ABOUT

Using Translation

The County of San Mateo has added a translation feature developed by Google Translate to assist web visitors in understanding information on this website in a variety of foreign languages. Please be aware that Google Translate, a free third party service which the County does not control, provides automated computer translations that may not give you an exact translation. The County cannot guarantee the accuracy of translations through Google Translate so translations should not be considered exact and only used as a rough guide. Anyone relying on information obtained from Google Translate does so at his or her own risk. The County disclaims and will not accept any liability for damages or losses of any kind caused by the use of the Google Translate feature.

The Office of Sustainability provides educational materials, technical support and helpful resources in the areas of waste reduction and diversion, energy conservation, and watershed and coastal community protection. All available resources are free for all public, private, charter or home-school educators in San Mateo County. Please contact us at sustainability@smcgov.org, subject line: Schools Program, to let us know how we can help you.

Administrators

The Office of Sustainability is here to help school administrators and facility managers. Our goal is to help your school reduce its carbon footprint and create a campus that supports sustainability practices for all.

schools program greenhouse under construction
Recycling, Compost, and Garbage Station at Washington Elementary School
schools program garden boxes under construction

SUSTAINABLE PATHWAYS

The Office of Sustainability and its governmental partner organizations have various programs that can assist you with improving your campus facility via direct guidance, training, equipment and materials, networking with stakeholders, connecting with grant programs or low cost loan programs. Additionally, some of these programs are asking help from you to provide us with information to assist the communities that surround your schools.

To learn about these programs and how they can help your school, district, and community please click on each pathway below. For example, if you would like free signage for your school’s recycling and compost bins click on Zero Waste.

air qualityIMPROVE INDOOR AIR QUALITY

For details on how to receive guidance for accessing upcoming AB 841 funding for updating your school ventilation/HVAC systems to reduce indoor air pollution and create a healthier environment for students connect with the San Mateo County Energy Watch Program.

energy conservationENERGY CONSERVATION, EFFICIENCY & ELECTRIFICATION

Contact the San Mateo County Energy Watch Program to learn about the following:

  • Receive help identifying opportunities to save energy, including benchmarking energy use and scoping energy efficiency and energy management projects. 
  • Receive help applying for 0% interest financing for energy efficiency projects, up to $4 million per school. 
  • Participate in a public-sector facilities working group to share best practices and learn from industry experts about energy management.

Connect with Peninsula Clean Energy to get free technical design assistance for all-electric buildings.

Reach out to the Regionally Integrated Climate Action Planning Suite (RICAPS) Program to learn how you and your staff can participate in a monthly sustainability working group to learn how to develop a climate action plan and/or implement projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions at your district and school(s).

sustainable transportationSUSTAINABLE TRANSPORTATION

Contact the Safe Routes to Schools Program to learn about the following:

  • Install bike fix-it stations on campuses.
  • Set up a bike fix-it station for your classroom or school. 
  • Contribute commute data from your school community to initiate improvements for walking and biking to your school.

If your school is in Unincorporated San Mateo County, please help us by providing input on how to improve streets and sidewalks near your school campus to increase safety, to learn more check out to the Active Transportation Plan webpage.

water conservationWATER CONSERVATION

Contact the Bay Area Supply & Conservation Agency (BAWSCA) to learn if your school or district is part of their service area. If so, your school or district may be able to receive rebates on rain barrels, irrigation equipment, and lawn alternatives. 

watershed protectionWATERSHED PROTECTION

Make a difference in your surrounding community by participating in the Stormwater Program. They need help with the following:

  • Identifying sites on campus to install green infrastructure projects to reduce nuisance flooding.
  • Providing data on storm drains located on or nearby school campuses to help prevent run-off pollution.
  • Participating in stormwater pollution prevention grant programs.
marine protectionPROTECTION OF MARINE BASED ECOSYSTEMS AND SHORELINE COMMUNITIES

Contact Climate Ready SMC to connect with a task forces to address how your school or district can prepare for climate impacts.

ecosystem conservationLAND-BASED ECOSYSTEMS CONSERVATION (Outdoors and School Grounds)

Get in touch with the Community Garden Initiative Program to establish or improve school gardens and outdoor classrooms. 

If your school is in Unincorporated San Mateo County, staff running the Community Climate Action Plan would like you to participate in meetings to discuss how we can work together to increase climate action at your school and in the surrounding community. 

zero wasteZERO WASTE

Reach out to our Schools Program at sustainability@smcgov.org for the following free services and resources: 

  • Technical support / waste assessments, stakeholder meeting facilitations, and custodial trainings to improve your campus waste reduction programs.
  • Signage for labeling recycling, compost, and landfill bins on campus.
  • Schoolwide assemblies to motivate students to reduce waste on campus and in their neighborhoods.
  • Coaching to achieve a “Green Star Schools” campuswide certification in the waste reduction pathway. Other possible future pathways include energy, water, and green schoolyards.

Contact the Foodware Aware Program to receive advice and assistance with replacing single-use foodware with reusable foodware for on-site food operations at your school or district. This can save your instituion money and reduce waste.

Check out the Food Share Table Program to reduce food waste at your school and provide food to others who may need it. 

If teachers at your school are interested in having free interactive 4R’s and zero waste classroom lessons, please have them contact the Schools Program at sustainability@smcgov.org.  

Connect with the 4Rs Grant Program to apply for funding for innovative waste reduction projects through the 4Rs annual grant program ($2,000 to $5,000 per Mini Grant Award and up to $25,000 per Mega Grant award) for your classroom, school. or district.

If you know any high school student leaders who are interested in working with school staff to implement waste reduction projects on your campus please connect them with the Youth Climate Ambassadors (YCA) Program.

food and nutritionFOOD & NUTRITION

Contact the Community Garden Initiative Program to learn about their resources to help you establish or improve a school garden.

Check out the Food Share Table Program to reduce food waste at your school and provide food to others who may need it.

Connect with the SMCOE Meals and Nutritional Services Program to learn about local, state, and federal meal programs.  

green buildingGREEN BUILDING

Connect with Peninsula Clean Energy to get free technical design assistance for all-electric buildings.

Contact the Bay Area Supply & Conservation Agency (BAWSCA) to learn if your school or district is part of their service area. If so, your school or district may be able to receive rebates on rain barrels, irrigation equipment, and lawn alternatives. 

Reach out to the Stormwater Program. They need help with identifying sites on campus to install green infrastructure projects to reduce nuisance flooding.

GREEN STAR SCHOOLS PROGRAM

Certify your classrooms, schools, and districts under our Green Star Schools Program through the waste reduction pathway.

Certify your classrooms, schools, and districts under our Green Star Schools Program through the waste reduction pathway. To learn more about this dynamic program for schools in San Mateo County please visit the Green Star Schools Program website or, for technical assistance on this certification program, please email sustainability@smcgov.org. We are also happy to help via classroom visits.

RESOURCES

The Office of Sustainability has created a resource page for your district and/or school. Here you will find information about free and discounted supplies and materials that can help reduce your campus’s carbon footprint. Additionally, this page has informational resources from various organizations that can help your school through funding and curricula. Check out our resources page by clicking here.

What Resources Do You Need?

  • We are here to help. Send us your question.