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Updated Alert: Success! City of Santa Barbara Moves to #DitchPlastic

Original Alert: Tell Santa Barbara City Council to reduce or eliminate single-use plastics by signing a petition or speaking at the July 17 City Council hearing.

Result: With a hundred signatures and individuals showing up to testify at City Council, a ban on Styrofoam food service items & retail sales will go into effect January 1, 2019, as well as a ban on plastic straws with a provision that food providers must ask customers if they need plastic cutlery or stirrers before providing.

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Lynda.com & Bizeebox

A Lunch Service For the Planet

For several years, the online learning company lynda.com has provided free daily lunch for employees. Now the Carpinteria-based company is helping employees Ditch Plastic by piloting a reusable container system for those who want to take their lunch to-go.

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Ditching Plastic from Day One

3,292. That’s how many disposable diapers the typical baby uses in its first year, and all of them go into a landfill.

80. That’s about how many cloth diapers Dexter used in his first year, and none of them went into a landfill.

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Reducing Plastic Through Refills #ditchplastic

For years, Peter Tatikian and his wife, Kelley Skumautz, have made a game out of avoiding buying single-use plastic bags. This has been especially interesting when it comes to picking up after their terrier/chihuahua mix, Ollie. It takes a little more creativity on every dog walk. “We have become very inventive in finding bags to pick up poop,” Peter says. This has included paper wrappers, tortilla chip bags, frozen vegetable packaging, and even the plastic mailing sleeves that magazines get mailed in.

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Drinking It In: Eliminating Single-Use Plastic Bottles

Rethink the Drink started in 2010 with a simple concept: provide schools with an alternative to single-use plastic water bottles and see if habit change followed. Four years later, we are proud to report that habit change is indeed possible. There are now 39 water refill stations in schools and community facilities across Santa Barbara County, and they have been used more than 870,000 times. Creating a single plastic water bottle emits 2.6 pounds of carbon dioxide, thus the amount of carbon dioxide emissions mitigated by our refill stations is more than 2 million pounds.

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Most popular personal stories of 2013

Santa Barbarans are leading the way in the clean energy movement. We've met locals who are installing solar panels on their homes and helping others go solar. We've heard from people who are driving electric vehicles and powering them with energy from the sun or commuting to work by bike or bimodally. Read our most popular personal stories from 2013 for a dose of inspiration going into the new year.

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Thinking outside the box and bottle

To me, huge stockpiles of stuff is crazy making. What I see are expiration dates and things calling out “do something with me!” The idea of buying cases and pallets of merchandise individually packaged screams waste, so I prefer to source household staples in simple, sustainable quantities.

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Rethinkthedrink2014

Students are part of the plastic-reduction solution

“I want to do something about all the plastic waste. I want to be an environmental scientist.” Those words of wisdom and hope came from a seventh-grade girl at La Cumbre Junior High earlier this month. The Community Environmental Council’s (CEC) Rethink the Drink staff visited the school and spoke to over 300 students about the importance of reducing our dependence on single-use plastic products.
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Energy Case Studies: MedBridge, Business

When the Santa Barbara-based ambulatory surgical center (ASC) and physician practice management company, MedBridge, purchased a new building and moved its headquarters into the funk zone, the executive team knew they wanted the location to demonstrate the company’s  “holistic approach to building and core values as a business,” said MedBridge Chief of Staff Ruth Loomer, co-chair of CEC’s Partnership Council

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Rtdjune

Local students refilled over 164,000+ times

The project

As a part of an overall vision to lead the community away from energy-intensive products, CEC launched its "Rethink the Drink" campaign in January 2011, aiming to reduce single use plastic bottles by 75% in two pilot schools. With funding from the Orfalea Foundations and other local partners, we have thus far installed nine refill stations in local schools.

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Mobyduck

CEC joins “SB Reads” to quack about plastic

When Moby-Duck author, Donovan Hohn, heard about the mysterious loss of 28,800 bath toys at sea, he figured he would interview a few oceanographers, talk to a few beachcombers and read up on Arctic science and geography. Little did he know that he would be pulled into the mixed-up worlds of renegade beachcombers, Alaskan non-profit politics, Chinese toy manufacturers, and a massive environmental problem.

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