Earth’s Advocate


Volunteer Appreciation Week 2019

Happy Volunteer Appreciation Week! ECOSLO loves our volunteers – in 2018 alone, we had nearly 2,000 volunteers involved in our programs like Coastal Cleanup Day and Seas to Trees Day, Beach Keepers cleanups, Nature Projects, and SLO Stewards docent-led hikes. We’re so grateful for everyone who’s been involved with us – whether it was for one cleanup or hike, or whether they’re out there with us every weekend getting involved, our volunteers truly do make a difference! We wanted to highlight some special volunteers who’ve really stood out in the last year and how they’ve been involved with ECOSLO, so we asked them some questions about what fuels them and what made them want to get involved with us. Read below to learn more about these awesome volunteers!   Andrea Biniskiewicz “There’s a positive to every situation – learn to see it! Being in the environmental realm, especially as passionate as we are, can be draining sometimes – understanding the science, results, and solutions to the issues, but there’s always a positive (and it usually starts with having amazing organizations of people to spearhead a movement!!)” “I got involved with ECOSLO as a social media intern. My background is both in environmental science and marketing, so this was the perfect opportunity to expand skills and get involved with an organization that I truly believe shares the same values as me,” shares Andrea. Since then, her main focus has been marketing – collaborating with Mary, the Executive Director + Kayla, AmeriCorps Member, on social media strategy and campaigns, and also serves on ECOSLO’s Board of Directors. She’s passionate about exploring... read more

2019 ECOSLO Schedule of Events

Volunteer projects listed in blue Community events listed in green Click here for the quarterly schedule of our free SLO Stewards hikes Wednesday, January 16 – Green Drinks: Meet “Sweetie” the Peregrine Falcon at Top Dog Coffee Bar (Morro Bay) Monday, January 21 – MLK Jr. Day of Service, Los Osos Community Park (private volunteer event with CivicSpark) Wednesday, January 23 – Eco-Networking (private event for member organizations of The Hub) Tuesday, February 26 – Save Our Seas, Ride Across America (co-hosts w/ Central Coast Aquarium & Bike SLO County) Wednesday, March 13 – Green Drinks: Arbor Day Edition at Beda’s Biergarten (SLO) Saturday, March 16 – LOVE SLO at Cuesta Park (SLO) Wednesday, March 20 – Eco-Networking (private event for member organizations of The Hub) Saturday, April 6 – Beach Keepers cleanup at Morro Strand Southern entrance, at HWY 41 (Morro Bay) Saturday, May 4 – 2nd Annual Seas to Trees Day (10 volunteer project locations across SLO County, projects to be listed mid-March!) Wednesday, May 15 – Eco-Networking (private event for member organizations of The Hub) Tuesday, May 28 – Beach Keepers post-Memorial Day cleanup at Pirate’s Cove/Cave Landing (Avila Beach) Saturday, June 1 – Beach Keepers cleanup at Morro Rock/Morro Bay Harbor (Morro Bay) Saturday, June 1 – National Trails Day at Lopez Lake (Arroyo Grande) Wednesday, June 5 – Green Drinks at TBD Friday, July 5 – Beach Keepers post-4th of July cleanups at Cayucos Pier (Cayucos) & Pirate’s Cove/Cave Landing (Avila Beach) Wednesday, July 17 – Eco-Networking (private event for member organizations of The Hub) Saturday, August 3 – Beach Keepers cleanup at Morro Strand at Toro Creek entrance (Morro Bay Saturday, August 10 – An Afternoon at the Ranch, music festival fundraiser  Wednesday, September 4 – Green Drinks at TBD Wednesday, September 11 – Eco-Networking (private event for member organizations of The Hub) Saturday, September 21 – 35th Annual Coastal Cleanup Day, International Coastal Cleanup Day – ECOSLO... read more

Have a Plastic Free 2019

5 Eco-Related New Year Resolutions! Written by Andrea Biniskiewicz In light of the new year, why not make a few resolutions that revolve around Earth? As the plastic epidemic continues to sweep the nation, we’ve compiled a list of 5 ways to help out Mother Nature in 2019. 1. Use Metal Straws Why: Eliminates plastic straws, which Americans (JUST – Americans alone) use up to 500 million per DAY. They’re a conversation starter at your local coffee shop, bar, or restaurant when someone asks where you got it 😉 Doesn’t make your drink (hot OR cold) taste metal-y!! YAY! Where to buy: HumanKind in Downtown SLO (& it comes with a little brush!) Nautical Bean – both locations How to Use: simply clean the straw before first use with warm water and soap (and a little brush if you have one), and put in your delicious drink! 2019 Challenge: Don’t buy from a coffee shop (we know how hard it is!!) unless you have your metal straw with you. 2. Beeswax Wrappers – The New Way to Store Food Why: Eliminates plastic wrap waste Wraps with flexibility and durability using the heat of your hand Keeps food fresh longer – tested & verified! Easy to clean!! Rinse with warm water and soap and ta-da! Is compostable – yay zero waste! Where to Buy: Lincoln Deli, Mint + Craft How to Use: Wrap beeswax wrapper over the top of your container, or wrap your whole food item! Easy peasy lemon squeezy! 2019 Challenge: completely eliminate saran wrap and plastic sandwich bags from your house.   3. Use Reusable Cloth Napkins Why:... read more

Citizens’ Initiative May Permanently Ban New Oil and Gas Drilling in SLO County

Carrizo Plain is one of five national monuments in California to be opened up to new drilling, mining and timber harvesting. Carsten Frauenheim | Mustang News Signed petitions packed in cardboard boxes lined the sidewalk of Monterey Street like presents on Christmas morning. After just nine weeks and thousands of clocked volunteer hours, the Coalition to Protect San Luis Obispo County marched 20,000 signatures into the County of San Luis Obispo Clerk-Recorder’s Office for validation. Cheek-splitting smiles plastered the faces of volunteers. Their work had all but guaranteed a seat on November’s election ballot for an initiative to permanently ban new oil and gas drilling in San Luis Obispo County. “I have grandchildren. I know that I don’t have the power to leave the Earth in a better state than it was when I was born into it,” the coalition’s co-founder Charles Varni said. “There [have] been so many tough things happening on the Earth as a result of burning fossil fuels.” Coalition to Protect SLO County is punching back against efforts to expand new oil and gas drilling on the Central Coast. The “Protect Our Water, Air, and Land: Ban Fracking and Oil Expansion in SLO County Initiative” formed after the owner of Arroyo Grande Oil Field announced plans for new development. If passed into law by majority vote in the upcoming election, new oil extraction would be prohibited in the unincorporated lands of San Luis Obispo. This indefinitely removes rural areas such as Nipomo, Oceano, Los Osos, Templeton and Santa Margarita from new oil and gas well drilling or fracking. It would also derail the planned expansion... read more

Wildflower Wednesday

Stepping into the Cambria Veterans Memorial Building ECOSLO volunteers felt immediate awe at the sight of hundreds of native wildflowers that decorated the tables lining the hall. After volunteering at the Seas to Trees ECOSLO Event in Cambria a few of the volunteers attended the wildflower show in hopes of seeing all the flowers that welcome spring. The colors and varying sizes created a diverse collection that greatly surpassed our expectations and made us want to get right back outdoors to see the blossoming flowers in San Luis Obispo.     During the last weeks of April and the month of May, ECOSLO put on our annual Wildflower Wednesday campaign. Every week featured a new flower with a few facts that can be found on one of the many SLO Open Spaces Trails. These trails allow th e community to experience the different nooks of the county ranging from Bishop Hills to Johnson Ranch during each unique season and change. On these trails you can find a range of flowers lining the paths, popping up between the grasses and hiding beneath trees. They are a wonderful way to remain engaged on a hike and with the pocket size Wildflowers of San Luis Obispo book by David J. Keil one can participate in identifying the flower species.   During the season of the year when all of nature seemingly awakens to absorb the sun rays and warm sweet air I am reminded of theimportance of the ecosystem working as one. Such beauty is a result of the functioning of the surrounding environment, a large part of that being the bees. However, bees... read more