Back to school guide: The sustainable way!

Today’s blog post comes from our super-star environmental educator Monica Rosquillas!  Monica’s parents are hoping she will someday use all those leftover Trapper-Keepers from junior high… monica

Thousands of San Diego students are getting ready to go back to school. Here are a few tips to do it the green way!

Reduce your daily lunchprint by following these tips:

• If you don’t yet own a reusable water bottle, get one, and make sure to use it! You can significantly reduce the amount of disposable water bottles you toss out just by drinking from your reusable water bottle every day. And it saves you money. Do the math! But take care of it, I’ve personally seen too many reusable water bottles in the lost and found; write your name or initials on the bottle to avoid losing it and creating more waste.

Some great alternatives to plastic bottles and bags.
Some great alternatives to plastic bottles and bags.

• Pack a lunch, but think twice before you put your sandwich, cookies, veggies, and other snacks in disposable plastic baggies. Those bags are likely to end up in the trash can, they don’t get recycled. If you throw out 2 bags a school day, that’s 10 bags every week, in a month that’s 40 bags, and in a year that’s a whopping 480 bags, they add up quickly! Save money and avoid making so much trash by switching to REUSABLE sandwich and snack bags. Plus, they are super cool-looking, you’ll impress your friends, and they are widely available.

• Don’t bag your fruit. Fruits come in their own compostable packaging, it’s not necessary to put your banana, orange, or apple in a plastic bag. Sure, it’s more appetizing to eat your already sliced apple out of a bag, but think about all the trash you’re making. If you want to pre-peel or pre-slice your fruit, that’s not a problem, it’s just another opportunity to use your reusable snack bags.

Fruit comes pre-packaged, naturally! No need for plastic bags.

More green tips!

• Be cool and carpool. Also, if you live close to your school, consider walking, skating, or riding your bike to school.

• Shop smart. I remember getting really excited about the new school year, I always wanted to start the year organized, and with brand new, cool materials, but I ended up buying supplies that I did not need. At my parent’s house there are still drawers full of markers, pens, colored pencils, rulers, notepads etc. that I accumulated throughout my education. So, before going out to buy new school supplies make a list of what you really need, this way you can avoid buying what you don’t. If you have any supplies at home that you won’t use, consider donating them to your school or an after school program. Also: Don’t forget your reusable bags when back-to-school shopping. Already do all the above and want to do more? Here are some tips for the A+ Environmentalists

• Start an organic gardening and composting program at your school.

• How well does your school recycle? If you think more can be done, talk with your teachers and principal about improving recycling at your school.

• Start an environmental club at your school. You can participate in clean-ups and organize recycling events to fundraise for your club or school.

• Help spread the word. Schedule a FREE environmental presentation from ILACSD for your school.

We Talk Trash- Sign Your School Up for an ILACSD Education Presentation!

Today’s blog post comes from our Education Coordinator, Erika Bjorkquist.  Erika, whose pencils have been sharpened for weeks, is super excited for school to start and to begin education presentations for a new batch of kids!Erika-team

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Sharpen your pencils, gather your books, it’s back to school time! This year, as you prepare your lessons, consider incorporating a presentation from I Love A Clean San Diego. Our local, environmental nonprofit has been around for almost 60 years! With that kind of history, we have vast knowledge of San Diego and its local environment, so we know the issues important to the community.

San Diego is known for beautiful weather and breathtaking beaches. Unfortunately, along with sea shells and sand crabs, litter is ‘litter’ally harming our environment. Trash makes its way through rivers, creeks, storm drains, to beaches and ultimately, to the ocean. Once in the ocean, little can be done to reverse the detrimental effects of trash. But…there is something you can do! ILACSD is up for the task to help our beaches and water ways through our education programs and cleanups.  In our presentations, we talk trash, introducing students to the harms of pollution in the environment, and then we provide easy, everyday actions students can take to combat pollution in our watershed and provide dates in which students can get involved.

Letter from a student at Dingeman Elementary
Letter from a student at Dingeman Elementary

What is great about our education programs is that:

  1. We deliver programs county wide. Whether your school is in San Diego, Jacumba, Fallbrook, Oceanside, or Julian, we have a presentation for you!
  2. Every presentation is standards-based and interactive.
  3. We incorporate visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning in classroom presentations.
  4. We emphasize community service as a way to help make a difference and provide dates and locations where students can receive community service hours.
  5. Best of all, these programs are fun and engaging!

Our presentations cater to the grade level of the audience, and best of all, the majority of our presentations are FREE! Certain restrictions apply, so please call for details. For more information, please contact the education department at 619-291-0103 or You can also learn more on our education website.

Know what would make this student happy? A fun education presentation from ILACSD!
Know what would make this student happy? A fun education presentation from ILACSD!