Posts Tagged 'clean water'

Get a free oil filter and save our local environment!

BLopez_teamToday’s post comes from ILACSD’s Hotline Assistant, Barbara Lopez!

Many of us know that it is important to recycle used motor oil, but did you know that recycling the oil filter is just as important? One used oil filter contains about 10 ounces of used oil, even after draining, and therefore should not be thrown in the trash. By recycling your oil filter, you prevent used oil from entering our landfills, our water supply, and our environment. Also, recycling an oil filter keeps about one pound of reusable steel from going to the landfill. According to CalRecycle, if each oil filter sold in California was recycled, nearly 67 million pounds of steel would be diverted from landfills; that’s enough steel to build three large sports stadiums!

oilfilterflyerTo encourage residents to recycle their old oil filters, the County of San Diego, Department of Public Works and I Love A Clean San Diego will be holding oil filter exchange events on March 23, 2013. Residents of the unincorporated county can visit one of the participating AutoZone locations, bring in a used filter and receive a new one free. In addition to oil filters, residents can also bring in up to five gallons of uncontaminated used motor oil to recycle.

If you are unable to attend these events, there are other options available to properly recycle used oil filters and motor oil. Some communities offer a free home pick up of used motor oil and filters. Also, there are nearly 300 Certified Used Oil Collection Centers in San Diego County that accept up to five gallons of uncontaminated used motor oil; many of these collection centers will also accept oil filters for recycling. If you have motor oil that is contaminated or more than five gallons of uncontaminated motor oil, visit a Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility for proper disposal. To see if free home pick up of used motor oil is available in your community or to find a Certified Collection Center near you, visit WasteFreeSD.org.

Upcoming Oil Filter Exchange Events
All events will be held on Saturday March 23, 2013 from 10am-2pm. Limit one free filter per person. Free offer valid during specified date, time, and location.

Fallbrook
AutoZone at 1081 S. Mission Ave., Fallbrook 92028

Lakeside
AutoZone at 12421 Woodside Ave., Lakeside 92040

Ramona
AutoZone at 370 Pala St., Ramona 92065

Spring Valley
AutoZone at 699 Sweetwater Rd., Spring Valley 91977
AutoZone at 9710 Campo Rd., Spring Valley 91978

To find out about additional recycling events, visit WasteFreeSD.org today!

Meet our new Marketing Intern, Christina!

christinaToday’s post comes from ILACSD’s newest Marketing Intern, Christina Etchebarren!

Hey there readers of this blog and fans of I Love A Clean San Diego! My name is Christina, I’m the new Marketing Intern here at ILACSD and I’m so excited to be joining the team and learning from the wonderful staff and volunteers. I am a fourth year Environmental Systems major at UC San Diego, originally from a small town outside of Portland, Oregon. Growing up I’ve always been surrounded by environmentally conscientious communities, so it was no surprise that learning about and protecting our environment has turned in to a passion of mine. Letting people know about what we’re up to at ILACSD is a part of my job description and my first assignment was to attend one of our education presentations at University City High School on Tuesday, Feb. 12th.

monica_educationArriving at the high school brought back a strange wave of nostalgia for my carefree, hormone charged, rebellious teenage days and I kind of felt like never leaving. I sat myself in the back row of a marine science classroom trying to blend in inconspicuously as the students noisily settled into their seats. Monica Rosquillas, who is one of our lovely educators, introduced herself and took control of the students attention with a quickness and ease that would impress the pants off of any HS teacher I’m sure; high schoolers can be some of the most difficult crowds to reign in and she did so with confidence that can only come from plenty of experience.

monica_watershedThe presentation began with a lesson on the importance of water, which may seem obvious but sometimes all of us need a reminder about just how vital clean water is to not only our health, but the health of every living thing around us. The rest of the lesson plan was focused on watersheds, water quality and marine ecosystem health. Talking about environmental issues can be an extremely difficult task because you don’t want to come across as threatening or pessimistic and you don’t want present the problem  as overwhelmingly large or beyond help, but you do want to make it seem important and urgent enough to motivate people to care and to take action. The presentation that I Love A Clean San Diego has put together walks the line quite gracefully, and I noticed that even from the back of the classroom, all of the students seemed to stay engaged throughout the entire duration of the talk.

albatrossjar

Stomach contents from an Albatross include plastic caps, fishing line, and even a small wooden door knob.

Monica hit the message home by passing around a jar filled with contents from an Albatross’ stomach which included a pen and several other pieces of colorful plastic, I heard murmurs of horror coming from the pupils as they passed the jar around with disgust.  To be honest, although I’ve gone through several years of environmental education throughout my time at UCSD, I learned a lot about watersheds and how important it is that we do our best to keep them clean.

All in all, I walked out of University City High School proud to be a part of such an amazing and inspiring organization and feeling hopeful for our future generations of environmental enthusiasts, and I look forward to the months ahead here at ILACSD.

You’ll hear from me soon, until next time.

Christina

Think Blue Brigade tackles storm water pollution in Market Creek

monicaToday’s post comes from ILACSD’s Environmental Educator, Monica Rosquillas!

Last week, I gladly spent my Saturday with the high school students from the Elementary Institute of Science (EIS) stenciling storm drains in the neighborhood of Market Creek. The students at EIS are part of the Think Blue Brigade, a program by Think Blue San Diego that aims to connect high school students with storm water pollution prevention.

???????????????????????????????I arrived at EIS, stenciling kits in hand, and was met by a warm group of students and their enthusiastic advisor.  Soon after, we walked out into the sunny streets of Market and Euclid, where we split up into 3 groups, each group stenciling “Don’t Dump Goes to Ocean” on 3 storm drains. While some tackled storm drains, others documented their progress, recording video and taking pictures for their end-of-the-year project.

The footage collected will be used in a video that will be showcased at the end of the year. The storm drain stenciling activity and video project fulfill 2 out of the 3 requirements of being part of the Think Blue Brigade. Having already completed the storm drain stenciling, this group of students will also participate in ILACSD’s signature cleanup event, the Creek to Bay Cleanup, held on April 27th of this year.  Then, they will have until June to finish their video on storm water pollution and Green Transportation.

thinkblue1It’s very encouraging to work with a group of high school students, like these kids, who willingly give up their Saturday mornings to come out and do an event like this. As an educator at I Love A Clean San Diego, I go to high schools all over San Diego and teach kids about pollution. So when I see them do something about it, it feels great! Overall I had a great day spreading the message of storm water pollution prevention with this awesome group of students.

If you are a high school student interested in becoming involved with the Think Blue Brigade, please contact the education department by calling (619) 291-0103 or email me at mrosquillas@cleansd.org.

Local Boaters Take to the Seas for Coastal Cleanup Day 2012

Adam enjoying the ocean air on his home, the Betty Jean

The main focus of Coastal Cleanup Day is picking up trash on our beaches, along local creeks and rivers, and in local canyons. But what about the trash that’s already in the water? This year we’re attacking that water-logged trash as well. Adam Hopps joins us for his first Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday, September 15th, as the volunteer Site Captain at our Shelter Island cleanup site.

Partnering with the Silver Gate Yacht Club, Adam hopes to get local boaters involved in cleaning up areas of our waterways that aren’t accessible by foot. Using grabbers and nets, these sea lovers will cleanup trash that is already floating in the water and even use tools to absorb oil that’s floating on top of the water. But enough from us, we’ll let Adam tell you more about it…

What motivated you to volunteer as a Site Captain for Coastal Cleanup Day?

I live on a sailboat in a marina on Shelter Island. Every day I witness the effects of litter and water pollution on our Bay. On a daily basis I see trash (usually plastic bottles and bags) floating on the surface of the water in and around in the marinas, in the Bay and out in the ocean. In the marinas it’s especially bad during low tide when trash has been brought in with the tide and becomes trapped in the shallow areas and in the sand – only accessible from a water craft.

Coastal Cleanup Day is California’s largest volunteer event focused on the marine environment but up until this point boaters haven’t been extremely involved in this event. When I was approached by ILACSD to coordinate a joint land and on-the-water cleanup site, I was thrilled at the idea of engaging boaters to make a difference in our own backyards as well as expanding the reach and environmental impact of this Cleanup.

How long have you been volunteering with ILACSD?

This is my first event and I’m excited to be partnering with the Silver Gate Yacht Club who will host the meet up location.

Why is that site important to you?

Living on a boat in San Diego is a blessed life. We have a dynamic marine & aquatic community, a gorgeous Bay to sail in and beautiful weather year round. It’s really hard to see the Bay tarnished with trash and oil. Even though approximately 80% of marine debris comes from inland communities, many of it makes its way into the open water which beach cleanup volunteers simply cannot access. The boating community is a natural fit for Coastal Cleanup Day because we have access to those areas from our boats, dinghies, kayaks and docks. Also, for the first time, we’re supplying on-the-water volunteers with oil absorbent sheets to use on surface level oil slicks.

We’re immensely lucky to have a magnificent natural resource like the San Diego Bay to call home and need to do our part to conserve and protect it.

What are you most looking forward to at Coastal Cleanup Day?

I’m looking forward to seeing a bunch of great people come together for a common goal. I think it’s inspiring. Also, it wouldn’t be a boater event if it wasn’t followed by a dock party!

Why do you think events like Coastal Cleanup Day are important to keeping San Diego healthy and clean?

Well, not only are tons of trash and debris collected and removed from our greatest natural areas, but the people involved become more and more aware of the harmful effects of litter and pollution and band together to make a difference. Volunteers tend to get their own families and friends involved which is why this event seems to grow every year!

What is the strangest piece of trash you’ve found out on the water?

I can’t speak for CCD, but we’ll pull trash out of the water when we’re sailing in the ocean and we’ve found half a dozen birthday helium balloons over the years.

Have you registered to volunteer at Coastal Cleanup Day yet?
Click here and sign up for any of the over 85 cleanup sites across
San Diego County!

Volunteers Kicked Butts at the Morning After Mess Cleanup

Today’s post comes from ILACSD’s Community Events Intern, Gabe Grinstein.

Volunteers up bright and early to cleanup up the Morning After Mess!

Already this morning, 227 volunteers came out and joined I Love A Clean San Diego by Belmont Park in Mission Beach for the Morning After Mess cleanup. After having the day off yesterday to celebrate Independence Day, there was no better way to start off the day than with a beach cleanup to recover all the mess from yesterday’s festivities. It was an early start for me, getting up at 7 so I could get to Belmont Park by 8 to start setting up. To be honest, I started quite slow since I was very tired, but I woke up once people started to come by and sign up. The mood was great around the volunteers as there were many eager people ready to participate, and we had 94/9 radio right next to us playing music and advertising our organization and event on the radio.

Volunteers combed the beaches picking up cigarette butts, plastic bags, bottles, and more.

Time always flies by during events since it becomes so busy. I didn’t clean up any trash, but I weighed the trash and recycling bags, and added tally-marks to the big board to show how many cigarette butts, plastic bags, styrofoam pieces, and other items that we collected. By the end, we had marked 8,260 cigarette butts! This is an astonishing number since one cigarette butt can contaminate up to one gallon of water, so thankfully we picked them up before they reached the water.

Gabe keeping track of trash as it came in.

Volunteers also picked up 80 plastic bags, 134 styrofoam pieces, 345 pounds of trash, and 130 pounds of recyclables. People began to leave after a couple of hours and we started wrapping up around 11:30. The end is always my favorite part of the cleanups because I get to see all of the smiles of people when they turn their bags in. I can always see a sense of accomplishment on the faces of the volunteers. It is a great feeling knowing that we bettered the environment we live in, even if it wasn’t our mess.

Local Students Defend the Sea at Kids Ocean Day 2012

Many people will look at this picture and squint at it thinking, what is that?

“Are those rocks?” is a common question we’ve heard since releasing this picture after last week’s Kids Ocean Day. The design is definitely not made of rocks, or shells, or even trash from a cleanup. This amazing image is a piece of living art made up of over 1000 people. Yep, those are local San Diego students, parents, volunteers and the ILACSD staff sitting on the sand at Crown Point Shores sending a message to the rest of San Diego to ‘Defend the Sea.’

Kids Ocean Day is how we here at I Love A Clean San Diego get kids involved in celebrating World Oceans Day each year. This amazing work of art started as just an idea a few months ago, and was brought to life by ILACSD’s Environmental Educator, Alex Mullen-Ley and Education Coordinator, Samantha. Our staff were up before the sun last Thursday, mapping out and drawing Alex’s design in the sand.

As the buses began arriving, 3rd-5th grade students from 8 local schools started the day by cleaning up the beach, finding cigarette butts, beverage containers and small pieces of plastic.

The excitement started to build as we began lining the students up to file into the aerial art and the news helicopter started circling overhead. It was amazing to watch our octopus come to life piece by piece as the students and volunteers started to fill in the lines of the image. Most of the kids had never been a part of anything like this and were very excited to find their place in the sand.

Last but not least, the I Love A Clean San Diego staff sat down to form the eye of the octopus.

The second helicopter arrived, carrying our friend and photographer Rachel Lebowitz from Outside the Lens, another local nonprofit that teaches youth to use digital media to create change within themselves and their community. We were so impressed at how well behaved the students were as we waited for word from Rachel that she’d gotten the perfect shot!

Kids Ocean Day was coordinated in 5 cities in California, all using the theme ‘Defend the Sea’ in their designs. Click here to visit the Ocean Day website and see all of the amazing aerial art images!

5,800 Volunteers + 150,000 Pounds of Trash = a Cleaner San Diego

Today’s post comes from ILACSD’s Marketing Intern and USD student, Maddy Blake. Updated 5/3/2012 with new totals!

ILACSD’s Staff ready for the big day!

I Love A Clean San Diego celebrated its 10th annual Creek to Bay Cleanup this past Saturday, April 28th. An amazing 5,800 San Diegans joined together across the county to preserve and beautify their local environment. This year also marks the San Diego Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary, over 1200 of scouts took part in the cleanup to show their commitment to the environment and witness the effects that pollution has on their communities.

Volunteers separated trash and recyclables.

Thanks to all of these fantastic volunteers, San Diego is a much cleaner county. In fact, more than 150,000 pounds of trash and debris were removed from local parks, canyons, creeks, bays and beaches in the span of just three hours! As in years past, cigarette butts and plastic bags were among the most common items found, but this year, some of the most interesting items our volunteers picked up were a rocking horse, a bowling pin and a five-gallon container of pickles.

Daisy scouts pitch in at Creek to Bay.

With a total of 88 cleanup sites, the most we’ve ever had for Creek to Bay, there was somewhere for everyone to go and something for everyone to do. This year, cleanup events were held at five brand new sites in communities we hadn’t reached yet:

  • Paradise Hills – 40 volunteers filled an entire roll-away dumpster of debris
  • Spring Valley – 49 volunteers collected over 260 pounds of debris
  • Santa Ysabel – 20 volunteers removed 200 pounds of debris
  • Banker’s Hill – 49 volunteers removed 250 pounds of debris
  • University Heights – 32 volunteers can boast removing 1,200 pounds of debris

You read that right, at the site known as Camelot Canyon (the area beside the 163 at the Vermont St. bridge in University Heights), volunteers picked up 1,200 pounds of debris in that three hour timeframe and unfortunately there is more work to be done in that area. The site was brought to our attention by local University Heights resident, Alison Whitney, who bikes past the canyon on her way to work everyday. With the help of CalTrans and ILACSD, Alison organized this cleanup to make this corner of her community a little more enjoyable for local residents. Click here to read Alison’s interview with KPBS.

Just a sample of some of the debris picked up.

While about 40% of this year’s cleanup sites were in coastal areas, cleaning up inland sites like Camelot Canyon ensures that the trash will not travel down the watershed system and end up in our waterways, bays and the ocean. Furthermore, by expanding into the five new sites, an additional 2,000 pounds of debris were removed from the environment! After ten years, I Love A Clean San Diego still dedicates itself to county-wide programs and expanding its reach even farther to preserve and ensure a healthier San Diego for everyone.

Volunteers painting over graffiti near Fashion Valley Mall.

Picking up trash is not the only activity our volunteers participated in – many sites included other beautification projects such as graffiti removal, mural painting, native planting, brush maintenance and other general park maintenance.

Don’t forget – if you joined us at Creek to Bay this year, remember to submit your favorite photo to ILACSD for our Sony Volunteers In Action photo contest! Photos are due on May 4, 2012, then the top 3 photos will be posted on our Facebook page, where our fans will vote for their favorite. The winner will be announced on May 18th! Click here for more details.

We want to thank ALL of the volunteers who took time out of their weekend to do more with their morning at the 10th Annual Creek to Bay Cleanup! We’d like to give a special thank you to the following volunteer groups who came out to show their love for a clean San Diego:

  • Local members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mormon Helping Hands Service Day
  • Girl Scouts, San Diego-Imperial Council
  • Sony
  • Gothic Volunteer Alliance
  • Torrey Pines Elementary School
  • Palabra Miel Oceanside
  • Vista Magnet Middle
  • Palquist Elementary School
  • Palomar College TRiO
  • New Haven Youth and Family Services
  • Temecula Kids for Peace
  • PASS AmeriCorps
  • Nokia
  • Ramona High School Fusion
  • Toler Elementary School
  • Starwood San Diego
  • LEVI
  • Chula Vista Learning Community Charter School
  • Mueller Charter School
  • Pima Medical Institute
  • AMC Plaza Bonita 14
  • TSC San Diego
  • Pima Medical Institute
  • San Ysidro High School Surf Club
  • Montgomery Middle School

Trash Trackers Prove Cleanups Are Effective

In the winter of 2010, San Diego CoastKeeper and I Love A Clean San Diego partnered together to start a new project called Trash Trackers. One year later, the results are in!

Trash Trackers began as a program to document our impact on the environment, and see how cleanups help in the long run. During the study, volunteers counted each piece of trash within a one-hundred foot stretch next to a local stream or creek. They cleaned the entire area and documented how many pieces, and what types, of trash they found. One year later, volunteers combed the same one-hundred foot stretch in order to find out how much more trash had accumulated within that time period due to either upstream accumulation or littering directly on site.

Thousands of Styrofoam pieces along the Otay River

So what did we find?

Each of our four sites – Otay River, San Diego River, Buena Vista Creek, and Chollas Creek – showed drastic decreases in the number of items found at the second cleanup. Whereas Otay River showed a 14.5% decrease, the San Diego River showed 63% less, Buena Vista Creek showed 68% less and Chollas Creek documented an amazing 74% less!

One area of Chollas Creek before cleanup

Even the biohazardous material was down an average of 27% at all of the sites.

Thanks to 700 volunteers over the last two years, this program removed 18,400 pounds of debris that otherwise may have ended up in our oceans. By removing this trash every year, we have direct evidence that our cleanup events not only remove debris from the immediate site, but they also help to ensure that in the future, the creeks are cleaner for everyone’s enjoyment.

"The Pit" along the San Diego River by Fashion Valley Mall

Here at I Love A Clean San Diego, we are dedicated to keeping our community clean! The implementation of the Trash Trackers program allows us to collect hard data that reveal the problems that ensue from littering in waterways. We hope that our actions and the photos above inspire individuals to take responsibly for their local environment and get involved in in preventing litter around our community. After all, don’t we all love a clean San Diego?

Get a Little Dirty This Valentine’s Day

Sometimes cleaning up our environment means we have to get a little dirty in the process, but that doesn’t stop our volunteers!

Cupid's Cleanup 2011

Each year around Valentine’s Day, I Love A Clean San Diego organizes the Cupid’s Cleanup as a way for eco-minded singles, couples, and friends to show their love for a clean San Diego by cleaning up an area of our local community. We put on smaller cleanups like Cupid’s each month in communities across San Diego county who have well, gotten a little dirty. We announced last week that in 2011 we mobilized more than 29,000 volunteers who picked up 241 tons of trash from our community’s beaches, waterways, canyons, and parks.

Why get dirty at these cleanups?

Events like Cupid’s cleanup are vital to the health of our local environment and are an important part of preserving the San Diego way of life that we all love so much. Keeping trash out of our ocean not only helps the animals who live there, but also makes it safer for all San Diego residents to swim, surf and play in our coastal waters. If left where it was, that 241 tons of trash would have eventually made it’s way into our waterways and ultimately into the ocean. Who wants to hang out near a big batch of trash soup?

In addition to smaller monthly cleanups, ILACSD coordinates two of the largest countywide cleanup events each year, our signature event the Creek to Bay Cleanup coming up on April 28th, 2012, as well as Coastal Cleanup Day on September 15, 2012. This gives San Diego residents various volunteer options and they see first-hand how trash makes its way from inland communities all the way to the coast through San Diego County’s vast watershed system.

To sign up for Cupid’s Cleanup contact our Community Events Coordinator, Jemma at jdeleon@cleansd.org or at 619.704.2778 today!

Can’t make it to Cupid’s but want to find out about other upcoming events? Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter!

Why Should You Recycle Your Used Oil Filter?

Local resident recycling her used oil filter

Did you know that one used oil filter has an average of 10 fluid ounces of motor oil trapped inside it?

Many people know that they can and should recycle their used motor oil, but they may not know that your used oil filter also contains used motor oil, as well as steel, both of which can be recycled so that they don’t contaminate our local environment and take up space in local landfills.   CalRecycle reports that more than two million gallons of motor oil from these filters are being disposed of improperly each year in California. Recycled used motor oil can be re-refined and used again, ensuring that it doesn’t contaminate our local waterways.  It only takes one gallon of used oil to contaminate one million gallons of drinking water!

I Love A Clean San Diego has partnered with cities in the area to provide an incentive to residents to properly dispose of used oil filters by providing a replacement filter for free when they bring their old filters to one of the events below.

If you can’t attend one of these events, there are more than 300 locations in San Diego County that accept used oil filters year-round for recycling at no charge. These locations, most of them auto parts and repair stores known as Certified Collection Centers, will also accept up to five gallons of used motor oil at no charge. In addition, Certified Collection Centers will pay residents 40 cents per gallon of used motor oil, upon request. Motor oil can’t be contaminated with water or other liquids such as antifreeze, solvents, or gasoline. If you have contaminated motor oil or more than five gallons of non-contaminated motor oil, you must visit a household hazardous waste collection facility.

For more information on where to recycle used motor oil and oil filters, visit I Love A Clean San Diego’s one stop recycling resource, WasteFreeSD.org. We encourage all San Diegans to visit our recycling website to learn more about similar events held countywide!

Upcoming Oil Filter Exchange Events:

Bring your old filter and receive a new one for free! Limit one free filter per person.

Chula Vista
Saturday, January 28, 2012 from 9am – 1pm
Pep Boys at 454 Broadway Ave.

El Cajon
Saturday, February 4, 2012 from 9am – 1pm
Pep Boys at 201 Jamacha Rd.

Santee
Saturday, February 11, 2012 from 9am – 1pm
Pep Boys at 10041 Mission Gorge Rd.

Lemon Grove
Saturday February 18, 2012 from 9am – 1pm
O’Reilly Auto Parts at 6925 Federal Blvd.

La Mesa
Saturday February 25, 2012 from 9am – 1pm
O’Reilly Auto Parts at 5350 Jackson Dr.

National City
Saturday March 3, 2012 from 9am – 1pm
O’Reilly Auto Parts at 1202 E. Plaza Blvd.


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