Mariel completed the AWAY Project in January. Check out her reflection and what she did from there below! 

My experience with the AWAY Project led me to the awesomeness of 1to1 (Amanda presented the project in my environmental science class), but it also made me realize something gross: I produce a lot of trash. After I collected a week’s worth of plastic sandwich bags in my tote, I suddenly became aware that I had been throwing away about that much trash every week of my life. Multiply my seemingly negligible contribution to the Miramar Landfill by 18 years and suddenly the amount of trash I produce seems a little more significant.

When I take into account the 3.2 million other people in San Diego County, all of which produce trash, I can see that something like the AWAY Project can have a lasting impact on the planet. Little changes make big changes possible, and because Miramar is scheduled to close within 10 years, we need as many little changes in waste production as possible! That’s where my AWAY bag came in handy—it made me conscious of how many unnecessary items I get rid of and how easy it would be to modify my everyday habits. Little changes matter! I invested in a massive set of reusable plastic containers for lunch at the office and convinced my family to donate our old sporting goods instead of trashing them, both of which were incredibly easy.

Of course, we are all far from perfect, but the little changes we make matter. Working at 1to1 has positively impacted my life in countless ways, but since the AWAY Project, I have been conscious of what I get rid of. Such a simple concept, yet for some reason I never bothered to think about what happens to my trash when I put the black bin out to the curb. 

The AWAY Project rocks! It spurred me to think of myself as an environmentalist and began my fantastic experience with 1to1, which carried into summer and hopefully will continue in the future. It’s funny to think that something as random as carrying around a recycled vinyl bag full of trash can have such a huge impact on a person’s life.

Tumblr readers met Amanda M aka TreeGirl this past May. Wild how time flies when you’re having fun! Take a read on her experiences in San Diego and part of the 1to1 intern dream team. 

It’s a weird day, the day when it is finally time to say goodbye to the most inspiring summer I have ever had.  Ugh, and sad music keeps shuffling into my headphones, reminding me I have to leave.

Today is my last day at Co-Merge working as an intern for The 1to1 Movement.  It has been an incredible journey, so much so, that my eyes easily fill with tears when I think back to it.  The first day, Jonathan and Amanda had us trek to Balboa Park to sit in a circle and introduce ourselves.  I had no idea I was sitting next to so many women (and one man!) that would become such an integral part of my life, mind and summer.  My fellow interns (including the amazing ones that have joined ranks since that first day) have become my confidants and best friends, the team I am forever comfortable with.  Whether it’s venting over plastic bag use or crushing over boys, debating feminist ethics or doing weird impressions- we always found the time go to the roof and hang out together.  It became a part of my daily schedule to stay with them after work until bedtime, sharing secrets and stories or grabbing dinner and new books.
San Diego became my stage to try a million new things.  I WENT PARAGLIDING!! I went to ecstatic dancing and drumming classes.  I hiked cliffs for the sunrise and swam in the ocean past sunset.  I fell out of love with eating meat and in love with adopting pets.  I used sand as a new accessory and exfoliator, as it was always in my hostel bed sheets.  I finally surfed (!), went to my first nude beach, rode on my first party bus.  I got to see Michael Franti and Matt and Kim.  I went “clubbin’” (as the kids say), and to more farmers markets then I can count.  I got to work for the two most laid back and honestly awesome people I have yet met, professionally.  
Mostly though, I fell in love with the environmental movement, and 1to1’s suggestion of taking it one day at a time, changing in easy ways.  I proudly exclaim, “Ban The Straw!” and take my own utensils everywhere I go.  I have been refusing single- use plastic and make it an everyday practice to be continually mindful of how my steps are affecting the huge rock beneath them.  The 1to1 Movement has completely changed me from being all talk, to full walk.  I feel so much more myself, so much more inspired- and I can’t wait to see how they continue to affect me and the world from afar.
I will miss it all.  But instead of being sad, I praise the world that gave me this chance.  Thank you so much San Diego for being you, thank you Amanda and Jonathan for being incredibly inspiring, thank you to my sister interns for becoming my best friends, thank you to the environmental world that gives me hope everyday for positive change.  

Tumblr readers met Amanda M aka TreeGirl this past May. Wild how time flies when you’re having fun! Take a read on her experiences in San Diego and part of the 1to1 intern dream team.

It’s a weird day, the day when it is finally time to say goodbye to the most inspiring summer I have ever had.  Ugh, and sad music keeps shuffling into my headphones, reminding me I have to leave.

Today is my last day at Co-Merge working as an intern for The 1to1 Movement.  It has been an incredible journey, so much so, that my eyes easily fill with tears when I think back to it.  The first day, Jonathan and Amanda had us trek to Balboa Park to sit in a circle and introduce ourselves.  I had no idea I was sitting next to so many women (and one man!) that would become such an integral part of my life, mind and summer.  My fellow interns (including the amazing ones that have joined ranks since that first day) have become my confidants and best friends, the team I am forever comfortable with.  Whether it’s venting over plastic bag use or crushing over boys, debating feminist ethics or doing weird impressions- we always found the time go to the roof and hang out together.  It became a part of my daily schedule to stay with them after work until bedtime, sharing secrets and stories or grabbing dinner and new books.

San Diego became my stage to try a million new things.  I WENT PARAGLIDING!! I went to ecstatic dancing and drumming classes.  I hiked cliffs for the sunrise and swam in the ocean past sunset.  I fell out of love with eating meat and in love with adopting pets.  I used sand as a new accessory and exfoliator, as it was always in my hostel bed sheets.  I finally surfed (!), went to my first nude beach, rode on my first party bus.  I got to see Michael Franti and Matt and Kim.  I went “clubbin’” (as the kids say), and to more farmers markets then I can count.  I got to work for the two most laid back and honestly awesome people I have yet met, professionally.  

Mostly though, I fell in love with the environmental movement, and 1to1’s suggestion of taking it one day at a time, changing in easy ways.  I proudly exclaim, “Ban The Straw!” and take my own utensils everywhere I go.  I have been refusing single- use plastic and make it an everyday practice to be continually mindful of how my steps are affecting the huge rock beneath them.  The 1to1 Movement has completely changed me from being all talk, to full walk.  I feel so much more myself, so much more inspired- and I can’t wait to see how they continue to affect me and the world from afar.

I will miss it all.  But instead of being sad, I praise the world that gave me this chance.  Thank you so much San Diego for being you, thank you Amanda and Jonathan for being incredibly inspiring, thank you to my sister interns for becoming my best friends, thank you to the environmental world that gives me hope everyday for positive change.  

Oh, Balboa Park.  Every San Diegan and out of towner alike seem to sigh at its beauty.  We at The 1to1 Movement (Laurie, Ashleyn and Amanda in particular!) decided it would be the perfect stage for Day 2’s investigation of what makes San Diego America’s Finest City.  The girls scouted Balboa for great answers and found people excited to share their views, experiences, and interest in the upcoming America’s Finest Film Fest.  

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2 more interns reveal their favorite things!  Avocados & hot sauce, no easy argument.

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"It’s veggie friendly!"

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”..of it’s beautiful weather and people.” Classic answer!

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Balboa Park was a beautiful background for this project.  Can’t wait to see what Ocean Beach Farmers’ Market brings.  See you there!

San Diego is America’s Finest City, but what really makes it America’s Finest City? Mariel and Amanda went out to Hillcrest Farmer’s Market yesterday to find out exactly why from the people who know it best- San Diegans!

They’ll be continuing their field research of what makes San Diego America’s Finest City this week. If you have a favorite part of San Diego, find these ladies! Best answer will get two free tickets to America’s Finest Film Fest 2014. They’ll be giving away two tickets per location.

 

7 Reasons to Choose the Tiny Life

Woohoo intern field trip to Permyoble Oasis! Brian Blum was awesome enough to welcome us into his tiny home in the making and the tiny lifestyle that comes with it. The Tiny House Movement is a social movement where people are simply downsizing their homes. A typical American home is 2,400 square feet and today’s tiny homes are about 100-400 square feet. They are designed in all shapes and sizes, with all sorts of materials.

Here’s the team in his tiny home:

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Cameron making herself at home checking the views from above:

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Using all the nooks and crannies!image

The tiny life allows you to live simply, obtain freedom, and decorate your home with adventures. Here are my favorite reasons to choose the tiny life!

1. SO MUCH ROOM FOR ACTIVITIES!

In a tiny home, you take advantage of ALL the space your home has to offer. By utilizing all the vertical space in your home, you free up space on the ground for friends, yoga, craft making, rough housing, puppy loving, gardening, music playing, and more.

Every part of the tiny house is being utilized and nothing goes to waste. Brian even plans to make one of the walls a small climbing wall!

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2. Edible gardening

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Having a tiny home means having a BIG garden! A tiny house frees up space for planting veggies, herbs, fruits, and flowers in order to save money and live sustainably. Not to mention make yummy meals all day everyday.

Brian has started an edible garden at the front of his property that is taken care of by himself as well as the other occupants of the property. He plans to eventually turn all the land surrounding his tiny home into sustainable gardens that produce the majority of what he needs to make his meals throughout each day.

3. Dumpster dive or Ikea, dumpster dive or Ikea,  dumpster dive or ikea? DUMPSTER DIVE

In your tiny home, you can get crazy and creative with the way you build your home. From Craigslist free section to scoping out trash treasures, there are many ways to reclaim and repurpose materials to furnish a tiny home. Save money, be unique, look cool, win win win.

Who looks like they are having more fun? image  (thats Bill Murray) or

 

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yeah…. seems pretty obvious to us…. 

4. Only got twenty dollars in your pocket? Go thrift shopping! What what what what…

(Macklemore “thrift shop” lyrics…just in case ya didn’t know)

Personalize your tiny home with awesome unique decorations you find from a thrift store! You can find awesome furniture, wall decor, carpets, and more at various thrift stores around your area. These items can make your tiny home really crazy cool while also saving you money and making your tiny home all about you and your personal style. ALSO, buying used items is the ULTIMATE form of recycling! Talk about sustainability….am I right?

Go to http://www.thethriftshopper.com, type in your city and find all the thrift stores you could ever imagine!

5. The Three P’s!

Play, party, and pee outside!

A tiny house provides BIG opportunities to enjoy all your normal funtivities outside! As much as you’ll love your tiny home, most people like to have some room to run around, stretch, or if you’re feeling lazy, lounge about. Doing all these things outside is WAY more enjoyable and you also get to know the land around you allowing your relationship with nature to become stronger and passionate! Hang up a hammock if you’re feeling lazy and sweet dreams!

Want to throw a party for your friends and family?! I promise you it’ll be WAY more fun outside. Outdoor parties are much easier to clean up and there are not many opportunities to break that vase on the counter you love so much. Also, gotta go pee? NO lines! Just go where you want and save water and paper while you do it! Nitrogen deposits for your garden! Woohoo! Sustainable parties are all the rage.

6. Ready to Roll!

Build your tiny home with WHEELS! So many people have decided to build their tiny homes with wheels attached in order to take it wherever they go! Want to go on a climbing trip? No hotels around? Stay in your very own home! This way you always feel at home AND you save some serious moola!

This tiny house is ready to roll!

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7. Environmentally friendly

The most important characteristic of a tiny home is the tiny impact it has on the environment. Since YOU build your tiny home, you can incorporate all the ways to conserve resources and make sustainable choices.

  • Solar Panels: Invest in some solar panels for your roof and use the sun to provide electricity for your home!
  • Greywater: Need to take a shower? Warm your water with the power from your solar panels and incorporate a system into your shower area that catches your shower water and use it to water your edible garden!
  • Edible Garden: No need to drive to the grocery store and buy food that has been hauled across the country. Stay right at home, save some gas, and eat locally. It tastes better too!
  • Composting: You’ve got to have somewhere to put your food scraps and garden trimmings! Create a composting bin which decreases the amount of waste your produce and create incredibly nutritious soil that you can use in your garden again and again.
  • Recycled goods: Building and decorating your home with repurposed materials and items helps to maintain a balance instead of increasing the goods destin for a landfill at some point or another.
  • Less is more: Living in your tiny home you use less of everything! The average person in a tiny home will use less water, electricity, gas. As well as have less waste! A tiny home provides every person with exactly what they needs, nothing more and nothing less.

Today’s post is by no other than Sara M

 

11 TV & film characters who save the planet

Have you ever just felt like Bonnie Tyler singing “I Need a Hero”?  Or Jack Johnson searching for “Good People”?  Here at the 1to1 Movement, we totally have.  We all need heroes: superbly noteworthy beings whose example we can follow.  But how do we find them, follow them, and learn from them? Well, turns out we watch a lot of TV. On average, Americans watch about 5 hours a day! We decided to do some relaxing research and chose 11 characters on TV shows and in movies that receive our Eco-Star award.

1. Harry Potter

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From Harry Potter

Award for “Eco-Magic”

Harry Potter is a man to admire for his out-of-the-box methods of getting things done.  Harry rides brooms, opts for train rides, and even teleports via chimney to lessen his transportation footprint.  

We also groove with his mindfulness of communication. He doesn’t use email or snail mail, but an innovative alternative- owl mail, saving energy and carbon output everytime he sends a letter.  His lack of technology gives him a bit of magic to life- coming up with these alternatives requires some serious imagination and brain power. His consciousness has led him to be a hero for the magic realm and for everyone at The 1to1 Movement.  Bloody well done, Harry!

2. Neyteri

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From Avatar

Award for “Interplanetary Love and Relations”

A resident tree-hugger, Neyteri inspires us all to move with the flow and energy of nature.  Her simplicity in all choices inspires: her minimalist clothing strategy has saved fabrics, hunting and gathering has saved energy, and her banshee riding has saved transportation waste. I would really love for her to protect our planet the way she protects her own, maybe she’ll inspire a movement of painted blue people hopping around the forest saving it from bulldozers and tree hogging loggers? Think about it.

3. Sister Jane Ingalls & Brooke Soso

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From Orange Is The New Black

Award for “The Unexpected Group of Two- Woohoo”

Our unexpected duo award goes to the two very different activists from Orange Is The New Black, Brooke Soso and Sister Jane Ingalls, showing that sometimes it takes an unlikely pair to get progress moving. These two ban together in a hunger strike, demanding better conditions for inmates (yeah, nutrition!). Before they met in prison, Sister Jane Ingalls was a peace passing nun who chained herself to a nuclear weapons base and Soso was a modern-day revolutionary, kicking it at Bonaroo instead of Woodstock. The old and the new, we really dig their style and are stoked about unexpected teams who make a difference.  Booyah jail birds!

4. Wall-E

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From Wall-E

Award for “Compact The Waste, With Little Haste”

Our “compact the waste, with little haste” award goes to Wall-E, a robot with heart.  What a surprise to see this little man making such a big impact- a great reminder for the rest of us.  He and his girlfriend really light up when it comes to environmental love. We like that though the rest of the world is off in space, floating their existence away, these two don’t quit searching for life.  Also, Wall-E’s collection of found knick-knacks and his reused shoe as a plant pot doesn’t stink!  We dig it!  

5. Lisa Simpson

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From The Simpsons

Award for “Caped Cartoon”

Our next young achiever gets awarded the “Caped Cartoon” award for her endless fight for the environment.  Lisa Simpson really cares and is always combatting her family’s apathy (been there, done that!) with vegetarian rants, tree-huggin’ for days, and brave Buddhism. She is always crusading for a new cause and she has gotten a lot done in her 25 seasons as an 8 year old. Cheers, little babe, can’t wait to see where you go when you grow up!


6. Chris Traeger

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From Parks and Recreation

Award for “LITERALLY Gonna Live Forever”

The award for “LITERALLY Gonna Live Forever” goes to Chris Traeger from Parks And Recreation.  Oh man, what a guy.  Biking for charity is LITERALLY one of his likes on facebook, and he LITERALLY swore off red meat because he doesn’t feel it’s healthy.  He exercises all the time which must really increase his endorphins because he is always upbeat and leading others to a more optimistic viewpoint.  What a sweet role model, but sweet like a vegetable loaf with a little bit of fruit-  one of Chris’ favorite snacks.

7. Marshall

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From How I Met Your Mother

Award for “Forget the money, I’ll take morals honey!”

The big, fun loving roommate we all wish we had, Marshall from How I Met Your Mother is not only hilarious but he is also big on the environmental law front, with dreams of locking up the bad guys! Marshall was selected based on his awesome pursuit of environmental protection even in the face of a salary with many zeros. His dedication wavered only a few times with the lure of Goliath National Bank, but for the most part he has always been a bastion of strength for the environment in gritty NYC.  We love Marshall’s perseverance for saving the planet….and extensive use of charts and graphs!

8. Jesse

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From Free Willy

Award for “Stickin’ it to Seaworld”

Before Blackfish, allllllllll the way back in the 90’s (yep, 20 freakin’ years ago), one American boy was already crusading for orcas. Jesse from Free Willy captured our hearts with his courageous adventure as well as capturing and releasing an adult killer whale. Wow. Way to set the bar high for “things I did over the summer holidays”! What a legend! Locking up these majestic creatures has long been a source of contention and Jesse gets our award for “Stickin it to Seaworld” for being one of the first to really bring it home to a wider audience. Plus, who can resist that end scene where the whale jumps over him… Dude, pass me the tissues!


9. Zak and Crysta

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From Fern Gully

Award for “Enviro Power Couple”

Ok Fern Gully, seriously, what a movie. If you haven’t watched it recently, do so. So Crysta is a tree fairy who has magical powers to make plants grow and her whole life is dedicated to helping the rainforest, what a gal. After finding some loggers destroying her beloved home she accidentally shrinks Zak, some ignorant surfer dude tree lopper. Through song, dance and a litttlllleee bit of fairy magic, she shows him all the wonders of the forest and they totes fall in fairy love. After seeing all the beauty that nature holds, Zak vows to stop deforestation once back to human form. Fairy magic and wisdom + human capability = Enviro Power Couple!

10. Andy

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From 40 Year Old Virgin

Award for “Get on ya Bike!”

Whilst Andy may be a virgin to the sexual arena, he is no virgin when it comes to being green! With his sweet ride (it has rear view mirrors!) and sensible attire, he is able to get where he is going, carbon free ya’ll! His biking ways even helps him with the ladies, who can forget the classic line “Hope you have a big trunk, cause I’m putting my bike in it”, hot damn! Basically irresistible right? Riding a bike is not only great exercise, and good for the environment but also a sure fire way to attract the kind of excellent woman who gives a damn about that stuff! Go Andy, our winner of the “Get on ya Bike!” award.

11. Sully and Mike Wazowski

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From Monsters Inc.

Award for : “Turning Trash into Treasure”

If you think Monsters Inc. and it’s prequel Monsters University are just for kids, you are dead wrong. The hilarious quips these guys throw out make for excellent viewing. In case you have not seen these Pixar classics, let me run through the idea so you can fully appreciate why they get the award for “Turning Trash into Treasure.” The film centers around two monsters employed at the titular Monsters, Inc.: top scarer James P. “Sulley” Sullivan and his one-eyed partner and best friend, Mike Wazowski. The Monsters, Inc. employees generate their city’s power by… wait for it… targeting and scaring children. The louder the child’s scream, the more energy generated. They capture the scream and take it back to power their city. Now, I don’t know about you, but I am not big on screaming children… However, if there was a way to use the scream to power my laptop, hell, I might just be ok with it! It truly is an ingenious use of wasted energy! Well done to Monsters Inc., a truly innovative corporation.

You can thank rockstar interns Sarah and Amanda for this awesome list. 

Hey everyone! If you haven’t heard yet, we are hosting our 2nd Annual America’s Finest Film Festival in a couple of weeks- 12 days to be exact. The event was such a  huge success last year (we sold out!) that we decided to go for round two, and we’d love if you could make it! The event includes two screenings of a variety of short films made in San Diego, by San Diegans, about San Diego and showcases the awesomeness of America’s Finest City.
The event will basically be a huge community party! Between the first and second showings, there will be a San Diego Makers Market with local vendors and lots of food, beer, and other drinks.
The theater is beautiful and parking is FREE AND ABUNDANT, so you should definitely check it out if you will be in San Diego.
Tickets and more info can be found here. 
Don’t forget to RSVP on Facebook too, or share our page with friends!
All of us at the 1to1 Movement hope to see you there!

Hey everyone! If you haven’t heard yet, we are hosting our 2nd Annual America’s Finest Film Festival in a couple of weeks- 12 days to be exact. The event was such a  huge success last year (we sold out!) that we decided to go for round two, and we’d love if you could make it! The event includes two screenings of a variety of short films made in San Diego, by San Diegans, about San Diego and showcases the awesomeness of America’s Finest City.

The event will basically be a huge community party! Between the first and second showings, there will be a San Diego Makers Market with local vendors and lots of food, beer, and other drinks.

The theater is beautiful and parking is FREE AND ABUNDANT, so you should definitely check it out if you will be in San Diego.

Tickets and more info can be found here

Don’t forget to RSVP on Facebook too, or share our page with friends!

All of us at the 1to1 Movement hope to see you there!

Meet Mari(el)! Our latest team member joining us for July and beyond! We’re excited to welcome another native San Diegan!!
Hey everyone! I’m Mariel (Mari), native San Diegan and lover of all things outdoors. My parents grew up in East County and I have lived near Mission Trails Regional Park for almost my whole life. I am so happy to be the newest edition to the 1 to 1 community and to be able to work with so many forward-thinking individuals. I am an avid runner, a hiker, a slackliner, a swimmer, a biker, an adventurer, a reader, a student, and a citizen of the world. I am an environmentalist because the natural environment offers people something special that built environments cannot.
My parents both love to be outside and I have grown to love gardening and outdoor sports because of them. I am an advocate for sustainable food production because of my mother’s love for gardening and, in general, food is an important part of my life. I work at an elementary school garden as well as a community garden, and I easily spend more money on food than anything else. I have always liked to be outside and I have been gardening since I could walk. Being part of the 1 to 1 intern team will give me an idea of what a career in the non-profit sector is like and guide my future decisions, both at work and in life. I am starting my undergrad education as a freshman at UC Berkeley this fall, and am so excited to be interning here until I leave for school.
I am passionate about so many things, and sustainability is definitely one of them. Living sustainably in 2014 is easy because the average person has all of the resources to educate him/herself about the impact that his/her choices have on the world. My goal at 1 to 1 is to help raise awareness that making simple, informed decisions can have a huge positive impact on the world. I believe in the power of organizations like 1 to 1 because they are run by people who live in accord with the Earth and are happy to be doing what they do. It is easy to live sustainably when you realize that living sustainably is not about drastic changes but little ones, and those little changes allow the next generation to enjoy the same things you do.
I am glued to my reusable water bottle and you can find me running around Solana Beach or eating vegan food in North Park. I like good films and good friends and I am very excited about what the future holds. San Diego is one of my favorite cities—there is so much potential for improvement here and I believe that we are the people to do it. Cheers!

Meet Mari(el)! Our latest team member joining us for July and beyond! We’re excited to welcome another native San Diegan!!

Hey everyone! I’m Mariel (Mari), native San Diegan and lover of all things outdoors. My parents grew up in East County and I have lived near Mission Trails Regional Park for almost my whole life. I am so happy to be the newest edition to the 1 to 1 community and to be able to work with so many forward-thinking individuals. I am an avid runner, a hiker, a slackliner, a swimmer, a biker, an adventurer, a reader, a student, and a citizen of the world. I am an environmentalist because the natural environment offers people something special that built environments cannot.

My parents both love to be outside and I have grown to love gardening and outdoor sports because of them. I am an advocate for sustainable food production because of my mother’s love for gardening and, in general, food is an important part of my life. I work at an elementary school garden as well as a community garden, and I easily spend more money on food than anything else. I have always liked to be outside and I have been gardening since I could walk. Being part of the 1 to 1 intern team will give me an idea of what a career in the non-profit sector is like and guide my future decisions, both at work and in life. I am starting my undergrad education as a freshman at UC Berkeley this fall, and am so excited to be interning here until I leave for school.

I am passionate about so many things, and sustainability is definitely one of them. Living sustainably in 2014 is easy because the average person has all of the resources to educate him/herself about the impact that his/her choices have on the world. My goal at 1 to 1 is to help raise awareness that making simple, informed decisions can have a huge positive impact on the world. I believe in the power of organizations like 1 to 1 because they are run by people who live in accord with the Earth and are happy to be doing what they do. It is easy to live sustainably when you realize that living sustainably is not about drastic changes but little ones, and those little changes allow the next generation to enjoy the same things you do.

I am glued to my reusable water bottle and you can find me running around Solana Beach or eating vegan food in North Park. I like good films and good friends and I am very excited about what the future holds. San Diego is one of my favorite citiesthere is so much potential for improvement here and I believe that we are the people to do it. Cheers!

DIY tote bag in 5 simple steps

1to1 summer intern Amanda has the answers, folks. Check out her FIVE simple steps to personalized DIY tote bags.

Here at 1to1, we really love bags- AWAY bags, tea bags, reusable grocery bags, and our latest: tote bags made from old t-shirts. It’s a really simple DIY (ahem- Do It Yourself) project. It’s perfect for a grocery or produce bag, a beach bag, or a gym bag. The material is so easy to take care of- just pop it in the washing machine and hang it on your clothesline to get it clean! Treat it like it never changed from its’ long loved life as a t-shirt (so it doesn’t get overwhelmed by the transition from beloved favorite tshirt to beloved favorite tote bag).

Step 1

Pick from your endless collection of marathon and event t-shirts, silly tie-dyes, or whatever t-shirt that is taking up space in your drawers. The bigger the shirt, the bigger the bag.

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Step 2 

Get your best fabric splittin’ scissors out! Make three simple cuts- cut the collar and the sleeves, like you would for most t-shirt upcycles. These will be your handles and the top of your tote! Keep the shoulder portion o the shirt thick. If you’d like a more drastic tote top, cut extra around the collar for a nice deep opening. This is all up to personal preference!

If balance is a priority, after cutting the first sleeve, you can fold the t-shirt over to match the second sleeve perfectly.

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Step 3 

Use the length and width of your pointer finger to measure strips at the bottom of the tee and cut. Imagine fringe. Cut on front and back of t-shirt at the same time.

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Step 4

Now that you have a fringe tank top, use the matching strips of the fringe on the top and bottom side of the t-shirt to tie double knots along the length of the shirt. Voila! This is the bottom of your bag, so tie them tight.  

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Step 5

When the knots are all finished, so is the project! Flip it inside out if you would rather hide the knots.  

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See how easy it is to upcycle your old clothes and avoid buying new reusable grocery bags? One of my favorite parts about these tote bags is how small they can be squished down to fit in your purse or cup holder so you are ready to purchase at all opportunities.

Pro tip: From recently leading this project at summer camps, we’ve realized it is really good knot practice for your little dude or dudette who may learning how to tie their shoes or becoming stronger knot makers.

Overall, it is an easy and quick craft for all ages, so pass it on to your friends and slowly but surely we can become a plastic bag-less world. Enjoy!