Eleanor/Jackie_Awards Open Space SM Library Hyrbids

The Bread Project

The Bread Project of South San Francisco is a vocational training program that teaches the baking trade to people who have been incarcerated, are on parole, youth-at-risk, people in recovery programs, immigrants, women and minorities.

The Bread Project gives participants a useful trade as well as encouragement to learn valuable life skills such as resume writing and job preparedness. The Bread Project students attend a free nine-week program where representatives from the San Francisco Baking Institute teach them to bake bread, pastries, cakes, and to decorate cakes.

The Bread Project opened its doors in South San Francisco in January 2001, and since then over 80 people have enrolled in the program with 98% completing the course. Many graduates have found jobs in the food industry and an astounding 70% have retained jobs in the field.

Emma’s Eco Clean

Emma’s Eco Clean, founded on Earth Day in 1999, is a women-owned cleaning cooperative providing residential and commercial cleaning throughout San Mateo County. They provide a least-toxic alternative to cleaning that responds to the desire for an environmentally friendly and healthy way to clean. Emma’s Eco Clean began with five founding members and has since grown to fifteen worker-owners; all participate in the administration of the business in addition to providing cleaning services. All members are immigrant women from Mexico and Central America and mostly reside in East Palo Alto.

Emma’s Eco Clean is very active throughout the community and participates in many health fairs as well as Earth Day Celebrations. Monica Norley, Business Manager of Emma’s Eco Clean believes this business will greatly influence an extremely toxic industry at a local, regional and possibly national level.

jZ Cool Eatery and Catering Company

Jesse Cool has 27 years of experience in the food service and restaurant industry and regularly supports sustainable practices by using as much locally, organically grown products as possible. For example, the meats used at jZ Cool come from Niman Ranch, which uses no growth hormones and raises its meat sustainably. Additionally jZ Cool Eatery and Catering Company is very aware of the importance of recycling. Cans, plastic, bottles, cardboard, paper products from office use to guest checks are recycled or come from recycled products. Within the restaurant, service ware, trays, plates, flatware and glasses, etc. are reused, employees and customers are encouraged to conserve electricity by turning off unnecessary lights, and customers are provided with heavy plastic to go containers that can be used again and again.

jZ Cool Eatery and Catering Company is a unique and socially responsible restaurant. She has made great strides in cutting waste and contributing to a healthy local and global environment. In addition to jZ Cool Eatery and Catering Company, Cool also owns and operates Flea St. Cafà ©, also in Menlo Park.


RecycleWorks, a program of San Mateo County — is your one stop shop for finding our about recycling programs and opportunities.

RecycleWorks offers a hotline (1-888-442-2666) and website that put you in touch with companies that recycle or reuse things like appliances, furniture or computers. It also provides listings of where to purchase earth friendly products such as cleaners and paper products — a wealth of information about recycling, reusing and reducing the products you commonly use. Also found on the website are the recycling policies and programs for most of the cities within San Mateo County.

RecycleWorks has created many other programs as well including the Green Building program, encouraging cities throughout the county to learn, discuss and implement green building concepts. It encourages cities to adopt green building policies. In conjunction with the San Mateo County Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and Sustainable San Mateo County, they are cosponsoring the first annual Green Building Award for outstanding examples of sustainable building in our county.

RecycleWorks recently coordinated a bicycle reuse project, at which volunteer mechanics refurbished abandoned and donated bicycles, which were then distributed to nonprofits and county residents who could not afford new bikes. RecycleWorks has also helped to establish and promote several sites for recycling electronic waste, developed information for the public to use to reduce their junk mail, and offered a tour of solar homes.

RecycleWorks also has a dedicated group of volunteers who are trained as Master Composters and who do regular outreach and instruction on composting and worm composting.

Honorable Mentions

Lunardi’s Supermarket
Lunardi’s Supermarket owns and operates seven Bay Area locations, and in May 2002, installed an on-site solar electric power and lighting system at its Burlingame Store. That makes Lunardi’s, Burlingame one of the nation’s first grocery stores to introduce solar energy as its primary power source. Lunardi’s Burlingame store is an example of sustainable thinking and a prototype that other supermarket chains can emulate both locally and nationwide.

Menlo Vacuum and Fix-it
Menlo Vacuum and Fix-it is a clever shop where the smallest appliance can be repaired. In a time where the easiest thing to do is throw broken appliances away, Menlo Vacuum and Fix-It has the solution to make appliances last longer. They have saved spare parts for over 20 years and maintain a reputation for being able to fix anything. “We repair everything but the break of day.” A clever line, but when you are able to add a few years to a favorite appliance, and keep it from the local landfill, you become aware of the value Menlo Vacuum and Fix-it adds to the community.

San Mateo County Parks and Recreation Foundation
The San Mateo County Parks and Recreation Foundation understands that parks and open space are a vital part of the natural, social and economic components of a sustainable community. The foundation is committed to preserving and improving county parks for the benefit of the public, and is comprised of a group of citizens who have built a strong constituency that cares for, advocates for, and supports our local parks. Organized in 1998 and under the direction of Executive Director, Julia Bott, the foundation has raised over $1 million. The funding has fostered improvements to playgrounds and day camps and has also been used to build recycling centers in the parks. The foundation is also responsible for preserving native habitats to maintain the wildlife and eco-systems throughout the county.