OCEANSIDE — Green Week brought five days of Earth-friendly practices to Oceanside from March 8 to March 12. Activities included a compost workshop, children’s stories and crafts, a beach cleanup, a free e-waste drop off and a Green Fair.
The compost workshop at El Corazon Senior Center kicked off Green Week on March 8. A demonstration on how to set up and maintain a worm compost bin was given by Cheryl Broadhead, of Solana Center for Environmental Innovation.
Participants watched as coffee grounds, eggshells, cardboard egg cartons, paper towels, fruits and vegetables were added to a compost bin in order for worms to turn the scraps into fertilizer. “Banana peels are a big favorite,” Broadhead said.
Broadhead advised gardeners to keep their compost bins in the shade at a year-round temperature of 82 degrees or cooler.
“Red wigglers love to live in the dark,” Broadhead said. “They’re happy to be together in a bin and multiply like crazy.”
Mary Matava, of Agri-Service El Corazon Compost Facility, gave gardeners additional tips on evaluating and adding green amendments to plant beds.
Matava advised gardeners to avoid chemical fertilizers, which are one of the biggest pollutants to our waterways.
Green Week culminated with the Green Fair at the Pier Amphitheater on March 12. There was free e-waste drop off, live music, hands-on learning stations and children’s Green Week posters and artwork made from recycled materials on display.
“We work with kids,” Jennifer Garcia, recreation leader, said. “It’s important that they do their part in recycling.”
Day campers learn to repurpose trash into art projects and use recycling bins for bottles and cans.
“For Earth Day we have a trash pickup competition,” Garcia said. “With kids you have to keep it fun.”
Three youngsters from South Africa attended the fair and displayed their artwork that won them a 10-day trip to Oceanside for Green Week.
Kwanele Magwaza, 11, Noluthando Mabizela, 12, and Kayleigh Hoskins, 12, won from more than 1,000 students from Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, who competed for the trip sponsored by Buyisa-e-Bag.
“I want people to think more about the world,” Kwanele said.
“Throwing trash around is not good,” Noluthando said.
During their stay the winners visited the El Corazon Compost Facility, the Waste Management collection and sorting facility, city hall and the Oceanside Museum of Art.
One of the children’s most memorable experiences was meeting area artists at the Oceanside Museum of Art.
“Meeting the artists who are really into art gave the children more ideas to bring back home and implement with recyclables,” Andile Gcaga, project officer of Buyisa-e-Bag, said.
Gcaga said South Africa faces many of the same recycling challenges that the Untied States does.
“The Earth Organization is trying to change people’s mindset,” Gcaga said. “We have been recycling, but we want our city to be cleaner.”
Green Week brought Oceanside residents together in a focused effort to recycle more. The free e-waste drop site off at the Green Fair amassed more than 60,000 pounds of electronic waste.
Discarded electronics collected by 1-800-Got Junk are fully recycled. Electronics are hauled to the IMS Electronics Recycling in Poway where they are dismantled, destroyed and remade into new products.
“We donate all proceeds (from the event),” Jason Rowland, house manager of 1-800-Got Junk, said. “Twenty-five percent goes to a charity of Oceanside’s choice.”