What Can I Do?

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Lowering your carbon footprint benefits more than just the environment—it can make your home more comfortable, save you money, and make your family healthier. Did you know that 98% of emissions in Mountain View come from the community (as opposed to municipal operations)? YOU have the power to make a big impact by making your life more sustainable!

There are many things you can do to lower your carbon footprint, from small changes in habits that can have big impacts over time, to bigger actions with large financial savings. We hope we can help make the process a little easier by showing some of the most effective things you can do and providing resources to help you follow through.

Below are some actions you can take to stay informed, learn new information, and lower your carbon footprint.

For more information and ideas on what you can do, check out the "Resources" section on the sidebar of this page. Have an idea we didn't cover? Leave a comment below!

Lowering your carbon footprint benefits more than just the environment—it can make your home more comfortable, save you money, and make your family healthier. Did you know that 98% of emissions in Mountain View come from the community (as opposed to municipal operations)? YOU have the power to make a big impact by making your life more sustainable!

There are many things you can do to lower your carbon footprint, from small changes in habits that can have big impacts over time, to bigger actions with large financial savings. We hope we can help make the process a little easier by showing some of the most effective things you can do and providing resources to help you follow through.

Below are some actions you can take to stay informed, learn new information, and lower your carbon footprint.

For more information and ideas on what you can do, check out the "Resources" section on the sidebar of this page. Have an idea we didn't cover? Leave a comment below!

  • Sign Up for Our Newsletter

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    3 months ago

    This is an easy way to stay up-to-date with what the City of Mountain View and Sustainability staff are working on, find out about upcoming sustainability-related events, and learn some climate action tips. We love feedback on what else you want to see included in the monthly newsletter! You can find previous newsletters here.

  • Join Cool Block

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    3 months ago

    Cool Block is a program that Mountain View is launching to help create a healthier, happier, resilient, and more environmentally-aware community. The program focuses on three main topics: community building, sustainability, and disaster preparation and resilience. Cool Block engages a team of neighbors living on the same block or in the same building to tackle these topics together through 8 structured and collaborative meetings over about 5 months.

    To start a new team, attend a Block Leader training! Learn more and stay updated here. Email us at sustainability@mountainview.gov with any questions.

  • Join Our Community Volunteer Group

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    3 months ago

    If you’re passionate about Sustainability issues in Mountain View and beyond, consider joining our volunteer group! This is a group that we are still in the process of creating, but you can indicate your interest by registering for Collaborate Mountain View, checking “Yes” when asked “Are you interested in participating in a community volunteer group?,” and staying tuned for more information. You can also email sustainability@mountainview.gov to indicate your interest. This group will be as much of a commitment as you make it, with opportunities for folks to take on leadership positions or to just chime in occasionally. We can do a lot as City Sustainability staff, but we need community input and support to help develop policies, implement programs, and help engage the Mountain View community!

  • Participate in Your Government

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    3 months ago

    One of the best things you can do for the environment is to make sure that public officials hear your sustainability suggestions and take action! A few forms of civic engagement include voting, emailing or calling your representatives, or speaking at City Council meetings. Find out who your representatives are here, a schedule for Mountain View Council meetings here, and more information about City Council in general here. Mountain View also has a Council Sustainability Committee and an Environmental Planning Commission.

  • Public Transportation and Commuting

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    3 months ago

    Transportation is responsible for the majority of Mountain View’s greenhouse gas emissions (~63%). Using public transit, leveraging commuter benefits, and ride-sharing or car-sharing can all help to save you money and reduce your carbon footprint. Community members have access to numerous public transportation options, including the Mountain View Community Shuttle, the free MVgo Shuttle, VTA buses and light rail service, Caltrain, and BART. For those commuting in passenger vehicles, you can save money though commuter benefit programs, learn more about smart commuting here, and try out one of these carpool programs to either save or make some money, depending on if you’re a rider or a driver. Apps such as Lyft are also available for ride-sharing, and companies like Zipcar offer easy, short-term car rentals.

  • Walking and Biking

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    3 months ago

    Reducing the number of miles you drive in a car is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint! Check out our Walking and Bicycling in Mountain View page to learn more about getting around Mountain View by foot or bicycle. If able, consider walking, cycling, or taking other alternative modes of transportation to travel distances under 0.5 miles. To stay in the loop on related projects, check out the Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee (B/PAC) page.

  • Reduce Meat and Dairy Consumption

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    3 months ago

    "Scientific analyses have shown that one of the most effective ways for a person to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions is to reduce or eliminate their consumption of meat and dairy... The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that the livestock sector contributes 14.5% of anthropogenic GHG emissions. That’s more than the entire transportation sector – cars, trains, planes, and ships – combined." Source here.

    Visit this website for some USDA tips on eating healthy and reducing meat consumption.

    Keep an eye out for future plant-based programs coming from the City!

  • Recycling and Zero Waste

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    3 months ago

    Reducing levels of consumption and properly disposing of waste are very important steps for avoiding new resource extraction, minimizing pollution, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. For updates on the City’s Zero Waste Plan, and progress towards our waste goals, check out the Zero Waste page. Do you have questions about what can or can’t be recycled? Get some answers here. Other information regarding various waste-related ordinances, waste services for homes and businesses, recycling center updates, paper shredding, and hazardous waste disposal can be found here.

  • Composting and Reducing Food Waste

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    3 months ago

    Did you know that when organic matter (such as food) gets trapped in a landfill, it releases methane, a greenhouse gas far more damaging than carbon dioxide? This can be avoided by reducing food waste in general, and by composting any spoiled food or scraps. Here are some tips for reducing food waste. You can also find out more about Mountain View’s curbside food scraps program here, and more about composting in general here.

  • Sign Up for 100% Renewable Energy through Silicon Valley Clean Energy

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    3 months ago

    In 2017, the EPA calculated that 28% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions came from electricity, with roughly 62% of U.S. electricity coming from burning fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas. Did you know that Mountain View residents and businesses can purchase 100% renewable energy from SVCE? By default, participants automatically received electricity generated from 50% renewable sources, but have the option to opt up to 100% renewable electricity. Check out SVCE’s website to learn more about opting up, rate differences, and other available programs.