Ed Bedford 11:44 p.m., June 19
Planeteer Pack's 1-Year Anniversary this Saturday
Volunteer-based trash clean-up group celebrates with a trek from University Heights' Small Bar to North Park's Tiger!Tiger!
Lizeth Santos, also known as one-woman band Smile Now Cry Later, has a dirty little secret.
Starting as a New Year’s resolution, she is now a year into helming Planeteer Pack – a volunteer-based grassroots group devoted to cleaning up the streets of San Diego neighborhoods.
"I wanted to be a more active member in my community," Santos said of the birth of Planeteer Pack via email, "and decided that… I would create a monthly event that involved doing something positive and selfless with others.
"I also loved the idea of not only cleaning up and taking pride in our neighborhoods, but also promoting the [patronage] of the wonderful locally owned eateries our city has to offer."
With Santos providing buckets and "trash picker-uppers" and husband Rafter Roberts acting as trash clean-up DJ "jamming the tunes to keep people motivated", all volunteers need to do is "bring themselves and their enthusiasm for doing something awesome for their communities."
Although the main trash culprits are usually underwear, knives and cigarette butts ("seriously people," she interjects, "they are not that hard to put into the garbage”), more unusual items, like a handgun, have been unearthed.
At the end of the clean-up, the group votes on the most unusual and "special" trash item and the person who found the winning item receives a gratis beer or drink from Santos.
Not realizing “how much tiresome work would go into encouraging people to volunteer their time”, the Planeteer Pack clean-ups will now be held quarterly instead of monthly.
"Just knowing that something I organized is helping provide a healthier ocean [and] environment, is enough to make me feel like all the effort is worth it."
Join Planeteer Pack this Saturday, Feb 9 at 12 p.m. at Small Bar (4628 Park Blvd.) in their anti-trash quest which is scheduled to end at 2 p.m. at Tiger!Tiger! in North Park.
In celebration of Planeteer Pack’s one-year mark, all of-age volunteers will receive a free beer at Tiger!Tiger!, even if the most “special” trash item they find is a cigarette butt.