Meet Katie & Alaine – Our New Education Specialists!

Meet Katie & Alaine – Our New Education Specialists!

Hi, everyone! My name is Alaine, and I’m one of the newest Education Specialist at I Love A Clean San Diego!alaine1

I received my degree in Marine Science with a minor in Political Science from the University of San Diego and, within a year of graduating, found that marine and environmental education was the route for me. I quickly realized the joy and fulfillment of inspiring others to learn about their environment and be mindful of the power of their decisions. After working with the education teams at Disney Animal Programs and the San Diego Zoo, I wanted to gain experience in the non-profit world and, as an action-driven organization that shares my values, I knew I Love A Clean San Diego would be a great fit! Since joining ILACSD in mid-March, I have learned so much about everything that goes into creating and implementing successful presentations, programs, and events that help to fulfill our mission of actively conserving the environment.alaine2

Rooted in my work is an underlying passion to understand and spread awareness about our reliance on and connection with our oceans. My love for the ocean began pretty early in my life and has always served as a constant theme in my career. This passion was catapulted in 7th grade when I visited family in Baja California Sur and went diving with whale sharks. Observing and sharing an environment with these giant, incredible animals had an immensely profound impact on me. Even now, more than a decade later, I consider that to be one of the most defining moments of my career and life. My hope as an educator is to ignite that same spark in the students I interact with on a daily basis.alaine3

My favorite part about working with I Love A Clean San Diego is the opportunity to connect San Diegans, particularly youth and Spanish speakers, with the beautiful natural environment we are fortunate enough to live amongst. It is so rewarding to see the burst of interest students have when they are connected with nature, introduced to new topics, or realize that small changes they make can have a huge combined impact. ILACSD truly is passion in action, and I get to see that come to life every day. I cannot wait to be a part of the various events we have coming up this year and continue to empower individuals to improve the health and beauty of our San Diego!alaine4


Hi there, my name is Katie and I am one of the newest educators here at I Love A Clean San Diego.katie1

I am excited to work with ILACSD to help educate and inspire San Diego County in taking steps to being the most environmentally engaged community we have been to date. My love for the natural environment has been constantly reinforced by a variety of factors in my life; hailing from a small farm town and exploring the natural world in my backyard, from backpacking and camping in National Parks, to relocating near the rhythm of the ocean, I truly feel how grounding and important nature is to the human psyche.katie2

While obtaining my bachelor’s degree at USD, I completed two senior internships, one at the Museum of Man in Balboa Park and one with a local environmental nonprofit. In tandem with my schooling, both internships gave me increasingly important professional skills that began to open my mind to what career avenue I wanted to take. With that clarity, I found my passion at the intersection of people and the environment. I am a lover of culture and humanity, but recognize the environmental uncertainty we face on this beautiful planet we call home. So I’ve pursued a career in environmental education.

One environmental topic I am particularly passionate about is zero waste – a philosophy that mimics natural cycles in eliminating waste by recapturing resources. I firmly believe in being a conscious consumer and understanding how products are created, packaged, and processed from start to finish. Treading lightly has always been a goal of mine by refusing single-use items, purchasing less packaged foods (I’m currently snacking on trail mix from the bulk section housed in an old glass PB jar!), taking the time to understand how to properly dispose of items, and simply slowing down.

My passion for adopting a zero waste lifestyle stems from a job I held in college as an ocean kayak guide in La Jolla. Spending my days in the “office,” I began to see how much pollution and plastic is floating out there. Our own backyard, in beautiful Southern California where the world-renowned Scripps Research Institute is located, where a Marine Protected Area is designated, where we choose to relax and swim, is spoiled by us. I once heard a sobering comment about humanity and our existence; the speaker said, “Imagine someone drilling a sediment core sample to look at the historical layers of the earth’s soil, our defining layer will undoubtedly be plastic.”katie3

I have a long way to go when it comes to adopting a true zero waste lifestyle, but every step counts. Every choice is momentum forward, and I invite you to join me, join I Love A Clean San Diego, and join your community. Let’s rally together for the health of the planet and all the amazing creatures we share with it.

Join Katie and the rest of the ILACSD staff in our efforts to foster a zero waste lifestyle by attending our second annual Zero Waste Fair on June 17, 2017 in Encinitas! For more information on how to adopt a waste free lifestyle visit For more information about our educational programs, contact


Take the Junk Out of Your Mail

Erika-teamToday’s blog comes from our Education Coordinator, Erika! We all have become accustom to separating out the junk mail from our mail box, but what if there was a solution to avoid this all together? What if that same solution could save you time, tax payer money AND the environment? Read more below about Erika’s 6 easy solutions to significantly reduce the amount of junk mail in your mailbox and your impact on the environment.

Over the past few months, I have worked to reduce the amount of waste I generate. This began when I learned that on average, each San Diegan will produce 5 lbs of trash per day and 2,000+ lbs of trash per person per year! I started with cutting out Trader Joe’s samples, disposable Starbucks cups, and zip lock bags. I thought I was doing a pretty good job, until I looked in my mailbox. It was full of junk (mail). So I decided to do something about it.

Are you frustrated with junk mail as much as Sheldon?
Are you frustrated with junk mail as much as Sheldon? Follow the steps below!

For starters, it’s interesting to learn how many of us receive junk mail every single day, but most people I know hate it! In addition to it being an inconvenience, a lesser known fact is that it negatively impacts our environment. According to an EPA report, in 2001, more than 4 million tons of junk mail are shipped annually, and it is estimated that 50% of that mail ends up in our landfills.


MSW graph
Currently, paper and paperboard account for 27.4% of waste disposed. While a large percentage of that is recycled, paper is still one of the largest components in our landfills . Talk about a waste!

If the environmental impact doesn’t convince you to unsubscribe, consider your wallet. Reducing junk mail saves you money. The Postal Service offers lower prices for bulk mailings, so in essence, our standard postage subsidizes junk mail. Additionally, taxpayers pay for the cost of disposal, which amounts to $370,000,000 a year.

Last year, I received a catalog out of the blue. I had never shopped at the particular store and actually had never heard of it before, so I was surprised to see my name located in the address field. My curiosity led me to call the company to find out if I had unknowingly signed up for this their catalog. After a pleasant conversation with the woman, I learned that they bought my name from a mailing list. That got me thinking about how many other companies have my name and address.

Here is your go-to guide on how to reduce your impact on the environment and your wallet by refusing junk mail:

Register on the National Do Not Mail List
• To cancel credit and insurance offers click here!
• Cancel unwanted catalogs here
Unsubscribe from ValPack
• Sign up to receive your favorite grocery store’s e-coupons online and cancel your direct mail coupons here
• Call the businesses and organizations that sent you the junk mail and request that take you off their list

These simple steps will significantly reduce the amount of junk mail you receive and thus, the amount of waste you produce. For other excess mail, check out our Junk Mail board on Pinterest and see what you can create!

The ILACSD staff always enjoy a good laugh. Check out this Saturday Night Live spoof about junk mail. Enjoy!

SNL junk mail PSA

We’re Thankful for YOU!

As Thanksgiving approaches, we wanted to take a moment and share all that we are thankful for here at I Love A Clean San Diego!

At ILACSD we’re thankful for… 

…the opportunity to work in, protect, and preserve a community as beautiful and diverse as San Diego.

Keeping SD clean for 60 years!

…the teachers and schools who partner with us on our education programs, allowing us to reach almost 40,000 San Diego County students annually and teach them the importance of recycling and resource conservation and protection.

ARD 2013
Student pledges for America Recycles Day 2013

everyone we’re connected to online: thanks for staying involved and giving us feedback through our Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter accounts!

…our great team of staff, interns, and Board members who work hard everyday to conserve San Diego’s coastal and inland resources.

…the fact that 2014 will be our 60th year, making ILACSD the longest-running environmental non-profit in San Diego!

…the donors who help support our efforts. From $5 to $5,000, we’re thankful for every gift.

…the 30,000 volunteers who make our work possible, helping out through Coastal Cleanup Day, Creek to Bay, Adopt-A-Beach, Storm Drain Stenciling, and more.

Gearing up for Beautify Chula Vista Day!

…for YOU! Thanks for being a part of ILACSD!