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Episode 8. keeping it school

Increasingly, youth are taking on key roles as climate advocates. So what’s it like to step into the climate policy spotlight — when you’re not even old enough to vote? Keeping It Cool talks to Purva and Alex, two Bay Area high school students, about their climate action journeys, while learning how other community members (parents, grandparents, teachers, and friends, this means you!) can join the supporting cast.

Helpful links and resources:

Episode 7. Finding Your (GrAss)Roots

When it seems like individual action isn’t enough to fix the climate, enter policy change. We talk with Paula and Karl Danz of the Silicon Valley North chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL). CCL works to activate community members in all 50 states — by helping them tap into their own personal superpowers in support of a bigger common goal: getting Congress to act on carbon pollution pricing.


Helpful links and resources:

​​Citizen's Climate Lobby Resources

Other Tools


Have you ever thought about what happens to waste after it’s tossed in the bin? As guest Julia Au of RethinkWaste explains, waste can either form stinky methane in a landfill or beneficial compost for reuse on the land — it’s up to us to choose. And Julia helps us with a slew of “what do I do with THIS?” questions. (Photo credit: RethinkWaste)


Helpful links and resources:

​​On Senate Bill 1383

Tools for sorting and composting

Statistics from the EPA on landfill emissions: "Municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills are the third-largest source of human-related methane emissions in the United States, accounting for approximately 14.5 percent of these emissions in 2020."

Episode 5. Fridge Benefits

Tired of cleaning out slimy, forgotten food out of the fridge? We are too! The amount of food that is wasted by an average household is equivalent to tossing 1 in 4 bags of groceries each trip. Robin Plutchok of StopWaste discusses the impact of all this wasted food and shares strategies for preventing waste from happening in the first place.


Helpful links and resources:

Stop Food Waste is a collection of resources and blog articles for tips on preventing food waste.

Resources we specifically mention in this show include:

StopWaste is Robin’s Alameda County-based organization that is working with other agencies and community-based organizations to minimize food waste. Check them out on YouTube for informative videos about food waste prevention, or follow them on Twitter or Instagram

More info and tools:


Compared to motor vehicles, bikes are a cleaner, greener way of getting around. So how can we get more people on bikes? KEEPING IT COOL talks with longtime bike advocate Tim Oey of the Silicon Valley Bike Coalition, a group that is already shifting the gears within our cities toward a people-powered, fossil-free mobility future. So get on board the Bike Party! (Illustration by Stephany Lai)

 illustration by Stephany Lai - biking

Helpful links and resources:

Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition is one of several organizations in the Bay Area that supports bicycle advocacy, education, events, and community-building. More Bicycle Coalitions: San FranciscoEast Bay, Marin, Sonoma, Napa. These groups do a lot to help push for better bicycling conditions and infrastructure (for example, see SVBC's list of recent big "wins"). 
Check out city-level sub-chapters or groups, such as Bike SunnyvaleSan Carlos Bikes or San Jose Bike Party (a monthly gathering for folks to "ride bikes, make friends, and have a good time"). 
Women Bike is an East Bay initiative that strives "to encourage and inspire more women, trans and femme folks to ride bikes."

For commuters, "Bike to Work Day" is an annual tradition that was reframed as "Bike to Wherever Day" during the pandemic. Look for it each May.
Cool bike share resources:

Find statistics on the climate benefits of biking:

Learn about rebates:

Episode 3. watt's mine is yours

What can Bay Area residents do at an individual level to help solve climate change? It turns out that anyone using energy (both homeowners and renters) can make choices that can help keep the grid humming along on cleaner energy. Enter OhmConnect, a company that is on a mission to give people an easy way to save money and be part of the clean energy revolution. Curtis Tongue, one of OhmConnect’s co-founders, joins us to talk about how the everyday actions of you and all your neighbors have the power (see what we did there?) to shape the green grid of the future, and help us shift away from fossil fuels. 


Helpful links and resources:

Learn about Ohmconnect (and get a free smart thermostat when you join)

California's energy grid manager is the California Independent System Operator (ISO). Watch a 2-min video on how it works

Flex Alerts, defined

What are Smart Plugs and why are they useful? 

Episode 2. the UGLY DUCTING

Heating and cooling buildings uses a heck of a lot of energy: So what can we be doing better? Keeping It Cool interviews Deborah Vasquez, an apartment complex manager who created big energy savings for residents through building renovations and upgrades. Yifei and Vivian uncover more ways that homeowners can cut greenhouse emissions (and lower energy bills) by chatting with Jeffrey Liang, who works for an energy efficiency agency called BayREN. His mission: to help us think about our homes with the same excitement that we have for our iPhones or Teslas.


Helpful links and resources:

Sunshine Gardens Apartments website and article by Sherry Listgarten, "How a 1960s apartment complex is going green"

EnergyStar Ratings for commercial buildings, explained

Recology offers composting (choose a location). Find out where to compost all over California.

California Green Business Network and Santa Clara County Green Businesses 

​BayREN's Home+ rebate program for homeowners

BayREN Energy Advisor help line for call-in assistance

Jeffery's video: "Everything You Should Know About Energy in 30 Minutes"

Home too drafty? Furnace too big? Watch "Goldilocks and the Three Homes"

The Switch Is On home electrification resources

BayREN website for renters

Rising Sun Center for Opportunity's Green House Calls program

Episode 1. cool beans

Yifei and Vivian take the bull by the horns to find out how everyday food choices affect our greenhouse emissions, speaking with Nicole Angiel of the environmental nonprofit Acterra. They then turn to Allison Dear, a medical researcher at Stanford and a longtime vegan, to help demystify what plant-based eating is really like — all good prep for Yifei as she tries out vegan eating for a week.

Salad Friends

Shout-out to The Westerlies for our closing credits music.

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