"Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn."
- Benjamin Franklin

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Hello everyone! This is Kyle here with SustainSD. I have big news regarding our objectives of gardening and composting at schools in San Diego. We have teamed up with Sherman Elementary School AND Scripps Ranch High School to start reducing our school’s waste.


Sherman Elementary:

Special thanks to Christina Abuelo who has been incredibly hands on and helpful throughout the early stages of building this project. As of 1/28/22, with the help of 60+ students who wanted to spend their wellness break in the garden, we built our first compost while learning why it is so important to reduce, reuse and recycle. More to come every Friday!


Scripps Ranch High:

The gardening club of 20+ students showed interest in learning about composting. This week, the students and I began building ‘smart stack’ composts. The students learned how to use some tools such as a saw, measuring tape and drill. We are still in the process of building the compost before we can fill it with waste. The school will be adding green waste collection bins around the campus with signs, encouraging the students to place the appropriate waste in there. I hope by the 2nd week of February to begin composting.


Smart shopping:

With each update, I would like to highlight a specific topic in which we address how we can improve our body, mind, and the environment. We all know that shopping organic can be excessively expensive, but does it really need to be? Organic produce are fruits and vegetables that are grown without the use of herbicides, pesticides, or other harmful chemicals. They often tend to use smart farming practices such as crop rotation, no till farming, or closed loops practices. There are certain fruits and vegetables that you should buy organic and some that are just fine as they are. They are known as the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen”.


Dirty Dozen:

1) Strawberries 2) Spinach 3) Kale, Collards, and Mustard Greens 4) Nectarines

5) Apples 6) Grapes 7) Cherries 8) Peaches 9) Pears

10) Bell peppers and Hot peppers 11) Celery 12) Tomatoes


Clean Fifteen:

1) Avocados 2) Sweet Corn 3) Pineapples 4) Frozen Sweet Peas

5) Onions 6) Papaya 7) Eggplant 8) Asparagus 9) Kiwi

10) Cabbage 11) Cauliflower 12) Cantaloupe 13) Broccoli 14) Mushrooms

15) Honeydew Melon


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I hope that everyone had a safe and healthy holiday season and New Year. 2022 is going to bring big and exciting things to California. As of January 1, 2022, SB 1383 has been enacted in the State of California requiring waste diversion.


For more Information please see: https://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/organics/slcp/education


SustainSD would like to help reduce the miles that our food must travel from farm to disposal. It is important to note that disposal does not mean waste. Our form of disposal is turning the unused food and organic material to create beautiful compost.


What is compost?

Compost is a natural process in which organic material is broken down into natural fertilizer. This is done by mixing carbon (brown material) with nitrogen (green material) and letting nature take its course. It is recommended that a ratio of 25:1 carbon to nitrogen to create a beautiful compost. If there is too much carbon, the composting process will be drawn out and take a longer amount of time, too much nitrogen and you have a smelly compost. It is natural bacteria that is found in soil that does the process of composting, creating heat to break down the material into its constituent parts. Oxygen is crucial to the process; therefore, compost should be turned regularly (about every other week). There is also vermicompost which uses (red wiggler) worms to eat organic material, creating worm castings which is also known as ‘black gold’ because of its high nutrient density. There is no correct way to compost but it is important that carbon, nitrogen, water and oxygen are all considered.


Please see: https://www.planetnatural.com/composting-101/making/c-n-ratio/

https://rodaleinstitute.org/science/articles/vermicomposting-for-beginners/


What 2022 brings:

We are reaching out to schools to join our program! We have many grants and donation requests in that will hopefully bring some funding to our schools. We are currently sprouting many fruits and vegetables such as pattypan squash, cucumbers, tomatillos, and more! We are always looking for more sponsors, sources of funding, and volunteers. If you know anyone that would like to contribute to a good cause, we would love to speak to them. Thank you for taking interest in SustainSD. We hope by the end of 2022, we are actively gardening and composting at multiple schools around San Diego Unified School District.

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According to https://www.sandiego.gov/environmental-services/miramar, "almost 910,000 tons of trash is disposed of yearly at the Miramar Landfill. The landfill spans over 1,500 acres and is the City of San Diego's only active landfill. San Diegans throw away enough recyclables to energize over 181,000 households for a year, conserve 3,355,937 barrels of oil, and fuel over 400 cars for a year (156,610,400 gallons/25 miles per gallon/15,000 miles/year)."


For more information about the impact of waste diversion in San Diego, check out another source:


https://www.voiceofsandiego.org/topics/science-environment/san-diegos-landfills-are-leaking-planet-warming-methane/



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