December 5 – Shop Smart and Win with Reusable Bags in San Diego County on Dec. 15

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 14, 2011 – Urban runoff, the single biggest threat to San Diego water, continues to impact the region’s water quality of inland and coastal waters. On Dec. 6, San Diego Coastkeeper invites residents to its Signs of the Tide: Put a LID on Pollution event to find out how they can stop the urban runoff and save the region’s waters from pollution.
Moderated by Robert Santos, a weathercaster and reporter at ABC10 News, the attendees will learn from the various experts about low impact development (LID) and options San Diego has to implement this urban runoff prevention tool.
The speakers include:
Edward Beldenwill, a US Green Council Boardmember and principal at SCALEgreen LLC, will discuss the major LID features in Southern California. He will address LID costs and benefits, including reducing polluted runoff, improved water supply and flood control.
Bill Harris, supervising public information officer for the City of San Diego, will answer the questions like why San Diego needs the LID and the outcomes of using LID in our community.
Leslie Ryan, landscape architecture department chair at the NewSchool of Architecture and Design, will explore a real-world low impact development designs to address current problems with stormwater and flooding in the Ocean Beach community.
To highlight the real-world application of LID in San Diego, Coastkeeper partnered with landscape architecture students from the NewSchool of Architecture and Design and Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association to work on creating innovative urban designs to reduce water pollution in Ocean Beach. The students worked on low impact development design solutions that focus on keeping stormwater on site, infiltrating or capturing it, primarily by harnessing the power of plants. The students will present these low impact design projects at the event.
The Signs of the Tide is on Dec. 6, 2011, from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Electric Ladyland Art and Music Center at 4944 Newport Ave., San Diego, CA 92107. Coastkeeper will provide light food and refreshments. The coordinators advise the attendees to park along Newport Ave. The participants can also park at The Apple Tree Market, municipal parking at the end of Newport Ave. or a parking lot behind OB Surf and Skate.
Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association, NewSchool of Architecture and Design and Think Blue San Diego proudly sponsor Signs of the Tide: Put a Lid on Pollution event.
For more information, please visit localhost/sdcoastkeeper.
Founded in 1995, San Diego Coastkeeper protects the region’s bays, beaches, watersheds and ocean for the people and wildlife that depend on them. We balance community outreach, education, and advocacy to promote stewardship of clean water and a healthy coastal ecosystem. For more information, visit San Diego Coastkeeper online at

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 5, 2011 – For the second year, cities throughout the San Diego region, local community groups, environmental organizations, and the County of San Diego have proclaimed the third Thursday of December as a “Day Without a Bag”. The purpose of the event is to educate and raise awareness of the need to keep communities, waterways, and beaches clean via litter prevention, and to promote a ‘greener’ holiday season through reuse.

On Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011, businesses and residents will promote and benefit from using reusable bags for their holiday and regular shopping needs instead of standard single-use plastic and paper bags. “This is a region-wide event to support a habit change that encourages a much wiser use of our resources by reminding shoppers to choose reusable shopping bags over disposables. Reuse is far better than recycling. It prevents waste and helps to aid in overall litter reduction,” stated Regional Coordinator Jacy Bolden.

Each year, people in the greater San Diego region use more than 1.7 billion plastic bags, which equates to about 500 bags per person annually.  According to the U.S. EPA, less than five percent of plastic bags are actually recycled, and they are made from non-renewable fossil fuels.  Even though paper bags are easily recycled in curbside programs, supporters of a “Day Without A Bag” stress that a single-use of any type of bag is not the best use of natural resources. During the 2010 event over 28,000 bags were given away at over 150 locations throughout the San Diego region.  Bolden noted that many residents commented that they had bags but had a hard time remembering them. To help their shoppers remember, several grocers such as Albertsons, Trader Joe’s and Vons are providing drawings for $25 gift certificates to those shoppers using a reusable bag in their stores.  “Similar types of positive incentive promotions for reusable bags have proven that shoppers have responded positively and some grocers have indicated a 40-60% decrease in disposable bag usage. Clearly it’s an effective promotion,” stated Bolden.

To make the event possible, grocers, retailers, waste haulers, jurisdictions and volunteers anticipate giving away several thousand reusable shopping bags and providing great reward incentives at numerous locations throughout the county.  The major regional sponsors providing financial and in-kind support include San Diego Union Tribune, Think Blue San Diego Region, SeaWorld, and the cities of Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Encinitas, Oceanside, Poway and Solana Beach.  Key organizations coordinating volunteers and promotions countywide include:  San Diego Coastkeeper, I Love A Clean San Diego, Solana Center for Environmental Innovation, and the San Diego Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.

Regionwide grocers and retailers participating include:  99 Cent Only Stores, Albertsons, Jimbo’s…Naturally!, Ralphs, Target, Trader Joe’s, Vons, Whole Foods.  Retailers and volunteers interested in participating can find more information about the event by visiting, which will include a Google map with incentive stores as well as bag giveaway locations and times.