Eco Container Creates Buzz at San Diego County Fair

NEWS // September 1, 2016

Eco Container Creates Buzz at San Diego County Fair

It wasn’t just the Infield Farm’s beehive that was buzzing at this year’s San Diego County Fair. Solana Center for Environmental Innovation’s Eco Container, sponsored by Kashi, was a hit with visitors. The Eco Container received great attention from the press as well, with articles appearing in the San Diego Union Tribune, Coast News, Encinitas Advocate, Seaside Courier and Del Sol Magazine.

Solana Center unveiled the Eco Container, a 40-foot-long repurposed shipping container, on opening day at the San Diego County Fair on June 3rd. Supporters, sponsors and friends gathered to celebrate, including County Supervisor Dave Roberts and Encinitas Deputy Mayor, Catherine Blakespear.

“The Eco Container project really brought people together. We couldn’t have done it without the tremendous support we received from the community, corporate partners and, of course, our volunteers,” said Jessica Toth, Solana Center’s Executive Director.

The Eco Container was made possible with support from the County of San Diego’s Neighborhood Reinvestment Grant, Kashi, PrAna, Rainwater Solutions, EcoScraps and the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Contributors also included Natural Energy USA, RainThanks & Greywater and BioEve.

Solana Center transformed a used shipping container into a center for environmental innovation, featuring solar energy, a greywater demo system, rain barrels, composting, drought tolerant landscaping and California-friendly gardens. The Eco Container was designed to inspire and educate visitors about sustainability, and to demonstrate how to incorporate energy-saving, water-efficient and eco-friendly practices into our daily lives. Empty shipping containers are often too expensive to ship back to their countries of origin and the United States has a large surplus of discarded containers. The Eco Container is a great example of creative reuse!

The San Diego County Fair was just the beginning for the Eco Container! As part of a partnership with the Del Mar Fairgrounds, Solana Center will offer year-round environmental education programming and workshops at the Eco Container.

The Eco Container held its first workshop, on vermicomposting, for employees of Solana Beach-based Kashi on June 13th, 2016. Solana Center educators taught Kashi employees how to divert food waste from the landfill through vermicomposting, how to care for their worm bin and how to use the castings to enrich the garden's soil at the company’s headquarters.

"The event was so educational and I know each of us went home with new information that has us buzzing with hope that we can continue our learning with our very own vermicomposting bin at the Kashi office. I’m personally so excited to continue enriching our Kashi garden with healthy soil," said Natalie Gattrell, Associate Brand Manager for Kashi.

To host an educational workshop for your organization or business at the Eco Container, please contact Elaine Martin at