what can you do right now?

We all need a place to start. 

Take a look at these suggestions, and see what solutions you can start implementing right now.

 

 

WHY THIS MATTERS

Social resilience is community resilience. Our small daily

decisions have impacts on our communities. Building

relationships in your community fosters a collective vision

that create changes that improve health and add jobs.

Share priorities, learn from other, and embrace diversity.

WHAT YOU CAN DO...

RIGHT NOW:
Make informed purchasing decisions: v
ote with your dollar and support businesses that prioritize the community, the people, and the planet. The California Green Business Network[External] certifies and recognizes local businesses that take steps to reduce their environmental footprint. Search their online directory to find and support a business near you. Our regional partner StopWaste provides a Green Purchasing Guide[External] for individuals and businesses.

NEXT:

Volunteer at a local nonprofit, school, or religious organization that is organized to promote good climate policies and advocate for community projects. 

·       Work with your community on emergency preparedness

·      

·     
Using water wisely in your home and garden conserves more for the environment and reduces the energy used to move it to your home.  Contact your local water district and the Master Gardeners in your area  advice on how to conserve precious water resources. 

Next

·       

·       Use water more efficiently
Schedule a no-cost water use consultation with Marin Municipal Water District[External] or North Marin Water District[External], or a no-cost energy and water assessment with Rising Sun Center for Opportunity[External] (the program occurs during the summer each year).

And Then

·      
Ready Marin[External] has great information on emergency preparedness and on how to sign up for Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)[External] trainings in your community. 

·        

 

 

 

100% renewable energy

 

Why this matters

 

 

What Can You Do?

 

Right Now

  • Purchase 100% renewable energy 

  • Sign up for Deep Green with MCE Clean Energy[External]
, or PG&E[External]
. Using renewable electricity like wind and solar reduces demand for dirtier power sources like natural gas.

Next

  • Switch to electric appliances 

  • Marin County residents have access to clean electricity powered by renewable resources and so, using electric appliances instead of those powered by natural gas can reduce GHG emissions. Consider heat pumps for HVAC and induction cooking to replace gas stoves and ovens. Talk to a Home Energy Advisor[External]
about your options.

  • Install solar panels

  • You can lease or buy a solar system by leveraging financing and incentive programs. If your family is on a limited or fixed income, you may qualify to receive a no-cost system. Learn more at Marin Solar Programand GRID Alternatives[External]
.

And Then

  • Install battery back up at your home or business

Installing a battery system will allow you to store renewable energy from an on-site solar system to use when that system is not producing power or in the event of a power outage. On-site battery storage may also be eligible for rebates. Learn more about one storage option at Tesla[External]
.

 

What are others doing?

LWhat

Transportation 

 

Why this matters

Transportation

 

What Can You Do?

 

Right Now

  • Drive less

  • Can you bike instead? Can you carpool with your friends? Can you walk even though you may not want to? What about public transit? Cars are convenient but pollute our air and cause traffic congestion in and outside of Marin County. Alternative transit options do not work for everyone, but there are multiple options to consider including casual carpool, taking the SMART train (Marin/Sonoma only), riding the ferry, or taking the bus. Employers often offer incentives if you drive less. To find out more about your options visit 511.org[External]
or Marin Commutes[External]
.

Next

  • Purchase or lease an electric vehicle (EV)

  • If you cannot drive less, bike, walk, or take public transit, consider leasing or purchasing an EV. Because the energy used in Marin County comes from renewable resources, powering a vehicle with electricity is far cleaner than gasoline. Explore the cost (and rebates) and type of EVs by visiting Drive Clean Bay Area[External]
, the EV Savings Calculator[External]
, or Bay Area Sun Shares[External]
(EV and solar system discounts).

And Then

  • Ask your employer to offer commute incentives 

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) requires employers with 50 or more employees to offer commuter benefits to those employees. Employers must select 1 of 4 benefit options. Do you work for a small company? Propose that your employer offer a benefit anyway! Find out more about the Commuter Benefit Program[External]
.

 

What are others doing?

 

Energy Efficiency in Buildings and Infrastructure

 

Why this matters

 

What Can You Do?

Right Now

·       Upgrade your lighting
Switch your existing lighting to more energy efficient LED lighting. LED light bulbs use about 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last up to 10 years. 

Renters and homeowners can request no-cost Green House calls from Rising Sun Center for Opportunity[External]. The visit can include switching out your existing incandescent lamps for no-cost LEDs. Visit their website or call (510) 665-1501 ext. 5 to schedule an appointment.

LEDs are directional light unlike CFLs and incandescent bulbs that emit light and heat in all directions. There are several LED brightness and color/appearance options available that mimic older and less efficient bulbs but use a fraction of the energy. Visit the Energy Star LED Buying Guide[External PDF] to better understand your options.

Next

·       Assess the energy efficiency of your home or business
Get an energy assessment! Learn how to save money and reduce your home or business energy use. 

Home Energy Score[External] is a rating program that informs homeowners of how efficient their home is compared to similar-sized homes by using a 1 to 10 score. Each score also comes with a customized recommendation with information on measures that should be taken to improve overall efficiency. Call a Home Energy Advisor at (866) 878-6008 for help!

Businesses can request no-cost, no-obligation energy assessments for their businesses from the Marin Energy Watch Program. No-cost technical assistance and cash rebates are available. Learn more at Marin County Sustainability Team’s For Businesses page or call (415) 473-2698.

And Then

·       Upgrade your home or business 
Consider improving insulation, air sealing the building envelope, fixing or replacing ducts, upgrading the HVAC unit, installing double pane windows, and more. Insulation improvement combined with air sealing can make the biggest difference in the comfort of a home and be the most cost-effective, especially in homes built before 1980. Rebates and technical assistance are available through BayREN[External] or by calling a Home Energy Advisor at (866) 878-6008. 

·       Electrify your appliances
If you use solar energy or if the electricity you purchase is from 100% renewable sources (MCE Deep Green), electric appliances reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to natural gas. Local Government Commission (LGC)[External] explains how to reduce building-related carbon emissions. 

Electrify Marin offers rebates for single family homeowners who replace gas-powered appliances to energy efficient electric models. Eligible projects include central heat pump systems, heat pump mini splits, heat pump water heaters, and induction cooking.

 

 

Wqhat are others doing?

 

Local Food and Local Waste

 

Why this matters

 

What Can You Do?

Right Now

·       Buy food from local producers and farmers when possible
Buying local food means it traveled less distance to your plate reducing vehicle related greenhouse gas emissions. It also increases the financial security of local farmers by creating a consistent market for their products. Everyone can buy local including those receiving CalFresh benefits. To learn more, visit Grow In Marin[External]Marin County Farmers Markets, and CalFresh Market Match[External]

·       Use what you have and buy less food
Take an inventory of food you already have and plan meals around those items. Reduce the quantities of food you make if you typically cannot finish leftovers. Consider buying only the food you really need for a meal, a day, or a week to save money and reduce waste. Visit Zero Waste Marin[External].

Next

·       Compost whenever possible
Composting organic waste (food scrapes, yard and garden waste, soiled paper goods, bamboo utensils, and wooden stir sticks) reduces methane emissions and may save you money on your garbage bill. Visit Zero Waste Marin Composting Info[External] and UC Master Gardener Composting Info[External]

·       Donate excess food locally
ExtraFood[External] is a Marin-based nonprofit that will pick up your extra fresh food and get it to those in need. The SF Marin Food Bank[External] accepts donations of non-perishable and unexpired food items. Cropmobster[External] is an online community-based exchange system for the trade and exchange of items within the food and agricultural community. 

And Then

·       Eat a plant-rich diet
Eat a plant-rich diet and make mindful choices when consuming meat. If cattle were their own nation, they would be the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Plant-rich diets also tend to be healthier, leading to lower rates of chronic disease. Changing your diet is personal and cultural. If you cannot give up meat, consider purchasing meat that is raised in a sustainable way and eat less meat. Visit the Drawdown Project[External]Grown in Marin[External], and Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT)[External] for more info.

 

Carbon Sequestration

 

 

 

Why this matters

 

What Can You Do?

 

Right Now

  • Support local farms that produce products in a sustainable way

  • The Marin Carbon Project, comprised of the Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT), Marin Resource Conservation District (MRCD), UC Cooperative Extension, and the Carbon Cycle Institute is working with local farms to develop and advance climate-friendly practices like rotational grazing, stream restoration, and methane capture. By eating food from Marin farms, you are supporting practices that are actively sequestering carbon. Learn more about these farms and their practices and buying local food at Grown in Marin[External]
and at MALT[External]
.

  • Opt outside!

  • Spend time in one of Marin’s state or local parks to experience how protected open space is actively sequestering carbon while providing recreational opportunities to Californians. Learn more at Marin County Parks and at the National Parks Service[External]
(Point Reyes National Seashore).

Next

  • Plant a tree! 

  • Afforestation – increased tree crops – creates a carbon sink, drawing in and holding on to carbon and distributing it into the soil. Additionally, trees provide shading and can help keep buildings and equipment cooler, reducing energy use. Planting native species supports biodiversity, can help reduce localized flooding impacts (trees absorb water), and can even provide food and medicine for people. Learn more about local efforts to increase tree plantings at 10,000 Redwoods[External]
. Find out what trees are best for our climate at Marin Master Gardeners[External]
.

And Then

  • Consider vermicomposting

Vermicompost or worm castings, is the excrement left behind by worms after they digest organic matter. Vermicompost is incredibly nutrient rich and contains minerals needed to strengthen soil health without odor, pests, or vermin. This compost can act as a buffer in soil where the pH levels are too high or low and can help extract toxins and harmful fungi and bacteria from the soil. Find out how to start vermicomposting at home or work at Common Compost[External]
and learn more about the process at CalRecycle[External]
.

 

WHAT ARE OTHERS DOING:

WHAT OTHERS ARE DOING:

CLIMATE RESILIENT COMMUNITIES

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