Saying Farewell and Looking Forward at Toast the Coast

On Sunday, June 10, I Love A Clean San Diego celebrated our annual Summer Social, Toast the Coast! More than 125 friends and environmental advocates joined us at Karl Strauss Tasting Room and Beer Garden for a fun, family-friendly afternoon featuring craft beer from Karl Strauss, delicious tacos from Rubio’s Coastal Grill, live music from Shannon Patiño, and an exciting raffle that included a stay at the Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa, Lauryn Hill concert tickets, and much more.

Musician, Shannon Patiño, rocked at Toast the Coast!
Enjoying Karl Strauss beers
Our guests couldn’t stop smiling after winning a raffle prize!

The event culminated in a celebration of Pauline Martinson, who stepped down after 12 years as I Love A Clean San Diego’s Executive Director, and the extraordinary growth ILACSD has experienced under her leadership. Pauline also announced that Natalie Roberts DeCarli, ILACSD’s longtime Senior Director of Operations, will serve as Interim Executive Director during the transition.

We will miss you, Pauline!

Proceeds from Toast the Coast support ILACSD’s efforts to beautify and preserve San Diego County’s beaches, parks, and canyons; environmental education programs for youth and adults, and recycling and zero waste resources.

Buying raffle tickets!
Checking out our cool prizes!

Thank you to everyone who attended or contributed to Toast the Coast! Check out photos from the event on our Facebook page.

Who doesn’t love puppies and pints?!
Smiling for a clean San Diego!

We hope you will join us for our next fundraising event, ILACSD’s annual Fall Social, which celebrates environmental action in our community! This year’s event, the Catamaran Wine Mixer, will take place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 11, at the Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa as the sun sets over Mission Bay. Sponsorships are available by contacting Natalie Roberts DeCarli, Interim Executive Director, at Tickets will go on sale August 1. We look forward to seeing you there!

Thank you so much to our Toast the Coast Sponsors


Special thanks to Michelle Clifford Freeman for creating the beautiful signs featured at Toast the Coast!

Signs made by Michelle Clifford Freeman
Signs made by Michelle Clifford Freeman

How Do Expiration Dates Work?

Today’s blog post was written by High Tech Middle Media Arts 6th grader, Kaiya. Kaiya’s class studied the impact that humans have on our local water resources and their contribution to food waste on a global scale. The students looked into water and food waste issues locally, statewide, nationwide and globally. The class hopes to educate the local community about waste and pollution issues and inspire change.
Photo credits
Illustration by John Wagner

Have you ever wondered how expiration dates work? Wondered how important they are? Well, I certainly did. So to those who still do, let me explain.

Let’s start with a short history lesson. Expiration dates were introduced in 1950 at a store called Marks & Spencers. It wasn’t until 1970 when “Sell By” and “Best By” tags were added to most supermarkets. Now that our history lesson has concluded, let’s get to the interesting stuff!

Expiration dates aren’t supposed to show a fruit’s edibility, but the fruit’s “peak quality”; not when it’s expired. It’s because of this common misconception that people discard perfectly good food! So actually, expiration dates are optional. They are suggestions meant to assist. It’s more important to know your food and to simply throw it out because of the expiration date.

Oftentimes, grocery stores will throw away their produce once it turns brown.

Well, how and why were they made?

Americans discontinued making their food, but still wanted to be informed about how it was made. This caused the creation of expiration dates. The facilities did tests on fruit, seeing how long they usually lasted. The most common result would become its “expiration date.”

We are wasting food.

When shopping for fruits, people are usually attracted to the apple that has the least bruises, causing an unnecessary amount of food waste. The food that’s wasted converts to a brown lump and produces a white puss. That’s mold. Mold should be thrown out, but if it’s just brown, it should be fine. Brown spots on fruit are sugar spots, meaning they amplify the flavor. They are perfectly safe to consume, but if it’s a blob of brown, you should throw it away. These spots are discovered on bananas when they continue to ripen, due to ethylene. Supermarkets tend to throw away brown fruit because it doesn’t sell. Food is wasted for no reason.

As your bananas begin to brown, throw them in your freezer to make smoothies, or use them to make banana bread!

Why do they become brown?

Brown fruit is oxidized fruit, meaning that air made them turn brown. Brown fruit is still edible! Apples turn brown in recently bitten parts. The brown on parts on apples reduce taste, but it can still be consumed.

Is there anything I shouldn’t eat when expired? Yes. Infant formula loses its nutrients passed its expiration date. Expired deli meats give you food poisoning, as well as eggs. Dairy gets bacteria buildup when it expires, so it also shouldn’t be consumed.

What moldy food can I eat?

Cheese increases in value when moldy. It tastes more flavorful, which makes a higher profit when sold. However, only specific types of cheese are edible with mold. Cheddar, Colby, Parmesan, and Swiss should be fine to consume. Other soft cheeses like cottage cheese, cream cheese, and ricotta cheese with mold should be discarded.

About the Author

Kaiya is a 6th grader at HTMMA. Her blog was democratically selected by her peers to be featured on I Love A Clean San Diego’s website. Her work will be exhibited alongside other students at a community beach cleanup coordinated by the HTMMA students. 

Making Waves at Kids’ Ocean Day!

On May 24th, I Love A Clean San Diego celebrated its 20th Kids’ Ocean Day, fostering the next wave of environmentally informed and engaged students. Kids’ Ocean Day is not just an excuse for students to hang out at the beach during the school day. It actually begins weeks before in the schools with ILACSD staff facilitating educational presentations for local elementary school students! These students then join ILACSD and a team of volunteers at the beach for a litter cleanup and the formation of an aerial art piece.

During the assemblies, ILACSD educators teach students about the importance of marine life, how their actions affect the ocean, and how they have the power to protect the health our environment. “It was absolutely fantastic. We had kids eager to go to other beaches to clean them up. I can’t say enough good things about how much the kids loved the assembly,” said one teacher from Los Peñasquitos Elementary. The teacher explained how they loved their students being able to see others come together to make a difference for their community during the beach cleanup. The teacher was thrilled to have their students participate in Kids’ Ocean Day, saying, “Thank you so much for this incredible experience. We can’t thank you enough for this opportunity.”

Over the 20 years that ILACSD has hosted Kids’ Ocean Day, we have engaged 20,816 participants and removed approximately 7,280 lbs. of debris from San Diego’s coastline. 

Each year, the five participating California cities determine a statewide-theme for the artwork. The 2018 theme – “Waves of Change” – evokes images of our youngest generations propelling us forward towards a cleaner, safer, and more mindful future. It illustrates how our daily choices, including what we eat, wear, discard, and purchase, have far-reaching effects. This message is broadcast to the world through the art formation. It serves as a call to action for others to join the cause and be mindful of consumption and disposal habits. Check out the video below to see the final aerial art image being formed!

Students collected plastic debris on Mission Beach using re-purposed water jugs!  

“Kids’ Ocean Day is my favorite day of the year,” said Emily Nelson, Education Manager at I Love A Clean San Diego. “This entire event, from the assembly to the cleanup and aerial artwork, showcases the power of the individual, no matter their age. I hope each child realizes just how important and powerful they are.”

We would not have been able to make “Waves of Change” without the help of our sponsors, our volunteers, teachers, and students!

Thank you to all of our Kid’s Ocean Day sponsor for investing in a cleaner San Diego!

California’s Coastal Commission’s Whale Tail Grant Program and
the Protect Our Coast and Oceans Fund

Qualcomm Foundation
Cox Communications
Jack in the Box
Bumble Bee Seafoods
Alta Environmental
Wells Fargo
U.S. Bank
Einstein Bagels
Outside the Lens