[1THING] Blog: Archive for the ‘New’ Category

[ What is Fairtrade? ]

If you are anything like me, l had heard the phrase Fairtrade, but didn’t really know what it meant. I knew it had something to do with helping the environment but that was about the extent of my knowledge. Fair trade isdreamstime_s_85080660 (2) a far overlooked concept that if practiced, could make a huge difference in the world we live in.

When purchasing fairtrade coffee for instance, it can mean five times the pay for a farmer vs. child labor. Through Fairtrade, farmers and workers take control and build sustainable futures for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Fairtrade America states…”The difference between “Fairtrade” and “fair trade” is that “Fairtrade” refers only to Fairtrade organizations (such as Fairtrade America) or products certified through the Fairtrade International system. Conversely, “fair trade” can refer to many different things – the fair trade movement, fair trade products generally, products that claim to be fairly traded but do not carry the FAIRTRADE Mark.”

To read a very informative and interesting article from Fairtrade America….CLICK HERE!

[ San Diego Coastkeeper Releases 2016 Water Quality Report ]

WaterQuality-dreamstimeSAN DIEGO, August 1, 2017— This week, San Diego Coastkeeper, an organization protecting and restoring San Diego County’s fishable, swimmable, drinkable water, published its 2016 San Diego County Water Quality Report. The organization’s data show an overall improvement in San Diego’s water quality for the first time since 2013.

“This is great news. Of course, a single year of overall better water quality readings does not mean San Diego’s water will keep improving. It takes many years for patterns to emerge,” says San Diego Coastkeeper Lab Manager Meredith Meyers. “That’s why our long-term water monitoring is so crucial. We can provide decision-makers with the big picture and that makes for more effective, data-based policy.”

Urban runoff continues to be the largest factor impacting people’s ability to safely fish and swim in San Diego County. Rain takes pollution from the surfaces of our streets into our storm drains, where it travels through to our rivers and streams and ultimately, to the Pacific Ocean. As a result, the overwhelming majority of San Diego’s waterways fail to the meet water quality standards that make them safe for recreation.

Though the cause of last year’s improved results can’t be directly identified, and Coastkeeper scientists caution against giving too much credit to any one theory, there are a few ideas about why water quality looked a little better in 2016.

“Temporary water conservation regulations, implemented in response to the drought, may have helped water quality improve. When San Diegans prioritize conservation over lush lawns, reduced fertilizer use and fewer lawn sprinklers overflowing onto sidewalks means less pollution washing from the street into our rivers and streams,” says Meyers. “It’s impossible to know for sure, but it’s one idea that makes sense.”

San Diego Coastkeeper collects monthly water quality data from across the County through its volunteer-powered Water Quality Monitoring program. The program, which is the largest of its kind in California, trains citizen scientists to collect vital water quality data to fill gaps and increase the amount of publically available data.. In 2016, 152 trained volunteers gave a collective 1,908 hours.

“Our Water Quality Monitors are more dedicated than ever. Participation was so consistent last year we were able to reduce the number of new volunteers we needed to bring on board to maintain the program,” says Meyers. “The dedication of our trained monitors has allowed us to put even more resources straight into the monitoring itself, and has improved the program as a whole.”

The organization uses a suite of indicators to calculate an overall 2016 Water Quality Score for different watersheds across San Diego County. For the first time since 2013, some of San Diego County’s watersheds surpassed the “Fair” rating on the Water Quality Index,” reaching “Good.” Each watershed below is linked to more details about the watershed’s 2016 water quality:

  • San Luis Rey                      82     Good
  • Buena Vista                        78     Fair
  • San Marcos (Batiquitos)      79     Fair
  • Escondido Creek                 72     Fair
  • Peñasquitos                       76     Fair
  • Rose Creek                           87     Good
  • San Dieguito                       78     Fair
  • San Diego                          72     Fair
  • Pueblo                                56     Marginal
  • Sweetwater                         74     Fair (20 percent improvement from 2015)
  • Otay                                70     Fair
  • Tijuana                                   N/A   (unsafe to test because of sewage contamination)

“Every year, our results continue to show that water quality is defined by all of us. There’s no single source of pollution poisoning our environment; it’s all of our daily actions that determine our water quality,” says Meyers. “Whenever you pick up a piece of litter, fix a leaky sprinkler or forgo chemical fertilizers in your garden, you make a real impact. We all have the opportunity to take small actions that matter.”

After each month’s water sampling, San Diego Coastkeeper updates its online, color-coded water quality map. See June 2017’s water quality results.

Read the full water quality report for 2016 here.

As a trained Water Quality Monitor, volunteers can learn how to generate vital, scientifically sound data to better inform decision-makers and the public. Visit San Diego Coastkeeper’s website to learn more, sign up for training, to view the 2017 water quality-monitoring schedule and to donate to help the organization continue doing this important work.

 

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San Diego Coastkeeper

Founded in 1995, San Diego Coastkeeper protects and restores fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters in San Diego County. For more information, visit San Diego Coastkeeper online at http://www.sdcoastkeeper.org.

 

[ No yard, no problem! Composting in small spaces. ]

Many of you already know about traditional backyard composting, but there are other options out there to help you recycle your organics at home. Today, I’ll cover some basics on two composting methods you may not have heard of yet: vermicomposting and bokashi.

Earlier this year, our Hotline Manager, Amanda, wanted to increase her composting knowledge, much like our Education Manager and Master Composter-in training, Erika. After taking a series of classes, Amanda wanted todreamstime_s_16107361 (2) share these two new methods that are great for small spaces. Read on to learn the basics of two innovative composting methods; perhaps you’ll find one that works for you! 

To Read the Full Article from I Love a Clean San Diego, CLICK HERE. 

 

[ 5 things you can do about climate change ]

It may not seem like your helping on a global scale, but things that you can do at home to help prevent climate change really do make a big difference. Things like replacing that old thermosta for heating and cooling with adreamstime_s_68175341 (2) programmable thermostat allows you to turn off the heating or A/C when you’re not home. For $20 you can’t go wrong. Your Helping the enviromemt and shaving hundreds off your energy bill.

Replacing your toilet with a new one is a great way to manage water usage. A lot of people don’t realize how much water each flush takes. The EPA says toilets account for nearly 30% of the average home’s indoor water use.

Also be greener at the office. There is no need to abandon your hard work saving the environment when you leave your home. Power down that computer, recycle those soda cans and water bottles. Most offices these days should have recycling programs. If your office does not, be proative…initiate one!

To read the full list of helpful things you can do. Read this article from CNN by clicking HERE! 

[ How to Live WaterSmart ]

Well…the summer is here, the heat is on and we may be officialy out of the drought, but lets not go willy nilly with the water. The folks at I love a clean San Diego have some tips that we should all be living by when it dreamstime_s_44124013 (2)comes to saving water.

The San Diego County Water Authority recently launched a campaign to encourage San Diego County residents to Live WaterSmart. The agency provides many free resources to support water-use efficiency as a way of life and encourage sustainable changes to homes and landscapes. This approach helps ensures our region will have sufficient water supplies for years to come.

Resources provided by the Water Authority and its partners include:

For the Full Article CLICK HERE

[ 8 Ways to Reduce Your Ecological Footprint ]

I love a Clean San Diego never fails to have interesting, informative articles on how we can all make a difference. We recently found this article on their website. dreamstime_xl_7685218 (2) (600x600)

Ecological footprint: the impact of a person or community on the environment, expressed as the amount of land required to sustain their use of natural resources

It’s been estimated that it would take 3.9 Earths to sustain the world population if everyone lived like we do in the US. When considering factors like food, water-use, waste and transportation, it’s clear there’s an urgent need for more sustainable daily actions. Luckily, you can start creating these habits today!

Check out the Global Footprint Calculator from the Global Footprint Network to understand your ecological footprint. Then, incorporate these suggestions to reduce your ecological footprint and make a positive impact!

  1. Reduce Your Use of Single-Use, Disposable Plastics. Did you know all the plastic we’ve ever made still exists? We use disposable plastic shopping bags for an average of 12 minutes before we discard them (and yes, there are still plastic shopping bags at clothing stores, hardware stores, and more). Other single-use plastics like straws, cups, and utensils aren’t used for much longer. Make the switch to reusable items, such as reusable water bottle, reusable shopping bag, and reusable cups.
  2. Switch to Renewable Energy. According to the EPA, the electricity sector was the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the US in 2014. If you have the budget and living situation to switch to solar, look into installation options. If you don’t, there are still many ways to reduce your use of nonrenewable energy. Look into renewable energy options through programs like SDG&E’s EcoChoice. The program allows you to switch 50-100% of your energy bill to renewable energy from clean sources. Best of all: it’s easy and affordable! Log in to your account for an estimate and reduce your ecological footprint in a click.

To Read this terrific article…CLICK HERE! 

[ “Salt.” Where Does it Go? ]

(I love a Clean San Diego) – You may be wondering where the salt goes after desalination? You might think that it wouldn’t be harmful at all to where it’s put, right? After all, “It’s just salt”.dreamstime_xl_11147988 (2) (600x401)

Desalination Explained – Desalination is the process of removing salt from ocean water to make it pure and drinkable (Desalination by reverse osmosis). A desalination plant is where this process is done. They collect the water from the ocean and remove the salt.

Where “Salt” Goes

Most of the time they put whatever is left of the “Salt” back in the ocean at some distance from the desalination plant (Answers Corporation). This can be very harmful considering that the salt can become a chemical that can be difficult to break in the process of desalination (Green Garbage Corporation). Some plants like the Tampa’s Plant, in Florida, have found a different way to dispose of the brine. The Tampa’s Plant has discovered a way to use the brine as energy. They use brine to produce part of the energy for desalination. I don’t really understand why they don’t share their amazing discovery with the rest of the facilities.

To read the full article…CLICK HERE!

[ WFSD FAQ: Top Recycling Questions from 2016 ]

This is a pretty interesting read of Frequently Asked Questions from I LOVE A CLEAN SAN DIEGO.http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-old-tv-set-fridge-dump-image8258770

Did you know I Love A Clean San Diego received more than 13,000 inquiries in 2016 through the WasteFreeSD.org database and call center combined? That’s right! WasteFreeSD.org answers all your recycling questions and it is just a click away! With that in mind, Ani, our incredible Recycling Programs Manager, has created our newest recurring blog series that features frequently asked questions from WasteFreeSD.org that we will be calling WFSD FAQ!

This year I Love A Clean San Diego staff worked hard to build WasteFreeSD.org into a Zero Waste Database. The redesigned site houses information beyond recycling including repair options, reduction tips, and donation locations. We thought we would share with our readers the top recycling questions we received last year. Any guess on what the number one most asked about item (non-hazardous) was in 2016? Drumroll, please! It was…refrigerators!

2016’s Top three most asked about items (non-hazardous):

  1. As previously mentioned, refrigerators were the number one item residents are looking to recycle. Refrigerators are bulky and most residents call to inquire about pickup services, fees apply. Some recyclers that accept appliances will actually pay you for bringing it to their facility to recycle, it’s a few cents a pound but hey anything helps! The redesigned WasteFreeSD.org allows for users to search for repair services including services that repair refrigerators. Make appliances last longer with proper maintenance and hire a professional to fix.
  2. It’s no surprise that as new technology rolls out people are looking for the latest and greatest. Televisions ranked second as the most asked about item for recycling. There are plenty of recycling options for electronics including e-waste collection events and household hazardous waste collection facilities. Some businesses even offer pickup services, fees apply. Opt to buy any new technology, televisions were made to last! Believe it or not, there are still places that repair televisions, at a reasonable price.

For the full article….CLICK HERE!

[ San Diego Airport’s Good Traveler Program Receives Sustainability Award ]

(Times of San Diego)dreamstime_xl_92745789 (2)

San Diego International Airport‘s so-called “The Good Traveler” program won the Best Innovation in Sustainability award Friday.

The program received the award from the Airport Council International-North America at its Airport Concessions Awards.

The Good Traveler program was launched in 2015 to encourage sustainable travel by enabling travelers to offset the environmental impact of their journey in an affordable, easy and meaningful way, according to a statement released by airport officials.
Through The Good Traveler, passengers can purchase carbon offsets and merchandise online at the goodtraveler.org or at select locations, with proceeds going toward conservation projects that help counteract the effect of greenhouse gas emissions on the environment.

To Read the entire article from Times of San Diego…Click Here. 

[ Earth Day-friendly recycling tips from San Diego experts ]

Have you helped out Mother Earth lately? Have you donated more than 10,000 pounds of clothing and other reusable items to charity? Yup…that’s a lot! How about collecting 103,000 gallons of water from your dripping airdreamstime_xl_4877209 (2) (300x179)

conditioner? Maybe you have fed excess fish to the wolves?

If you have not done any of the above, then you are not one of the top business recyclers recognized this month at the city of San Diego’s 25th annual Waste Reduction Awards Ceremony. But that doesn’t mean you can’t follow their lead.

Earth Day is just around the corner on April 22nd. San Diego is gearing up for EarthWork’s annual EarthFair taking over Balboa Park on April 23.

To get tips from San Diego’s, top recycling experts and information on this amazing event… CLICK HERE!