This Friday, April 22, is Earth Day. Each year, more than one billion people participate in Earth Day activities, making it the largest civic observance in the world. This year, celebrate by becoming more familiar with the San Mateo County Transit District’s sustainability initiatives, taking some simple green steps around the home and office or by participating in an Earth Day event in your community.
In many ways, every day is Earth Day here at the Transit District, which is the administrative body for the principal public transit and transportation programs in San Mateo County: SamTrans bus service, including Redi-Wheels paratransit service, Caltrain commuter rail and the San Mateo County Transportation Authority.
At its core, public transportation promotes sustainability by providing affordable, accessible, environmentally-friendly mobility options to move people where they live, work, and play. Riding public transit means less fossil fuel consumption, improved air quality, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions and related climate change impacts.
The District also strives to employ green strategies in every day operations, maintenance, and business practices – from streamlining our waste management processes, to conserving water, to electrifying our bus and rail fleets. If you haven’t already, check out the SamTrans and Caltrain Sustainability Webpages (launched last Earth Day) or the 2015 Top 10 Highlights for more information about the District’s sustainability efforts – you’ll likely see some initiatives you’ve worked on!
In celebration of Earth Day and as a reminder to our communities of the District’s commitment to sustainability, next week SamTrans bus headsigns will read “Earth Day Every Day” and Caltrain’s Visual Message Signs will read “Every Day is Earth Day When You Ride Caltrain.”
5 Easy Ways to Celebrate Earth Day
Here are some simple ways to help improve this environment we all call home:
- Drive Less and Dump the Pump – Every time you leave your car at home you help reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Let SamTrans or Caltrain take you to your destination this Earth Day.
- Turn It Off – Turn off lights in empty rooms and offices. Be sure to turn off the faucet in the restroom when you’re done, and if someone else forgets, please turn it off for them.
- Recycle and Compost – The average Californian disposes 4.5 pounds of trash per day. Most of this is recyclable or compostable. Help contribute to the planet by making sure you properly sort your waste into Recycle, Compost, and Landfill bins.
- Go Paperless – Avoid printing emails or documents. Besides the environmental benefits of using less paper and less energy to transport it all, going paperless will save you time and clutter. You can learn to cut down on the paper you produce at home and work by paying bills online and archiving important documents digitally to move in a paperless direction.
- Participate in Your Community – Shop local, stock up at Farmers’ Markets, or check out an Earth Day event in San Mateo County or in the greater Bay Area to beautify your city or shoreline or tour a recycling center.