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 and Solid Waste Course - Fall 2018

Master Compost and Solid Waste Course

The Sustainability Academy’s Master Compost and Solid Waste Course is a no-cost 8-week, in-class course that will provide you with:

  • In-depth knowledge of backyard and vermi (worm) composting;
  • An understanding of soil biodiversity and all the benefits of adding compost to your soil;
  • An overview of solid waste reduction practices; and
  • Communication, leadership, and instruction skills you can use to educate others how to compost

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 seven out of eight 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

TBD

Interested in Participating in this Master Course?

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

Master Resource Conservation Course - Winter 2018

Master Resource Conservation Course

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

February 8th – March 29th, 2018
Thursdays, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Exact dates of the classes in beginning 2018 are Thursdays: 2/8, 2/15, 2/22, 3/1, 3/8, 3/15, 3/22, and 3/29/2018.

COURSE VENUE

455 County Center, Room 405, 4th Floor, Redwood City, CA

INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING IN THIS MASTER COURSE?

Please fill out and submit an online application. The Academy’s Coordinator will contact you soon after reviewing your application and eligibility for the course. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MasterRCCourse2018

Sustainability Workshops

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
Green Home Workshop

Our team is currently scheduling 2018 workshops throughout San Mateo County. More information will be available soon.

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

Join the Academy in our second Fixit Clinic! Fixit Clinics are community-based educational workshops where neighbors, friends, and families work collectively to learn how to repair their broken items.

Bring your broken electronics, appliances, computers, toys, sewing machines, bicycles, fabric items, etc. for assessment, disassembly, and possible repair. We’ll provide 1) workspace 2) specialty tools and 3) volunteer Fixit Coaches to consult with you on the disassembly and troubleshooting of your items.

Whether you fix it or not, you’ll learn more about how it was manufactured and how it worked. You’ll be able to share this information and new-found confidence with your friends, colleagues, and community at large. Maybe you’ll be inspired to become a Fixit Coach yourself!

This event is a partnership between Fixit Clinic and the County of San Mateo’s Office of Sustainability.

Date: Saturday, February 24th, 2018
Time: 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Venue: San Bruno Library, 701 Angus Ave W., San Bruno
Register here

Interested in being a Fixit Coach? It’s easy! At the most basic level, all you do is provide participants 1) guidance with 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. Move among items and consult with others to cross-train and maximize transfer of knowledge. Technical or mechanical expertise not necessary. Register here to be a Fixit Coach.

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: Saturday, March 17th, 2018
Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Venue: William E. Walker Recreation Center, 650 Shell Boulevard, Foster City
Register here

Date:  Saturday, April 21st, 2018
Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Venue: South San Francisco Scavenger Company, 500 East Jamie Court, South San Francisco
Register here

Date:  Saturday, May 19th, 2018
Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Venue: Belmont Public Library, 1110 Alameda de las Pulgas, Belmont
Register here

Green Home Workshop

Interested in “do-it-yourself” home projects that save you money, are better for your health, and help the environment? If so, come join us in this fun, hands-on workshop to learn how to make all-natural, affordable items that you can use at home. We’ll also feature a lesson about creative reuse, where we will guide you through fun crafting projects to turn something that you might usually discard into something useful for your home.

We will have more information about these “do-it-yourself” home projects in the near future, so please check back for additional details.

Date: TBD
Time: TBD
Venue: TBD
To Register: TBD

Please check back for additional details in the future!

Exploring Sustainability Webinars

Exploring Sustainability Webinars

The Sustainability Academy’s webinars provide participants in San Mateo County with a general knowledge and practical skills for conserving resources in your home and work and promoting sustainability in your communities. Please check back for additional information for upcoming webinars in the near future.

2018 Webinar Schedule:


Virtual Tour of an Energy Efficient Smart Home
January 24th, 2018, 12:00 – 1:00 pm
This Virtual Home Tour will introduce you to trending smart home technologies, clean energy options, and complementary rebate and financing programs that San Mateo County residents can utilize to maximize their home’s performance, save energy, lower utility bills, and increase home comfort and indoor air quality.
Register here:
http://bit.ly/2kcbYGM


Composting Made Easy
February 28th, 2018, 12:00 – 1:00 pm
This webinar will focus on the overall benefits of composting for reducing solid waste that ends up in landfills, for protecting the environment, and for improving soil health. Additionally, the webinar will highlight some very simple steps for how San Mateo County residents can conveniently compost at their home or apartment.
Register here:http://bit.ly/2iF16B0


Water Conservation 101
March 28th, 2018, 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Is CA still in a drought? Why is it important to still conserve water? This webinar will debunk myths about California’s current water conditions, present information on exciting new practices and technologies that make water conservation easier than ever, and show you where to find local water conservation rebates and programs that you can tap into.
Register here:
http://bit.ly/2kFeCJf

Questions?

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

Videos