Menlo Spark

Post image for A week of Global Climate Action Summit events – and how Menlo Park can make climate goals a reality here

Last week thousands of people who care about climate progress converged at events around the Bay Area for the Global Climate Action Summit.

We at Menlo Spark were fortunate to have Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and internationally recognized leader on human rights, come to Kepler’s Books on September 13 to talk about how climate change has impacted people all around the world.

Special guest, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, joined the conversation with Angie Coiro to tell the story of how her native village in the Republic of Chad has struggled in recent years with climate impacts of drought and extreme weather.

Both speakers radiated hope that we can create a resilient, clean energy future for everyone from nomadic peoples of the Republic of Chad to coastal communities in North Carolina.


Climate change is affecting all of us, from hurricanes deluging coastal communities with twice as much flooding, to the gradual creep of sea level rise, intense heat waves, more destructive wildfires, and failing crops. The Global Climate Summit showcased how everyone can come together to transition away from polluting fossil fuels and create a clean energy economy.

Governor Jerry Brown started the Summit with a surprise announcement that California would aim to be fully carbon neutral by 2045. And we’re not alone. Over 400 companies, cities, states and regions made big commitments to advance climate progress though electric vehicles, zero carbon buildings, reducing food waste, restoring forests, and investing $13 trillion in assets.

Here in Menlo Park we’re off to a great start, leading the way to a clean energy economy. Shortly before the Climate Summit, Facebook announced a big commitment to cut its carbon emissions 75% and use 100% renewable power by 2020.

The City of Menlo Park made a similar commitment to renewable power last year and is on track to meet one of the most ambitious local climate targets for 2020.

Over the next year, the City of Menlo Park could take bold action with new climate targets for 2025 that include commitments to zero carbon buildings (which 22 cities have pledged) and transition to green and healthy streets (25 cities signed pledged).

There’s so much that each of us can do to be a part of the solution to global climate change right here in Menlo Park. We hope you’re inspired to act! You can find ideas for personal actions online.

Author Diane Bailey is Executive Director of Menlo Spark

Pictured top is Mary Robinson (center) with (L to R) Diane Bailey, Susan Bell (Advisory Board, Menlo Spark), Mitch Slomiak and Chris DeCardy (co-founders of Menlo Spark and Chair of Vice Chair of the non-profit); Mary Robinson and Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim In Deep with Coiro

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Chris DeCardy reflects on his eight years on Menlo Park’s Environment Quality Commission

Thumbnail image for Chris DeCardy reflects on his eight years on Menlo Park’s Environment Quality Commission

Recently, I ended two terms on Menlo Park’s Environmental Quality Commission. I wanted to serve to ensure the environmental amenities of our town — trees and clean air and water — are respected and enhanced, and that our inevitable growth and development are managed thoughtfully. What I didn’t expect has been the opportunity to see, […]

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Menlo Spark recognizes students, teachers and residents who support sustainability in Menlo Park

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Last month, Menlo Spark honored environmental leaders in schools with Menlo Green Challenge Awards. Menlo Park Mayor Peter Ohtaki recognized the outstanding achievements of students, teachers, and residents who took initiative to support sustainability in Menlo Park. Jerry Griffith, for winning the Menlo Green Challenge, with the Climate Actions taken to reduce his household carbon […]

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Menlo Park celebrates Earth Day in numerous ways and places, thanks to Menlo Spark

Thumbnail image for Menlo Park celebrates Earth Day in numerous ways and places, thanks to Menlo Spark

Menlo Spark is doing some fun events this week in Menlo Park for earth day. Last Tuesday, we helped students at Oak Knoll Elementary School make pledges for one thing they’ll do for Earth Day this year, posting those pledges, making a paper tree (below left).  Oak Knoll faculty and parent volunteers have done an […]

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Spark Green 2018 climate action campaign runs from Jan. 29th through March 2nd

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Today is the launch day of Spark Green 2018, which aims to double participation in the Menlo Green Challenge, an online program that empowers residents to take climate actions. “Last year, almost 400 households signed up for the Green Challenge and they have reduced over 100 tons of carbon emissions!” emailed Menlo Spark Executive Director Diane Bailey. […]

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Facebook switches to 100% renewable energy through Peninsula Clean Energy’s ECO100 option

Thumbnail image for Facebook switches to 100% renewable energy through Peninsula Clean Energy’s ECO100 option

Facebook switched all electric accounts at its Menlo Park headquarters to Peninsula Clean Energy’s ECO100 option, making Facebook the largest participant in Peninsula Clean Energy’s 100% renewable energy option. “Facebook is committed to being a good neighbor and that includes reducing its potential impact on the environment,” said Lauren Swezey, Facebook Sustainability and Community Outreach […]

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Two Menlo-Atherton High School students are “climate heroes”

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Emails Diane Bailey of Menlo Spark: “Two students at Menlo-Atherton High School, Tyler Lewis (pictured) and Henry Marks, have shown how youth can lead the way to a more sustainable future, winning the Menlo Green Challenge this Spring. We are delighted to award them Eco Reco electric scooters for their climate action efforts! The Menlo […]

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Menlo Spark celebrates second anniversary, Menlo Green Challenge continues

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Diane Bailey, Executive Director of Menlo Spark, reminded us that the non-profit just celebrated its second anniversary and that people who take the Menlo Green Challenge, an online climate action tool to help you find out your carbon footprint and take actions, might win an electric bike or scooter. She emails: “Carpooling and swapping out old […]

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Love the Earth is part of pre-Valentines program offered by Menlo Spark

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Diane Bailey, who is Executive Director of Menlo Spark, let us know about a fun art project called “Love Your Earth” her organization sponsored yesterday at the Boys & Girls Club in the Belle Haven neighborhood of Menlo Park as a prelude to today’s Valentine celebration. She emails: “[The] BGCP has been integrating environmental themes into some of their programs.[Yesterday] Jonathan […]

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Menlo Green Challenge launches at Facebook to further goal of carbon neutrality in Menlo Park

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M-A student Giselle Martinez managed to surprise a roomful of environmentally-conscious people last week at Facebook when she performed a beautiful song about greenhouse gas emissions that she had written. As one Menlo Spark board member said after her performance, it is not common to hear a song that includes the words “emissions” and “dot-org.” But perhaps […]

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Menlo Spark salutes Climate Action Heroes for Earth Day

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Emails Diane Bailey, Executive Director of Menlo Spark: “We’ve just finished a fun project for Earth Day [April 22] called Local Climate Action Heroes to celebrate all the wonderful things that our local leaders, youth, families and businesses are doing to become more sustainable and lower their carbon footprint. You can see all of our Heroes […]

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