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26 BIG Ideas

The city's leaders in health, science, politics, food, and culture share their game-changing ideas for San Diego in 2016.


(page 13 of 26)

Let’s reduce greenhouse gases by going zero waste.

Rick Anthony, President, Zero Waste International Alliance

The top three sources of greenhouse gases in the city and county are traffic, farming, and landfills. While lifestyle solutions like carpooling and eating less meat can help with the first two issues, landfills are an increasingly problematic issue. But there’s a plan in place to fix that—so long as San Diegans do their part. Last July, the city approved a zero waste initiative that would first divert up to 75 percent of waste by 2020 and eliminate it by 2040. “In our affluence, we’re not paying attention to what we’re doing to the environment,” Anthony says. “If we don’t, we’re going to lose 10 feet of coastline. What does that mean to Ocean Beach or Pacific Beach or Baja?” While a lack of accessible composting is one of the region’s biggest impediments—Anthony says we’ll see more resources over the next five years thanks to state mandates—it also boils down to smarter consumer decisions now. “Watch what you buy and make sure what you have is recyclable and compostable. If you’re a single family resident, make soil for your garden with compost. It’s more cost effective, and it’s better for quality of life.”

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