Electronic equipment, such as computers, printers, or TV’s, should not be sent to the landfill. There are a number of resources available to local residents and businesses to help with quick and easy recycling of these items.
Aged or obsolete electronics should not be thrown away along with your normal garbage. Most electronics contain hazardous substances such as mercury or other heavy metals like lead or arsenic. These compounds, if introduced to municipal waste streams, can cause contamination of groundwater and soils. For more information on the hazards of electronic equipment, go to the EPA’s website.
Bottom Line: The City of San Mateo and Shelter Network team up to renovate a city-owned single occupancy hotel to help get chronically homeless people off the street.
In 2007, the City of San Mateo and Shelter Network, launched a new program to help meet the needs of the chronically homeless population in the city (those who typically do not benefit from traditional shelter services due to multiple barriers including mental health or addiction). The centerpiece of the program is the newly rehabilitated Vendome Hotel. This single-occupancy hotel, owned by the City of San Mateo, was renovated with the help of local community members and businesses, and is now operated by the Shelter Network.
Bottom Line: Be sure that your auto repair shop uses environmentally sound procedures including water based paints to reduce impact on air quality
Select a shop that uses water based paints and complies with all rules and regulations put out by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) and the California Air Resources Board. In general, California imposes controls on the amount of VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds) released into the air from the paints and solvents. The shop should also be using enclosed spray booths, as well as HVLP spray guns and reusable filters.
Bottom Line: Fill your car with high quality biodiesel at Autpoia Biofuels, a Biodiesel Filling Station and Eco Store located in downtown San Mateo.
Austin Mader-Clark, an avid walker, cyclist, airplane pilot and passionate advocate for alternative, non-petroleum-based fuels, challenges others to "fill their tank and save the world" with her innovative new approach to making alternative fuel available in a centralized and convenient location. On Earth Day 2008 she opened Autopia Biofuels located at 1025 South Railroad Avenue in downtown San Mateo.
Bottom Line: Local Environmental Education Programs offer students, teachers, and families a chance to explore their natural world, develop a deep appreciation for our local environment and an understanding of the importance of responsible stewardship.
There are many environmental education programs offered throughout San Mateo County. These incredible programs give students opportunities to observe natural ecosystems, engage in hands-on discovery activities, and receive knowledgeable scientific instruction. These valuable programs lead students to an appreciation of the natural world and an awareness of the importance of responsible environmental stewardship. There is a range of affordable or free environmental educational programs available for student groups, teachers, individuals, and families.
Bottom Line: The three colleges that make up the San Mateo County Community College District offer over 90 vocational-technical programs to help you get the job you want!
The San Mateo Community College District is a three-college district located between San Francisco and Silicon Valley. The College of San Mateo, Canada College in Redwood City, and Skyline College in San Bruno serve more than 40,000 students each year and offer the first two years of instruction in a wide variety of 4-year college transfer programs as well as more than 90 vocational-technical programs.
Bottom Line: We are experiencing a statewide drought! Here are some ways to reduce water consumption in your home.
Two consecutive record-dry winters throughout California have resulted in the greatest threat to our water supply in nearly 20 years, prompting the governor to declare a statewide drought. Reduce water consumption in your home. It is especially important to detect, fix and prevent leaks. If you rent, report leaks to your building manager or landlord. Nationwide, more than 1 trillion gallons of water leak from U.S. homes each year!
Bottom Line: There are local, free and low-cost health clinics available that offer a variety of services to meet all healthcare needs.
The San Mateo County Medical Center operates several outpatient clinics throughout San Mateo County that specialize in a range of services, such as STD screening and treatment, HIV or AIDS services, pediatrics and urgent care and much more. The San Mateo Medical Center is dedicated to serving the healthcare needs of all residents of San Mateo County, with an emphasis on education and prevention, and without regard for ability to pay. Their Mobile Health Clinic offers convenient medical care for low-income and homeless people and no one is denied service. If you don't have insurance, their Community Health Advocates will help you find affordable healthcare coverage.
Bottom Line: Through SOS, Hillsdale High School installed solar panels and the students received a hands-on education about conservation and alternative energy.
Owens Electric & Solar is leading the way in renewable energy education in San Mateo County through its Solar Our Schools Program. After completing its first official program at Hillsdale High School in San Mateo, Director Brian Quock has valuable insights to share.
The SOS program links Owens and BP Solar grants (for classroom materials, staff time, and solar panels) with a 5-week course for students to learn the basics of solar and other renewable energy sources, conservation and future technologies. During lunch and afterschool sessions, Brian educates the students on designing solar systems and involves them in the installation and monitoring process at their school. The results have been very positive, as the students have been a part of the process from education and participation to fundraising.
Bottom Line: Almost any diesel engine car can go biodiesel with little or no modifications.
Almost any diesel car can run on biodiesel without major modifications. Biodiesel is a clean burning alternative fuel produced from domestic, renewable resources. Biodiesel contains no petroleum, but it can be blended at any level with petroleum diesel to create a biodiesel blend. These blends are sold using a system called the "B factor," which denotes the percentage of biodiesel contained within a petrol/bio mix. Biodiesel is simple to use, biodegradable, nontoxic, and essentially free of sulfur and aromatics.
Only diesel engines can run on biodiesel. All engines that run on #2 diesel can also be run on biodiesel. This means, home furnaces, generators, half-trucks, homestead tools, fishing boats, etc.
Bottom Line: The Samaritan House provides a wide array of valuable free services and resources to low-income residents of San Mateo County with a focus on preserving dignity and increasing self-sufficiency.
Established in 1974, Samaritan House is a non-profit health and human services organization with over 30 years of experience in providing a broad range of free services and resources to low-income residents in San Mateo County. Each year they provide 9,000 visits in their two free medical clinics, supply more than 400 people with a warm bed, make over 120,000 meals, collect over 400,000 pounds of food from food drives and distribute 40,000 new toys to children.