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Volunteer Spotlight: Rubi Baricuatro

A nature-lover growing up, Rubi knew she wanted to help people and the environment, earned a B.A. in Environmental Studies from San Diego State University and began working for the Fleet Science Center's education department. While leading their internal Green Team, she volunteered with the Balboa Park Sustainability Program during events, eventually becoming its manager.

Rubi’s work and interest in waste diversion for the Balboa Park Sustainability Program is what led her to Solana Center. She had inherited a worm tower from a friend and everything was going well until she tried harvesting the worm castings. The worms didn't recover, so when she saw that Solana Center was hosting a free composting and vermicomposting workshop, she attended, learned all she could and bought worms to restart her worm bin (they're doing great, by the way). Last spring, she took the five-part Master Composter course. 

I realize now that I've always had sustainability in mind since I was young, watching National Geographic, KPBS, and Discovery channel nature shows. With my interest in nature, and growing up with messaging from TV shows and school about our anthropogenic affect on our environment, I knew I wanted to do something where I could help people and the environment.

Rubi does a lot to reduce her carbon footprint, including conserving water at home, not using energy during peak periods and using as much natural daylight as possible. She encourages Balboa Park visitors to have a low-impact visit by bringing their reusable water bottles, utensils and straws and to consider taking public or alternative transportation. Something new they are piloting is a "Better Balboa Park" initiative to curtail litter by tracking waste streams through the LITTERATI app. It's free and easy to use. Just take a photo of the litter, tag it with descriptions (e.g. plastic, lid), tap the check mark and you're done.

Rubi has completed her volunteer hours for her Master Composter certificate and likes to hike and cross-stitch.

Interested in volunteering with us? Visit our Volunteer Page for opportunities to get involved with Solana Center.