Whether you’re looking for more creative and sustainable ways to wrap your gifts this year or you’ve simply ran out of wrapping paper, Ani, I Love A Clean San Diego’s Recycling Programs Manager, is here with a couple of quick, eco-friendly gift wrap solutions!
Did you know that food waste, shopping bags, wrapping paper, and ribbons all contribute to an additional 1 million tons of waste to our landfills? Here is a quick gift wrapping guide to limit the amount of waste that ends up in our landfills after the holiday season (and beyond):
Start early. I reuse boxes from my online shopping, food packaging, tissue paper, gift bags and bubble wrap year round to avoid having to buy any additional gift wrapping materials; and it saves me some money as well!
Consider wrapping gifts in fabric or newspaper. Unfortunately, festive wrapping paper usually ends up in the recycling bin and is often difficult to reuse. Give the gift of beautiful fabric or simply dig through your recycling bin to find paper to cover a gift. I guarantee your gift will stand out from the rest!
Furoshiki is a type of traditional Japanese wrapping cloth
Skip the ribbon, skip the bow! These items are difficult to reuse and uncommon to keep. Check out Emily’s gift below!
All in all, try to hold on to gift wrapping items or opt out of using items that are hard to reuse and you’ll be on the path to creating less waste in no time! For recycling options, check out our one-stop database, www.WasteFreeSD.org!
Today’s blog comes from our administrative assistant, Brittany! San Diego native, born and raised, Brittany it goes without saying that she loves our beaches and 4th of July. To get you jazzed for the long holiday weekend ahead, she has put together some of her favorite waste-free tips for a day at the beach!
Looking for something fun to do for the upcoming patriotic holiday? Why go anywhere else when you live in a city full of beautiful beaches! The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holiday’s to spend at any beach in San Diego. With so many people at our beaches, there is one thing that tends to be left behind and that’s trash. This 4th of July, Clean Beach Coalition will have large trash and recycling bins located at Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, Mission Bay, and Pacific Beach to give every beachgoer a chance to continue to keep the beach sparkling clean! Last year alone, the CBC bins collected 96,860 lbs of trash and 2.8 MILLION pounds in the last 8 years. Pretty impressive, right? In order to prevent more trash from ending up on our beaches this holiday, I wanted to share some of my favorite things to pack in order to stay green while still rocking red, white, and blue!
The key to staying green is to pack up all your reusable items to prevent any trash! Here is my easy to follow step-by-step guide to a waste-free weekend!
For starters, instead of using a Styrofoam cooler, bring a more durable reusable cooler. Not only will it last you years, it prevents any Styrofoam pieces from ending up on our beaches and the Pacific Ocean where it will never biodegrade.
When packing up your goodies, try using reusable containers to transferring and reusable silverware! Here are a couple of my personal favorite snacks to bring to my Fourth of July beach festivities:
Fourth of July Rice Crispies Treats are a favorite of mine. Not only are they easy to make, but you can put them in a reusable container and be set to go! Check out the recipe here!
Fruit Kabobs! All you need are some wooden skewers, strawberries, bananas, and blueberries and you have an ecofriendly, patriotic snack!
3. Feeling thirsty? Fill up a reusable water bottle and bring it with you! Did you know American’s throw away 35 billion water bottles a year? It’s important to reduce bringing plastics to our beaches because once plastic enters the ocean, it is extremely difficult to clean up. Don’t have a reusable water bottle? Check out some of ILACSD’s reusable water bottles online!
4. Don’t have anything to pack up the rest of your goods? Use a tote bag! My favorite tote bag can be washed and reused over and over again. Do your best to not bring plastic bags to the beach, not only are they not recyclable but if blown into the ocean, marine mammals can accidentally mistake them for food.
Still not ready to end your beach time this weekend? Come show your patriotism in a new way with I Love A Clean San Diego on July 5th for the Morning After Mess Cleanup. From 8-11am we will clean up the excess trash left behind on Mission Beach from the holiday celebrations. Plus, the first 400 volunteers will receive a free tee from REI!
Whether you decide to stay in San Diego this 4th of July Weekend or travel elsewhere, please enjoy the scene, but keep it clean.Have a safe and wonderful 4th of July!
Today’s blog comes from our recent newlyweds and bride-to-be on our staff, Natalie Roberts DeCarli, Emily Nelson, and soon to be Sarah Lott Buchholz. With so many people getting married or a part of a wedding this summer, we wanted to pass along our wedding planning knowledge to all of you! Read on to learn about how to plan a wedding with the earth in mind!
Weddings – what a whirlwind of excitement, fun, and – dare I say it – PLANNING. With so many choices and add-ons, it’s easy to overwhelm our brides, our wallets, and our landfills. Luckily, there’s a plethora of eco-conscious wedding tips. Here’s a few that are ILACSD bride tested and approved!
Invitations & RSVPs: Evites and invitations made from recycled post-consumer material are definitely the most environmentally friendly options. To go one step further, design your invitation as a timeless keepsake. Emily designed her invitation with that thought in mind; on one side there was a picture of the happy couple, and on the other side were the wedding details. That way, guests can display it in a frame or on their fridge along with other photos.
To manage RSVPs, Sarah found an easy to use online option called, rsvpify.com, where she created a customized profile and hyperlink for guests to access. Afterwards, she simply listed the hyperlink along with her phone number on the invitation instead of using mailed paper RSVPs. Plus, the website has a seating chart option. Time, money, and resources saved!
Meal time! When in doubt, choose reusables. Often times you pay a little extra, but in the long run, it’s the most eco-friendly option.
Eco alternative: Plates made from biodegradable materials instead of plastic! A great option that Emily found, called VerTerra plates, are plates made from palm fronds that have already fallen to the ground.
Bridal and wedding party accessories: Start by taking an inventory of what you already have. Emily found the perfect pair of heels to go with her wedding dress sitting in her closet! As for the wedding party, options like Union Station, make it easy for bridesmaids to rent a dress instead of purchasing one that they may never use again.
Décor: Tap into your networks! You never know who might have extra tables, easels, vases, etc. For example, Emily got silver dollar eucalyptus from a neighbor that has a tree in their backyard. Plus, at ILACSD, since several staff members are getting married in 2015, we plan on having an internal wedding décor exchange!
Avoid unnecessary printing: Chalk boards are great for wedding programs, menus, and seating charts, rather than printing items for each individual guest. This not only saved our brides money on printing, but also greatly reduced paper usage at their weddings. Plus, the chalk boards can be reused over and over again, for future parties and general home décor.
Favors: “We wanted something practical, meaningful, and would appeal to all our guests. Our solution? Seed packets! We offered a variety of flowers and herbs, leaving the guests free to select what they are most likely to plant, and displayed them in a flower box.” – Emily, Environmental Educator
“After attending many weddings that gave each guest their own personalized wedding favor, we had a collection of favors that we really didn’t need. When looking into favors, we couldn’t really think of anything we felt people of all ages would want or need, so we decided to skip favors all together. Plus, they often cost a few hundred dollars for a large wedding, and involve a lot of packaging for each individual item.” -Natalie, Senior Director of Operations
Today’s blog comes from ILACSD Education Manager, Erika! With more than half of the ILACSD team either getting married or involved in a wedding this summer, it was a no-brainer to put together some eco-friendly party planning tips! Read on to learn more about how you can plan a zero waste bridal shower for the blushing bride in your life!
Wedding season is quickly approaching. As people gear up for cocktails and bouquets, remember to ditch the disposables and choose eco-friendly alternatives. Here’s how I planned a zero waste bridal shower:
Last month, I threw my sister a bridal shower. We both live sustainably, so we tried to create a party which reflected our lifestyles. We focused on 4 aspects that most showers and for that matter, parties in general, include: invitations, decorations, food and favors.
Invitations: We decided on using evites rather than hard copies. There are many other similar online invitation options, including another staff favorite, Paperless Post. Included were green tips:
Decorations: We focused on decorating with items we already had, and only buying things that we would use again. We mainly used flowers and succulents in vases that we already had. For more cohesion, we bought burlap, cut them into strips to use as bows and accents. We also decorated with tons of framed pictures. With some of the pictures, I included text showing some of the grooms favorite things about the bride-to-be.
Food: We fixed a vegetarian brunch, which included, homemade granola, fruit from the local farmers market, and substituting mushrooms for chicken in an Asian fusion salad. Platters, plates, utensils, and napkins were all reusable.
Eco tip: Animal products account for California’s largest water use. Try using meat as a side or going without!
Gifts: Guests went all out with reusable gift ideas! One gift was wrapped in a handmade blanket, one was in a basket, and others were wrapped in dish towels!
Favors: We elected for making our own trail mix. Trail mix was bought in bulk using reusable jars and bulk bags. The mix was distributed into mason jars amounting to zero waste!
Do you have other eco-friendly party planning tips? Share them in the comments below or on our social media networks: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
Be on the look out this June for our blog about eco-friendly wedding tips brought to you by our brides-to-be Natalie, Sarah and Emily!
Today’s blog comes from our Hotline Manager, Amanda! On our hotline, Amanda answers many questions about recycling, but what about the other two Rs, reduce and reuse? Here at ILACSD, we’re not only a community resource, we practice what we preach. Read on to check out some of our favorite staff DIY projects!
Do it yourself (DIY) seems more popular than ever thanks to Pinterest, Instagram and home improvement blogs. DIY can be a great way to not only save money, but help the planet, too! Here are some DIY projects that have been done by our staff members and their families. Be sure to follow us on Pinterest to keep with all the latest earth-friendly DIY trends!
Director of Finance, Ann, had an old table from Ikea that needed a little extra attention. Almost everyone ends up with at least one piece of Ikea furniture in their lifetime, why not give it a facelift instead of trashing it? Ann decorated her table with some leftover tiles from a kitchen remodel as well as some tiles decorated by her daughter. Ann took a very common item and transformed it into something unique by adding her own personal flare!
Craft beer is popular in San Diego, and often they have bottles that just seem too pretty to recycle. Hotline Manager, Amanda, has a creative brother who made hummingbird feeders from old beer bottles. Just wrap some wire around an old bottle, fill it with some hummingbird nectar and add a hummingbird feeder tube. Feeder tubes can be found online or at your local hardware store. Click here to recreate this project!
Director of Development and Marketing, Morgan (left), keeps herself busy these days with projects around her newly purchased home! The cost of home décor & accessories can quickly add up but Morgan decided to save a little cash and still add that homey feel! With an old drawer front, some spare knobs from around the house, and a screwdriver, Morgan easily attached the knobs to the drawer front and bingo! Now she has a pretty and handy place to hang her necklaces. You can find a similar project here on our Pinterest board!
Here’s another project Morgan did, she found a small children’s bathtub at a swap meet in LA and turned it into an herb garden in her back yard. Don’t worry you don’t have to go all the way to LA for a swap meet! We have them right here in San Diego. There is even a new San Diego Vintage Market on the last Saturday of each month at Mission Bay High School!
Director of Community Events, Natalie, has a very talented and creative Dad. Below is a table and chairs he crafted from wine barrels leftover from a local winery, and a slab of granite left from a kitchen remodel.
Director of Education, Samantha,recently hosted a bridal shower for a friend. Rather than going out to purchase new vases, she saved up jars from pickles, olives, etc. and added some glitter to create some beautiful and unique vases.
You don’t have to be an artist to get a little creative at home and re-purpose items that could use a little T.L.C. Check out our Pinterest and RepairSD.org for more great DIY and reuse ideas. We invite you to post your favorite DIY projects you’ve done to our Facebook page!