Sustainability Academy

The Sustainability Academy (Academy) is a no-cost education and outreach program designed to raise awareness around sustainability and empower you – our San Mateo County community members – with the knowledge and skills for you to be able to go out into your communities to promote sustainability.

“I loved it! This is a very interesting course where you will meet people with like minds that want to help our planet. I looked forward weekly to the composting class with the amazing team that conveys their knowledge in a fun and easy platform.”

– Rosa Ruiz, Fall 2016 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 for you to get involved with sustainability projects in your community, build leadership skills, and meet new people who share the same interest!

Master Compost and Solid Waste Course

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

  • For those participants that attend and complete at least seven out of eight of the course’s classes, you will each get a choice of taking home their own backyard or vermicomposting unit, as a congratulatory gift for successfully completing the course!
  • 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.

  • You can complete your volunteer hours in a variety of ways, such as instructing workshops at schools or community centers, staffing a booth at community events (e.g., County Fair, farmers market, etc.), building an educational demonstration model for use at community events, completing a waste action project, or writing a news release for a blog, social media or paper in San Mateo County. We support and encourage you to find volunteer activities that are the most interesting, fulfilling, and fun for you!
  • 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 (1) 14 years or older to attend the classes and (2) a resident, business owner, employee, or student 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 Joe Lees, County’s Master Composter Program 2008 graduate, and guest speakers: Jessica Coe with Cascadia Consulting and others.

Course Schedule

Monday evenings starting on October 16th ending on December 11th, 2017 (excluding Thanksgiving week). Exact dates of our fall 2017 classes are Mondays: 10/16, 10/23, 10/30, 11/6, 11/13, 11/27, 12/4, and 12/11/2017.

Course Venue

Shoreway Environmental Center, 333 Shoreway Road, San Carlos

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

Master Resource Conservation Course

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

  • 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!
  • 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.
  • You can complete your volunteer hours in a variety of ways, such as instructing workshops at schools or community centers, staffing a booth at community events (e.g., County Fair, farmers market, etc.), building an educational demonstration model for use at community events, completing a waste action project, or writing a news release for a blog, social media or paper in San Mateo County. We support and encourage you to find volunteer activities that are the most interesting, fulfilling, and fun for you!

  • 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 (1) 14 years or older to attend the classes and (2) a resident, business owner, employee, or student 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

Thursday evenings starting on February 8th ending on March 29th, 2018. 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/MasterCSW_Fall2017

Sustainability Workshops

Sustainability Workshops

The Sustainability Academy’s half-day workshops offer our San Mateo County community members with hands-on learning experience on select subject matters relating to sustainability that they can take back and practice at home and at work.

We encourage any interested San Mateo County community member (e.g., residents, folks who work in the County, and students) to join and participate in these workshops!

The Academy is offering multiple workshops this current program year:

Finding Common Ground: A Workshop on Communicating about Sea Level Rise
Green Home Workshop
Green Business Workshop
Home Compost Workshops
Solar PV Workshop

You must be a resident, business owner, employee, or student located in San Mateo County to participate in these workshops.

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.

Finding Common Ground: A Workshop on Communicating about Sea Level Rise

look ahead seachange photoWith over 100,000 people living in areas that are at risk from three feet of sea level rise in San Mateo County, it is important to involve all community members in helping to find solutions to the impacts of sea level rise.

Through this workshop, you will learn about effective ways to find common ground and work collectively. The workshop will share results from the Look Ahead – San Mateo sea level rise visualization project and will provide tools and methods to assist attendees in engaging others in taking action and preparing for sea level rise.

You will also hear about the results of the Sea Change SMC vulnerability assessment, an effort that’s part of the County’s long-term resilience strategy to ensure our communities, ecosystems, and economy are prepared for climate change. The goal of the assessment is to identify vulnerable assets on the bay and coast side of the San Mateo County peninsula, determine types of impacts, issue initial recommendations on adaptation measures, and improve flooding and sea level rise mapping.

Date: TBD
Time: TBD
Venue: TBD
To register: TBD
Light lunch will be provided at this workshop!

Please check back for additional details in the future!

Green Home Workshop

green house photoInterested 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.

The Green Home Workshop will be led my Jeannie Pham, Education & Engagement Program Coordinator at the Ecology Center in Berkeley.

Date: TBD
Time: TBD
Venue: TBD
To Register: TBD
Light lunch will be provided!

Please check back for additional details in the future!

Green Business Workshop

bay area green business logoLearn what it takes to be a “green business”! The Green Business Workshop will cover simple concrete steps you can take to reduce waste, conserve water and energy, and save on operational costs. We will also cover the specifics of becoming a certified green business through the County of San Mateo’s Green Business Program.

Date: TBD
Time: TBD
Venue: TBD
To Register: TBD
Light lunch will be provided!

Please check back for additional details in the future!

Home Compost Workshops

composting photoLearn 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.

We have multiple home compost workshops lined up throughout the County:

Date: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Time: 10am-12pm
Venue: Blue Line Transfer Station, 500 East Jamie Court, South San Francisco, CA
To Register:https://compost4-22ssf.eventbrite.com

Date: Saturday, July 29, 2017
Time: 1pm-3pm
Venue: Quarry Park, 1195 Columbus Street, El Granada, CA
To Register:https://compostworkshop72917.eventbrite.com

Date: Saturday, September 9, 2017
Time: 10am-12pm
Venue: La Honda Elementary School Garden, 450 Sears Ranch Road, La Honda, CA
To Register:https://compostworkshop90917.eventbrite.com

Date: Saturday, October 14, 2017
Time: 10am-12pm
Venue: William E. Walker Recreation Center, 650 Shell Boulevard, Foster City, CA
To Register:https://compostworkshop101417.eventbrite.com

Solar PV Workshop

solar rooftop photoPart 1: Solar Simplified
Learn about solar photovoltaic (PV) for your home. Understand the basics of solar PV, benefits of going solar, the options you have and purchasing tips. Special focus will be on home owners with low electric bills averaging under $100/month.

Part 2: Solar Installation
Learn all the steps to installing a residential solar PV system and the tools used in the process. SunWork staff will guide you through the process of attaching racking, running conduit, hanging inverters, and mounting the solar panels. The session is indoors in a classroom setting. Upon completion of the workshop, you will be eligible to volunteer for solar installations working together with SunWork’s professional staff!

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

Please check back for additional details in the future!

Sustainability 101 Webinars

Sustainability 101 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.

Questions?

To find out more about the Academy, please contact our Sustainability Coordinator at sustainability@smcgov.org or toll free at 1-888-442-2666.

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