Sustainability Academy

The Sustainability Academy is a no-cost education and outreach program designed to raise awareness around sustainability and empower San Mateo County community members with the knowledge and skills to promote sustainability.

“Outstanding course to help families learn the process and implementation of backyard composting. Fun, educational and interactive sessions to help you be successful!”

– Fall 2017 Master Compost and Solid Waste Course Participant

Our diverse range of classes is taught by local experts and offer participants access to cutting-edge sustainability information and best practices. This is a great way to get involved with sustainability projects in your community, build leadership skills, and meet new people who share the same interest!

The Sustainability Academy is a County of San Mateo program that is available to our San Mateo County community members – those who live, work, and go to school in San Mateo County.


Master Compost Course – Fall 2018

 

The Sustainability Academy’s Master Compost Course is a no-cost 6-week, in-class course that will provide you with:

  • In-depth knowledge of backyard and vermi (worm) composting, including skills needed to build and maintain your own piles;
  • An understanding of soil biodiversity and the benefits of adding compost to your soil;
  • An overview of commercial composting via in-class lecture and a commercial composting facility tour; and
  • Communication, leadership, and instruction skills you can use to educate others how to compost.

The course is a mixture of lecture and hands-on learning, with an emphasis on interactivity to teach concrete composting skills.

The Goal of This Course

  • Have Fun – Make friends and new connections with a common interest, and join us for Academy volunteer appreciation events!
  • Get Involved Learn cutting-edge composting and recycling techniques and theory from local sustainability experts, and learn what you can do to empower yourself and others to promote these activities.
  • Give Back Educate your friends, neighbors, kids, teachers, and community on the value of composting and turning garbage into gold!

Important Course Elements

  • After the completion of the course, we require that you volunteer 40 hours of your time using the skills that you learned in the class to promote sustainability in your communities. Volunteering can be completed with the Office of Sustainability, with a third-party organization, or with a DIY creative project. All volunteering must be completed in San Mateo County within one year of course completion. 
  • Participants that attend at least five out of six get a choice of taking home a backyard or vermicomposting unit at the end of the 8-week course!
  • Once you complete both the course and the required volunteer hours, you will receive a certificate of completion as recognition of your commitment to sustainability and your community.
  • You must be 14 years or older to attend the classes.
  • Priority will be given to San Mateo County community members, specifically those who live, work and go to school in San Mateo County.
  • If you need ADA accommodations, please contact us at least five (5) business days prior to the first class you will be attending.

Course Schedule & Venue

Date & Time: Tuesday evenings, 5:30-8:30 pm on the following dates: Nov 6, Nov 13, Nov 27, Dec 4, Dec 11, Dec 18
Location: San Carlos Community Center, Parkview Room, 601 Chestnut St, San Carlos, CA 94070

Interested in Participating in this Master Course?

Please fill out a brief application hereYou’ll be notified within a week after submitting your registration if you’ve been admitted to the course.

Questions? Contact Academy Coordinator, Avana Andrade at aandrade@smcgov.org or (650) 599-1459


Master Resource Conservation Course – Winter 2019

The Sustainability Academy’s Master Resource Conservation Course is a no-cost 8-week, in-class course that will provide you with in-depth knowledge of the following sustainability topics:

  • Climate change
  • Sea level rise
  • Energy efficiency and conservation
  • Water efficiency and conservation
  • Solid waste management
  • Transportation
  • Other basic sustainability topics
  • Communication, leadership, and instruction skills you can use to teach others about sustainability

THE GOAL OF THIS COURSE

  • HAVE FUN – Make friends and new connections with a common interest, and join us for Academy volunteer appreciation events!
  • GET INVOLVED – Learn cutting-edge resource conservation techniques and theory from local sustainability experts, and learn what you can do to empower yourself and others to promote these activities.
  • GIVE BACK – Educate your friends, neighbors, kids, teachers, and community on the value of conserving resources!

IMPORTANT COURSE ELEMENTS

  • After the completion of the course, we require that you volunteer 40 hours of your time using the skills that you learned in the class to promote sustainability in your communities. Volunteering can be completed with the Office of Sustainability, with a third-party organization, or with a DIY creative project. All volunteering must be completed in San Mateo County within one year of course completion.
  • For those participants that attend and complete at least seven out of eight of the course’s classes, you will each get a “goodie bag” full of fun and useful resource conserving tools that you can use at home and at work, as a congratulatory gift for successfully completing the course!

  • Once you complete both the course and the required volunteer hours, you will receive a certificate of completion as recognition of your commitment to sustainability and your community.
  • You must be 14 years or older to attend the classes.
  • Priority will be given to San Mateo County community members, specifically those who live, work and go to school in San Mateo County.
  • If you need ADA accommodations, please contact us at least five (5) business days prior to the first class you will be attending.

COURSE INSTRUCTORS

The course will be led by Laura McKaughan with Envirolutions Consulting with guest speakers, Jessica Coe with Cascadia and other experts in the industry.

COURSE SCHEDULE

TBD

COURSE VENUE

TBD

INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING IN THIS MASTER COURSE?

Contact Academy Coordinator, Avana Andrade at aandrade@smcgov.org or (650) 599-1459


Sustainability Workshops

The Sustainability Academy’s half-day workshops offer our San Mateo County community members (e.g., residents, folks who work in the County, and students with hands-on learning experience on select subject matters relating to sustainability that they can take back and practice at home and at work.

The Academy is offering multiple workshops this current program year:

Fixit Clinic
Home Compost Workshops
Sustainable Crafting: Up-Cycled Fabric Baskets
Preserving the Harvest: Pickling, Canning, & More

 

Priority to attend the workshops will be given to San Mateo County community members, specifically those who live, work and go to school in San Mateo County. If you need ADA accommodations, please contact us five (5) business days prior to the first class you will be attending.

This educational program is made available through the County of San Mateo.

Fixit Clinic

NEXT CLINIC: Half Moon Bay!

Date: Saturday, October 20th, 2018
Time: 
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Venue: 
Half Moon Bay Library, 620 Correas Street 
Register here

Fixit Clinics are fun community-based workshops where neighbors, friends, and families work collectively to learn how to repair broken items. We’ll provide a workspace, specialty tools, and volunteer Fixit Coaches to help you troubleshoot and provide routine maintenance to your household items and appliances!

We’re delighted to be partnering with the local Hassett Ace Hardware store!

Interested in being a Fixit Coach? It’s easy! Provide participants with 1) guidance on tools and 2) encouragement to investigate their broken item. Let them talk about how they used it and how it broke. That often provides valuable hints as to what’s wrong. See how much you can do without actually handling the item. Empower the item’s owner to do the troubleshooting and disassembly. Register to be a Fixit Coach here.

Contact Avana Andrade at aandrade@smcgov.org for more details.

Home Compost Workshops

Learn how easy and fun it is to recycle your fruit and vegetable scraps, leaves, and plant cuttings into compost in this no-cost workshop! Compost provides valuable nutrients for your garden soil, helps retain moisture, which saves water, prevents erosion, loosens clay and compacted soils for better drainage, and suppresses weeds. It is rewarding to know you are turning what some consider waste into precious organic material for your garden.

Date:  August 25th, 2018
Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Venue: Pacifica Sanchez Library, 1111 Terra Nova Blvd, Pacifica, CA 94044
Register here

Date:  September 15th, 2018
Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Venue: William E. Walker Recreation Center, 650 Shell Blvd. Foster City, CA 94404
Register here

Date:  November 3rd, 2018
Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Venue: Phil’s Community Garden at the Serramonte Therapeutic Day School, 699 Serramonte Blvd., Daly City, 94015
Register here

 

 

Sustainable Crafting: Up-cycled Fabric Baskets

Date:  Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018
Time: 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Venue: South San Francisco Public Library, 840 West Orange Avenue, South San Francisco, CA 94080
Register here

Did you know that textile waste accounts for roughly 5% or 1.2M tons of all materials going to landfill in California? Learn about the 5Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot, and Re-purpose), followed by a crafting demonstration and workshop lead by a team from FabMo, a Mountain View based non-profit that specializes in rescuing designer materials for creative reuse! Participants will learn how to create a small basket sewn with salvaged fabric. All supplies will be provided for the craft, plus participants can take home a bag of small fabric samples from FabMo’s resources table!

*Note: The hands-on portion of the workshop is limited to 30 registrants.

Preserving the Harvest: Pickling, Canning, & More

Date:  Saturday, October 6th, 2018
Time: 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Venue: Collective Roots Community Garden, 1785 Woodland Ave., East Palo Alto
Call or email to reserve your seat: daniellehamilton@freshapproach.org | (925)-771-2990

Celebrate the harvest by learning to preserve it! In this workshop, you’ll learn how to preserve your fall harvest for the months to come using several different easy-to-use techniques that can be replicated at home, including pickling, fermenting, and freezing. 

Presented by Fresh Approach and the San Mateo County Office of Sustainability


Questions?

Contact our Sustainability Academy Coordinator, Avana Andrade at aandrade@smcgov.org or (650) 599-1459


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