We get a lot of questions about sustainable living in general, so we decided to put everything we know in this Earth Month Guide for Sustainable Living!
This is a Bay Area guide, with local addresses, as we want to support fellow local businesses and organizations on a mission to provide sustainable solutions to help the planet.
It's a work in progress and we will add more links throughout the month. Feel free to send us suggestions, we will happily add them!
We hope that this guide will help you make Earth Day Every Day!
1 - INTRODUCTION: CARBON FOOTPRINT AND CLIMATE SOLUTIONS
A useful tool by the city of Albany to evaluate your household emissions and find ways to reduce your impact: https://www.carbonfreealbany.org/
Project Drawdown is one of our favorite ressources when it comes to Climate Solutions. They have an excellent "Climate Solutions 101" course: 6 videos (from 10 to 25mn) filled with the latest need-to-know science and fascinating insights from global leaders in climate policy, research, investment, and beyond.
The Footprint Calculator, by the Global Footprint Network: https://www.footprintcalculator.org/home/en
2 - DONATE THINGS YOU DON'T USE ANYMORE
Berkeley Humane Thrift Shop (Albany): https://berkeleyhumane.org/thrift-shop/
Bike donation to Waterside Workshops (Berkeley): https://watersideworkshops.org/bikes/donate/
Buy Nothing Groups: The world's gift economy platform. It's free and everyone is welcome. There should be one in every Bay Area city. You can find them on Facebook or in the Buy Nothing App: https://bnponfb.org/find-a-group/
Children’s Book Project (San Francisco with drop off locations in the Bay Area): https://www.childrensbookproject.org/give-books/
East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse (Oakland): they divert waste materials from landfills by collecting and redistributing discarded goods as low-cost supplies for art, education, and social services in their Oakland Depot Store https://www.creativereuse.org/
Habitat For Humanity Restore (Oakland): they turn your donations of furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances into affordable homeownership for Bay Area families https://www.habitatebsv.org/support-us/ways-to-donate
Hively: An organization that supports Alameda County families. They accept donations of children’s books, gently used shoes/clothes and home goods. https://behively.org/family-resources/
Scrap SF (San Francisco): https://www.scrap-sf.org/
The El Cerrito Recycling Center: https://www.el-cerrito.org/533/Recycling-Environmental-Resource-Center
Urban Ore (Berkeley): http://urbanore.com/
3 - REDUCE FOOD WASTE
In the US, 40% of the food is wasted, which means that all the energy, raw materials, fuel, water that have been consumed to grow, store and transport that food was wasted as well. Reducing food waste is actually the 3rd most efficient solution to reduce greenhouse gases emissions according to Project Drawdown.
Stop Waste " Stop Food Waste" program: everything you need to know to reduce food waste at home https://stopfoodwaste.org/
Town Fridge: a network of free food fridges in Oakland https://www.instagram.com/townfridge/?hl=en
Non-perishable food, such as canned or frozen food can be donated to your local Food Bank: https://www.cafoodbanks.org/our-members/
Our favorite book to reduce food waste: The Zero Waste Chef
4 - SAVE WATER AND REDUCE WATER POLLUTION
Clean Water Program in Alameda County: learn how to reduce water contamination from cleaning and gardening products you use at home https://cleanwaterprogram.org/residents.html
Replace your lawn by a drought tolerant garden, or install a greywater system, and get a rebate from EBMUD (East Bay): https://www.ebmud.com/water/conservation-and-rebates/rebates/lawn-conversion-rebate
Greywater Action: Learn about greywater systems and how to install one at your house https://greywateraction.org/
Tour natives garden in the East Bay: https://www.bringingbackthenatives.net/
5 - GARDENING - GROW FOOD IN YOUR BACKYARD OR IN A COMMUNITY GARDEN
Stop Waste workshops and resources: https://www.stopwaste.org/at-home/home-and-community-gardening
Community Gardens in Albany: Ocean View Community Organic Garden
Berkeley Community Gardening Collaborative: https://ecologycenter.org/bcgc/
Oakland Community Gardens: https://www.oaklandca.gov/topics/community-gardening
6 - HAZARDOUS WASTE
Electronics, small appliances, batteries, paints, and gardening products, ... please don't put them in the trash. They can be dangerous for waste management workers and leach toxic chemicals into the surrounding environment.
Stop Waste in Alameda county: they operate four free drop-off facilities and also offer one day drop off events.
El Cerrito Recycling Center in Contra Costa county: they collect batteries, expired medicines, cooking oil, bikes, books, appliances, corks, eyeglasses and more!
E-Waste Collective in Berkeley: they take e-waste donations. Items that can be repaired are donated to schools, non-profits and individuals. The rest is recycled. Their website includes a full list of items that they can take.
7 - HOME RENOVATIONS: SOLAR PANELS, HEAT PUMPS, ETC
Visit an EcoHouse with the Ecology Center: https://ecologycenter.org/ecohouse/
BayREN: they help you make you home more energy efficient and comfortable. Learn about rebates and get custom advice https://www.bayren.org/how-get-started/single-family-homeowners
Albany Induction Cooktop Lending Program: https://www.albanyca.org/departments/sustainability/sustainability-resources-and-events/induction-cooktop-lending-program
Sustainability Concierge: A great service to help you make your home more sustainable.
8 - ELIMINATE JUNK MAIL
Sign out of catalogs: https://www.catalogchoice.org/
Sign out of bank offers with OptOut Prescreen: https://www.optoutprescreen.com/
Unsubscribe from Direct Marketing Association mailing lists: https://www.dmachoice.org/
National Do Not Mail List: https://www.directmail.com/mail_preference/
National Do Not Call Registry: https://www.donotcall.gov/
Paper Karma App to sign out of junk mail: https://www.paperkarma.com/
Yellow Pages opt out: https://www.yellowpagesoptout.com/
9 - REPAIR YOUR ITEMS
Make a list of your local repair services
Baby and kids accessories: Stroller Spa in San Francisco
10 - RENEWABLE ENERGIES AT HOME AND AT WORK
Support renewable energies, sign up to the Renewable 100 plan from East Bay Community Energy: https://ebce.org/compare-plans-residential/
11 - REUSE MAP
The local non profit Plastic Free Future created a worldwide map of refill stores, and cafes and restaurants that allow you to bring your own mugs and containers. What a great resource!!
12 - SHOP SECOND HAND
There are more and more second hand shops in the Bay Area. Feel free to leave a comment with your favorite ones!
- American Cancer Society Discovery Shop in Oakland
- Berkeley Humane Thrift Shop in Albany
- Chloe’s Closet in Berkeley and San Francisco: Clothes and accessories for babies, kids, women.
- Crossroads in Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco
- Dress Best for Less in Oakland
- East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse in Oakland: home goods, arts and crafts
- Monkey Miles in San Francisco: Clothes and accessories for babies, kids
- Ohmega Salvage in Berkeley: materials, fixtures and hardware
- Out of the Closet in Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco
- Picky Monday: local and online - Clothes and accessories for babies, kids
- Scrap San Francisco: arts and crafts
- Toy Go Round in Albany: Toys and games
- Urban Furniture and Clothing Boutique in Oakland
- Urban Ore in Berkeley: from building materials to furnitures, home goods and clothes. A Berkeley institution!
- Valentine's: new and second hand store for babies and kids
13 - VOLUNTEER OR LEARN FROM A LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL NON PROFIT
This is just a short list of the many local environmental organizations located in the Bay Area. Feel free to leave a comment with suggestions to extend that list, thank you!
Heirs to Our Oceans: https://h2oo.org/
Idle No More SF Bay: http://www.idlenomoresfbay.org/
Lake Merritt Institute: https://lakemerrittinstitute.org/
Race to Zero Waste: https://racetozerowaste.org/
Rotary Nature Center Friends at Lake Merritt (Oakland): https://sites.google.com/view/rotary-nature-center-friends/home
Save The Bay: https://savesfbay.org/
Surfrider SF Chapter: https://sf.surfrider.org/
The Watershed Project: https://thewatershedproject.org/
The Marine Mammal Center: https://www.marinemammalcenter.org/
14 - OUR FAVORITE ECO-FRIENDLY LOCAL BUSINESSES
Beer Can Gardens: Mini succulent gardens in upcycled containers, made in El Cerrito
Bluma Farm: Local flowers grown on a rooftop in Berkeley.
Dispatch Goods: Provides reusable togo containers to local restaurants, collects and cleans them. Fillgood is a drop-off location for empty containers.
Full Belly Farm: Fresh organic fruits and vegetables CSA box delivered weekly.
Golden Salon: A low waste hair salon located in Berkeley
The Silo : Bulk local organic food delivered.
Swelter Coffee: Quality sustainable coffee without the waste.
Wisdom Supply : Plastic-free school supplies.
15 - LOCAL SUSTAINABILITY EVENTS
Ecology Center workshops: https://ecologycenter.org/calendar/
Upcycle Spring Fest: April 24th, 1251 Solano avenue, 11am-5pm
Albany Annual Compost Giveaway, April 30th: https://www.albanyca.org/recreation/special-events/compost-giveaways
Albany citywide garage sale on May 7th: https://www.albanyca.org/recreation/special-events/citywide-garage-sale
16 - MORE RESOURCES
Alameda County: http://resource.stopwaste.org/
San Francisco: https://sfrecycles.org/