what can you do right now?
We all need a place to start.
Here's the easy stuff. Take a look at these suggestions and see what solutions you can do right now.
ENERGY & BUILDINGS
WHAT YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW
ONE: SIGN UP FOR 100% RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY!
Using 100% renewable energy from wind and solar reduces the demand for power produced from fossil fuels.
Get your utility bill, and connect with your energy provider on a link below to find a 100% renewable electricity program that's right for your business and home:
(Marin, Contra Costa, Napa, Solano)
(San Mateo County)
TWO: UPGRADE YOUR LIGHTING
LED light bulbs use about 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last up to 10 years.
They are cool to the touch, unlike CFLs and incandescent bulbs that emit heat in all directions. Replace your old burned-out lightbulbs with LEDs.
There are several LED brightness and color/appearance options available that mimic the older and less efficient bulbs but use a fraction of the energy. Take the mystery out of which kind to get for your lighting needs:
THREE: GET AN ENERGY AUDIT
FOR YOUR HOME OR BUSINESS
Using less energy to begin with is always a good idea - and it certainly saves money on your energy bill.
Renters and homeowners can request no-cost Green House calls from Rising Sun Center for Opportunity. 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.
Call a Home Energy Advisor at (866) 878 6008 and learn how efficient your home is compared to similar homes and what programs and rebates are available. Get a customized recommendation with information on measures that should be taken to improve overall efficiency.
Businesses can request no-cost, no-obligation energy assessments, as well as take advantage of available no-cost technical assistance and cash rebates.
While you're thinking about energy, visit Energy Upgrade California to learn more about what you can do.
WHAT YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW
ONE: MAKE CHANGES TO HOW
YOU GET AROUND
Cars are convenient but any vehicle that uses gasoline adds a lot of pollution to the air we breathe, which affects our health, not to mention traffic.
Most of our trips, especially these days, are relatively local. Consider alternatives:
Walking and bicycling are the obvious alternatives to vehicles, and are healthier, too. Alternative transit options don't work for everyone, but the Bay Area does have multiple ways to get around. Besides BART, CalTrain, and the SMART train, there are ferries and 19 bus systems in the Bay Area. To learn more about your transit options visit 511.org.
TWO: ASK YOUR EMPLOYER TO OFFER COMMUTE INCENTIVES
Many employers offer incentives if you drive less.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) requires employers with 50 or more employees to offer commuter benefits to employees.
Do you work for a small company? Propose that your employer offer a benefit anyway! Find out more about the Commuter Benefit Program.
THREE: PLEDGE TO MAKE YOUR
NEXT VEHICLE PURCHASE OR LEASE
ELECTRIC OR HYBRID
Alternatives to gas cars are more available than ever. There are Electric Vehicles (EVs) to fit any budget and any style, from 2-seaters to mini-vans and trucks, used, new, and leased.
The Federal, State, and dealer incentives and rebates make them even less expensive than the sticker on the window. There are also
"previously owned" EVs that cost far less than new.
Virtually every auto manufacturer has committed to making EVs across all of their lines, and the State of California will be banning the sale of gas cars by 2035.
Whether new or used, purchased or leased, now is the time to explore the many choices and commit to making your next purchase an EV.
FOOD & FOOD WASTE
WHAT YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW
ONE: SAVE MONEY BY BUYING ONLY WHAT YOU WILL EAT
Food waste is the #3 contributor to global greenhouse gases.
If you buy only what you'll eat, you'll save money, and there won't be any more science projects in the back of your refrigerator!
If you typically don't finish leftovers, try preparing less food to begin with. Buying only the food you really need for a meal, a day, or a week will save you money and reduce waste.
And try Imperfect Foods: fresh, often organic, and often cheaper than grocery store prices. You decide what you want and place your order, and the food is delivered right to your door. Their motto? "If food can be saved, we'll save it." Perfect!
TWO: EAT A PLANT-RICH DIET
If cattle were their own nation, they would be the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases.
Changing your diet is both a personal and a cultural decision. If you don't want to give up meat entirely, consider eating more vegetables anyway, and just a little less meat.
Plant-rich diets also tend to be healthier, leading to lower rates of chronic diseases, like diabetes and heart conditions.
Try a "Meatless Monday", and buy meat that is raised humanely & sustainably.
THREE: SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES, FROM THE FARMERS TO THE MARKETS TO THE REST OF YOUR COMMUNITY
Food connects us and sustains us in so many ways: friends & family, our neighborhoods & restaurants, grocers, farmers' markets, and our local agricultural economy.
When we buy food that was grown and produced in our region, we're supporting our local economy. "Buying local" increases the financial security of our farmers by creating a consistent market for their products. It means our food traveled a shorter distance so it's fresher, and the shipping costs are reduced - not to mention the greenhouse gases from trucking food across the country, or flying it in from another part of the world.
Everyone can buy local, including those receiving CalFresh benefits. To learn more, visit CalFresh Market Match.
Still have food you won't use?