While banging drums, holding signs and cuddling lizards, tree huggers of all shapes and sizes congregated at Balboa Park’s 29th Annual EarthFair and parade Sunday.
Simcha Waleli, who was volunteering with nonprofit Zero Waste San Diego, may not be old enough to vote or even drive, but she means business when it comes to the environment.
“The environment can't tell you that it's dangerous for me so You really have to have people standing up and telling people to start taking care of the earth,” she told NBC 7 while sporting gloves, ready to sort through recyclable material.
Some of Zero Waste's campaigns are to transform landfills into resource recovery parks and to, promote the single-use plastic bag ban in San Diego and to remove organics from landfills.
This year’s theme is “We’re All in This Together,” something father Tim Penny is trying to instill in the next generation.
“We're bringing the kids out here for an opportunity to support the earth so that they have an earth to live on and play on,” he said.
James Steele, who came out to the event, practices watches he preaches with the Masonic Lions.
"It's telling people how to save the Earth, things like that, people forget,” he said. “I pick up trash every third Saturday – about 19 years on 805.”
Ramano Muniz’s family is also environmentally conscious.
"Around the house, I guess we're mindful about the types of food that we're buying, whether it's farm to table or it's organic,” he told NBC 7. “We recycle. I think we're pretty environmentally savvy as far as riding bikes around and just enjoying it as opposed to taking our car out of convenience."
"Honestly, it's a top priority,” Muniz added. “It's the one thing that kind of keeps us all together and healthy and safe, so why would we abuse that and neglect that. I think just taking ownership and somebody standing up for it, it's the right thing to do."
Steele put it more succinctly. He said, "There's trash out there and somebody's got to pick it up.”