CEC provides free events that highlight current environmental topics and inspire sustainable living. We partner with the City of Burlingame, the County of San Mateo, and other local cities and like-minded community and charitable organizations to share green lifestyle and sustainability information. All programs are free.
Recent speaker, film and workshop events have included:
- “Optimizing Our Highways: Moving More People with Fewer Cars” with transportation experts
- “Lawn Be Gone: Attractive Turf Alternatives” with award-winning horticulturalist Frank Niccoli
- “Is Climate Change Making You Sick?” with Dr. Paul Auerbach of Stanford University
- How Will Sea Level Rise Impact You, Your Family and Your Community? with Hilary Papendick of San Mateo County’s Office of Sustainability
- Grassroots Advocacy 101 program and Grassroots Advocacy Skill Building half-day workshop with professional trainer Brian Rawson
- Film screenings, including “An Inconvenient Sequel,” “Before the Flood” and “The Plastic Bottle Controversy Explained,” a film by Burlingame High student Jeffery Chen.
- A presentation by an attorney representing 21 young people who are suing the U.S. government for failure to take action against climate change
- The Growing Problem of Electronic Waste
Other programs have featured climate change, sea level rise, food waste, gray water and rainwater recycling, plastic-free living, California’s water crisis, opportunities for energy- and water-efficiency upgrades, water-wise landscaping, artificial turf, fracking, composting, the sharing economy and many other environmental and sustainability topics.
In 2009 the City of Burlingame was one of the first Peninsula Cities to create a Climate Action Plan, which CEC’s founders helped draft and continues to monitor. We work closely with the city on new policies and incentive programs that help residents and businesses become more sustainable. See the “Sustainability” section on the city’s website to learn more about what Burlingame offers.
CEC has received the following environmental honors:
Third place during 2016 in the statewide CoolCalifornia Challenge, working with residents to reduce energy and water use. CEC earned more than $16,000 for its efforts.
National Environmental Hall of Fame award in April 2011 for positive sustainability actions
The CEC has persuaded the city to create many ordinances and programs – Our advocacy efforts have included:
Regularly partners with the city to promote donations of electronics and used books during recycling events.
Encourages sustainable lifestyle choices for Burlingame High School students by providing seed funding for environmental projects, including a schools community garden and equipment to promote better student recycling.
Ongoing support for Beekeepers’ Guild of San Mateo County’s campaign for consistent countywide policies to protect bees.
Support for more sustainable and equitable forms of transportation in San Mateo County’s proposed transportation measure in November 2018.
Adoption of the first San Mateo County ordinance requiring responsible recycling of electronic waste in October 2017.
Installation of Burlingame’s first electric vehicle charging stations on February 12, 2015.
Burlingame Green Building Code effective January 1, 2014. Learn More.
Burlingame’s first Community Garden, which opened in March 2014.
Burlingame’s first Sustainability Coordinator, who began working on December 1, 2014.
Adoption of San Mateo County Single-Use Carry-Out Bag Ordinance effective Earth Day, April 22, 2013. Learn More.
Launched the Bayfields Community Garden at 1125 Airport Blvd. in Burlingame in 2013.
Leaf Blower Ordinance effective July 1, 2012. Learn More.
Adoption of San Mateo County Prohibition on the Use of Polystyrene Based Disposable Food Service Ware by Food Vendors effective May 2011. Learn More.
Check out the City of Burlingame’s Sustainability policies and programs to see what the city is doing and find helpful tips and resources.
- Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
- Energy-, water and money-saving opportunities for residents and businesses
- Water conservation
- Energy conservation
- Recycling, composting and reducing waste
In addition to its popular free events and workshops, the Citizens Environmental Council of Burlingame offers many other programs.
Partnerships – CEC partners with San Mateo County’s Office of Sustainability, the City of Burlingame, Green Teams at Burlingame schools, Sustainable San Mateo County, Recology, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, the Sierra Club and many other organizations to advocate, inspire and support positive actions that reduce CO2 emissions, conserve limited natural resources and improve our quality of life.
Environmental Internship Program – In partnership with the City of Burlingame, CEC offers internships for high school students with an interest in sustainability issues. The program is open to sophomores and juniors who live or attend school in Burlingame. Learn more.
Annual BHS College Scholarship Program – For the past two years the CEC has awarded scholarships to deserving Burlingame High School (BHS) students who have demonstrated their passion for environmental causes and issues. Learn more.
Note: The CEC is indebted to Trustee Sterling Franklin of the Morris S. Smith Foundation for helping fund our annual scholarships. Learn more.
CEC Student Film Fest – In partnership with the Burlingame Environmental Club at Burlingame High School, CEC launched its first student film festival in March 2018. There were more than 35 entries from students in grades 4 to12 who live or attend school in Burlingame. Prizes were awarded at three levels – elementary, middle and high school – as well as to an overall festival winner. The Film Fest high school winner went on to receive first place in the San Francisco “Clear the Air” Film Festival and the Film Fest’s “Best in Show” winner’s film was shown at the San Francisco Green Film Festival. Learn more.
Sustainable Projects at Burlingame High School – CEC covered the cost of BPA-free aluminum water bottles that Burlingame High School students are selling to raise funds for environmental projects. CEC also provided seed funding for a community garden and equipment to promote better student recycling at Burlingame High.
Repair Cafes, Recycling Events and Bayfront Cleanups – CEC volunteers routinely help staff and promote Repair Cafes held by the Burlingame Public Library, where fix-it experts repair items and keep them out of landfill, as well as recycling events and Bayfront Cleanups, where volunteers fight pollution by picking up trash and recyclables.
Peninsula Food Runners – CEC members regularly volunteer with Peninsula Food Runners (PFR), a nonprofit that reduces food waste by diverting edible surplus food from landfill and giving it to those in need. PFR volunteers pick up excess perishable and past-its-prime nonperishable food from donors such as restaurants, caterers and grocery stores. Its volunteers then deliver the food directly to shelters, neighborhood feeding programs and affordable housing locations. Currently, PFR diverts 30,000 meals a week from landfill and to those in greatest need. Learn more on the Peninsula Food Runners website.
Burlingame Fresh Market – CEC volunteers are happy to provide sustainability information and answer questions at the CEC table at the Burlingame Fresh Market between 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on selected third Sundays of each month. Check the events calendar for dates.
Annual Bike to Work Day – Each May, CEC partners with Commute.org (formerly Peninsula Traffic Congestion Relief Alliance) to inspire local residents to out of their cars and use bikes and public transportation. CEC volunteers staff an “Energizer Station” at the Burlingame Caltrain Station that includes free Bike to Work canvas bags, energizing treats and other goodies for participants.