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

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

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

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
How to Grow and Use Herbs at Home
Going Solar at Home and Volunteer Solar Installation Workshops

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

Please stay tuned for our next Fixit Clinic scheduled for the fall of 2018!

Fixit Clinics are 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!

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.

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: Saturday, June 23rd, 2018
Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Venue: HEAL Project Farm, 500 Bridgepoint Dr., Half Moon Bay
Register here

Date:  July 14th, 2018
Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Venue: Collective Roots, 1785 Woodland Avenue
Register here

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

How to Grow and Use Herbs at Home

Date: June 2, 2018
Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Venue: Collective Roots, 1785 Woodland Ave, East Palo Alto, CA
Register here

This 3-hour, hands-on workshop will comprehensively lead community members to be able to grow, harvest and store herbal plants for culinary, household, and body care use. This workshop is additionally dedicated to sustainability and conservation. We will cover how households can grow their own herbs using reuse materials, natural compost and water conservation practices, making it fun, affordable and successful. Snacks and refreshments will be provided. This workshop is hosted in partnership with Collective Roots, Fresh Approach, and the San Mateo County Office of Sustainability.

Going Solar and Volunteer Solar Installation Workshops

Volunteer Solar Installation Training

SunWork volunteers participate in an orientation session training them in the basics of solar, electricity, and construction. Afterwards, you are eligible to volunteer for solar installations, working together with SunWork’s small staff, attaching racking, running conduit, hanging inverters, and mounting the solar panels. Everything that make a system tick.

This orientation session is indoors in a class room setting.

Date: July 14th, 2018
Time: 9:00 – 12:00 PM
Venue: Room 106, Building 7, Skyline College, San Bruno CA
Register here

Going Solar at Home

Learn about solar photovoltaic (PV) for your home. Understand the basics of solar PV, the economics 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.

Date: July 14th, 2018
Time: 12:30 – 2:00 PM
Venue: Room 106, Building 7, Skyline College, San Bruno CA
Register here

 


Questions?

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


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