Sustainability Workshops

Sustainability Logo

The Sustainability Academy's half-day workshops offer our San Mateo County community members with hands-on learning experience on select subject matters relating to sustainability that they can take back and practice at home and at work.

We encourage any interested San Mateo County community member (e.g., residents, folks who work in the County, and students) to join and participate in these workshops!

The Academy is offering multiple workshops this current program year:

  1. Finding Common Ground: A Workshop on Communicating about Sea Level Rise
  2. Green Home Workshop
  3. Green Business Workshop
  4. Home Compost Workshops (including one Spanish workshop!)
  5. Solar PV Workshop

You must be a resident, business owner, employee, or student located in San Mateo County to participate in these workshops.

If you need ADA accommodations, please contact us four (4) business days prior to the first class you will be attending.

This educational program is made available through the County of San Mateo.

  1. RecycleWorks Sustainability Academy
    Community members looking through the "Owl", a digital viewfinder that was installed, as part of Look Ahead - San Mateo, that helps viewers visualize potential sea level rise impacts and solutions.

    Finding Common Ground: A Workshop on Communicating about Sea Level Rise

    With over 100,000 people living in areas that are at risk from three feet of sea level rise in San Mateo County, it is important to involve all community members in helping to find solutions to the impacts of sea level rise.

    Through this workshop, you will learn from climate change communications experts Cara Pike of Climate Access and Dr. Susanne Moser about effective ways to find common ground and work collectively. The workshop will share results from the Look Ahead - San Mateo sea level rise visualization project and will provide tools and methods to assist attendees in engaging others in taking action and preparing for sea level rise.

    You will also hear about the results of the Sea Change SMC vulnerability assessment, an effort that's part of the County's long-term resilience strategy to ensure our communities, ecosystems, and economy are prepared for climate change. The goal of the assessment is to identify vulnerable assets on the bay and coast side of the San Mateo County peninsula, determine types of impacts, issue initial recommendations on adaptation measures, and improve flooding and sea level rise mapping.

    This workshop is a part of Look Ahead - San Mateo, a program produced by Climate Access in conjunction with Sea Change SMC and funded by FEMA, in partnership with the County of San Mateo Office of Sustainability's Sustainability Academy.

    Light lunch will be provided at this workshop!

    Date: Saturday, March 25th, 2017

    Time: 10am-2pm

    Venue: County of San Mateo, 455 County Center, 1st floor, Room 101

    To register:

  2. RecycleWorks Sustainability Academy

    Green Home Workshop

    Interested in "do-it-yourself" home projects that save you money, are better for your health, and help the environment? If so, come join us in this fun, hands-on workshop to learn how to make all-natural, affordable, non-toxic home cleaning products, such as glass/mirror, carpet, and all-purpose cleaners.

    We'll also feature a lesson about creative reuse, where we will guide you through fun crafting projects to turn something that you might usually discard into something useful for your home. Specific reuse craft projects will include transforming used cotton fabric (e.g. old T-shirt) into a substitute for plastic Saran wrap and a used glass bottle into an Olla plant watering system for your garden.

    The Green Home Workshop will be led my Jeannie Pham, Education & Engagement Program Coordinator at the Ecology Center in Berkeley.

    Date: Sunday, May 7th, 2017

    Time: 10am-2pm

    Venue: San Mateo County Center, 455 County Center, Rm 101, 1st Fl, Redwood City, CA

    To Register:

    Light lunch will be provided!

  3. RecycleWorks Sustainability Academy

    Green Business Workshop

    Learn what it takes to be a "green business"! The Green Business Workshop will cover simple concrete steps you can take to reduce waste, conserve water and energy, and save on operational costs. We will also cover the specifics of becoming a certified green business through the County of San Mateo's Green Business Program.

    As part of the workshop, participants will receive a tour of and directly engage with staff from the Portola Valley Library, a County certified green business, to learn about their experience in the County's green business certification process and the benefits and challenges of becoming a green business.

    The Green Business Workshop will be led by Gretchen Hayes, a Green Business Specialist.

    Date: Saturday, June 24th, 2017

    Time: 11am-3pm

    Venue: Portola Valley Library, 765 Portola Rd, Portola Valley

    To Register:

    Light lunch will be provided!

  4. RecycleWorks Sustainability Academy

    Home Compost Workshops

    Learn how easy and fun it is to recycle your fruit and vegetable scraps, leaves, and plant cuttings into compost in this no-cost workshop!†Compost provides valuable nutrients for your garden soil, helps retain moisture, which saves water, prevents erosion, loosens clay and compacted soils for better drainage, and suppresses weeds. It is rewarding to know you are turning what some consider waste into precious organic material for your garden.

    Aprende que fácil y divertido es reciclar los desechos de frutas y vegetales, y hojas para nutrir a tu jardín y convertirlos en abono orgánico en este taller gratis. El abono orgánico tiene muchos beneficios - provee nutrición para tu jardín, mejora la hidratación de la tierra, previene la erosión y ayuda a la supresión de malas hierbas. Se va alegrar en saber que está ayudando a su familia y al planeta convirtiendo lo que otros consideran basura en un material orgánico para su jardín.

    Workshop Date



    Register Here

    This workshop will be conducted in Spanish!
    °Este taller se conducirŠ en espaŮol!

    †Sat, April 15, 2017


    †Friendship Park,
    Huntington Ave & Berkshire Ave,
    Redwood City, CA†

    Para registrarse

    †Sat, April 22, 2017


    †Blue Line Transfer Station,
    500 East Jamie Court,
    South San Francisco, CA

    To register

    We will have additional workshops available later this year, so please check back!

  5. RecycleWorks Sustainability Academy

    Solar PV Workshop

    Part 1: Solar Simplified (9:00-10:15am)
    Learn about solar photovoltaic (PV) for your home.†Understand the basics of solar PV, benefits of going solar, the options you have and purchasing tips. Special focus will be on home owners with low electric bills averaging under $100/month.

    Part 2: Solar Installation (10:30am-2pm)
    Learn all the steps to installing a residential solar PV system and the tools used in the process. SunWork staff will guide you through the process of attaching racking, running conduit, hanging inverters, and mounting the solar panels.†The session is indoors in a classroom setting. Upon completion of the workshop, you will be eligible to volunteer for solar installations working together with SunWork's professional staff!

    Date: Saturday July 15th, 2017

    Time: 9am-2pm

    Venue: San Mateo County Center, 455 County Center, Rm 101, 1st Fl, Redwood City, CA

    To Register:

The Goal of These Workshops

HAVE FUN - Make friends and new connections with a common interest, and join us for Academy participant appreciation events!

GET INVOLVED - Learn practical, hands-on sustainability techniques and skills applicable for your home and work.

GIVE BACK† - Educate your friends, neighbors, kids, teachers and community on the value and benefits of resource conservation.


To find out more about the Academy, please contact Eun-Soo Lim, our Sustainability Coordinator, at†or toll free at 1-888-442-2666.

If you would like to stay in the loop about these offerings and other upcoming Academy and Office of Sustainability events, please join our list serve at†