High Voltage, Low Impact Buildings: Building Electrification Efforts in San Mateo County

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released earlier this month warned that to stay within 1.5 °C of climate change, greenhouse gas emissions must peak by 2025 or earlier before declining. The report gave the effort to decarbonize buildings through electrification more urgency, but scientists have long known the risks of using natural gas indoors. Electrified buildings can draw power from renewable sources, but natural gas remains many buildings’ primary energy source in San Mateo County, despite its large greenhouse gas footprint and associated hazards. Three expert speakers shared their knowledge about building electrification during our April Virtual [...]

High Voltage, Low Impact Buildings: Building Electrification Efforts in San Mateo County2022-04-28T14:13:44-05:00

Time to Turn off the Faucet: Drought Implications in San Mateo County

As the growing multiyear drought in California continues to make headlines, we were happy to invite two water experts to speak at our March Happy Hour. Tom Francis, the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency’s (BAWSCA) Water Resource Manager gave an update on the status of the drought in San Mateo County, while Kan Parthiban, Sustainability Director of LYNGSO Garden Materials, Inc. spoke about how healthy soil can support water conservation. Francis warned that San Mateo County will have to make wise choices to conserve water in the near future. The county and surrounding region currently fall within the [...]

Time to Turn off the Faucet: Drought Implications in San Mateo County2022-03-31T13:37:09-05:00

Climate and Environment Forum

Several candidates running for the Congressional seat currently held by Jackie Speier participated in a forum on environmental and sustainability issues on April 6. They are competing in the Primary Election taking place June 7; the two top vote-getter will advance to the General Election in November. Congresswoman Speier will be stepping down at the end of 2022. Sustainable San Mateo County was one of the co-sponsors of the Climate and Environment Forum, which was hosted by the Citizens' Climate Lobby. Click here to watch the candidates debate sustainability issues Event Sponsors:

Climate and Environment Forum2022-04-21T14:01:02-05:00

Turning Organic Waste into Gold

During February’s Happy Hour we unpacked the state’s new composting law (SB1383) with the help of three local experts in the field: Joe La Mariana, Executive Director of Rethink Waste, Monica Devincenzi from Republic Services and Gordon Tong, representing San Mateo County's Office of Sustainability. Monica started off the evening by sharing some historical context on waste management. She explained that each county is supposed to have at least one active landfill within its borders with a minimum of 15 years of waste capacity. San Mateo County has one active landfill site, Ox Mountain in Half Moon Bay, which is [...]

Turning Organic Waste into Gold2022-03-08T14:17:35-05:00

December 2021 Happy Hour

December’s Happy Hour’s addressed the important topic of how to get to clean energy 24/7 – a must if we want to successfully address climate change. Our guest speakers were Senator Josh Becker, representing California Senate District 13 covering San Mateo County and northern Santa Clara County and Jan Pepper, CEO of Peninsula Clean Energy. Senator Becker kicked off the evening sharing highlights and implications from COP26 (the 26th Conference of Parties, for signatories of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) which he attended in Glasgow, Scotland in November.  One of the goals of the conference was to [...]

December 2021 Happy Hour2021-12-17T20:13:04-05:00

Focus on Biodiversity

For the October Sustainability Happy Hour, we looked at biodiversity (the variety of life found within a particular ecosystem or habitat) in the Bay Area. We were joined by two knowledgeable experts, Sophie Christel from Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District and Annie Burke from TOGETHER Bay Area. They shared strategies being employed by groups across the region to address the many challenges to biodiversity, exacerbated by climate change. Sophie Christel kicked off the evening explaining that the Bay Area is one of only 34 biodiversity hotspots on Earth. The region’s diverse geology and topography, combined with the coastal influence, creates [...]

Focus on Biodiversity2021-11-23T11:35:48-05:00

Indicator Report Highlights Solutions for Equitable Housing

Sustainable San Mateo County’s Indicators Report Launch on October 19 focused on the need for affordable, sustainable housing and highlighted strategies that can make affordable housing for all a reality. It was the 25th year Sustainable San Mateo County (SSMC) has presented in-depth research on one aspect of sustainability in San Mateo County. This year’s report, “Equitable Housing,” includes comprehensive data, the historical context, driving forces, an analysis of the impact of climate change on housing, case studies, policy initiatives and recommendations. Click here to read the full report, the Executive Summary and the brochure. Click here to view a [...]

Indicator Report Highlights Solutions for Equitable Housing2021-10-21T09:31:18-05:00

In Vogue: Sustainability in the Fashion Industry

Our August Happy Hour explored sustainability in the fashion industry. We were pleased to have Gary Barker, Eszter Csicsai, and Emily Schneider speak at the Happy Hour and share the ways they are working toward a more sustainable fashion industry - from sustainable hangers to metrics that compare products' sustainability to resale opportunities. Gary Barker is the Director of Sustainability at Nexgen Packaging and founder of Ditto Sustainable Brand Solutions, a B-corporation recently acquired by Nexgen Packaging. Ditto has developed sustainable ways to improve hangers' impact on the environment - which is surprisingly large. He said 100 percent of wooden [...]

In Vogue: Sustainability in the Fashion Industry2021-10-01T14:29:56-05:00

Air Quality for All

At Sustainable San Mateo County’s Happy Hour on July 20 titled “Air Quality for Equality”, attendees discussed disparities in air quality in San Mateo County and the wider Bay Area. Guest speaker David Canepa, who serves on the county’s Board of Supervisors and sits also on the Board of Directors at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, correlated these disparities to racial and socioeconomic differences and highlighted some of the work the county is doing to combat these impacts. Ulysses Vinson, director of SMC Labs, explained how his firm is partnering with an air quality company, Clarity, to monitor [...]

Air Quality for All2021-10-01T15:36:58-05:00
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