How do the decisions made by grocers impact the overall sustainability of your food choices? What can we do to increase the sustainability of our day-to-day grocery shopping? Typically when one walks into a grocery store, they don't truly think about how much is really being wasted. From bags, to boxes, to plastic, it's all an extremely unnatural resource that could be avoided. Just like the new grocery store in Texas, "in.gredients" has gone to extreme measures to help sustain our environment by offering no packaging, using real food, and being the first "no waste grocery store in the United States." Here are some other helpful tips that you can take with you next time you enter a grocery store, in means to be more protective over the sustainability of our planet.
Bottom Line: Landscaping with California native plants is an ecologically sustainable way to beautify your home or business, save water, cut CO2 emissions, and create wildlife habitat.
Water shortages are increasingly common, and everything that we can do in order to save water makes a difference. Even more substantial than taking shorter showers or collecting wastewater from your kitchen or bathroom is reducing the amount of water you use outside. Gardens and landscaping are very precious but can often involve large, costly amounts of water. Not only do they involve these impositions, but also they are usually done with gas-powered, and polluting equipment. Other benefits of this idea are that it cuts the use of synthetic fertilizers, and reinforces the natural beauty of the native California landscape. There is an easier solution other than spending a fortune on water for an alluring, high maintenance garden - substitute many or all of your plants for native plants! Aside from these plants being gorgeous and easy to take care of, they don’t call for much water. Most California native plants are exquisite and look good year round, but other low water plants can be great too. California has tons of beautiful native plants that require barely any water. You can find the plants at any reputable nursery for a reasonable price. In the end, not only will you have a beautiful, exotic, and fun filled garden, but you will be saving water, the planet, and have a few extra bucks in your pocket!
Bottom Line: The San Mateo County coastline is a world-class resource for recreation, tourism, and coastal ecology. It's easy to get involved with protecting this vital resource.
Countless San Mateo County residents (and many from outside the county) look to the Pacific coastline for recreation and relaxation, or for their jobs in agriculture, fisheries, and tourism. In all cases, the preservation of this critical resource is of paramount importance, and there are a number of organizations working towards that goal that you can get involved with.
Bottom Line: Green Teams can make organizations more sustainable and businesses more profitable.
Some employees respond to our current sustainability challenges and opportunities by becoming intrapreneurs, regardless of their role or positions. These intrapreneurs start green teams in their organizations to make them more sustainable and--for businesses--more profitable.
Bottom Line: Your local car wash is actually a much more sustainable solution than washing your car at home.
Why take your car to the wash when you can wash it home for free? Believe it or not, washing your car at home can have much more impact on local water supply and surface water quality than you would think.
Bottom Line: San Mateo County is using American Recovery and Investment Act funding to provide rental assistance, emergency food and subsidized employment during this economic recession.
San Mateo County residents have increasingly applied for government assistance to pay their bills and buy groceries. SMC Works was created in response to this and seeks to provide for the residents of San Mateo County during the recession when people are increasingly unable to provide for themselves.
Bottom Line: The City of San Mateo has a new program, called SMART, it encourages citizens and businesses to reduce their carbon footprint.
SMART's goal is to reduce the City’s carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. To accomplish this, several programs have been created.
Bottom Line: San Mateo County created a Food System Alliance (FSA) in 2006 to increase collaboration between all people and sectors involved in creating a healthy food system in San Mateo County.
Most residents of San Mateo County live in an urban setting with food created by a very small percent of the population. Food production, preparation and marketing have been changed due to technological innovation and many people in San Mateo County are looking to take a more planned approach to our food system.
Bottom Line: The Alliance’s commuter shuttle service offers conveniently scheduled vehicles to carry commuters in comfort from BART and Caltrain stations to within easy walking distance of many major San Mateo County employers..
Lots of people would like to take transit to work, but for many, the distance between their work and the nearest Caltrain or SamTrans station is too far to walk. A recent survey by the Alliance found that distance from work to transit station was the second most cited reason for not taking transit for a commute.
Bottom Line: GreenPoint Rated is a system which rewards building professionals and homeowners who create green homes by allowing them to brand their products with a recognizable, trustworthy seal of approval.
How important is energy/environmental friendliness in the sale or purchase of a home? Environmentally friendly homes not only save resources and money, they can last longer, be healthier and more comfortable, and hold their value better than similarly priced homes. But how can you tell if a home really is green?
Bottom Line: Green@Home HouseCalls help fight climate change by saving residents energy and money while reducing climate changing CO2 emissions. Trained volunteers meet with residents in their homes to install simple energy-saving devices and create home energy conservation plans.
Did you know that U.S. households produce 21% of the country's global warming causing emissions? That means that smart choices at home can really make a difference! Green@Home helps communities take action to reduce global warming by making their homes more energy efficient. “HouseCalls” are available to all residents of participating cities whether you rent or own.
Bottom Line: Use this font for all your reports, charts, and other word processing needs. It uses 20% less ink, saves you money, and generates less waste from printer cartridges.
The prints we make for our 'daily use' not only use paper, but also ink. Plastic printer cartridges, if not recycled, generate waste and fill our landfills. With millions upon millions of printers in the world, imagine the impact of reducing, if only by a little, the amount of ink used in our printing process.
Bottom Line: The Peninsula Traffic Congestion Relief Alliance runs the NEW 511 RideMatch service - an interactive, on-demand system that helps you find carpools and vanpools. And they’ll pay you to join one.
Carpooling saves money, saves resources, and can save the air. But where do you go to find carpool partners to share rides to work? Just visit Commute.org where you can quickly create a profile and find commuters who have similar travel routes and schedules with whom you can share a ride. The system lets you easily send potential rideshare partners an e-mail or give them a call.
Bottom Line: Buying locally keeps dollars in the local economy, creates local jobs, and reduces a variety of environmental impacts.
Why Buy Local?
YOU WILL GET EXCEPTIONAL TASTE AND FRESHNESS. Local food is fresher and tastes better than food shipped long distances from other states or countries. Local farmers can offer produce varieties bred for taste and freshness rather than for shipping and long shelf life.
Bottom Line: A look at the resources available for unemployed workers and their families
The stress of unemployment is indeed a heavy burden. House payments, health insurance, food and basic living expenses all become points of anxiety when there is no paycheck coming in. However, unemployed workers are not alone and should not feel helpless. There are many resources available in San Mateo County to help you get right back into the workforce and relieve some the anxiety of life’s many burdens in the meantime.
Bottom Line: Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) provides organic food grown locally for consumption by shareholders and the local community at large.
Community Supported Agriculture (or CSA) provides organic food grown locally for the consumption of people near-by. This food is usually purchased by “shareholders” or at local markets. CSA’s provide consumers with herbicide- and pesticide-free food. They generally harvest 1-2 times a week. The food is available for pick-up most places while some CSA’s even deliver. CSA’s promote a close relationship between the farmer and the consumer. They strive to grow crops that preserver the agricultural viability of the land. And by eating locally, consumers reduce the carbon impact of their food consumption.
Bottom Line: With rising tuition and cost of living, having a part-time job is more important that ever for college students.
With rising cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses, more and more college students are finding the need to work while in school. If you are a college student in San Mateo County, there are various options that are available to help you find work after you’ve been through Craigslist and the classifieds.
Bottom Line: If you lose your job and want to continue receiving health insurance for you and your family, it may be possible though the Federal Government’s COBRA program.
Formed in 1985, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act mandated that people who were previous employed be allowed to continue health coverage under certain criteria. There are 3 criteria for eligibility for COBRA:
Bottom Line: Vampire power usage (also called “stand-by” power usage) can be eliminated by following a few simple steps
Your home electronics use a lot of electricity when they are turned on, but did you know that many electronics and computer equipment, go into stand-by and continue to consume electricity, even after you've turned them off?
Bottom Line: The College of San Mateo is offering two innovative new classes that will help advance your career in the alternative and renewable energy field.
Dependence on fossil fuel energy sources is a continued threat to the long-term sustainability of our community. While most people know that wind, geothermal, and solar energy are fast growing industries in California, few have the knowledge or background in these areas to make a career in alternative energy. In fact, with a stagnant economy and high unemployment, renewable and alternative energy careers (so called “green tech” jobs) are one of the few areas of job growth in the country.