OCEANSIDE — The city went green March 8 to March 13 with green library storytime, a one-day environmental film festival, and a Green Fair at the Oceanside Pier Amphitheater on March 13.
The Green Fair culminated a week of ecology-focused events with more than a dozen information booths set up by earth-friendly businesses and nonprofits. Information on solar power, energy conservation and clean water was shared.
“It’s a great thing — going solar right now,” Scott Motherhead, a solar consultant for Potero, said.
State and federal incentive programs collectively pay back homeowners approximately 50 percent of the cost of a solar system, Motherhead said. Another advantage is utility cost savings allow homeowners to break even on their investment in a solar system in about seven years.
“There’s a lot of people who don’t know what solar can do,” Brett Bieber, a solar consultant for Potero, said. “We educate homeowners and design solar systems around their usage.”
Saving resources often saves consumers money. “There’s always rebates,” Bob Hope, a contracted employee for SDG&E, said. Hope is very familiar with SDG&E rebate programs. He helped write many of the programs before he retired from working 45 years for SDG&E.
Hope keeps up with current advances made by SDG&E and shares his knowledge at information fairs. “Programs, rebates and technology changes,” Hope said. “We’re changing,” he said of SDG&E.
Hope suggests homeowners visit www.sdge.com for current rebates.
Some simple no-cost tips to save energy are to lower your thermostat two degrees, turn lights off when you leave a room, and wash two loads of laundry a week in cold water.
Surfrider Foundation shared information on their “Save the State Parks” campaign.
“We’re collecting signatures to put the ‘Save the State Parks’ initiative on the November state ballot,” Donna Wolf, executive committee member of the Surfrider Foundation, said.
The proposed initiative will ask car owners to pay an additional $18 vehicle license fee and in return receive free admission to state parks.
“This way everybody has a part of the state parks,” Wolf said. “And it encourages people to visit state parks.” Presently state parks charge a $15 day use fee and are in jeopardy of closing.
In addition to the conservation ideas shared, there was a beach cleanup and a free electronic waste drop off site during the fair.
A truckload of e-waste was collected and hauled away within the first two hours of the fair, Dan Rochford, warehouse manager of E-World Recyclers, said.
“We collect anything with a cord,” Rochford said. Televisions, computers and small appliances were hauled off.
Once the e-waste reaches the E-World Recyclers facility, usable metals are separated and recycled. Rochford said the top security facility shreds all electronic information to protect the privacy of customers.
Recycling e-waste usually costs 15 cents a pound, but the drop off site set up by the Green Fair collected items for free.