The Palo Alto area is blessed with many Local Groups which work on environment and other issues. We support them and encouraging networking with them.
Click to learn about Local Groups with a focus on:
- Climate Action
- Energy and Efficiency
- Food and Gardening
- Land Use and Urban Planning
- Natural History and Outdoors
- Umbrella Groups
- Citizens Climate Lobby
Mountain View group: mtviewccL@gmail.com
This is the local branch of a national organization that is primarily focused on getting Congress to enact a tax on carbon-based fuels.
Silicon Valley group:
Contact: Suds Jain, chair
- 350.org, Silicon Valley Group
Contact: Pierre Delforge
350.org is an international organization, 350.org , founded by Bill McKibben about 8 years ago, to raise awareness that we need to keep the carbon dioxide level in Earth’s atmosphere to no more than 350 parts per million if we want to maintain a stable climate. Unfortunately, recent measurements have found CO2 levels already at 400 ppm — and rising. 350.org has thus called for an international divestment campaign, asking individuals and institutions to remove their investments from fossil fuel companies.The local 350.org group has a divestment subcommittee, a group working to stop fracking in California, another working to protest the proposed KXL pipeline, and a public outreach group. The local group’s website is www.350siliconvalley.org. To tap into the activities, contact Pierre Delforge and ask to become a member of the Googlegroup, or sign up on the website.
- Sierra Club, Loma Prieta Chapter – Cool Cities Teams
One of the largest chapters of the national Sierra Club, our local area LP chapter has created a city-by-city network of activists from Daly City to Los Gatos. Each group works on issues at their local city council which can reduce CO2 emissions, such as supporting solar energy, encouraging electric vehicle chargers or increasing urban density. Go to their webpage to find contact names and emails for people in your town: lomaprieta.sierraclub.org/cool_cities/teams
Acterra’s Green@Home program offers several ways to help people protect the climate by reducing energy use at home. Acterra trains volunteers who visit homes to install basic energy-saving devices and show residents energy-saving techniques. In addition, people who live in Santa Clara County can have a free on-line analysis of their utility bills, followed by phone support or in-home visits, depending on the situation. To volunteer, contact Lisa Dorn at firstname.lastname@example.org or to do an on-line analysis, go to
— Debbie Mytels
- Grass-Fed Films (Eco-Flicks for an Abundant Planet)
Local filmmaker Matt Harnack
Local blog with YouTube videos, commentary, news.
- Be the Change (Acterra)
Acterra’s environmental leadership program engages diverse participants – from business leaders to educators to scientists to social activists – in a year-long training program.
- Green@home (Acterra) )
Get an energy audit for free<
“Trained volunteers meet with residents in their homes to install simple energy-saving devices and create home energy conservations plans. Volunteers demonstrate environmentally friendly choices and foster a deeper awareness of the need for change.”
- Collective Roots
EPA group with the mission to “educate and engage youth and communities in food system change through sustainable programs that impact health, education, and the environment.”
- Common Ground Garden
Organic demonstration garden and education center.
- Getting Going Growing
Helping “establishing school gardens in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties”
- Master Gardeners – Santa Clara County
“trained volunteers with the University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program; our mission is to extend the ability of the local Cooperative Extension office to provide practical, scientific horticulture and gardening information to the citizens of Santa Clara County. “
- Slow Food South Bay
“The International Slow Food movement is a non-profit organization comprised of more than 100,000 members worldwide, dedicated to promoting Good, Clean and Fair food throughout the world. … Our Chapter, one of the first five created in the U.S., runs activities promoting Real Food, and organizes meals at restaurants, social events, tastings, cooking courses, winery tours, films and lectures.”
- The Ethics of Food & the Environment (Stanford)
Films and speakers on the ethical dimension of food.
- Village Harvest
A nonprofit volunteer organization whose mission is to provide food for the hungry, preserve our heritage and skills, and promote sustainable use of urban resources. We organize and coordinate backyard fruit harvesting, and provide education on fruit tree care, harvesting, and food preservation.
- Grand Boulevard Initiative
A regional collaboration dedicated to the revitalization of the El Camino Real corridor, as it runs through San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties in the California Bay Area.
- Greenbelt Alliance – South Bay
Protects open spaces and creates vibrant places throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. We work in partnership with diverse coalitions on public policy development, advocacy, and education.
- Mountain View Committeee for Sustainable Planning (Facebook page)
We’re a local group dedicated to promoting environmentally, economically and socially sound planning in Mountain View, California.
- California Native Plant Society (CNPS) – Santa Clara Valley Chapter
“Non-profit organization dedicated to the understanding and appreciation of California’s native plants and how to conserve them and their natural habitats through education, science, advocacy, horticulture and land stewardship.”
- Canopy Trees
“Non-profit advocate for the urban forest and works to educate, inspire, and engage the community as stewards of young and mature trees.”
- Exploring a Sense of Place
” A program designed to provide the means by which people anywhere on Earth can reconnect with the natural world where they live assisted by our guidebook, leadership training workshops and regional exploration course. The series of explorations enhance familiarity with the deep-time geologic story of your place, its weather and climate, wildlife – plant and animal – as well as the Earth wisdom of indigenous people.”
- Acterra Stewardship
“Acterra Stewardship restores damaged natural habitats to become fully functioning healthy ecosystems and uses habitat restoration as a vehicle to educate and inspire adults and youth to understand and appreciate the natural world.”
- Sierra Club – Loma Prieta Chapter
“Offers hikes and outdoor recreation for people of all ages, advocates for policies that protect our natural environment, supports environmental candidates for public office, and provides opportunities for people who want to develop leadership skills to give back to the community and help the environment.”
- Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition (SVBC)
“Promoting the Bicycle for Everyday Use. SVBC is your best source for bicycling information in the Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. Check this page to learn about interesting events, volunteering opportunities, and current issues facing bicyclists.”
Umbrella environmental organization.
- Community Environmental Action Partnership (CEAP)
The City of Palo Alto and community groups created the Community Environmental Action Partnership (CEAP) in accordance with the recommendations made by the Green Ribbon Task Force and the Climate Protection Plan. CEAP’s mission is to bring the various segments of the community together to share knowledge, build mutual understanding, leverage resources, and both create and implement innovative environmental solutions.
- Cool Cities
Sierra Club’s Cool Cities Program, led by volunteers around the country, is a collaboration between community members, organizations, businesses, and local leaders to implement clean energy solutions that save money, create jobs, and help curb global warming. Since 2005, over 1000 city and county leaders have made a commitment to cut their community’s carbon footprint. With these commitments comes a challenge and opportunity — and we can help you turn your community into a “cool” community.
- Green Mountain View
Green Mountain View (GMV) was born in early 2009. An independent, self-selecting, citizen-powered, open-membership group of city residents and workers that undertakes sustainability-oriented activities initiated by any MV-centric individuals who want to work on them. Some of these projects may involve continuing our public/private partnership with the City, but we are oriented toward grassroots activity.
- Palo Alto Neighborhood Green Teams
Palo Alto Neighborhood Green Teams are neighbors coming together to share ideas and take action to lower our carbon footprint and make our neighborhoods more sustainable. We have Green Teams in schools and in businesses, why not in our neighborhoods? Examples of projects we work on include: a Green Home Tour, Bike Palo Alto!, neighborhood creek restoration, Mini-Can Garbage Challenge, greening neighborhood events and more. In addition to taking action, it is also an opportunity to meet your neighbors and have fun.
- Silicon Valley Action Network (SVAN)
“Palo Alto based non-profit organization formed by the volunteers of Silicon Valley for Obama, the 6,000 member grassroots Obama organization for the South Bay and the Peninsula. We translate the ideals, energy and spirit of the presidential campaign into ongoing action on the local, state and national levels. Our goal is to further the progressive movement through rational public discourse and activities that serve our community.”
“World Centric’s mission is to reduce economic injustice and environmental degradation through education, community networks, and sustainable enterprises.”
Supports Transition Palo Alto in many ways. We are especially grateful for the use of their space in which to hold meetings.
- “Local Resources To Help Reduce Your Carbon Footprint” (PDF)
Helpful guide from Annette Puskarich, created for the June 2010 Barron Park Green Tour
- Fab-Mo (Fabrics and More)
Rescuing Designer Materials for Creative Reuse. “We gather beautiful designer fabrics (discontinued samples) and make them available to creative craftfolk in support of churches, schools, non-profits, and individual initiative. We are a totally volunteer effort. “