If you're looking for information in your own town about living in better harmony with the environment, you should start with the web site of your own city or town, or even your local water or power utility, for the best local information on everything from rebates to conservation. Some cities even offer free water audits and other programs.
Here are few other places to start, with many of them able to link you to more information if that's what you want:
SANTA CLARA COUNTY
Santa Clara county Department of Environmental Health
Here's where you can find everything from composting and bay friendly gardening classes, to the county's policies and tips on waste disposal to articles about protecting the environment.
This link takes you directly to the Department of Environmental Health, where you can find out how to dispose of household hazardous waste: www.ehinfo.org/portal/site/deh/
Or you can go here for energy updates and energy saving tips: www.sccgov.org/portal/site/energy/
Santa Clara County Library
This is a one-stop shop for links on how to be kinder to the planet, including getting articles on the latest information available.
Center for the Development of Recycling
This user-friendly university-based, non-profit, environmental research and service organization is based at San Jose State and offers tips and information, including a nifty search for where you can recycle anything from bathtubs to batteries all over the Bay Area.
Hotline: (408) 924-5453; Toll Free: 1-800-533-8414 (from 408, 415, 510, 650, 831 and 925 area codes); Spanish/Vietnamese: (408) 924-5359
Santa Clara Valley Water District
This site provides tons of information about water in Santa Clara Valley, from information about where valley water comes from to how you can project the watershed and conserve at home. You can also sign up for a free water audit of your home.
Bay Area Air Quality Management District — Energy Efficiency www.baaqmd.gov/pln/prevention/energy_efficiency.htm
City of San Jose
San Jose Recycles: www.sjrecycles.org/
These site offers residents such information everything from storm water flow, how to protect local creeks and rivers, recycling and garbage.
To find out more about the San Jose Zero Waste initiative visit this: www.sjrecycles.org/zerowaste.asp
Green Business Program
Working in cooperation with the Environmental Protection Agency and local government entities, this site has information on becoming a green business all over the Bay Area. It also lets you know where you can shop green in your own county: http://www.greenbiz.ca.gov/ShopGreen.html
SAN MATEO COUNTY
San Mateo County
This site is a one-stop place for finding out anything you want to know about living green in San Mateo County, with links to various resources in the area. Check out the San Mateo County Hazardous Waste Hotline (650) 363-4718.
This one helps you shop green in the county: http://www.abag.ca.gov/bayarea/enviro/gbus/ShopGreenSMC.html
And their Recycle Works site has everything from where to recycle batteries to composting to how to create a sustainable diet to how to get yourself off those junk mail and email lists: www.recycleworks.org
East Bay Municipal Utility District
Gives information on everything you need to know about water; gives drought help, conservation tips, rebate information and more.
Mid-peninsula Water District
Conservation tips and other information on this area serving Belmont small areas of other Peninsula towns and cities.
CONTRA COSTA COUNTY
Contra Costa County
This tells residents everything they want to know about recycling in their county, from composting to green building to reuse and recycling options. Check out the Contra Costa County recycling hotline: (800) 750-4096. Also find the detailed "Reuse and Recycling Guide" at www.co.contra-costa.ca.us/depart/cd/recycle/guide.htm
For donation sites for electronic waste, visit this: www.wastediversion.org/
West County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility
Contra Costa Water District
Find out how to conserve, how to get rebates on low-flow toilets and water-saving appliances, take a water-use survey and more:.
This gives you resources for businesses, schools and home for recycling and reuse in the county. Check out the Alameda County Recycling Hotline at (877) 786-7927 .
Information on free composting classes, low-cost composting bins and worm composting bins can be found here: www.stopwaste.org/home
To recycle old computers, go to the Alameda County Computer Resource Center: www.accrc.org/
Alameda County Water District
Find out about conservation, rebates and more.
California Air Resources Board
This has information about air pollution and what you can do about it.
California Department of Water Resources
You'll find information on everything from flood safety to levee project to tips on conservation and water use throughout the state.
California Green solutions
This gives news and information about living green in California, from details about rebates and incentives for buying green products to finding out the latest regulations in the state.
OTHER GENERAL INFORMATION
Pacific Gas & Electric
This site gives information on managing your energy use, what you need to know about rebates and more. For green business information, visit this one: www.pge.com/mybusiness For solar incentives, visit www.pge.com/about/environment/pge/solar/installingsolaratyourhome.shtml
For rebate information go here: www.pge.com/rebates.
You can even get a free programmable thermostat; find out more here: www.pge.com/myhome/saveenergymoney/energysavingprograms/smartac/.
Want to cut down on your car use? Here are some sites that can help:
U.S.Department of Transportation: www.italladdsup.gov.
Fuel economy: www.fueleconomy.gov.
Where should you take those used CDs, motor oil or even refrigerators. Here are just a few places to start:
Earth911 links you to the best recycling places in your area: earth911.com.
Save the Bay: www.savesfbay.org.
Green Disk (to recycle DVDs, CDs and VHS tapes); www.greendisk.com.
The California Integrated Management Board: www.ciwmb.ca.gov/usedoil/centers
CALCULATING YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
Here are a couple ways to figure out your own carbon footprint:
Environmental Protection Agency: www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/ind_calculator.html.
H2House, hosted by the California Urban Water Conservation Council gives you chance to go from room to room in your house for tips on saving water: www.h2ouse.net/.
Carbon Footprint, www.carbonfootprint.com.
Environmental Defense Fund, www.fightglobalwarming.com/carboncalculator.cfm.
An Inconvenient Truth, www.climatecrisis.net/takeaction/carboncalculator/.Carbonfund.org., www.carbonfund.org/Calculators/.
Local Harvest for buying food grown closer to your home: www.localharvest.org.
New American Dream: www.newdream.org.
Social Investment Forum: www.socialinvest.org/.