City of Encinitas announces 2021 Environmental Award Program winners

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(Karen Billing)

The City of Encinitas Environmental Commission recently announced the winners of its Environmental Award Program (EAP), now in its seventh year, according to a City of Encinitas news release. The EAP seeks to recognize deserving individuals, businesses, and non-profits for their commitment to environmental stewardship and outstanding environmental achievements. The City of Encinitas recognizes two Excellence in Environmental Stewardship awards that have been historically granted to a for-profit business and a non-profit organization each year, and an Environmental Hero to recognize an adult that is not necessarily affiliated with a business or non-profit organization.

The 2021 winner of the Excellence in Environmental Stewardship Non-profit Organization category is the Community Resource Center (CRC). The CRC provides many different kinds of social services to many people in Encinitas and North County. The CRC is being recognized for environmental efforts to rescue edible food and reduce food waste with its Food and Nutrition Center (FNC). The FNC participated in a pilot program to pick-up nutritious, fresh food from partner grocery stores and distribute to food-insecure clients. It is now a model for other food pantries in the area. CRC’s leadership in this important program helps fight hunger, provides crucial logistics for the community and grocery stores to fulfill their roles to rescue food, and reduces methane producing organic waste from going to landfills.

The 2021 winner of the Excellence in Environmental Stewardship For-profit Business category is The Nada Shop. The mission of the Nada Shop is to make low waste living easier and more accessible to everyone by selling household and body care products available for refill in store, as well as other everyday plastic-free lifestyle goods. Most products are sold without any packaging or are packaged in plastic-free material like cardboard, aluminum, or glass which are all not only easily recyclable, but are also reusable. The Nada Shop helps change public behavior and educates the community on how important it is to reduce plastic consumption and reduce plastic pollution.

The 2021 winner of the Environmental Hero Award is Jim Wang. Wang is one of the most committed and successful former environmental commissioners in the history of Encinitas, according to the news release. For almost a decade as a volunteer, Wang championed public education and solutions to waste, climate change, and overall improvement to the environmental integrity of the City of Encinitas. Wang was particularly instrumental in declaring a climate emergency in the city, pushing forward ordinances to eliminate plastic waste and promoting bike transportation, building electrification, and Community Choice Energy. At least five current environmental ordinances in Encinitas would likely not have happened without Wang’s leadership and engagement, the news release stated and added: “Jim is an environmental hero of the highest order for the people of Encinitas.”

The awards will be presented at the Encinitas City Council meeting on June 22.

The Encinitas’ Environmental Award Program is the first award of its kind in San Diego County and is one of only a few in the United States. For more information about the City of Encinitas Environmental Commission’s Award Program, go to: — City of Encinitas news release