2019 Sustainability Award Recipients

On April 30, 2019, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors recognized the following businesses and organizations, one from each supervisorial district, that implement sustainable practices: 

1st District: Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District

Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District is showcasing the power of being water wise, both at its office and the city at large. Each year the agency hosts Splash Into Spring, an event with plenty of hands-on action about cutting down on water waste.

But it’s not just plugging a leaky pipe, it’s walking through a drought-tolerant garden. This water wise installation at the EVMWD headquarters is attracting visitors, both human and insect—showing that low water landscaping doesn’t just mean artificial turf. It’s not a surprise that the 2019 iteration of this annual event featured the highest attendance yet. These water wise gardens are also on display at other points in the city, including the Lake Elsinore Storm stadium.

2nd District: Amazon Paint

Amazon Paint in Riverside is going one step further than re-use, their product gets a re-birth. Old paint clinging to the bottom of discarded cans is given a whole new opportunity to shine on exterior and interior walls.

At Amazon Paint’s warehouse, discarded paint is scooped out and sorted by primary color. From there, it’s pumped into a tank, mixed, and adjusted to be turned into a range of different shades. Finally the re-made paint is filtered and packaged for sale.

But Amazon Paint goes one step further—if the discarded paint is no longer usable, the gummed up material is put into a conglomerating mixer and combined with sawdust from a Los Angeles-based cabinet manufacturer. The material is then used as a bio fuel-- showing that old paint is never considered trash.

3rd  District: EAT Marketplace

EAT Marketplace in Old Town Temecula is serving up sustainability, going above and beyond the call to incorporate locally grown items in its recipes. The businesses utilizes recycled paper products and compostable utensils, but to really understand what makes them special, we need to take a short trip… because farm-to-table isn’t just a motto, it’s reality—or rather, 10 miles on Rancho California Road.

Eating local has never tasted so good. It’s all part of a cycle. Veggies grown just down the road at Eco Culture Farms are prepared at Eat Marketplace. The organic waste doesn’t go into a trash can, but instead it goes into a compost bucket, which goes back to the farm to be used as feed for pigs and chickens. When the chickens lay eggs, those go back to the restaurant to be turned into pastries and more. It gives farm fresh a whole new meaning.

4th District: Desert Arc

The end result of what Desert Arc achieves is clear: paper, cardboard and electronics are being recycled instead of ending up in the landfill. But it’s not just the finished product that makes this Coachella Valley nonprofit unique, it’s the process, and the people taking part in it.

Desert Arc works with hundreds of area adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities, while taking into account the client’s unique needs and abilities, enabling them to learn job skills through collection, processing and recycling materials.

Whether it’s picking up a big load of cardboard an inserting it into a baler, or diligently disassembling an old computer to uncover electrical components, there’s always an opportunity to recycle… by the truckload… literally: Desert Arc fills a tractor trailer a week of both cardboard and shredded paper.

5th District: City of Perris

To put its goals of health and wellness at the forefront, the City of Perris doesn’t mind getting its hands dirty in the garden, or rather, gardens. With its Live Well Perris campaign and the Grow Perris initiative, the city aims to develop dozens of food gardens in the area, with the goal of creating sustainable crop development, and at the same time, reduce the risk of chronic disease among residents.

It’s a multifaceted effort; outreach starts early, with school gardens giving youngsters the ability to grow their own fruits and vegetables, as well as making smarter choices at meal time. The education isn’t just limited to schools. Near city hall, the Perris Green City Farm hosts numerous events, including “chef in the garden” where residents can learn healthy recipes, and enjoy samples grown from the garden.