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

Holding Oil Companies Accountable: Takeaways from Stanford Law School’s panel on “The Case for Climate Liability”

By Calista Triantis Local cities and counties are leading the way in holding fossil fuel companies legally responsible for climate change. San Francisco, Oakland, Richmond, Santa Cruz County, San Mateo County and Marin County have all joined multi-billion-dollar lawsuits across the U.S. against major oil companies for the impacts of climate change on their communities. This spring the 9th Circuit allowed these lawsuits to continue in state court rather than federal court, where oil companies are usually favored. A ruling in favor of the cities and counties would not only financially mitigate the infrastructure these communities need to adapt but [...]

Holding Oil Companies Accountable: Takeaways from Stanford Law School’s panel on “The Case for Climate Liability”2020-09-02T13:58:14-05:00

Environmental Justice and Youth

By: Lizzie Avila On June 30, we held our fifth Virtual Happy Hour in the midst of racial tensions between police and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) communities following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many others. We think this is a very important time to use this platform to examine the relationship between environmental issues and racial and social inequities and to encourage honest conversations about this topic. Our guest speaker was Lilian Chang, a rising senior at Mills High School and the Chair of the Environmental Justice Committee of the San Mateo County Youth [...]

Environmental Justice and Youth2020-08-11T13:33:47-05:00

Food for Thought: Zoonotic Diseases and the Link to our Food Systems

What is going on with our food systems? This was a question that was brought up in one of our monthly Happy Hours and we think it is an important question to put into focus. A food system is defined as the path that food travels from field to fork. It includes the growing, harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting, marketing, consuming, and disposing of food. In short, its lifecycle. It also includes the inputs needed and outputs generated at each step. The recent coronavirus has given us a lot to think about because it is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it [...]

Food for Thought: Zoonotic Diseases and the Link to our Food Systems2020-08-11T13:34:58-05:00

COVID Q&A with Supervisor Dave Pine

A Q&A with San Mateo County Supervisor Dave Pine kicked off SSMC's second virtual happy hour Thursday night, April 16. He addressed questions on the County's public health and economic responses to COVID, and what it will take to get back to normal. "Time has taken on a whole different pace during this COVID crisis. It feels like we've all been immersed in this for many years," reflected Supervisor Pine. "I'm looking forward to a time when we'll get back to normal and can get back to some of our core work on sustainability and climate change efforts but right [...]

COVID Q&A with Supervisor Dave Pine2020-06-08T17:55:43-05:00

SSMC Hosted its First Virtual Sustainability Happy Hour

The coronavirus postponed SSMC’s Annual Awards dinner to July 10 but it didn’t stop our community from coming together virtually.  Many attendees had marked Thursday, April 2 on their calendars for SSMC's Annual Awards dinner. When the pandemic upended the celebration and our lives seemingly overnight, our resilient community still found a way to connect.  That night, 22 attendees gathered for SSMC’s first virtual Sustainable Happy Hour. After a round of introductions, including features of impressive home-made green drinks, the group broke into three smaller discussion groups. The overarching theme was "How do we turn this crisis into an opportunity?"  [...]

SSMC Hosted its First Virtual Sustainability Happy Hour2020-06-08T17:53:22-05:00

Key Indicator 2019 Climate Change: How do we respond?

Climate change will impact the socio-economic viability of every community while also affecting infrastructure, built systems, social aspects and public health. Extreme and rapid changes in temperature, precipitation, and sea level are certain to impact health, natural resources, coastal ecology, transportation, energy infrastructure, and food and water security. In 2018, Sustainable San Mateo County’s Annual Key Indicator Report presented the complex interconnection between systems and behaviors that drive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and how these emissions lead to climate change, highlighting the urgent need to take action. The Annual Key Indicator Report 2019 continues to explore climate change with a [...]

Key Indicator 2019 Climate Change: How do we respond?2020-06-10T15:53:34-05:00

Experts and leaders addressing the “Future of Transportation” in Redwood City

Peninsula Family Service, a nonprofit serving local families in four Bay Area Counties - including San Mateo County - organized "The Future of Transportation: Clean Energy & Transformation" event as part of its Thought Leader Series.  The May 15, 2019 event was co-sponsored by Sustainable San Mateo County (SSMC) along with Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE) and Thrive.  It included 3 keynote speakers and a panel discussion.  There were over 50 guests attending. The discussion revolved around issues of increasing carbon emissions from conventional transportation and pathways to switch to alternative options for transportation, including Electric Vehicles (EVs).  The speakers also [...]

Experts and leaders addressing the “Future of Transportation” in Redwood City2020-06-11T16:18:49-05:00

SSMC Indicators Report Launch Event highlights local successes

Six speakers offered ideas on reducing carbon emissions at a Sustainable San Mateo County (SSMC) luncheon on November 1 unveiling the 22nd annual Indicators Report, which focuses on climate change. Sponsored by and Peninsula Clean Energy, the event welcomed over 100 attendees and exhibitors, and was supported by a team of SSMC's volunteers. The updated Indicators Report is available on SSMC's website, featuring a special report on Climate Change Action. Addressing the crowd at the Oracle Conference Center in Redwood City, Christine Kohl-Zaugg, SSMC's executive director, said the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) United Nations report on climate [...]

SSMC Indicators Report Launch Event highlights local successes2020-06-11T16:16:48-05:00
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