Solutions (19)

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Protect the Beach, Unite a Community

Bottom Line: Pacifica Beach Coalition is an organization dedicated to preserving the ocean, coastal habitat and wildlife, and ending litter, through advocacy, education, community building, and citizen action.

Drinking Water from The Tap is Safe, Cheap and Protects the Environment

Bottom Line: Reduce your ecological impact and potential health hazards by drinking tap water instead of bottled water. Bottled water is not necessarily any cleaner or safer than water from the tap.

BottledDrinkingWater-image2Health and Quality
San Mateo County Tap water is highly regulated and tested for public safety by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Safe Drinking Water Act authorizes the EPA to enforce health standards for drinking water and requires public notification of water system violations and annual reports to consumers on contaminants found in drinking water. Alternatively, bottled water is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which often uses EPA’s tap water standards to determine safety. However, the FDA exempts from testing water that is packaged and sold within the same state, which accounts for 60 to 70 percent of all bottled water sold in the United States. Bottled water is not necessarily any cleaner or safer than water from the tap.

Visit Harley Farm Goat Dairy – A Model of Sustainable Farming

Bottom Line: Dee Harley is milking her way to success by showing her goat farm is good for the economy, environment and the community.

Harley FarmsHarley Farms in Pescadero started 16 years ago with six goats and has since grown into a fully self-sustaining 267+ goat operation and the only dairy farm in San Mateo County. The nine-acre farm is a farmstead dairy, meaning the cheese produced comes directly from the farms animals. It has received six national cheese awards and was the recipient the 2008 Sustainable San Mateo County Award, and the 2008 San Mateo County Farmer of the Year award. It also was featured in a February 2007 New York Times article about agri-tourism (see Eco-Tourism Article), a concept in which small farms open up to curious visiting urbanites.

Get involved in coastal preservation in San Mateo County

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.

Use your local car wash”not your driveway

Bottom Line: Your local car wash is actually a much more sustainable solution than washing your car at home.

Car Wash

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.

Dispose of your old medications safely

Bottom Line: The San Mateo County Pharmaceutical Drug Disposal program gives the public a convenient and safe way to dispose of old or off-spec prescription medications.

Pharmaceutical Drop Box

The San Mateo County Pharmaceutical Drug Disposal program offers the public a convenient way for the proper disposal of expired or otherwise unwanted pharmaceuticals through participating local law enforcement agencies. Anyone can drop off unused drugs at any of 12 police departments or 2 Sheriff’s Dept locations. Large white metal receptacles, similar to postal drop boxes, are publicly accessible at each location during their regular hours.

Use an environmentally aware auto body repair shop

Bottom Line: Be sure that your auto repair shop uses environmentally sound procedures including water based paints to reduce impact on air quality

AutobodySelect 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.

Restore Wetlands with Recycled Water from Your Water Treatment Facility

Bottom Line: Wastewater recycling plants can recycle water using ultraviolet disinfection and use the water to restore wetlands using the hydro geomorphic model (GHM).

Restore Wetlands_Water Treatment PlantThe Calera Creek Waste Water Recycling Plant (WWRP) in Pacifica can treat 4 million gallons of sewage per day (up to 20 MGD during storm events) using its innovative treatment techniques. This plant helped pioneer the use of ultraviolet disinfection for wastewater effluent in California. UV treatment allows release of recycled water into wetlands because residual chlorine is not allowed in the permitting process. To minimize visual impact, the entire facility except for the filters and control building are buried in a hillside covered with native plants. Odor control scrubbers pull air from all process areas to neutralize odor-causing gases.

Initiate a Polystyrene Ban in Your Municipality

Bottom Line: Using polystyrene food packaging is bad for the environment and the associated marine debris is expensive for local governments. Be one of the many local governments across the nation to enact a Polystyrene Ban.

InitiateaPolystyreneBaninYourMunicipality-imageLocal governments across the nation are prohibiting the use of non-recyclable plastics such as foamed polystyrene in takeout disposable food packaging because they are frustrated with the increasing amount of non-recyclable food packaging waste in our marine environment, streets, storm drains and landfills. Studies have shown that in the some areas of the Pacific plastic outweighs plankton by a factor of 46! Polystyrene is impractical to recycle due to its light weight, takes thousands of years to decompose and is the most common form of marine debris. Managing the debris costs local governments millions in storm drain clean up costs.

Half Moon Bay Eco-Tourism Campaign

Bottom Line: No need to go to Costa Rica, Eco-tourism opportunities abound right here in San Mateo County

Coastside EcoTourismVisit the Half Moon Bay Coastside, 80 miles of coastal splendor filled with abundant natural, historical and cultural wonders. From some of the richest marine reserves and wetlands on the California coast, to small working farms where you can explore a barnyard and dine on farm-fresh organic produce; from shopping on historic Main Street in Half Moon Bay, to fishing for wild salmon or albacore tuna – the Half Moon Bay Eco-Tourism campaign has it all.

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