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Atherton looks to work with local residents, regional agencies, and private organizations in order to build a more sustainable future. Initiatives working towards this goal include education and outreach to the community on sustainable practices, providing a category of programs aimed at reducing the carbon footprint and saving energy at home, and the adoption of a Climate Action Plan.

Energy Efficiency

In a residential town such as Atherton, energy efficiency can play a very important role in reducing climate change impacts. Energy efficiency is achieved when buildings use less energy. Energy efficiency can be achieved through technologies such as high energy water heaters and air conditioners, by adding features such as insulation or duct sealing, or even by simple measures such as unplugging unused electronics or turning off lights when not home.

Regional resources, such as Home Intel by Home Energy Analytics, provide energy audits for residents in San Mateo County. These energy audits include an analysis of energy usage in your home, and can even include suggestions on how to reduce home energy consumption.

Below are a series of helpful links associated with energy efficiency.

Green Building

Think about building Green!  Help reduce impacts to the environment and save yourself costs over time!!

Green Building (or sustainable building) means considering the environment and impacts to it when designing and building a structure. There are many elements to building green, including architectural design that maximizes natural light and ventilation, installing energy efficient fixtures and equipment, and selecting recycled and/or non-toxic construction materials. In general, homes constructed using green building practices are energy efficient, resource conserving, having better indoor air and light quality, and utilize construction materials wisely.

Plan ahead!  If you are considering remodeling or rebuilding your home, work with your architect and contractor in the initial phases of design.  By incorporating green buildings features into your home you can still work to have a home that meets your goals, while saving yourself costs in the long-term and resources for future generations! 

Visit the Build It Green Website for information on green building strategies and how you can integrate into your home's design. 

Resources of specific green products and others resources can be found:


Some features of no-cost to low-cost sustainable solutions can be found here!

And before you begin demolition, think about sustainable methods and ways to reduce the amount of material you contribute to our landfills.  Think about deconstructing your home, versus simply tearing it down.  Some resources:




While Atherton does not currently have a mandatory Green Building Ordinance mandating new construction and/or major renovations to meet certain minimum green rating levels, please consider applying any of the measures on this Single Family Home checklist.

Water Conservation

Water Conservation means the sustainable management of water. In the town of Atherton this means both water used at home, as well as rain water than can potentially be repurposed. At home, Atherton residents can use technologies such as water-saving sprinkler nozzles (provided for free by www.freesprinklernozzles.com), or pick up a free Energy and Water Savings Toolkit at any San Mateo Public Library with informational resources and energy and water saving supplies (http://www.smcenergywatch.com/node/214).

Water usage at home is not the only measure for water conservation. Rainwater can also be managed to reduce climate change effects. Rainwater can cause runoff into storm drains, leading to pollution. Atherton residents can take part in a number of rebate programs in order to mitigate the effects of storm water pollution.

CalWater offers a number of rebates available to residents of Atherton on their website (https://www.calwater.com/conservation/rebates-and-programs/residential/bg/). Other rebates available include a Rainwater Barrel rebate available through San Mateo Countywide Water Pollution Prevention Program and Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency BAWSCA (http://www.flowstobay.org/rainbarrel) and a turf replacement rebate for replacing turf with landscape that requires little water (http://saveourwaterrebates.com/turf-replacement-rebates.html).

Waste Reduction

Waste reduction does not only mean garbage! Recycling and composting are also big components of waste reduction. Many local resources are available to Atherton residents to educate and inform on materials that can be recycled and composted. Below are some links available to learn more about waste reduction.




Climate Action Plan

The City Council, through a Climate Action Plan, establishes a framework designed to enhance the Town’s sustainable footprint. To the extent feasible and practical, the Town considers the long-term sustainability impacts of all governmental decisions; makes the protection and preservation of our natural environment a high priority in decision-making; recognizes that community education and participation are key to reaching sustainable goals; and seeks to work collaboratively with regional strategic partners to achieve sustainability targets. 

Track our progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions throughout Atherton here!

Environmental Programs Committee

Staff Liaison to the Committee

Lisa Costa Sanders

Town Planner

93 Station Lane
Atherton, CA 94027

Ph: 650-752-0544
Fx: 650-688-6528

Monday - Friday
8 - 11 a.m. and 1 - 4 p.m.

Theresa DellaSanta
Assistant to the City Manager/City Clerk
91 Ashfield Road
Atherton, CA 94027

Ph: 650-752-0529