Earth Day 2020
April 22, 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day - the worldwide movement to recognize and appreciate our planet.
The City of Burlingame is celebrating Earth Day through various efforts to help n, protect, and appreciate our natural resources and the environment. We shifted our focus this year to individual actions and experiences people can take from home. You are invited to join any of the opportunities listed below.
MONDAY, APRIL 20
Earth Day Proclamation
City Council Meeting (comment and listen remotely here)
Listen in to Burlingame's City Council as they adopt an Earth Day Proclamation recognizing the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day and Burlingame's commitment to conserve resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and support the environment.
TUESDAY, APRIL 21
Take a Bite Out of Climate Change
The Citizens Environmental Council of Burlingame
A move away from animal protein and toward plant protein is often cited as the No. 1 step to counter the climate crisis. Learn about the Green Monday movement and how easy it is to change your diet from Debra Shapiro, a certified plant-based nutrition coach. Register for the Zoom event here.
The Big Burlingame Clean-Up
Due to this year's unique shelter in place circumstances, we are postponing our celebration of Earth Day's 50th Anniversary to the week of September 21, 2020 to coincide with the rescheduled Bike to Work Day on Thursday September 24th and the annual Bayfront Clean-Up on Saturday September 26th.
Sharpen your Recycling and Composting Skills
- Recycling worksheet for adults and kids.
- Interactive sorting game.
Participate in an Environmental Webinar
The City of San Francisco Department of Environment is offering exciting webinars on how to electrify your home, reduce waste, and even watch the condors.
Be Inspired by Burlingame Students
Check out the winners of the CEC Film Fest - Burlingame's own environmental youth film festival! Film submissions by elementary, middle school, and high school students teach us about carbon taxes, composting, and food impacts.
What You Can Do Now
Celebrate Earth Day in the comfort of your home. Check off which of the 50 actions for 50 years (customized for doing at home during this time) you'd like to do below.
- Turn off lights when not in use.
- Unplug or turn off gadgets.
- Shutdown or set your computer to sleep mode when not using.
- Switch to LED bulbs.
- Run the dishwasher on full loads.
- Run the washing machine on cold water, always, and with full loads.
- Sun/air dry items instead of using a dryer when possible.
- If purchasing new appliances, make sure they are Energy Star.
- If replacing appliances, consider going all-electric for heating and cooking in place of natural gas, a fossil fuel.
- Power your home with 100% renewable energy by enrolling in Peninsula Clean Energy's ECO100 program. (This is one of the most impactful and easiest steps households can take to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support renewable energy.)
- Compost food scraps and food soiled paper products (pizza boxes, paper plates, etc.) in the green bin.
- Recycle plastics, glass, and aluminum in the blue bin.
- Use www.whatbin.com to find out which items can be composted, recycled, or landfilled.
- Choose household products with minimal packaging such as shampoo bars or dish soap bars.
- When crafting, reuse household items when possible and avoid using glitter and other plastic based materials.
- Avoid produce and other foods heavily packaged in plastic.
- Use non-toxic cleaning products, such as vinegar for windows, bathrooms, and kitchens.
- Refill hand hand soap dispensers instead of buying new dispensers. One option of how to dilute soap for different types of cleaning here.
- Keep plastic bags out of the trash. Reuse them as possible and then collect for recycling. Grocery stores, like Safeway, offer collection bins for recycling plastic bags.
- Mend clothing that still has use.
- Reuse old towels and sheets into cleaning rags.
- Collect and store old electronics to recycle in the future. Green Citizen in Burlingame has an e-waste drop-off (call to check hours).
- Properly dispose household batteries. Collect old batteries in a bag for future recycling. Find where batteries may be recycled at www.RecycleStuff.org.
- Property dispose household hazardous. Collect and store hazardous waste to dispose of properly in the future. Information on options available here www.smchealth.org/hhw
- Discard unwanted or expired medication at a safe medicine disposal site such as the Burlingame Police Department, CVS, or Walgreens near you. For a complete list of sites, visit www.smchealth.org/rxdisposal.
- Turn off the water faucet when not in use, such as when brushing teeth.
- Soak dirty pots and pans rather than let the water run while washing.
- Time your showers to 5 minutes.
- Toilet leaks can be silent! Test your toilet for leaks at least once a year.
- Use a WaterSense labeled showerhead.
- Install water-saving aerators on all of your faucets.
- Replace (or partially replace) your turf lawn with California native and drought-tolerant plants.
- Grow your own herbs and vegetables.
- Start a compost pile. Using compost in your garden or flower beds adds water-holding organic matter to the soil.
- Use a layer of organic mulch around plants to help them retain moisture, save water, time, and money.
- Use less-toxic gardening products in your garden. Visit www.ourwaterourworld.org for a list of approved products.
- Install a rain barrel to collect rainwater from gutters for watering gardens.
- Check your sprinkler system frequently and adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street. Make sure sprinklers don't run during rain.
- Never pour fats, oils, or grease down the drain. Instead, wipe off cooking oil with a paper towel and scrape off grease and deposit in composting bin. For large amounts, pour liquid cooking oil into an old jar and dispose of it in the black garbage bin.
- Never flush wipes in toilets. Toilets are not trashcans. Only flush the 3 Ps: pee, poop, and (toilet) paper. When other items are flushed, they may get clogged and cause unwanted back-ups.
- Adopt a Drain near your home or business by pledging to keep it free of litter and leaves. Visit www.burlingame.org/adoptadrain for more information.
- Participate in our annual Bayfront Cleanup Day. This year it will be held on September 26, 2020.
- Always pick up your pet’s waste and throw the bagged waste in the garbage bin.
- Do not litter. Ever. Pick up litter when possible.
- Avoid washing your car on the street. It can be an environmentally-unfriendly chore. Oil, metals, dirt and other pollutants flow into the storm drain which leads to the San Francisco Bay untreated. Best to wash your car at a commercial car wash (when open again) since they collect and recycle the wash water.
- Eat less meat. The meat industry is a giant source of emissions and requires significant amounts of land, water, and resources. Eating less meat is one of the easiest actions people can take that has the largest impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- Consider a clean air vehicle as your next car, such as hybrids, plug-ins, or electric vehicles. California offers up to $7,000 in EV rebates.
- Learn about Burlingame’s Climate Action Plan and the strategies the City is taking on to reduce emissions.
- Subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter at www.burlingame.org/enews and Follow us on Instagram (@burlingame_sustainability), Facebook (@BurlingameCityHall), or Twitter (@BurlingameCity)