Northern California Cities Take Part in the Cool City Challenge

San Francisco is one of three Northern California cities taking part in the Cool Block Program created by the Cool City Challenge. The goal of the Cool City Challenge, is to change the game around carbon reduction in cities and provide a viable path forward to address climate change. The program uses a bottom-up approach to help neighbors become planet friendly, and disaster resilient, a goal to provide a greener future for all.

The San Francisco Climate Action in conjunction to the Cool Block program, has adopted a formula with the numbers 0, 50, and 100, to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2025. The numbers are explained below:

0 (Zero) Waste : Send nothing to landfill

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-There are many things we can do to help eliminate waste. The most common is to recycle and compost. Outside of the usual recyclable materials like: plastic, metal, glass and paper, there are still many other items that cannot be recycled. Food and food-soiled items are compostable, including things that were once alive, like tree trimmings, leaves, flowers, etc. Unfortunately, there are still a few items out there that cannot be recycled or composted. Items like special glass, styrofoam, and textiles, need to be handled in an way to eliminate it’s path to the landfills. A good resource to help you find alternative waste solutions is to visit the site RecycleWhere. This site will help you get rid of waste the safe and proper way.

For more tips on recycling, visit the How to Recycle and Compost guide, here

50% Clean Transportation : Take half your trips by bus or bike

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-Learn to use available public transportation in the city of San Francisco, or in your home town. Carpooling and ride sharing will eliminate additional vehicles on the road. If you work locally within the city limits, ride your bike to work. All of these solutions will help to reduce the carbon footprint overall and help to spare the air in the city.
100% Renewable Energy : Choose power from renewable resources

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-Solar energy is the most attainable, and affordable way to use create clean energy for your home. Not only will you harness the power of the sun at no cost to generate, but you will also save money for you and your family in the long run. Having a batter back up for your home, will help to store energy on days, when it’s cloudy and there isn’t enough sun to help generate your home. Reducing your energy uses on days like these will help to reduce the carbon footprint in your home. Practicing good habits, like powering down electronics, adjusting your thermostat in your home, and turning off lights when not in use, help to reduce the use of energy on the grid.

Roots : Heal the planet

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-We must protect mother nature and all of her natural green landscapes, in and around our cities. Plants help to provide the oxygen we breathe, as well as the purifying the air around us. Our city has hundreds of local foliage that we must protect; our forests, beaches, mountainsides, grasslands and wetlands. We can help by volunteering with the Friends of the Urban Forest to help plant trees around our city, or just by planting a garden in our homes.

For more tips on Ways to Improve the Air Quality of Your Home, check out our previous blog post, here.

Climate Action Strategy

Climate changes affects everyone, world wide. San Francisco, is privy to many here in the Bay Area. The Climate Action Strategy shows that it’s possible to help reduce harmful emissions that cause climate change city wide. Since 1996, San Francisco has been the political leader in climate change. A decade of milestones to date, here are a few that put San Francisco on the map:

-1996 : First Sustainability Plan
-2002 : Zero Waste Goal – The ‘fantastic three” (blue, green, black bins) are rolled out with community education and outreach about recycling and composting to eliminate waste from landfills by 75%
-2004 : San Francisco’s First Climate Action Plan – Mayor Gavin Newsom, publishes one of the first community climate action plans.
-2006 : California’s Global Warming Solutions Act – Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signs the AB 32, establishing a goal to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions
-2007 : Plastic Bag Ban – aimed at large grocery stores and retailers to eliminate the use of plastic bags, and also to ban styrofoam containers in restaurants and hotels.

As you can see, San Francisco continues to lead the nation in green technology and initiatives, to help create a brighter future for us all. To learn more about the Cool City Challenge here.

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