Spring Quarterly Newsletter – 2022

Dear Solana Center Community,

As we enjoy more frequent and lengthy days of sunshine we are reminded once again of the continual turning of the seasons. While spring blooms, I encourage us all to take time to look at how our daily actions are part of a continual interconnected web, just as each season is part of nature’s yearly cycle.

Let’s look at planning a garden for example – something many of us will start doing in the coming weeks! Your garden not only encompasses the seeds and plants themselves but also requires inputs of water and healthy soil to help it flourish. Where do the nutrients come from to help your plants grow? Are you extracting resources or providing regeneration as you produce these fruits and flowers? In this case, incorporating rain barrels and a compost pile into your backyard creates a closed-loop system that recycles natural resources. Not long ago, stormwater and organic material were considered waste products to get rid of via drains and landfills. Together we are turning that perception on its head, changing attitudes, and impacting behaviors.

With this perspective, I urge you to take a birds-eye look at your community. How do the actions of all residents and businesses play a part in these bigger ecosystems? Our work at Solana Center strives to do just this. We provide the tools across all levels for sustainable and thriving communities today, tomorrow, and many years into the future.

Visit our events page to see the many educational opportunities coming up this season. We have free webinars and resources to help you continue to contribute to a positive, regenerative future in both your home and in your business. As always, our team is standing by to provide one-on-one support for zero waste and composting via our Hotline/Rotline. Give us a call at (760)436-7986 x700, or email info@solanacenter.org.

Sustainably yours,

Jessica Toth
Executive Director

Eggshells are a great addition to any compost bin. If you are looking to add eggshells to your traditional compost bin, you can determine how much, or how little, work you want to put into preparing the shells. Read our latest blog post for steps to consider prior to embarking on your adventure.

How to improve aeration in your backyard compost bin

An ample supply of oxygen is key to the success of your backyard compost bin. Decomposer microbes need oxygen for their metabolic functions to operate efficiently. Without access to oxygen, some microbes die and others switch to a different form of metabolism, anaerobic (without air) respiration. Read this post for a few tips to provide important airflow into your compost pile!

Volunteer of the Month: Carolyn Heatherly

Carolyn has been a tremendous help to Solana Center in spreading the important message of diverting organics from the landfill – in English and Spanish!

“Having an opportunity to spread the word to other people and/or young children about waste and management of food waste is crucial to the environment. Being allowed to share this knowledge and even create a Worm Farm in my greenhouse is something I would have never known about.

Enlightening members of our community on the benefits of having compost and turning the compost into beautiful black dirt, with the help of our little friends (the worms) is really a story about the environment, the air quality, water, and how we can improve the farming capabilities in the soil.” – Carolyn

Thank you, Carolyn, for your big impact! Check out Carolyn’s interview on Univision by clicking here.

Only a few spots remaining! Join us in this three-week course where we will address the unique strategies, challenges, and opportunities that arise through mid-scale composting on your farm, ranch, or large property. This course offers Certified Crop Advisor CEUs! 

Sponsored by the County of San Diego

Welcome spring with more time in the garden for the whole family! Join our family composting 3-part series which will be part of the Alpine Library’s outdoor-related afterschool series. Unincorporated residents will receive a free kitchen caddy!

March 22 – Family Fun: Let’s Build a Worm Bin!
March 29 – Family Fun: Making Your Worms Feel at Home
April 5 – Family Fun: From Bin to Bed

Sponsored by the County of San Diego

Through composting and bokashi fermentation, you can improve the quality of your soil, reduce waste and air pollution, while saving energy, money, and water. Learn how to get started at this free workshop!

Sponsored by the City of Encinitas

There are big changes happening for restaurants and commercial kitchens due to SB 1383. Join us for this webinar covering best practices and practical strategies for food donation, food waste reduction, and organic waste diversion. Learn how your restaurant can save money while benefiting the community and planet!

Sponsored by the City of Encinitas

April 12

May 4

Sponsored by the County of San Diego

From producing beautiful, high-quality eggs to protecting your garden from pests – chickens have a lot to offer! Plus, they are fun pets and are guaranteed to make you smile. Now that’s something to cluck about!

Sponsored by the County of San Diego

Improper disposal of manure is unsightly, breeds flies and can create health hazards for both people and livestock. Applying compost holds and retains water and can help your plants thrive! Join us at a Fallbrook ranch and learn the basics of traditional composting as well as the particulars associated with composting manure on-site.

Sponsored by the County of San Diego

Learn how to get started with a garden that fits San Diego’s semi-arid climate and ways to create an environmentally-friendly landscape in this virtual presentation.

Sponsored by the County of San Diego

Join Solana Center for this presentation where you will learn the basics of traditional backyard composting. Este seminario se ofrecerá en español durante el mismo día.


Sponsored by the County of San Diego

Don’t miss capturing the end of the rainy season here in San Diego! Rebates are available for qualifying residents!

Free Business E-Waste Pick Up

Electronic waste represents around 70% of the overall toxic waste in landfills and can eventually pollute our groundwater supply. Did you know businesses in coastal North County cities are eligible for a free e-waste pick up service? Sign up for the 3/16 pick up. (You must be registered before the Friday prior to the pick-up in order to be added to the pick-up schedule.)

Additionally, residents can drop off unwanted e-waste to our center in Encinitas during business hours Thursdays and Saturdays.
Special thanks to our partner, Urban Corps


Mark your calendars:
Solana Center is proud to be partnering with Jimbo’s as part of their Community Give Back Saturdays series. Join us on Saturday, March 5 at the Carlsbad Jimbo’s store where 5% of all total store sales will be donated to Solana Center. Solana Center staff will also be on-site with an education booth. We look forward to seeing you there! 1923 Calle Barcelona at The Forum.

These programs are offered through generous support from the City of San Diego, the County of San Diego, and the City of Encinitas.