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’!

Make the Season Bright with These Eco Holiday Tips!

Today’s festive holiday guide comes from one of ILACSD’s Program Assistants, Emily! She has done a lot of research to bring you the best of eco-friendly holiday ideas, including everything from party planning to gift wrap! But first, let’s start off with a eco-inspired holiday poem! 

T’was three weeks before Christmas and all through the scene

People were wond’ring how to make Christmas green.


From Red Solo cups used up at a party

To the tin foil covering fudge for Uncle Marty,


Many holiday items end up in the trash,

Increasing the heap in our landfill stash.


The plastics! The glass! The tinsel! The paper!

Oh, the waste piles higher than a city skyscraper!


As they pondered wrapped gifts topped in bright, shiny bows,

They knew there must be a way to reduce how much is disposed.


When what to their wondering eyes did appear

But a helpful blog post written by eight tiny reindeer.


As you head out to shop, to craft and create,

Rejoice in the choices now there on your plate.


Keep the land clean from Del Mar to Borrego

Because no gift is greater than a clean San Diego!

Tips for an Eco-Friendly Holiday Season

  • Fast Facts
    • Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, the average San Diegan throws away between 3 and 10 extra bags of trash.
    • Recycle these items: Aluminum pie tins, empty aerosol cans (like whipped cream), wine and cider bottles, cardboard boxes, and paper packaging can all be recycled. For any question on what can be placed in the blue curbside bin, click here.
  • Gift Wrapping
    • Recycle all non-metallic wrapping paper and any paper-based ribbon.
    • Go paperless! Wrap gifts in items like towels, t-shirts, or pillowcases.
    • Use your child’s grade school artwork to create unique wrapping paper.
    • Create gift tags from wrapping paper scraps or last year’s greeting cards.

    Eco Gift Wrap
    Check out these gifts wrapped in brown grocery bags, newsprint, and t-shirt scraps, with tags from cereal boxes!
  • Eco-friendly Gifts
    • Give a succulent in a pot made from reused items, such as decorated yogurt cups.
    • Choose reusables! Encourage friends and families to ditch disposables and choose reusables such as shopping bags, straws, mugs – the ideas are limitless!
    • Buy nuts, berries, and chocolates in bulk and present them in reused glass jars. Arrange them in a basket, giving two gifts in one. Check out these examples on Pinterest for inspiration!
    • Non-material gifts are essentially free of packaging and create stronger memories than giving the latest gadget. Consider zoo memberships, hang gliding lessons, a painting class, or gift cards to local camp sites.
      • One of my favorite gifts I’ve received falls into this category. My friend jokingly lamented that he couldn’t buy me a beluga whale (my favorite animal), so he made a donation in my name to the National Wildlife Foundation toward the cause of the beluga whale. I was impressed with how thoughtful and creative he had been.
Pine Cone Centerpieces
By not adding paint or glitter, these pinecone centerpieces can be composted once the holiday season has passed.
  • Decorations
    • Decorating with natural items, such as cranberry and popcorn strings, leaves you the option of composting them post-holidays. Be sure to check out our Pinterest for other decor ideas!
  • Party Planning
    • If you know ahead of time who’s coming, print out old photos of each guest and tape them to glasses as “identifiers.” This encourages people to use the same cup throughout the event, and it’s fun to play, “Guess Whose Bad School Portrait That Is.”





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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 for more great DIY and reuse ideas. We invite you to post your favorite DIY projects you’ve done to our Facebook page!

ILACSD Kicks Off America Recycles Day Campaign!

Today’s blog comes from our Hotline Program Assistant, Barbara and Hotline Manager, Amanda! Our hotline team is gearing up for America Recycles Day and they want to make sure you’re up-to-date on the latest and greatest tips for waste reduction, while having a little fun! Read more below about what you can look forward to leading up to America Recycles day.

America Recycles Day is the nation's one and only day dedicated solely to recycling, so get ready for 1 month of recycling tips and tricks from ILACSD to get you geared up for the BIG DAY!
America Recycles Day is the nation’s one and only day dedicated solely to recycling, so get ready for 1 month of recycling tips and tricks from ILACSD to get you geared up for the BIG DAY!

Mark your calendar for America Recycles Day on November 15th! This year marks the 7th Annual America Recycles Day- the only nationally-recognized day to celebrate our waste reduction milestones and to share ideas with one another. The goal of America Recycles Day, an initiative of Keep America Beautiful, is to inspire communities to recycle more and correctly all year long. On that note, starting today, I Love A Clean San Diego kicks off its own America Recycles Day campaign! From now until November 15th, ILACSD will share with you tips and tricks to help minimize your impact on local landfills!

sorted recycling
Thankfully, in SD most recyclable items can commingle in one bin! Paper, rigid plastics, glass, aluminum, and cartons.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to receive our helpful tips. You can look forward to posts about –

  • #DIY upcycling tips – give old items a second life!
  • #TransformationTuesday
  • Recycling humor – yes, it does exist!
  • Tips for hard to recycle items

I Love A Clean San Diego started as an organization to combat San Diego’s litter problem, and has quickly evolved to address residents’ recycling needs, as well. ILACSD first started its recycling hotline in 1972, focusing on keeping thousands of Christmas trees out of landfills. Today, we continue to run our one-stop recycling resource,, and our newest addition,!

Christmas Tree Recycling, 1972
Challenges in finding out where to recycle Christmas trees spurred ILACSD to start a recycling hotline in 1972…more than 40 years later, it’s still going strong. Give us a call today, 1-800-237-BLUE!

As San Diego moves towards a 75% diversion rate by 2020 and a zero waste goal by 2040, we are dedicated to be your go-to resource to help reach these goals. Although this may appear to be a lofty goal, ILACSD is here to help inform fellow San Diegans and ultimately, keep valuable resources out of local landfills.

More than 51,000 Americans have already taken the America Recycles Day pledge on Keep America Beautiful’s webpage. By taking it, you pledge to learn more about the materials that can be recycled, reduce your waste by recycling, and encourage others to do the same. Click here to take the pledge today!

For more information on all of your recycling, reuse, and repair needs, visit and!