8th Annual Zero Waste Fair

Join us for a fun and unique celebration of all things zero waste! I Love A Clean San Diego is hosting the eighth annual Zero Waste Fair on Saturday, June 24th, from 10AM-1PM at the EUSD Farm Lab.

Our Zero Waste Fair is back in-person again this year! Come ready to experience a wide array of zero waste activities, including informative panel speakers, booths from sustainable companies, and hands-on low waste DIYs.

This one-of-a-kind event will highlight tips on low-waste living, composting, recycling, sustainable swaps for everyday products, and more. All are welcome – from sustainable living beginners to zero waste experts. Attendees will also have the opportunity to discover local zero waste businesses, and win eco-conscious prizes!

Visit our Zero Waste Fair Website to learn more about the event. Attendees are encouraged to register for free ahead of time. We can’t wait to see you there this summer!

Interested in volunteering? Visit our Community Hub page to register to volunteer!

Green Routines Webinar

If you’re looking to eliminate waste from your daily routine, join I Love A Clean San Diego for our free Green Routines Webinar on Thursday, May 18 at 5 p.m.!


During this one-hour webinar, we’ll cover:


  • Zero waste practices to adopt in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room and home common areas
  • Sustainable product swaps
  • Recommendations for local zero waste businesses and shops
  • Recipes for DIY zero waste cleaning and personal care products


Registration is required. Participants that cannot attend live are encouraged to register to receive the recording and additional resources. Thank you to the City of San Diego Environmental Services Department for sponsoring this event!

7th Annual Zero Waste Fair

Save the date for a fun and unique celebration of all things zero waste this summer! I Love A Clean San Diego, in partnership with the City of Encinitas, will be hosting the seventh annual Zero Waste Fair on Saturday, June 25th, from 10AM-1PM.

Our Zero Waste Fair is back in-person this year at the EUSD Farm Lab in Encinitas! Come ready to experience a wide array of zero waste activities, including informative presentations, booths from sustainable companies, and hands-on low waste DIYs.

This one-of-a-kind event will highlight tips on low-waste living, composting, recycling, sustainable swaps for everyday products, and more. Attendees will also have the opportunity to discover local zero waste businesses, and win eco-conscious prizes!

Register here and be sure to keep a look out for more event details in the coming months. Can’t wait to see you there this summer!

HOW TO: Make Your Own Doggie Bag Carrier from Upcycled Materials

One of the best things you can do to help prevent pathogens, harmful nutrients, parasites, and diseases from entering our waterways is to make sure that you pick up after your pet. To help keep you equipped with bags on this mission, we put together a quick “how to” for crafting your own doggie bag holder from upcycled materials. These are great for pet-owners and concerned citizens alike, and can be worn around your wrist, tied to a leash, or kept in your car.

Materials Needed:

• Two clean yogurt containers OR the bottoms of two plastic soda bottles (with labels removed)
• Scissors OR crafting knife
• Sandpaper or nail file (optional)
• Tape (the thicker the better here but most kinds will work)
• String, yarn, ribbon, or a strip of cloth

Prepare the Dispenser Piece

1. Cut a hole roughly 1¼ inches in diameter on one of your two containers. Using your sandpaper or nail file, sand down any rough edges here as desired.

2. Tear off a piece of tape roughly 2 inches square. Set that aside for now.
3. Tear off a second piece of tape just slightly larger than 1¼ in each direction.
4. Place the two pieces of tape together – sticky-sides together – as shown in the picture below. The first piece of tape should have some of the sticky side still exposed.

5. Tape the joined tape strips to the bottom of the container you cut a hole in. There should be no sticky sides showing on either side of the hole.
6. Tear off a last piece of tape, about 3 inches square, to cover both pieces of tape and secure them in place. It should look like the following:

7. Set the container so the side with the hole you cut is facing up. Cut an “x” shape into the middle of the tape.

Make the Handle

1. Cut two small holes near the rim of each of your containers, one on each side, as shown below.

2. Thread your ribbon, string, or cloth through the hole (if you choose ribbon or cloth, your hole will need to be bigger than the one pictured). Be sure to leave extra string for a handle between each knot, so you have a handle to use when carrying. This handle size can be to your preference, but for the model shown about 12” of slack between knots was enough.

3. Tie one of the sides off in a double-knotted bow

Fill with Your Bags of Choice

1. Before tying shut your second side, fill your holder with bags. Here, I have used upcycled grocery bags, but rolls of pet poop bags will fit as well. Go ahead and poke one of your bags through the hole created in step 1 to get your dispenser started.

2. Leaving as much string as you would like for a handle between knots (again, I left about 12” for a handle on mine), tie shut the second side with a double-knotted bow. Keep in mind that to refill your holder, you will untie one of these bows, so try not to tie too tight to undo again!

Decorate as Desired and Get to Scooping!

1. Personalize and decorate your exterior however you’d like! Then, you are finished and ready to enjoy your new bag holder! You can slip the handle over your wrist or tie it to your leash and you are all set to start scoopin’!

Eco-friendly Halloween Costumes & Crafts

Today’s blog comes our Hotline Assistant, Ani and it’s just in time for this weekend’s festivities! If you’re in need of some DIY inspiration, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn more about our favorite Halloween costume and decoration ideas that keep the earth in mind! 

“What are you going to dress up as for Halloween?” …that is the big question this month. The one time in the year when you can be Superman and no one would question it! Instead of purchasing a costume (that you might see someone else wearing at a party), tap into your creative side and make your own costume! Here are a few of our favorite DIY costumes that our staff have done over the years!

Our staff members take Halloween seriously. Best part? We use what we already have in our closets to help reduce waste!

Speaking of parties…thinking of throwing a spooky bash? Here are some  eco-friendly Halloween decoration ideas to get you started:

These simple DIY decorations are made out of cardboard tubes (yes from the toilet paper rolls) and construction paper. For a full tutorial click HERE

Cardboard Tube Creatures are fun, festive, and best of all? Reusable & recyclable!

Check out these decorative pieces made out of wine bottles! All you need is some spray paint and glitter (optional). Click HERE for the full tutorial.

DIY Halloween wine bottles are easy to put together with a little creativity and paint!

Spook some people with your creativity! Before you toss your aluminum cans into the recycling bin, give them a second life as Frankenstein tin cans! Add a couple wine corks to the sides for bolts, googly eyes, and you’re set! Check out the steps for this DIY project click HERE.

Frankenstein tin cans are easy to store with your other holiday decor or toss them in the recycling bin (after removing the corks & googly eyes).

When November 1st comes around, remember to store your creations for next year or recycle them in your curbside blue bin. For more DIY Halloween decoration ideas follow us on Pinterest, you will also find some scary-good costume ideas. Don’t forget that the best thing about Halloween is making your costume! Check out our Affordable and Eco-Friendly Halloween Costume blog for inspiration. Also, be sure to share your creations with us on Facebook and Instagram, we’d love to see them! Happy Halloween gals and ghouls!

Brittany’s Green Routine

Brittany green routine pic

Being environmentally-conscious doesn’t have to be confined to your blue bin. If you look closely, not so environmentally-friendly materials, such as micro-plastics, are hidden in everyday products. Follow Brittany’s Green Routine to learn how you can reduce waste, phase out hidden plastics and simplify your health and beauty routine! And check out our Pinterest boards for even more DIY inspiration!


routine definition
Routine (noun). – A sequence of actions regularly followed.

Everyone has routines and once you start, they are pretty hard to break. Since working at I Love A Clean San Diego, I’ve been inspired to be more eco-friendly in my day-to-day life, but I didn’t know where do start. Then I realized I could start by having what I now call my “green routine”. What is a green routine you might ask? A green routine is a type routine you create which benefits the environment. I realized I could save money while also being eco-friendly by creating some beauty products with ingredients I already have in my house.  For this week’s blog, I wanted to change it up and share some of my favorite DIY recipes I incorporate in my daily green routine!

Original-Lip-Scrub-with-textBrown Sugar & Honey Lip Scrub: Need to get rid of chapped lips? This is my favorite lip scrub

What you’ll need:

1 teaspoon of brown sugar

1 teaspoon of honey

Mix them together, lather your lips with the scrub, rinse with warm water, and pucker up! Your lips will feel moisturized, soft, and not to mention, this scrub is tasty!

Honey, Nutmeg, Cinnamon Face Mask: This mask is perfect for when you experience breakouts or are looking to brighten up your skin tone! You can use this has a spot treatment or as a mask. Honey is not only hydrating, but it helps soothe inflammation as well as fight against bacteria – that’s why it’s great for so many things! For sensitive skin I recommend leaving this on for 2-3 minutes.

What you’ll need:

cinnamon face mask
1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of nutmeg, 2 teaspoons of honey

Coconut Oil: Plain and simple, a jar of this does wonders and is extremely moisturizing.  Not only is this something I cook with but I use it for a variety of things which cuts down the number of products I use and minimizes the waste I create.

  • Skin Moisturizer: After a good (plastic-free) skin exfoliant, I take a dab to keep my skin smelling great and soft. A little goes a long way!
  • Hair treatments: I’m notorious for using heat products on my hair, so every once and a while I like to give my hair a little bit of love. After washing and conditioning my hair, I rub coconut oil through the ends of my hair to prevent breakage. You could also use coconut oil as a hair mask and rubbing the oil on your scalp helps with dandruff. I recommend keeping the oil in your hair for around ten minutes then rinsing.Coconut Oil
  • Lip moisturizer: Instead of using chapstick before bed, I use coconut oil, sometimes with a dab of honey, as a replacement. Be sure to pair it with the brown sugar lip scrub mentioned above!
  • Makeup remover: This is something I would normally spend a lot of money on. Instead, I take a small amount with my fingertips and rub it on the areas of my face until it melts. Then I take a wash cloth to wipe it off with warm water. That’s it!

And Guys, don’t worry, we have a recipe for you this year’s No Shave November too! This recipe sent to us by Alexandra Engel to help keep your beards fresh and clean. Blend together, rub through your beard, and rinse.

FullSizeRender (2)
A little beard oil goes a long way! *Flowers will not grow out of your beard after using this recipe.*
  • 3 fl. oz. Sweet Almond oil
  • 25 oz. Vitamin E oil
  • 25 oz. Argan oil
  • 30 drops Tea tree essential oil – prevents ingrown hairs and fights breakouts
  • 30 drops Rosemary essential oil – stimulates hair growth
  • ~20 drops Spruce essential oil (optional)
  • ~20 drops Pine essential oil (optional)
  • ~20 drops Cypress essential oil – astringent and antiseptic for oily skin.
  • ~20 drops Bergamot essential oil – antibiotic and deodorizing.

I hope you enjoy my favorite green routine recipes as much as I do. Not only are you saving green bills but you are also helping to keep the environment clean by eliminating micro plastics and cutting down on waste!  For more fun DIY beauty tips, crafts, and green living tips, be sure to check out I Love A Clean San Diego’s Pinterest boards


34% – we can do better!

SONY DSCToday’s blog comes for our Hotline Assistant, Ani, who is always on the look out for ways to reduce, reuse and recycle.  Many of us know the basics of recycling: paper, rigid plastic containers, aluminum, however, there is one part of the home that is often neglected, the bathroom. Read on to learn how you can keep perfectly good recyclables out of the landfill, and instead give that shampoo bottle or toilet paper roll a new life!


bathroom-recyc_5Let me start by asking, do you recycle your empty shampoo bottles? What about the toilet paper roll? Surprisingly enough, not many people do. A survey conducted by the Ad Council, a non-profit organization, revealed that only 34% of Americans recycle bathroom items. More surprising, 22% of Americans would not toss bathroom items in the recycling bins if the bin is located outside the bathroom.

What kind of changes can we make to form a habit of recycling in our bathroom? Here are some suggestions:

1. Place a recycling bin in the bathroom to serve as a constant reminder to recycle

2. Inform others in the household of the items that can and cannot be recycled (see graphic).

3. Assign a recycling expert in your household. I found it useful to assign my youngest niece the role of “Recycling Expert”. She is responsible for making sure everyone in the household recycles properly.

4. Make a bathroom recycling sign. Unilever, a consumer goods company, cleverly developed “Rinse. Recycle. Reimagine” in partnership with Keep America Beautiful and the Ad Council.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ynVVgeaFdg]

How do we recycle these items? Give your recyclable bathroom items a new life by lightly rinsing out the left over contents from empty bottles and removing the lid or plastic pumps (not yet recyclable).  Remember to recycle empty cardboard packaging like toothpaste boxes and tissue boxes. And also make sure that aerosol cans, like air fresheners and shaving cream, are completely empty before recycling (yes, you can place empty aerosol cans in the blue bin, yay!)

“Rinse. Recycle. Reimagine.” It’s that easy!

So what happens after it is tossed into the blue bin? Bottles composed of PET plastic are recycled and used in carpet fiber, fiberfill for winter jackets and sleeping bags, car upholstery, and boat sails. Other recyclable materials composed of HDPE plastic are turned into flexible construction pipes, and patio furniture. To read more about what other recyclable items become, visit IWantToBeRecycled.org

Another solution to our abundant aBack-to-MAC-Program_2ccumulation of bathroom recyclables is shop for items with minimal packaging or shop in bulk. Products like LUSH Cosmetics strive to minimally package goods in store and opting out on packaging is always an option. You can also earn incentives for recycling your empty make-up containers in-store. Take MAC Cosmetics for example. If you take six empty MAC Cosmetic product containers back to the store, they will give you a free lipstick through their Back to M.A.C. program.

If you want to purchase items in bulk, check out Blue Dot Refill in Ocean Beach. Tunnamed-2hey offer customers the opportunity to bring their own empty bottles and jars to fill up on shampoos, body care products, and cleaning agents. They also accept empty bottles in-store for other customers to fill up and use, so start saving those bottles so you can use them again!

Lastly, another great way to limit the need to shop for bathroom items is by making them yourself right at home! Check out these great recipes on our Pinterest page and be on the lookout for a future blog all about simple DIY beauty products tested and approved by ILACSD staff!

 To get answers to other recycling questions, visit our database www.WasteFreeSD.org!




Green Up Your Spring Cleaning!

Amanda, ILACSD Hotline ManagerAlthough the groundhog saw its shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter last month, it sure feels like spring has taken hold in San Diego! For today’s blog, Amanda, our Hotline Manager, has put together a variety of useful tips to help jumpstart your eco-friendly spring cleaning!

Some may argue that San Diego only has two seasons – summer and a slightly cooler and rainier version of summer. Nevertheless, it is officially spring! Along with visions of bunnies, tulips and warmer weather – you’ll probably think of (and dread!) spring cleaning when you hear the word “spring”.

Eco-friendly products are now more popular than ever, but how do you know if what you’re purchasing is really helping to protect the environment? The EPA is rolling out a new program this spring/summer, it is called the Safer Choice Label. These labels will not only help you choose products that are safer for our environment, they will also help you choose products that are safer for your family, children and pets. More information on the EPA’s program can be found here

Per the EPA  – “Only products that meet our Safer Choice Standard, which includes stringent human health and environmental criteria, are allowed to carry the label.”

If you aren’t able to find a product with the Safer Choice Label, there are a few things you can look for when choosing an eco-friendly cleaner on your own. Here is a list of harmful ingredients to avoid:

  • Phosphates and EDTA, or ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid
  • Butyl or 2-butoxyethanol and oxalatesgreen cleaning alternatives

In place of these harsh chemicals, look for sodium citrate, sodium bicarbonate alkyl polyglycoside, isopropanol and glycerol on the ingredients list.  For more information, check out this article from Washington Post!

If you have a little more time to invest, DIY cleaning products are great alternatives as well! You can make anything from glass cleaner to furniture polish to carpet cleaner with some basic products you may already have at home. You can clean your toilet bowl with vinegar and baking soda – yes, just like the volcanoes you made as a kid! Find more tips on our Pinterest board “Clean and Green” including this great Buzzfeed article about DIY household products!

After your house is spick and span, remember to repair, recycle, donate, reuse and/or properly dispose of the excess items, putting things in their place. If you need a refresher on what is considered trash, recyclable, and household hazardous waste turn to www.WasteFreeSD.org! Our database also has lots of information about donation and recycling centers to help you get rid of unwanted items!

Find this handy resource on wastefreesd.org!
Find this handy resource on WasteFreeSD.org!


ILACSD Staff Share Their Favorite DIY Projects

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!

Ann's tableDirector 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!

Hummingbird feedersCraft 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!

Morgan's jewlery hangerDirector of Development and Marketing, Morgan, 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!

Morgan's herb gardenHere’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.

BeFunky_Natalie's chair.jpg

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.

Add a little sparkle to your home!

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!

Affordable & Eco-Friendly Halloween Costumes

Looking for a last minute Halloween costume? Look no further! Today’s blog comes from our Hotline Manager, Amanda, and she is here to help. Read more below about some of our favorite eco-friendly costumes from over the years! Who knows? Maybe you’ll be inspired!

ILACSD staff love Halloween and the chance to get imaginative! I’ve rounded up some of my favorite staff costumes for you to enjoy, highlighting how easy it can be to avoid those big box stores to make your own costume. Here are my top five costume creations from years past, in no particular order of course. Watch out for this year’s staff picture on our Facebook on Friday the 31st!

Environmental Educator, Monica, as an elephant.
Environmental Educator, Monica, as an elephant.

Environmental Educator, Monica, was an adorable elephant last year. She already had the pants and sweater, and made the trunk from an empty paper towel roll. The only item she had to buy was a set of elephant ears that can be used again in the future.

  •  Reusable elephant ears
  • Recyclable paper towel roll trunk
  • Preexisting sweater & leggings!
  • Approximate cost – less than $5




Director of Community Events, Natalie, as Marge Simpson.
Director of Community Events, Natalie, as Marge Simpson.

Director of Community Events, Natalie, as Marge Simpson back in 2007 was pretty awesome don’t you think? All you need to do is find a green dress at a thrift store (or use one you already have) and craft some blue hair out of paper, using an empty 2-liter soda bottle in the middle for structure. And don’t forget to recycle your hair at the end of the day!

  •  Recyclable hair made of construction paper and 2 liter bottle
  • Preexisting dress
  • Approximate cost – less than $2



Hotline Program Assistant, Barbara, as a French painter.
Hotline Program Assistant, Barbara, as a French painter.

Hotline Program Assistant, Barbara, put together a marvelous costume from items that were around her home. She already owned her beret, and she borrowed a t-shirt and paint brush from family members. A splash of paint and voila! A French painter.

  •  Preexisting beret
  • Borrowed shirt & paint brush
  • Approximate cost – $0!




Community Events Coordinator, Lexi, as a runny egg!
Community Events Coordinator, Lexi, as a runny egg!

Community Events Coordinator, Lexi , loves a good pun. Here she is as a runny egg – get it?! She wore running clothes she already owned, and cut out runny yolk pieces from yellow construction paper that she recycled at the end of the day.

  •  Preexisting running gear
  • Recyclable construction paper
  • Approximate cost – $0 – $1




Executive Director, Pauline, borrowed her Grecian goddess costume.
Executive Director, Pauline, borrowed her Grecian goddess costume.

Executive Director, Pauline, borrowed her Grecian goddess costume, reminding us that just because you wore a costume one year and are tired of it, doesn’t mean you should trash it! Save it and swap costumes with your friends the next year.

  • Borrowed costume & accessories
  • Approximate cost – $0!




Hopefully you got some good ideas for Halloween, and don’t forget to post your DIY and re-use costumes to our Facebook page!