Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in March


ways-to-be-a-good-neighbor-tree-plantings-good-neighbor-stories-pam-marinoRain, finally! The dust and dirt that was building up on all the shrubs, trees and outdoor surfaces is washed away, giving the feeling of a fresh start. Spring is just a couple of weeks away, so put winter behind you and start something new that will make your neighborhood and community a better place.

Here are five ways you can make a difference this month.

1. Spring Spruce Ups: Parks, open spaces and eco-friendly organizations are organizing outdoor clean-ups and plantings all month. The Golden Gate Audubon Society has several habitat restoration events on both sides of the bay, and Save the Bay has similar types of restoration and planting events open to volunteers. The San Francisco Bay Chapter of the Sierra Club is hosting a tree planting event in Oakland on March 8. Or check out the numerous events offered by Our City Forest in San  Jose.

2. Educate Yourself About Income Inequality: Silicon Valley De-Bug is hosting the Forum on Inequality in Silicon Valley from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, March 6, at the Camera 12 Theaters, 201 S. 2nd Street, San Jose. The award-winning website’s staff is bringing together community leaders to speak about the problem of income inequality, along with a local hip hop artist who is premiering a video, “Gold Out West,” for this free community event. [Read more…]

Got Weekend Chores? We All Do on Coastal Cleanup Day


The weekend chores around our homes can wait. The sea is calling. And the bays, creeks, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. The collective “we” left our trash behind in our waterways, and it needs to get cleaned up on Coastal Cleanup Day, Saturday, Sept. 15, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

The great thing about this chore? We get to do it amidst the natural beauty of our shorelines, side-by-side with thousands of neighbors.

Around the world on more than 20,000 miles of coastline, a half a million people are expected to pick up millions of pounds of trash on Coastal Cleanup Day, always held on the third Saturday in September. Last year volunteers recovered more than 9 million pounds, including 2 million pounds of cigarette butts, 1.1 million pounds of caps and lids, just over a million pounds of plastic beverage bottles, and just under a million pounds of plastic bags, according to the Ocean Conservancy.

In California we’re celebrating the 28th anniversary of Coastal Cleanup Day, billed as the largest single volunteer event in the state. According to state officials, more than 82,000 residents took part in 2010, picking up more than a million pounds of debris.

And here in the San Francisco Bay Area, we have a lot of cleanup to do: Save the Bay is expected to release its annual list of “trash hot spots” on Wednesday, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, with five waterways listed as the dirtiest in the region. Number one on the list is San Jose’s Coyote Creek, followed by the Damon Slough near Oakland, Baxter Creek in Richmond, San Tomas Aquino Creek in Santa Clara, and the Hayward Shoreline. [Read more…]