An extraordinary slate of locals are honored with the 2020 Spirit of Service Awards. Through these awards, now in their 16th year, Looking Good Santa Barbara recognizes individuals and organizations in the community who exceed expectations by reducing waste, keeping the community clean through graffiti and litter abatement, and promoting climate action to reduce greenhouse gases.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the award recipients will be honored here and on our social media platforms during the week of December 14 – 18. Dozens of nominations were received from the public in February and March, and the Looking Good Committee selected nine winners. Each recipient was awarded with a beautiful recycled glass Spirit of Service award.
Mayor Murillo Introduces Awards Winners
As a teacher at Monroe Elementary School, Ellen felt inspired to start a lunchtime Foodscraps collection program when she saw the amount of food thrown in the trash every day. Ellen worked with the principal and City staff to implement a lunchtime program in which student volunteers guide other students to properly dispose of Foodscraps after lunch. The Foodscraps, which would have otherwise been sent to a landfill, are composted through the City’s Commercial Foodscraps Composting Program. Ellen uses the lunchtime program as an opportunity to educate students about reducing food and packaging waste.
Toad & Co
Toad & Co is a clothing company aiming to change the apparel industry by using sustainable materials like plant-based fibers, recycled fibers, and organic cotton. The Santa Barbara based corporate office practices waste reduction by participating in the City’s composting program for businesses, upcycling office furniture, and recycling textiles through Marborg’s textile drop-off program. Through these efforts, Toad & Co also received the highest ranking of “Innovator” through the Green Business Network of California.
Cord Christensen is a teacher at Providence School who single-handedly started a recycling program on campus. He purchases and maintains recycling bins, hauls the school’s bottles and cans to the local recycling center, and takes students on a trip to the recycling center to learn about the process and how it benefits our city. Cord takes on this additional workload not only to divert waste from the landfill, but also to instill stewardship in the students who assist him
Clean Community Category
Over the last 10 years or more, Javier has worked non-stop in his neighborhood picking up litter. He actively reports illegally dumped items and has even set out his own trash cans in problem areas and disposed of the trash himself. Javier uses his own lawnmower to mow parkways and plants succulents in an effort to maintain his neighborhood clean. When a neighbor is in need of assistance, Javier has also offered his help with improvement projects on private property. Through Looking Good Santa Barbara’s cleanup program, Javier picks up free trash bags and cleanup supplies to facilitate his cleanup efforts.
Santa Barbara Arts Alliance
The SB Arts Alliance is a youth group that has been working to abate ongoing graffiti vandalism at Sunflower Park. The youth conducted weekly graffiti abatement activities and used Neighborhood Clean-Up Kits via the Adopt-A-Block Program. In addition to graffiti abatement, the artists in the group worked on a mural project at the park to deter future vandalism. The SB Arts Alliance created and safe, clean, and inviting space for families to enjoy Sunflower Park.
As the owner of Blue Agave Landscaping, Adan assisted his community during a clean-up project in which he paid for some of his workers to go to the site and assist with specialized tools.
Jack Cantin Youth Award
Thomas Coleman is the Founder and President of the Bishop Diego Chapter of Teens on the Scene (TOTS), a youth led organization that connects high school students with opportunities to support local nonprofits. Both Jack Cantin and his sister Lauren inspired Thomas to start Bishop Diego TOTS with the idea of giving back to the local community in the same selfless way Jack did. Thomas has partnered with various organizations such as PATH, Unity Shoppe, Food from the Heart, and the City of Santa Barbara to conduct trash cleanups, graffiti abatement, and clothing and food drives.
Climate Hero Category
Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District
MTD has become a climate leader by committing to 100% renewable electricity throughout its fleet and pursuing innovative energy projects that will enhance service resilience and provide a strong example for other transit districts to follow. MTD is driving industry change by investing in new and clean technologies, pursuing funding opportunities that support a clean air future, and exploring creative and proactive solutions for addressing its greenhouse gas emissions.
Community Environmental Council
CEC has demonstrated long-standing and sustained commitment to bold climate action and to the long term resilience of the Santa Barbara community. Through innovative programs and campaigns, such as Solarize Santa Barbara, Fossil Free by 33 and Ditch Plastic, CEC has educated and activated the community to take ownership of its climate future. CEC continues to inspire and push actions that will create a healthy and sustainable Santa Barbara.