How do we meet the responsibility of Earth Day?
S1: This year's Earth Day confronts the crisis of climate change. I think that everyone bears the responsibility to to listen to the scientists. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jade Heineman. This is KPBS Midday Edition. Midday Edition brings you a preview of Earth Day with the views of experts.
S2: All of us responsible , the public , the government and the private sector.
S1: Plus the voices of local environmentalists , researchers and young climate activists. As we face new challenges and urgent calls to action to confront the impacts of a changing climate. That's ahead on Midday Edition. Tomorrow is the 52nd anniversary of Earth Day , a watershed event in the modern environmental movement in the United States. It signaled a turning point in public awareness on the impact of all forms of pollution on the environment. This is Senator Gaylord Nelson speaking on the eve of the first Earth Day in 1970.
S2: The battle to restore a proper relationship between man and his environment , between man and other living creatures will require a long , sustained political , moral , ethical and financial commitment far beyond any commitment ever made by any society in the history of mankind. Are we able ? Yes. Are we willing ? That's the unanswered question.
S1: It was a call to action to protect human health by protecting the planet. In December 1970 , U.S. lawmakers did act by establishing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
S3: This year's Earth Day comes at another inflection point in public awareness about the threat climate change poses. In March , climate scientists issued an urgent warning that global action must be taken to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and cut carbon emissions in half by 2030. If that can't be done , we risk losing the opportunity to keep global warming under the critical threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius beyond pre-industrial levels. Here's U.N. Secretary General Antonio Gutierrez speaking in March.
S2: Nearly half of humanity is living in the danger zone now. Many ecosystems are at the point of no return now , and carbon pollution is forcing the world's most vulnerable on a frog march to destruction. Now the facts are undeniable. This abdication of leadership is criminal. The world's biggest polluters are guilty of arson on our only home.
S1: The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows a world on track to push past the 1.5 degrees Celsius mark and go as high as two or three degrees by the end of the century. That amount of warming will alter the world's environment and create human suffering on a massive scale. While the IPCC is calling on political leaders to act on a national and international scale , the report authors say that work at the local level is also critical.
S3: In San Diego , some of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions come from cars , trucks , buses and heavy machinery. But the largest single sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the county are natural gas power plants. The Otay Mesa Energy Center , the Palomar Energy Center and the Carlsbad Energy Center Project Report the highest carbon dioxide emissions in the county , according to EPA data. The power plants are all run by San Diego Gas and Electric , or its parent company , Sempra Energy , to turn natural gas into electricity.
S1: We asked you who you think has the most responsibility for responding to the urgent warning from scientists about climate change ? Here's what you told us.
S2: I'm Danny Hynes. I live in Sierra Mesa , in San Diego. I think that voters are actually the primary barrier to fighting climate change because any policy that increases the costs of consuming carbon or reduces access to carbon have inconveniences. It produces bipartisan rage among the entire electorate. And politicians either understand this and so don't actually make these changes that affect people's quality of life or they don't understand this. And so they get voted out of office before they can make any difference. I think that until voters vote as though the consequences of climate change are actually more important than their immediate quality of life , we aren't going to see substantial climate action , especially at a systemic level.
S1: My name is Federico Garcia , and I think that everyone bears the responsibility to to listen to the scientists. I think it is adults. We are adults because we messed up this planet with our life of convenience. I do think it's a government and I do think the business is all of us is going to require all of us to turn this around.
S2: I'm Brandon Castillo from Oakland , California. My mom's taking the trolley from Amelia down to Hazard Center her entire life. When I get on the trolley , I see no one on it. And I took it from the same stop over to save your state while I was going there , sit with my brother , and you just kind of see it's up to individuals to make that decision. Do I need to , you know , do whatever they're going to do ? And how does this impact the planet ? I know it's a lot to think about because we're always focused on our immediate needs. But something larger is that a plane.
S3: Earth Day is often a time for individuals to reflect on how the choices they make impact the. Global environment here in San Diego. These choices involve how we approach transportation or what percentage of our energy relies on renewable sources. But in recent years , there's been a shift in perspective on who is truly responsible for the sweeping changes needed to limit emissions with renewable sources. What difference truly does individual effort matter when global corporations continue to foster dependence on fossil fuels or operate in ways that harm the environment ? What can we do as individuals if our legislators refuse to act ? These are questions facing all of us when it comes to climate change. And here to explore solutions is Dr. Romm Ramanathan , professor of climate and atmospheric sciences at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Professor Ramanathan , welcome.
S2: Same here. Thank you very much for inviting me.
S3: Let's start off with this question of who's really responsible when we talk about climate change.
S2: And the problem of climate change is getting worse so rapidly that we are going to pass a major threshold of warming , which is about a degree and a half in know what , eight years from now. So generally , when I say declared Ha , the public can't really relate to that. So let me give it another way that we passed that so-called one degree warming by 2052 , about seven years ago. And we have witnessed a series of weather and climate disasters like droughts in California , floods in rest of the US , fires , heatwaves , etc.. So when you go from a degree to degree and heart warming in 80 years from now , all those extremes can amplify by about 50%. So fortunately , we have some time left , about ten , 15 years to bend the curve , warming curve. But all sectors of society has to join that fight against climate change.
S2: All we have to do is electrify all the end users , convert everything to electricity , heating , home cooling , water , energy , use extra. Once you electrify it , then generate that electricity using renewable solar , wind and hydrogen as the major new nuclear fuel. Right now , the public can't afford to do this , so we need both top down approaches and bottom up efforts so that our leaders and the government are taking the actions they need to take. I think if I can divide Americans into three economic classes , the higher income , which is about 15% of the population , I feel they should take the lead in electrifying their homes. That would be a huge step. And then the rest of the public have to persuade the governments to convert to renewable fuels so individuals , those who can't afford to electrify their homes , I think they can contribute in the best possible way by communicating the urgency and the emergency of the climate change. And our communications has to happen between those who are persuaded , which is roughly half the American population , to those who still need to be persuaded about the need to take action.
S2: And I think the way the general public can help is communicate the need to take actions to their relatives , their friends , their neighbors and the community at large who need to be persuaded. As you know , unfortunately , America is divided into two separate trends , and we disagree no matter what the issue is. So we need to unpack climate change from all the political , cultural , racial issues which divide us. And that has to happen at an individual level. And I think that's where I feel the general public can help tremendously so that we elect the sort of leaders who will take actions. At the same time , the private sector , which is playing some role because to really help out here.
S3: In your work has been instrumental in furthering our understanding of how greenhouse gas emissions affect climate change.
S2: Who are in the upper income category can contribute the best possible by cutting our carbon footprint. But two thirds of the country , they can't afford to do it on their own. They need government help. And if we had 20 , 30 years time , then I would say we have time. We need to change our light bulbs , we need to take buses , etc. All of that is essential , but it's too late for that alone to make a big effort so the public can help this cause by becoming climate activists and communicating it to the about half of America , which is still not persuaded about this issue. So we need to be good communicators and we need to be good role models and a sort of face to up. We need climate champions who talk about the urgency of the problem , need to take actions and climate warriors who would really show how to do it. So it's going to take a lot longer for us to fight this. And we have just about 10 to 15 years to do all of this.
S3: And let's dig into this a little bit more.
S2: It's not one size fits all. We need to target core audience. Okay. So if you want to speak to Americans in Kansas , the message has to be different than the Americans in California. So it has to be community oriented , local oriented messages. And it's going to take a lot of financial resources to make it happen , but it can be done. And I tell you where I'm expecting , there's going to be a major breakthrough in Americans and American government becoming the champion of this problem. Like I said , in what , eight years from now , the warming is going to go past a degree and a half. When that happens , climate change will have its COVID moment. We have to move into everyone's living room. So I know we will take actions , but the question is that is the communication when I'm talking about having this million climate champions has to start now. It's not going to happen without resources. Those resources have to be cut to come from the private sector , private foundations and some from the government.
S3: I have been speaking with Dr. Romm Ramanathan , Professor of Climate and Atmospheric Sciences at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Professor Ramanathan , thank you so much for joining us.
S2: Thank you so much.
S1: This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jade Hyneman. Our Earth Day special continues with a focus on the people who will inherit the problems of climate change and pollution and who will also search for ways to heal the planet. Young people are in the forefront of climate activism. Their networks span countries and continents with one goal saving the future. Here in San Diego , students participate in climate action in a number of ways , from newsletters to climate action strikes to lobbying for legislation in Sacramento. Joining me are four committed young activists , all part of San Diego , three fifties Youth for Climate Organization. 11 year old Sienna lang goes to Jefferson Elementary IB School. She's in the fifth grade. She writes an environmental newsletter and is passionate about action against climate change. Hi , Sienna. Hello. Thank you. Natalia , our mentor , is 17 , a 12th grader at High Tech , High Media Arts. She works with various climate groups , including Youth V Oil , California Youth versus Big Oil and the San Diego Climate Reality Project Youth Environmental Action Pod , for which she is a co-lead and she will be attending Stanford University in the fall. Congratulations on that , Natalia , and welcome. Thank you. Hello. 17 year old Theo Martine is a student at Mount Everest Academy in the 11th grade. He leads the Eco Club Coalition and is part of Youth V Oil. He helped write and pass a resolution through San Diego Unified School District to get students to do Earth Day presentations at their schools. Theo , welcome. Hi. Thank you for having me. And 16 year old Kayla Miniato , a sophomore at Canyon Crest Academy , she helped organize the September 2021 strikes and March 2020 to strike and lead San Diego three Fifty's Youth V Oil team , which seeks to put pressure on Governor Newsom to end oil extraction in California. And also , she's co-founder of the Climate Reality Project Youth and Environmental Action Pod. And hello , Keala. Hello. I'm so happy to be here. So you all must have been hearing about the danger of climate change since you were a little kids. Natalia , do you remember what your reaction was when you started learning about how climate change would affect your future ? Yes. I remember when I was first learning about it and also just witnessing it growing up in a low income communities of color. I was very fearful , anxious and also frustrated about the climate crisis , just seeing how the expense and impact that it was going to have on my future , on four young people across the state , across the country , across the nation , and especially those who are continuously facing this issue being at the front line and being impacted by health issues caused by the climate crisis and seems fuels from the fossil fuel industry. And what about you feel what was your reaction when you started learning about how changing climate is going to affect the future of your life ? Thinking back , I think some of the first times I was exposed to concepts like climate change or just pollution in general was about simpler things like trash and recycling. You know , I've lived in San Diego my whole life , so learning about not littering on the beach and all of that. And I think sort of as I've grown up , I've began to realize how much bigger of an issue this was than I first thought. And I've just grown more and more concerned about my future and the lives of people in front line communities now. Gianna What made you decide that you had to do something to stop climate change ? Well , I grew up in South Florida , and I was actually born during the 2005 hurricane season. So for me , literally at my birth , I was born in a hurricane. I was immediately affected by the climate crisis , and I didn't know it. But once I learned more about what climate change was and what the actual impacts behind climate change was , when I moved to San Diego , I knew that I had to act because I knew that I had to get involved and help stop it to prevent worse effects from happening and to help preserve the future of everyone. And Karla , would you say that a lot of kids your age and around your age feel the same way ? I believe that a lot of youth really , really care about our planet , especially since we are the ones that have the most to lose to the climate crisis. We have our futures to lose. We have our whole lives ahead of us. Sienna , you're 11 years old and you're a climate action activist and you have a newsletter. What kinds of things do you write about ? I am writing about my club that I'm going to. Starting. And I think what I want to do is I want to spread the word and I want to make sure that people are taking action themselves. What kind of club are you starting ? It's called an environmental club and it's at my school. And what are you going to be doing with the kids who join this club ? When we are doing the club , I was thinking that maybe we could do a trash pickup , like a neighborhood cleanup around our school , maybe some writing letters to the president to help save 30% of our oceans and lands and oceans by 2030. And think , what's the biggest climate action project you're working on now ? The biggest project I'm working on now is probably the campaign that Keolis leads , actually the U.S. oil campaign , which is fighting to end fracking and oil drilling in California. We have a resolution that is hopefully being passed by the city council environment committee this week and if it is passed , will move on to city council. It's directed at Governor Newsom urging him to stop signing new fracking permits and justly phase the practice out of California entirely. Now , climate activist Greta Thunberg has stepped on the world stage as a teenager to express how frustrated she is that the world is not doing enough to stop greenhouse gas emissions. Carla , what do you think of her activism ? I am inspired by youth across the globe , especially Greta. I think it is so important and so critical that we raise our voices to create change. As I said , we are the ones with the most to lose to the climate crisis. So not only should we be the only ones advocating , but we should be leading the movement to help raise climate change awareness and create that awareness and turn it into action. Natalia Do you think the efforts of young climate activists like yourself are having an impact ? Yes , I think we have so much an impact being youth in general and just mobilizing people. By working together , we're really trying to get our voices heard. As Jill had mentioned earlier , we have the most solution to the climate crisis. And just hearing all the amazing actions that everyone here is doing today and around the world , there's so much more we can do and that we're already doing now to really push for more climate action. Just in our conversation , we've heard about strikes , we've heard about newsletters , we've heard about lobbying for legislative change. I'm wondering and I'll keep it with you , Natalia , for the moment , what is having the biggest impact , do you think ? I feel like everything we are doing right now has a great impact. I especially just want to push forward with the resolution. You see , oil has been working on one of the biggest ways that we can make a change is working with our legislators and decision makers to really build those comprehensive plans and goals that we have to phase out the fossil fuel industry. Now think this is not news to you ? I'm sure many people have been saying it may be too late to stop some really disturbing effects of climate change , the sea level rise , droughts , heat waves , etc. , etc.. What's your response to that ? Yeah , that's definitely upsetting and discouraging to hear. And I'm not going to lie and say that it doesn't discourage me and that it does push me towards burnout and makes it hard to keep fighting. But I think it's important to remember that even if some of these things are inevitable at this point , it could be so much worse. And we need to continue fighting to stop the worst from happening. Natalia , how does it make you feel when you hear people say , it's too late ? We've already missed the marks we needed to hit and it's too late to stop these devastating effects of climate change. I find it very frustrating because we already have all the resources and tools to be able to instate these legislations and see this gold transition to green energy. And we have yet to do so , and especially because so many people are suffering right now that we need to really work together as people to really transition away from this , something that is depleting our planet and also calming harm to people now and our futures. Shanna , when you get those kids together in your club and you write those letters to the president , what are you going to ask them to do ? I was thinking that it would be good if I could ask him by 2030 to protect 30% of our land and oceans. And how would he go about doing that ? Do you have any suggestions for him ? I think that if he talks to companies and charities , they can help. And I think that if he spreads , the word I think would be good. And Kayla , is there any action you wish other people would take right now to help make a difference ? Yes. I highly encourage everyone , if possible , to sign the U.S. oil petition. You can find it on San Diego 350 dot org. This petition encourages the San Diego City Council to pass a resolution that U.S. oil completely wrote and has completely advocated for all by high school students , which is very , very unique and shows the true power of youth voices. I highly encourage people to sign the petition. We have over a thousand petition signatures already and later tonight we are going to get gather at City Hall to present the petition signatures to some of the city council members. I'm going to ask you , Theo , what can people do in their daily lives to help make a difference against climate change ? That's an interesting question that I always have a little bit of trouble with because I don't want to discourage people from taking action on their own. But collective action is the only way we can solve problems perpetuated by systems and our government. We can take individual action in our day to day lives that aids systemic action as nice as individual actions are , and I'm not going to discourage them. We really need to step up and work together to solve things on a grander scale. Well , I'm so happy you all took the time out to speak to us today on our Earth Day special. I've been speaking with four young climate activists Sienna lang , Natalia Armenta , Theo Martin and Keala Miniato. Thank you all for joining our show. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jane Heineman. San Diego researchers working to stave off the worst impacts of global warming are looking for answers in the region's wetlands. KPBS environment reporter Eric Anderson says cattails could be part of the answer.
S4: San Diego's best Iquitos Lagoon sits right beside one of the region's busiest highways , Interstate five. But it's the gently swaying stalks of cattails that have captured the interest of two researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.
S2: You can see how hard it is to dig out. That's why it really holds.
S4: The sediment extremely well. Joseph Noel watches his colleague Todd Michael use a small hand shovel to cut into the dirt around the base of a cattail stem. Michael lifts up a newly liberated plant as an example.
S2: It's still alive , so you can see a new chute is forming.
S4: The plant's roots are coated in a sticky black mud. The rich , wet dirt is created by the constant push and pull of this coastal wetland environment. Michael says saltwater regularly flows into the estuary , pushing back and even killing the freshwater cattails. The ones that replace them grow over the dead and that creates the sediment.
S2: This is the rhizome and it's hard to see because it's all muddy.
S4: The rhizome is an underground stem , the grows sideways , much like the roots of grass found in Southern California yards. But it's not what Noel is interested in.
S2: It turns out that wetland plants are plants that have wet feet either like this or even fully submerged. They make a lot of supreme , particularly in their roots.
S4: And Zubrin has the Salk team's attention. Zubrin is a waxy layer covering small root structures. It helps cattails regulate water. They can block the saltwater and allow fresh water in. Michael says the suber and covered appendages are full of carbon molecules.
S2: Plants are naturally carbon accumulating machines , right. They suck carbon dioxide into the air. All of this right here is the all this biomass is basically just carbon.
S4: And the carbon molecules in Zubrin don't break down when the plant dies. Lowell says the carbon lingers in the mucky sediment.
S2: You can almost see it. It's all although it's very dark and black , so it's full of carbon. In fact , I bet if you dug down , you know , up to ten feet below this , depending on how long this existed , it would be a huge amount of carbon that's stored.
S4: Noel and Michael have sequenced the Cattail Genome and they hope to transfer that plant's ability to make Subaru and into crop plants like corn and sorghum.
S2: With these new gene editing technologies. We really think we're going to be able to go into these crop plants and tweak them. And so the roots will have more of this substance.
S4: The impact could be huge. Crop plants with the modified roots could pull as much as a quarter of the planet's excess carbon out of the air. That's enough to have a real impact on climate change. This is a key part of the Salk Institute's Harnessing Plants initiative. And Michael says cattails or TFA have other traits that could make plants more resilient.
S2: Each cattail makes 300,000 plus seeds. Have you ever seen a cattle release in seeds that looks like snow ? And all of those seeds have the potential to be a new a new stand of typhoon.
S4: But the habitat that is so efficient at storing carbon has been under assault for decades. Darren Smith is a senior environmental scientist with the California State Parks. He says urbanization has eliminated 90% of the state's coastal wetlands.
S2: There's there's been a big change with people. You know , I think wetlands were something almost like an oasis early on in California where you just didn't run into fresh water very often.
S4: And those same wetlands that are giving researchers hope about slowing climate change are under a lot of stress. Smith says people are making it hard for the habitat to adapt.
S2: We've built right up to them. We built the watersheds. We've built right up to the edges of them. And so for them to to do what they do to , you know , retreat or for the water to back up and form new vegetated wetlands further upstream , there's just got to be the space to do it.
S4: Researchers say giving the habitat space allows scientists extra time to find other plant traits that could play a role in reducing the speed of climate change. Erik Anderson , KPBS News.
S3: Last week , California state air regulators put forth a bold proposal to move the state away from gasoline powered cars to a greener future , one led by electric vehicles. If enacted , the rules would mean all new cars , SUVs and small trucks sold in California would be zero emission vehicles by the year 2035. Here to talk about the proposal and what it could mean for California is Daniel Sperling , California Air Resources Board member and founding director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis. Daniel , welcome to Midday Edition.
S2: Thank you. Pleasure to be here.
S3: So you referred to this proposal as a hugely important inflection point.
S2: And these are going to be hard requirements for the sales of these vehicles. And the numbers are really aggressive.
S2: And then if you include the oil refineries , it gets close to 50% of all the greenhouse gases. So , you know , light duty vehicles are more than half of the transportation share. So this is a really big deal.
S2: But it will have a huge impact on greenhouse gases and climate change. Transportation is by far the biggest source of greenhouse gases in California and in the U.S.. And so what we're talking about is basically taking out the combustion engines and the fossil fuels and replacing it with electricity. And in California , the good news is most of our electricity is very low carbon. We have some natural gas , but no coal. We have some hydropower , some nuclear and a lot of wind and solar.
S2: So incentives we have a number of different incentives. They're not actually designed real well. People , if you go in a dealership and you're offered a $5,000 rebate or a reduction , that has a big impact on your decision. If you're told , well , you know , it'll be in the mail and you'll get it. You'll get the 5000 in a year or so. You know , we know from research it has about one third the effect on the charging infrastructure. We've done a decent job , but we need so much more. There is money coming from the Biden administration. There's coming from the governor. But it's complicated because it's not an easy thing to do. It's hard to make money selling electrons to vehicles. So companies are a little reluctant to get into it. So this is this is going to take a lot of work. But I think we're we're on the right path.
S2: Irresponsible in the sense that , you know , we've got to get our act together with the charging infrastructure. We've got to get our act together with incentives. And , you know , we have to show some respect to the auto industry that this is a big deal for them , even though they're committed to it. This is a big transformation and this is really a revolution for them.
S2: On the infrastructure side , we're trying to get the infrastructure put into all the communities , not just the more affluent communities , into environmental justice communities , into lower income communities. Because even though people in those communities might not be buying these right away , for instance , a lot of the drivers of Lyft and Uber live in those neighborhoods and they desperately need charging. And for them , these electric vehicles are a great opportunity because within a few years , for most consumers , in most situations , it will be cheaper to own and operate an electric vehicle than a gasoline car. And that's because the cost of the batteries in the vehicles is coming down and the cost of electricity is less than the cost of gasoline and you have much less maintenance with an electric vehicle. Having said that , though , the reality is that most new cars are not bought by low income people. So the challenge is probably even more so getting these used electric vehicles to the lower income people. You know , just a little factoid. About a third of the households in California buy almost all the new vehicles. And the rest of the people , the other two thirds buy used vehicles. So in this case , we need to figure out some ways of actually providing incentive for used electric vehicles as well. Hmm.
S3: The proposal is currently accepting public comment.
S2: Everyone can do that remotely. So that's a good opportunity to weigh in.
S3: And we'll have that information on our website , KPBS dot org. I've been speaking with Daniel Sperling , professor and founding director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis. Daniel , thank you so much for joining us.
S2: You're very welcome.
S1: Every Earth Day makes people more conscious than ever about the necessity of caring for the environment. So participating in cleanups and trash pickups are always popular around this time of year , and we do have a great one to tell you about. But we just can't pick up trash and not be concerned about where it ends up. Big questions remain about our landfills. Is recycling working to reduce waste ? And what are you supposed to do with stuff like the old vacuum cleaner ? Joining me is Ian Monaghan , director of marketing and philanthropy for I Love a Clean San Diego County. And Ian , welcome to the program.
S2: Thank you , Maureen. It's a pleasure to be here.
S1: I love a clean San Diego is sponsoring a 20th anniversary cleanup event. Can you tell us about it ? Sure.
S2: This is an event that , you know , has been happening for 20 years right here in San Diego County. It's completely homegrown and it's called the creek the Bay Clean Up. And it's a tie between the landscape of San Diego from the mountains to the bay and the ocean. And we're placing an emphasis on the environment and a clean environment. So on Saturday , April 23rd , there's going to be over 5000 volunteers across San Diego County participating at sites from the coast to the inland communities , getting out there and cleaning up litter and debris that ultimately pollutes our waterways , our environment , and end up in our bay and ocean.
S2: And cigarette butts are plastic. They're not paper. And the damages of this are not only water pollution , but ingestion from wildlife , which has significant harmful effects. And overall , the most common item that's cleaned up is single use plastic. We're learning more and more about the dangers of plastic once it's dropped in our environment , and quite honestly , it never breaks down. We're finding it now at the molecular level and it infects so many portions of our landscape as well as the ocean. And we're really hoping that people use this as an opportunity to see the types of single use plastic and pollution that they're picking up and make an effort to cut it out of their lives if they can , and or make sure that it's getting recycled if it can.
S2: We're expecting volunteers to collect somewhere in the neighborhood of £100,000 of litter in about 3 hours during this event.
S2: So recyclables go to recycling. And then ultimately the stuff that can't be recycled goes into trash bins that we ultimately Holloway can take to the landfill.
S2: Number one is our consumption does not match our ability to recycle. Unfortunately , we've adopted a throwaway way of living , and that's something that needs to change across the board. You know , the other pieces is sometimes recycling can be confusing. People are bombarded with numbers and recycling symbols and this can be recycled. That can be recycled. The best way to go about recycling at your home is to use the visuals. Every city and the county has a recycling guide that can be downloaded or viewed and put right next to a recycling bin. We have a resource that's countywide called waste free SD dot org. People can visit our Web site to find out how to recycle. Right. Or they can even call us in English and Spanish and talk to a live person will help you with those hard to recycle options. One of the things that we also talk about is contamination. And contamination is really the one of the largest issues when it comes to recycling. When things are thrown into our recycling bin that contaminate the recyclables , everything has to go into the landfill. So there are some simple steps that people can take. And really using these visual guides are ways that they can reduce contamination in their own recycling bin.
S2: Actually , our second largest inquiry that we had last year for Non-Hazardous waste items was referred. For traders , refrigerators are actually very highly recyclable and we have a database as well as resources where we can point people to get those items picked up and recycled appropriately. And when it comes to things like vacuum cleaners , yeah , they may last a long time , but ultimately things are going to break down. The number one thing that we always encourage people to do is to repair items. And if they cannot be repaired there , a vacuum cleaner , for instance , is going to fall in the category of electronics recycling. And there are electronic recycling centers that can take these items so that the majority of the material gets reused.
S1: Now , once again , the 20th anniversary creative cleanup happens this Saturday.
S2: Creek debate. Org is where people can start. There are over 70 sites to volunteer at and we're also providing self led options if people want to volunteer close to home and we're expecting a big turnout and we just encourage people to get on and sign up and do something great for our Earth during Earth Week.
S1: And that's from 9 a.m. to noon this Saturday. I've been speaking with Ian Monahan , director of marketing and philanthropy for I Love a Clean San Diego County. Ian , thanks.
S2: Thank you.