Solutions (9)

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Be an energy- and water-saving HERO with new HERO program

Bottom Line: the HERO Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program makes it easy to finance energy- and water-saving home improvements.

Take Advantage of Local Environmental Education Programs

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.

Get the Job You Want, Enroll in a Vocational Program

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!

SMCCCD_Vocational ProgramsThe 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.

Electronics Recycling Made Easy

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.

Electronics RecyclingAged 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.

Reduce your water usage and save on your water bill.

Bottom Line: With water fees rising more than 10% annually and water shortage in California it is prudent and economical to reduce your water usage. With a few simple changes, taking advantage of a number available incentives and rebates it is easy to reduce your water consumption significantly.

Reduce Your Water Usage2In the US the average person uses about 150 gallon per day according to the United Nations 2008 Development Report Update. This is more than twice as much as the average person in Germany, about 8 times more than the average person in China. Note that “an American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than the typical person living in a developing country slum uses in a whole day [1]”. The most recent measured data for San Mateo County show an average use of 87.1 gallon per day per person (gpd) [2], with significant differences between Water Districts, ranging from 267 gpd in Hillsborough to less than 50 gpd in South San Francisco. About 68% of the water in San Mateo County is consumed by residential use.

Get the Help You Need at Free and Low-Cost Health Clinics

Bottom Line: There are local, free and low-cost health clinics available that offer a variety of services to meet all healthcare needs.

GettheHelpYouNeed-FreeandLow-costHealthClinics-image1The 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.

Creative Living Arrangements Help Families Cope

Bottom Line: Creative living arrangements are community approaches to keeping people in their homes.

HipHousingAs the housing crisis unravels in 2009, people are adopting innovative living arrangements that reduce expenses, make mortgages affordable, and provide steady streams of income. One example of this is shared living arrangements. In this arrangement, two or more unrelated people share a home or apartment. Each person has a private room but shares common areas. Both parties can pay rent or there can be a service exchange in lieu of money. In a service exchange, one person provides childcare, elderly assistance, or other needed duties for another person. This is a low cost way to maintain stability and protection for people who might otherwise be unable to afford housing.

Local Resources for Job Seekers and Employers

Bottom Line: San Mateo County provides free, comprehensive workforce development services to job seekers, laid-off workers, and employers.

SMCWorkforceDevelopment-image2In San Mateo County, the PeninsulaWorks One-Stop Career System, an initiative of the Workforce Investment Board (WIB), spearheads an integrated approach to workforce development.

One Gardener’s Dream Creates a Scholarship Program for Low Income Students

Bottom Line: The Bay Area Gardeners Foundation has provided $49,500 in scholarships to 31 low-income students, now in college, since its inception in 2006.

TapiaCatalino Tapia, a 2008 Sustainable San Mateo Award Winner, thought the odds were against him when he wanted to start a scholarship foundation in 2002. He had difficulty convincing his friends and the Latino community that it was possible for a Mexican immigrant gardener to raise money for low-income Latino high school students to go to college. So it wasn’t until 2005, when he took a long drive on Highway 5 to Los Angeles that he realized he had the power and strength within himself to make the Bay Area Gardeners Foundation a reality. All he had to do was ask for help, and success came soon after.