Going Green in Your Community

Going green, or the use of renewable products and energy, has been a hot subject around San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area for quite a while now.  Efforts to go green can be as simple as bringing reusable bags to the grocery store or as large as Levi’s Stadium which has received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification.  The fact is, going green is spreading everywhere these days.  It’s in the news, politics, fashion, technology, and even the auto industry.  Supercars, which for many years were just gas-guzzling machines, have even adapted hybrid technology to become more economical.  The McLaren P1 supercar has a separate electric motor that can be used in conjunction with the normal engine to increase performance, or used completely solo to save gas and when driving in traffic.  Going green is about helping the environment and improving your overall quality of life.

The City of Hayward has been taking the necessary steps to form a greener environment, but there are many things that you can do to help as well.  Banning the use of single-use plastic bags at checkout stands went into effect on January 1, 2013.  If you need a bag at checkout, it’s going to cost $0.10 per paper bag.  That may not sound too bad, but multiple trips to the store over the course of a month or a year, that cost can add up to quite a bit.  Buying some reusable bags can save you money in the long run and will also help you avoid the hassle of getting rid of those bags when you’re done shopping.  Chances are they’re probably being thrown in the recycle bin eventually anyway.  This is a small step, yet it can make a big difference over time.  If everyone in your community took one small step, imagine the impact that will make in the environmental footprint.

Plants are another factor in cleaning up the environment.  That’s right, those beautiful trees and flowers that make your neighborhood look nicer and also create healthier surroundings.  Through the process of photosynthesis, plants use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates and oxygen.  For qualifying residents, the City of Hayward will provide and plant a tree in the public right-of-way strip between the sidewalk and the curb in front of your home.  For more information on how to get your free tree, please visit http://www.hayward-ca.gov/GREEN-HAYWARD/urban_forest.shtm.  In addition to adding those wonderful plants around your home, there are also ways to help clean up the areas away from your neighborhood and rid them of litter and graffiti.  The Adopt-a-Block Program allows individuals, businesses, faith based groups, non-profit organizations, schools, and other entities to take ownership of and help with upgrading the appearance of the city of Hayward.  More information on how you can help clean up the community can be found at http://www.hayward-ca.gov/GREEN-HAYWARD/ADOPT-A-BLOCK/.

For businesses, the City of Hayward and Alameda County have certain regulations that all businesses are required to follow to help maintain a healthy environment, however, there is always more you can do to go above the standard requirements.  Businesses that would like to achieve certification as a “green business” are required to document efforts in hazardous waste minimization, water conservation, waste reduction, recycling, and the purchase of recycled-content products.  For more information, please go to http://www.greenbiz.ca.gov/AboutUsAC.html.  The City of Hayward is also working with the Business Energies Solutions Team (BEST*) Program to offer free energy assessments and incentives such as lighting, controls, and technology.  Call 800-576-6405 or email best@kema.com for a free energy assessment and how your business can save money!

Are those enough resources for you to get started?  Well that’s just the tip of the iceberg!  There is information everywhere online about how you can get started with living a greener lifestyle at home, the office, and in your community.  At Bay Ram Collision, we care about the environment and make sure that our facility is always up to code and running as efficiently as possible.  We enjoy being part of the Hayward community and hope that the push for a greener community will help this great city remain the “Heart of the Bay.”

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