.  You can always give us a call at 1-877-R1-EARTH to have any of your recycling questions answered as well.

If you’re looking for a more hands-on approach, our education team hosts community workshops designed to give you real life solutions like choosing reusables, how to shop in bulk, etc. Our next workshop, the Zero Waste Summit, will take place on Saturday, June 11th at Ocean Knoll Farms in Encinitas. Let us know you’re coming by registering ahead of time – Here’s to Zero Waste!

Record Breaking Creek to Bay Results

c2b16 mountain view park (247)Today’s blog comes from our Community Program Manager, Moriah who is eager to share this year’s Creek to Bay Cleanup totals!

I am thrilled to announce that the 14th Annual Creek to Bay Cleanup was an overwhelming success! This year, we focused on increasing communities to volunteer together in their own nearby parks, open spaces, canyons, creeks and beaches.  In total, our volunteers cleaned up a record 110 sites all over the county!

Totals from around the County are still coming in, but we can confidently report that this year’s event was record breaking all around! More than 6,400 volunteers channeled their appreciation of San Diego’s environment into action and removed more than 170,000 pounds of trash and debris from our county!

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What is even more impressive is that considering how many sites we had, we actually collected less trash than usual.  That means that we are all making improvements in our daily lives to reduce the amount of waste that we create and dump into our environment! On top of this, volunteers also beautified and restored the local environment through removing invasive plants, planting trees and native plants, stenciling storm drains, and performing a variety of park maintenance projects.Before and After - Postage Stamp Pt.

Our staff helped out at our media site, Mountain View Community Park.  While across the County we were expecting rain, the sun came through for a beautiful day.  More than 200 volunteers ranging from community members to corporate teams came out to beautify the park.  We painted bleachers and buildings, planted day lilies, stenciled storm drains on neighborhood streets, and removed more than 4,000 pounds of debris from the park and surrounding community.  It is so inspiring to see members of the community heartened after connecting with the beauty of their local environment.Fox Canyon

At almost every cleanup event cigarette butts and plastic items are our most commonly found items.  This year was no different, but there were quite a few found items that took our site captains and our staff by surprise.  Our North Swan Canyon site in City Heights found 13 rolls of piano music from the 19th Century, quite a few sites reported finding small toy dinosaurs, and New Roots Community Farm found a litter of kittens from a cat that lives at the garden! We are happy to say that the kittens are safe and sound and one of them even went home with Leila, our Recycling Program Assistant!

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Meet Tonks aka Lil Sprout!

Thank you again to all of our site captains, volunteers, event sponsors and partners for all of your support! Stay tuned for our final totals, and save the date for our next countywide cleanup, Coastal Cleanup Day, happening Saturday, September 17th, 2015! More information can be found at www.CleanupDay.org!

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Thank you from the ILACSD team!

 

New Resources Promote Water-Efficient Landscapes

Today’s blog is from our friends at the San Diego County Water Authority! Read on to learn more about the newest water-wise landscaping resources that are available!LogoColorVertPCbig

May is Water Awareness Month and studies have shown that large improvements are being made statewide to effectively conserve water and our reservoirs are slowly but surely making their way back to pre-drought levels. With that said, we all can do our part to conserve this precious and unpredictable resource.

When in Drought

Were you aware that more than half of a typical single-family household’s water use happens outdoors?

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To help improve our region’s outdoor water efficiency, the San Diego County Water Authority recently launched two new resources – an online video series that guides homeowners through the process of transforming their yards into water-efficient landscapes, and an EPA-approved training program for landscape professionals.

The WaterSmart Landscape Makeover Program’s Videos On Demand take the content of the Water Authority’s award-winning WaterSmart Landscape Makeover classes and condense it into 17 short, engaging episodes that provide step-by step guidance through the landscape retrofit process, including site analysis, design, implementation and maintenance.  To watch the videos, or learn more about the WaterSmart Landscape Makeover Program, go to LandscapeMakeover.WaterSmartSD.org.

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The Water Authority also is now a partner in the Qualified Water-Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) training program. This program provides landscape professionals with 20 hours of education on principles of proper plant selection for the local climate, irrigation system design and maintenance, and irrigation system programming and operation.  Go to QWEL.WaterSmartSD.org to learn more, including information about hiring QWEL-trained landscapers.

Water-wise yard - MJB (3)

In addition to these new resources, the Water Authority continues to work with multiple partners to help homeowners and business owners maximize water efficiency. Please visit  www.whenindrought.org for links to water-use rules by community and other conservation resources, such as incentives for rain barrels to low-water-use devices and appliances.

Thank you to all of you who have conserved and continue to find new ways to make the most of our most precious resource! 

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Hundreds attend kickoff event at Dixon Lake

Here at I Love A Clean San Diego, we like to make it as easy as possible for people to volunteer with us. That’s why we love our Adopt-A-Beach and Adopt-A-Canyon programs—people can schedule beach or canyon cleanups any day of the year, and we provide all of the cleanup supplies for free.

Thanks to a grant from the Escondido Charitable Foundation, we are now able to bring this program to two sites in Escondido—Dixon Lake and Kit Carson Park. These are the first adoptable sites in inland North County, and we’re thrilled to have this program as an option for people who live far from the nearest adoptable beach.

This past weekend, we hosted a kickoff event to officially launch the program. We invited volunteers to join us at Dixon Lake in northeastern Escondido.

And we sure did kick off this program with a bang! A grand total of 402 volunteers collected 348 pounds of trash and recycling from around the lake and nearby Daley Ranch hiking trails. Here’s a recap of how the event unfolded.

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Our volunteers listen attentively to the kickoff and safety talk from Lexi, our Development Manager. She covered topics like how trash travels through the community, why cleanups are important, and local recycling rules. She also talked about how to get involved with the newly launched Adopt-A-Canyon program in Escondido. Some of these volunteers have already signed up online and scheduled their next Escondido cleanups!

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A team from the Division 37 East Key Club paused for a photo in front of scenic Dixon Lake. Throughout the morning, lake visitors thanked our volunteers for helping to keep the park clean and litter-free!

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Miles of trails run along the lake, so our volunteers were able to spread out and cover a lot of ground. Here, a team from North Coast Church walked along one of the lake trails hunting for litter with our trash grabber and bucket in hand!

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You never know what you’ll find at our cleanup events! This young volunteer wins our Most Unusual Item prize for finding this full bottle of sparkling cider. Here’s to you!

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We weigh all of the trash and recycling collected at our cleanups as a way of measuring our impact and accomplishments. When volunteers use their own buckets instead of single-use plastic bags, we simply subtract the weight of the empty bucket to determine the weight of the trash. The buckets get emptied right into the dumpster—no single-use plastics needed!

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A big thanks to this massive volunteer team from UCSD’s Upward Bound program. We love working with big groups like this one to get a lot accomplished at our events. These young students were a huge help!

Interested in adopting one of these sites? Visit www.AdoptSD.org to learn more and to schedule your own cleanups. We can provide a free educational presentation to kick off your first cleanup, and if you complete three cleanups over the course of a year, you can apply to have your group’s name posted on a sign on site.

We’ll be back at Dixon Lake, as well as at four other Escondido sites, for our big countywide event, the Creek to Bay Cleanup, on Saturday, April 23rd from 9AM-12PM. Registration opens April 1st at CreektoBay.org!

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From intern to director to goodbye

morgan team15 v2Today’s blog comes from one of I Love A Clean San Diego’s most tenured staff members, Morgan Justice Black, who is saying goodbye after working at ILACSD for almost a decade. Below, she reflects on her time with the organization. 

In June 2006, George W. Bush was the president, the World Cup was being played in Germany, the Disney film Cars was released, and I responded to a Craiglist posting for an unpaid internship with I Love A Clean San Diego. I’m not sure how much competition I had, but I landed the internship and my story with I Love A Clean San Diego began.

After a few months, I got lucky and my supervisor moved on. Again, somehow I landed her job and became the organization’s Volunteer & Events Coordinator at the ripe old age of 22. The best part of this gig…I was getting paid! I took the reins just in time for our biggest event of the year, the 22nd Annual Coastal Cleanup Day where I had to rub elbows with the likes of Supervisor Pam Slater Price and my childhood crush, local meteorologist Loren Nancarrow.

Here I am, the first photo of me on the job at Coastal Cleanup Day 2006. I don't look frantic at all...

Here I am, the first photo of me on the job at Coastal Cleanup Day 2006.

After a year on the job, I convinced my boss Pauline that we needed more help, so we hired someone even younger than me! Fresh out of college, Natalie arrived and became my right hand woman and still to this day Natalie and Pauline are key ingredients in the secret sauce that is ILACSD. I became the Outreach Director and tried the best I could to be involved in pretty much everything with ILACSD. I helped to orchestrate annual Halloween costume parties and earned the title of craziest office cat lady, as I fed the ever-growing pack of feral kittens. As the unofficial “jill of all trades” at ILACSD in those days, I got a lot of great experience doing a little of everything!

 

 

Those cats and I had a very special relationship. So special in fact that I would climb out of my office window to spend some quality time with them on my lunch break.

Those cats and I had a very special relationship. So special in fact that I would climb out of my office window to spend some quality time with them on my lunch break.

I learned how to maximize storage in our external storage unit, do dishes in the bathroom sink, and haggle for an office truck. I also learned the value of collaboration, and through new partnerships we began working closely with other nonprofits and companies to expand our programs.

2010 was a big year for me, and for ILACSD. We restructured and I became the Director of Development & Marketing. We also moved, saying goodbye to the office kitties, and hello to our current digs in Liberty Station. Over the years, I’ve written hundreds of grants, coordinated thousands of volunteers, been on tv too many times to count, had 5 different titles and attended 10 Coastal Cleanup Days – which just happen to always fall on my birthday weekend.

One of my proudest moments - getting ILACSD a truck for not a penny more than we wanted to pay for it!

One of my proudest moments – getting ILACSD a truck for not a penny more than we wanted to pay for it!

In fact, in 2013, I celebrated by 30th birthday at Coastal Cleanup Day with the ILACSD team, my family, a few elected officials and hundreds of volunteers. They actually sang happy birthday to me after Supervisor Cox announced over the microphone that it was my 30th birthday!

My 30th Birthday Party Posse at Coastal Cleanup Day!

My 30th Birthday Party Posse at Coastal Cleanup Day!

In addition to my “day job”, ILACSD has allowed me the flexibility to pursue my passion for volunteering in the community. With their support, I spent a number of years volunteering with the Junior League of San Diego and five years ago became a member of Women Give San Diego. I’ve been able to transfer skills from volunteering into the workplace and vis versa. And I’ve been able to fulfill my desire for constant civic engagement.

This week, after more than nine years and countless chapters, the story is coming to an end, as I say goodbye to the place that I’ve spend more time in than anywhere else in my adult life. I’ve developed many friendships, countless skills, but most importantly, I’ve grown into an adult under ILACSD’s watch. I’m sad to say goodbye, but I’m happy that ILACSD has instilled in me the confidence to go after a new opportunity in which I will continue to make San Diego a better place.

Thanks to all of you who have been a part of my journey over the last decade. It’s been quite a ride!

-MJB

Staff with Mannequin

Preliminary CCD Results are in!

The dynamic duo, Lexi & Moriah!

Today’s blog comes from our Community Program Coordinator and co-Coastal Cleanup Day mastermind, Moriah Saldaña!  Over the last few month, Moriah has worked closely with our Community Program Manager, Lexi Ambrogi, to ensure that our second countywide cleanup of the year was a success. Read on to learn more about preliminary totals and view snapshots from around the county!

Vol in Action - Moonlight

Counting all those cigarette butts and bottle caps, although tedious, makes a huge impact worldwide!

The results are still coming in from Coastal Cleanup Day,
but one thing is for sure, Coastal Cleanup Day was an enormous hit! Whether our volunteers were at the beach picking up litter, removing graffiti in their local neighborhoods, or removing invasive plants from canyons, we know that San Diegans are now able to enjoy more than 100 clean outdoor spaces free of litter!

Coastal Cleanup Day in San Diego is part of a statewide and international cleanup effort to restore coastlines across the globe. The effort is coordinated statewide by the California Coastal Commission and internationally by The Ocean Conservancy. While international totals for 2015 are not available yet, in 2014, 560,000 volunteers in 91 countries picked up more than 16 million pounds of trash!

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Volunteers at Sweetwater Marsh working together to do some heavy lifting.

Our staff woke up extra early on Saturday morning to lead more than 200 volunteers in beautification projects at Emerald Hills Park in Encanto.  While the focus of the morning was on various planting and mulching projects, volunteers cleared out over 2,700 pounds of debris!

emerald hills park - Ani

Hotline Assistant, Ani spreading mulch with a smile!

As for the county as a whole, preliminary totals for Coastal Cleanup Day – San Diego indicate that we had over 7,500 volunteers cleaning up 105 local creeks, canyons, beaches and bays as part of this event!  While the trash totals are still being compiled, we are expecting that more than 150,000 pounds of trash were removed from our county. On top of this, volunteers also beautified and restored the local environment through removing graffiti, removing invasive plants, building raised garden beds, and performing a variety of park maintenance projects.

Team Silvergate recovering items from water

Volunteers at Sun Harbor Marina didn’t stop at the sand.

Every year at this event, and at our other countywide cleanup, Creek to Bay in April, we see that cigarette butts and small plastic items are our most commonly found items.  While unfortunately this isn’t that surprising, we are often stunned by some of the more unique pieces of litter that our volunteers find.  Some of my favorites this year include a set of dentures in good shape, a full fish tank, a dragon statue and a MacBook computer.

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Dentures found at Beacon’s Beach definitely made the top of the odds items list!

See more pictures from Coastal Cleanup Day and our other cleanups on Facebook and Instagram!

Looking to join us at our next event? We have a quite a few volunteer opportunities coming up. Click here for more information on how to get involved!


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