Embrace Plastic Free July

Goleta’s Commitment to a Sustainable Future

During Plastic Free July, the City of Goleta is excited to highlight various events and initiatives aimed at reducing plastic waste and promoting sustainable living. Plastic Free July is a global movement that encourages individuals to reduce their single-use plastic consumption for a month, with the goal of adopting these habits long-term.

One of the key events this month is the 2nd Annual Plastic Free July Expo, which took place on June 27 in Santa Barbara. This event, hosted by local nonprofits Community Environmental Council (CEC) and Santa Barbara Channel Keeper (SBCK), was an excellent opportunity for residents to learn about practical ways to reduce plastic usage and discover innovative products and services that support a plastic-free lifestyle. There were a variety of exhibits at the Expo showcasing eco- friendly alternatives to single-use plastics. Attendees also had the chance to connect with like-minded individuals and organizations passionate about environmental sustainability.

Don’t worry if you missed the expo, you can sign up for a “The Plastic Crisis: Science and Solutions” Zoom webinar on July 16 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. The webinar, featuring CEC and Plastic Free Future founders Alejandra Warren (CEC’s 2024 Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival Environmental Hero) and Dr. Matt Warren, will share the science behind the plastic crisis and discuss solutions that can lead us to a healthier, cleaner, and plastic-free future. Learn more and register: https://cec.pub/plasticfreefuture

Another exciting event is the Beautify Goleta Plastic Free July event coming up on July 20, 2024, at Berkeley Park, featuring Mission Refill as the Spotlight Captain and the Kellogg Elementary Ocean Guardians as our Spotlight Volunteers. These young environmental stewards from Kellogg Elementary have been leading the way in promoting reusable utensils and other sustainable practices, setting an inspiring example for us all.

The City of Goleta is committed to reducing single-use plastics through its Plastic Free Goleta initiative. This program offers valuable content and resources for residents, including practical tips on how to minimize plastic use. By visiting the City’s Plastic Free Goleta page at www.CityofGoleta.org/PlasticFreeGoleta, you can learn about the local efforts to combat plastic pollution and find out how you can contribute to a more sustainable community.

The City’s own plastic policy has been in effect just over one year – it went into effect on June 1, 2023. The policy requires single-use items like utensils and straws to be made from non-plastic materials to reduce the presence of plastic in our community and keep plastic out of our environment. Reusable food ware for dining onsite is required to further prevent the use of single-use plastic. It also prohibits polystyrene (also known as Styrofoam) products, which frequently make their way into marine habitats and cause harm to wildlife. Balloon releases are also regulated for similar reasons – latex balloons and plastic ribbons can entangle wildlife, while Mylar balloons are completely banned in Goleta to prevent environmental harm and damage to power lines.

There are numerous simple yet effective ways to reduce plastic usage in our daily lives. For instance, consider carrying a reusable water bottle and coffee cup, opting for reusable shopping bags, and avoiding products with excessive plastic packaging. If you need more ideas, check out Plastic Free July’s website for a comprehensive list of actions you can take. Plastic Free July – Be Part of the Plastic Pollution Solution

By participating in Plastic Free July, you’re not just making a difference for one month— you’re contributing to a lasting change that benefits our environment and future generations. Together, we can reduce our reliance on single-use plastics and move towards a more sustainable and resilient Goleta.