Blog & News

The Opposite of Privilege is Oppression. Read That Again.

Our Happy Hour on February 22 drew our community closer as we dove deeply into the topic of “White Privilege and Allyship.”  Our guest speaker was Sydney Richardson-Gorski, a California native turned DC transplant who is an advocate for: Youth in the juvenile justice system Lower pharmaceutical drug prices Repeal of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Sydney is also a member of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Election Protection Team. Perhaps the reason many were drawn to participate was that the precursor to the Happy Hour was something that everyone could agree with: White Privilege [...]

The Opposite of Privilege is Oppression. Read That Again.2021-03-03T19:00:05-05:00

Virtual Happy Hour

For our first Happy Hour of 2021, we welcomed Dr. Mathis Wackernagel, cofounder of the Ecological Footprint and President of  the Global Footprint Network. He explained different ways to view how humans have impacted the planet and we discussed how we can all tread more lightly on our planet. As we add up all the demands we make on our planet, Mathis and his colleagues estimate that we are using more than the earth can renew. In fact, we are using about 1.56 earths when we should actually use half an earth in order to maintain a stable climate and [...]

Virtual Happy Hour2021-01-30T15:41:22-05:00

Mindful Holidays: A Chance to rethink the Holidays

In a “normal” year this would be the time to do your last minute shopping, travel to see family,  and start celebrating with big family dinners and parties. But this year has been unlike any other: a global pandemic, social unrest,  the imminent effects of a changing climate and so much more. Although all of these challenges might sound unrelated to you, social, racial and environmental issues are intrinsically connected and this year has brought us the opportunity to start seeing those connections more clearly. So what if we used this Holiday season to recalibrate? To evaluate our priorities? Our [...]

Mindful Holidays: A Chance to rethink the Holidays2020-12-19T13:37:12-05:00

Creating Win-Wins with Green Jobs

For our October Happy Hour, we were joined by Justine Burt, Founder and CEO of Appraccel, a local environmental sustainability consulting firm. Justine has worked with organizations including NASA, Costco, and the U.S House of Representatives and brings a wealth of knowledge about green jobs to the table. Fun fact about Justine: She is not only an amazing advocate for the Earth and CEO, she is also a first-time author. Her book, “The Great Pivot”, is a blueprint for creating green, meaningful jobs and advocates for a green recovery to pull us out from the economic recession. It is available [...]

Creating Win-Wins with Green Jobs2020-11-26T12:20:11-05:00

Indicator Report Launch Offers Hopeful Responses to Climate Crisis

Those attending Sustainable San Mateo County’s online Key Indicators Launch on October 6 came away with many reasons for hope. We were given the gift of a very doable list of effective actions to take in response to the climate crisis. If you did not have an opportunity to log in, we encourage you to view a recording of it here. SSMC’s2020 Key Indicators Report focuses on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency as these apply to buildings, water use and waste management, land use and transportation, financing and community outreach. Keynote speaker Josh Becker, public policy innovator and social entrepreneur, [...]

Indicator Report Launch Offers Hopeful Responses to Climate Crisis2020-10-19T12:15:49-05:00

Batteries, Bottles and Bags, Oh My!

Sustainable San Mateo welcomed Joe La Mariana, Executive Director at RethinkWaste, to its eighth Happy Hour on the evening of September 30. RethinkWaste is a standalone public agency and a $140M/year operation in the Bay Area. The agency owns and manages the Shoreway Environmental Center in San Carlos. The Center receives all the recyclables, green waste and garbage collected from the 12 local government jurisdictions which formed RethinkWaste more close to 40 years ago. In addition, RethinkWaste advocates for environmental best practices and waste reduction strategies through policy, legislation and education.  Not much was left uncovered by Joe LaMariana [...]

Batteries, Bottles and Bags, Oh My!2020-10-12T09:11:02-05:00

Fighting Fire with Power

Kirsten Andrews-Schwind, Senior Manager of Community Relations at Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE),* joined us during one of our monthly Happy Hour online discussions on July 29 to talk about energy resilience in the county, a hot topic especially as we move into wildfire season.Last fall PG&E had several public safety power shutoffs (PSPS) in order to prevent wildfires from being started by electrical equipment. The shutoffs affected more than 3 million California residents and caught many by surprise.While PCE has no control over PSPS events or maintaining the power grids, it has committed $10 million toward programs that will help [...]

Fighting Fire with Power2020-10-05T16:37:07-05:00

Making Investments Sustainable

Rev. Kirsten Snow Spalding of Ceres, the guest presenter at Sustainable San Mateo County’s Virtual Happy Hour on August 27, said current trends influencing sustainable investment include fossil fuel divestment from individual portfolios, engaging with heavy-emitting companies to move them to become more sustainable and focusing on private equity. Rev. Spalding is Senior Program Director, Investor Network, at Ceres. In this capacity, she engages with a network of over 175 institutional investors with more than $30 trillion in assets under management. Investors in her network include insurance companies, university endowments, banks and pension funds. As Rev. Spalding sees it, there are two [...]

Making Investments Sustainable2020-09-25T12:48:35-05:00

My Summer Internship with SSMC

Centralized or decentralized? Purple pipes or potable reuse? Five weeks ago, this would have sounded like the oddest game of “Would You Rather” I’d ever played. But learning about the conversations Bay Area cities, organizations and engineers are having about the future of our water supply has felt like being introduced to a new world! This summer I’ve been conducting water sustainability research for Sustainable San Mateo County (SSMC), a nonprofit partnering with local cities and businesses to further environmental, economic and social sustainability. I’m one of four interns working to expand SSMC’s Sustainability Ideas Bank, a database of sustainability [...]

My Summer Internship with SSMC2020-09-22T15:24:11-05:00

2020 Key Indicator

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency The Dual-Axis Solar Carport in Burlingame supports up to 600 solar panels. Conventional fossil-fuel energy sources such as coal and natural gas are huge contributors to climate change. Non-renewable electricity and power generation use large amounts of scarce energy and water resources and pollute both the air and water, greatly harming our health and environment. On the other hand, renewable energy generated from sources including sun, wind and tides provides substantial benefits for mitigating climate change and restoring our health and environment. Last year, Sustainable San Mateo County’s annual Key Indicator report [...]

2020 Key Indicator2020-10-19T09:05:03-05:00