Oceanside is participating in the 2021 National Mayor’s Challenge for Sustainability for the fourth year in a row.
OCEANSIDE一 Oceanside is taking part in the 2021 National Mayor’s Challenge for Sustainability from April 1 to 30.
The challenge is hosted by the Wyland Foundation, a nonprofit focused on protecting and preserving the ocean through educational programs, public art projects, and community events, according to the Wyland Foundation website.
The competition promotes participation in sustainability practices, by allowing participants to gain points for their city by making a pledge for water sustainability and then logging daily points for sustainable actions.
“You basically log on to their [Wyland Foundation’s] website, [and] participants can participate in different ways they can sign a pledge, that is a simple pledge that commits them to be more sustainable acts,” said Collen Foster, the city’s environmental officer. “They can also log points each and every day for doing small actions…for example, they can take the pledge and then log a point in for using a reusable straw or taking a shower less than five minutes, and then at the end of the month the points are tallied.”
This is the fourth time that Oceanside has participated in the national challenge, previously coming in sixth, third, and second place.
Oceanside stumbled on the competition and began to compete in 2018. With the sustainability efforts that Oceanside already had in play, Foster felt like it was a good fit.
“Oceanside has a really robust sustainability program through the Green Oceanside initiative so it was a natural fit that benefitted our waste and water goals,” said Foster. “Basically when we came across the competition a lot of the actions that were called upon were already being done by our community so we wanted to feature and highlight what Oceanside is doing for sustainability.”
The city is looking towards the first place spot, and to get there they went a step further this year with a unique program through the Green Oceanside team.
The team has put together “One Planet. One Action” kits, that are offered for free to Oceanside families. The kits are offered in Spanish and English and have activity cards, shower timers, seeds that can be planted, and things like that to help families participate in the challenge if they don’t know where to start.
The city is also offering two community events, Harvest Oceanside on April 17, the community can drop off their excess fruit and vegetables from their gardens to the El Corazon Senior Center, and Creek to Bay Cleanup on April 24, a virtual county-wide cleanup to get people involved.
Mayor Esther Sanchez said that the effort was a recommitment to Oceanside’s promise for sustainable practices and that the participation and education of the community were important.
“That is something you can’t just do halfway you really have to go out and educate people and that’s the part I feel really great about,” said Sanchez.
According to Sanchez, 11 years ago Oceanside was the first city in the county to pledge to zero waste and the community has been adamant and involved in the process especially within schools.
“We have great partnerships in the community the kids are great ambassadors, they really get it whenever we have competitions having to do with saving water or “what does saving the planet look like to you” they really get it,” said Sanchez.
Currently, the city is in fourth place for the national challenge, second place for the eco-challenge, and has already logged 3,000 points as of April 9, according to Foster.
To learn more, visit the City of Oceanside website at https://www.ci.oceanside.ca.us/gov/water/services_programs/default.asp.