Green Grocery Shopping

Make your next grocery shopping experience a little greener!

Make your next grocery shopping experience a little greener!

Shopping green isn’t just about remembering your reusable bag. There are many other choices while grocery shopping that benefit the environment and your health.

The very first green choice you can make comes before you grab your reusable bags and head to the store; it starts with making your grocery list! As you make your list, check kitchen cupboards and your refrigerator. You may still have vegetables that can be incorporated into the upcoming week’s menu. Not only will you save money by not having to buy extra items, you will be helping to reduce food waste. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that we waste 30-40 percent of our food in the U.S.

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Safer Cleaning Products are Right in Your Kitchen Cabinet!

Safer cleaning alternatives may be things you already have at home!

Safer cleaning alternatives may be things you already have at home!

By Cynthia Knowles, Pollution Prevention Specialist, San Mateo County Environmental Health

Spring is upon us and many of you will open your windows and doors for a spring cleaning. And when you do, we’re here to help you make cleaning choices that are safer for you and the environment. You can breathe easy knowing that there are lots of simple switches you can make that safely clean most surfaces in your home.

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Beyond the Bag – Going the Extra Eco Mile

Let's fo

Let’s go the extra eco mile in our pollution solution resolutions.

We enjoyed reading and appreciate your responses to our Pollution Solution Resolution blog posted on December 29, 2015. In light of receiving so many innovative and forward-thinking practices that save resources and money, we’d like to offer ideas that go “Beyond the Bag.” So many of you told us that you already practice our suggestions and essentially are Going the Extra Eco Mile. We are committed to sharing your ideas through our Environmental Health Services blog. Here’s what we heard from you:

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A Sustainable Sweetheart Celebration

heartsBy Kathryn Cooke, Pollution Prevention Specialist, San Mateo County Environmental Health

Like most couples, my fiancé always celebrated Valentine’s Day by presenting me with sweet smelling lilies and roses, a card filled with kind words, and a variety of pink and red balloons. The aroma of flowers would fill the air with the smell of love and the balloons were a cheerful and festive decoration to wake up to in the morning and to come home to in the evening. Continue reading

Spotlight on Our Shores

Rockaway Beach sunset by C. Knowles

Rockaway Beach sunset by C. Knowles

By Cynthia Knowles, Pollution Prevention Specialist, San Mateo County Environmental Health

I have the honor of living in what I believe to be one of the most striking, beautiful places anywhere – the San Mateo County coast. And it’s full of wonders. Pedro Point sunsets, whales swimming alongside surfers at Montara state beach, Mavericks beach…Dually exhilarating AND calming.

For some, a sense of place is not just an address, but a personal experience, relationship or connection; an area rich in unique characteristics, including cultural ones, that make it special. My strong attachment to a sense of place helps define who I am and where I belong.

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2016 Pollution Solution Resolutions

Make 2016 a year where your resolutions will help protect the environment, your wallet, and even your health! There are many green resolutions to choose from, but here are five suggestions that can have a big impact if you commit to them throughout the upcoming year.

1. “Make It a Habit and Grab It” – Still kicking yourself for buying a bag for 25 cents while shopping? Start saving money and a lot of trees by committing to putting your reusable bags by the front door, or in your car after each shopping trip. Don’t have enough bags? Email us with your mailing address at pollutionprevention@smcgov.org and we’ll mail you one!

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Glisten Your Holiday Green

make your holidays a little greener

Make your holidays a little greener.

Spice up your holiday season with some sustainability cheer this year! From eco-friendly gift wrapping to environmentally conscious decoration tips, read on for how to minimize your environmental impact while making the most out of your holiday with family and friends.

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Storm Drains and You

Storm drain in Burlingame that is free of debris.

Storm drain in Burlingame that is free of debris.

Have you ever wondered about the grates and holes in the ground at the curb and why they are there? They are on every street and nearly every intersection and curbside and come in all shapes and sizes.

Those grates or inlets are called storm drains. They are found almost everywhere, even on freeways. Storm drains exist to help drain rainwater off the streets to prevent flooding. Imagine when it rains, the water has to go somewhere.

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Halloween Green Tips

Pumpkin LargeHalloween is just around the corner and Environmental Health would like to offer some recommendations on how to keep your Halloween safe and pollution free for all.

Below are some tips to have an eco-conscious Halloween celebration.

  • Decorations – Make your own! Be as creative as you can. It’s not too late to make some Halloween decorations from materials in and around your house. Some ideas include:
    • Use the netting in orange bags for spider webs
    • Turn boxes into tombstones.
    • Use old sheets to make a ghost.
    • Stuff old clothes with newspaper to make a scarecrow. Even better, dig out last year’s decorations and just spruce them up with natural items such as leaves and pumpkins.

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Rain barrels and HOAs

Rain barrels capture rain water from a roof to be used in the flower garden.

Rain barrels capture rain water from a roof to be used in the flower garden.

By Cynthia Knowles, Pollution Prevention Specialist, San Mateo County Environmental Health

The critical drought saga continues and creativity in water conversation measures is our new reality. The rain barrel is an excellent means to capturing precious rain water before it reaches the street, dragging cigarette butts, plastic wrappers, and car oil down the storm drain and directly into the ocean and the bay. A rain barrel is an easy way to take advantage of scarce rain water for decorative garden plants! And the San Mateo Countywide Water Pollution Prevention Program (SMCWPPP), in partnership with the Bay Area Water Supply & Conservation Agency (BAWSCA) and participating member agencies, are offering rebates of up to $100 per rain barrel! Continue reading