San José (Costa Rica)
Eco-friendly travel guide to San José (Costa Rica) advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in San José, Costa Rica.
- Air qualilty: 3.5 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 3 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 4 / 5
- Public transportation: 3.5 / 5
- Parks: 3.5 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 2.5 / 5
- Locals' English level: 3 / 5
- Safety: 3.5 / 5
- Accommodation: US$70 - $150
- Budget per day: US$250 - $400
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
San Jose is the capital as well as the largest city in Costa Rica. The city is one of Central America's most popular tourist cities. As a tourist, there are several duties and responsibilities that you need to fulfill in order to become a responsible traveller. While exploring different places and the general idea of tourism is great, it is also harmful for the environment because of the way tourists travel today. It is of utmost importance to be a responsible traveller especially when we are at the verge of a climate disaster.
- Choosing the right transport method: A major part of your travel experience includes discovering every nook and cranny of the city. While you will have transport options like private cars and taxis at your disposal you need to know that not only do they contribute to more congestion and traffic pollution but also emit harmful gases into the environment. So, choose options like walking, cycling, electronic and public transportation in general.
- Trying local food: A huge part of the local culture is the traditional food that is offered at the local traditional restaurants and by street food vendors. Instead of just sticking to international fast food franchises that contribute to so much waste being produced in the world, you should try the local options. Not only will it help the local economy but also will directly help the families whose sole source of earning are these small food businesses.
- Do not throw waste: As an eco-friendly traveler, you need to promote sustainable living as much as possible in the city to motivate not only fellow tourists but local people. When you visit any tourists attractions especially city parks, make sure you do not throw any food wrapper and do not just stop at that but if you see any trash, pick it up and throw it in the dustbin. It might look like a very small thing to do but has a huge impact on people watching especially the children present in the park since they learn and mimic the behaviour of other people around them.
- Choose a green hotel: Plenty of accommodations are available in the city that provide you with a top-notch experience but instead of choosing them, you can pick green hotels for your stay. They use eco-friendly measures to reduce the pollution and waste of the city. This is one of the great ways to contribute towards the city to keep it safe and clean.
- Shop local: In order to support local craftsmen and artisans always shop local. During your trip to the city, you will come across small shops and food stalls in almost every lane of the city. If you want to have an unforgettable experience in the city, then buy goods and handicrafts from these shops. This will not only help you to save a lot of money but you will be supporting a lot of local people who are dependent on their small businesses to earn a livelihood.
Air Quality and Pollution
Different things affect the air in the city of San Jose, and we can trace them to human activities. However, there are efforts to curb and minimize them so that the air quality will remain safe and healthy. The current air quality is considered to be moderately unsafe. It will be better to carry a mask and your medication if you have asthma and breathing troubles in general.
The short-term symptoms of exposure to air pollution include itchy eyes, nose and throat, wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, headaches, nausea, and upper respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. It also exacerbates asthma and emphysema.
Long-term effects include lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, chronic respiratory illness, and developing allergies. Air pollution is also associated with heart attacks and strokes.
Respect the Culture
The Costa Rican culture is not only fun and vibrant but is also influenced by so many different cultures. You will find it to be an amalgamation of Spanish, Jamaican and Chinese culture among others. Costa Ricans are fun and lively people to be around and you will genuinely enjoy their company. They take pride in everything about their culture from the art, the food, and the clothes. When you visit San Jose it is important for you to respect the local culture, their traditions, customs, norms and values. Do not be over critical and do not look down upon them.
Top 10 Places to Visit
- Jade Museum: Jade Museum is a museum displaying pre-Columbian jade. It is located in Calle, Province de, Av Central, San Jose, Costa Rica. It was established in the year 1977 by Fidel Tristan Castro.
- Pre – Columbian Gold Museum: Pre – Columbian museum is a museum with ancient gold artifacts. It is located in Avenida Central, San Jose, Costa Rica. It was established in the year 1985.
- National Museum Of Costa Rica: National Museum of Costa Rica is a museum about Costa Rican culture and history. It is located in Cuesta de Moras, Bella Vista, San Jose, Costa Rica. It was established in the year 1950.
- La Sabana Park: La Sabana Park is a large park with sports and an art museum. It is located in Av. De Las Americas, Sabana, San Jose, Costa Rica. It is the country’s largest and most significant park.
- Plaza De La Cultura: Plaza de la Cultura is a well-known plaza above a museum. It is a popular public square with a fountain. It is located in Av. Central, Cathedral, San Jose, Costa Rica.
- National Children’s Museum: National Children's Museum is a museum in the city of San Jose. It is located in Bajos de la Union, San Jose, Costa Rica. It is one of the famous museums in the city of San Jose.
- Parque Diveriones: Parque Diveriones is a Mission-focused amusement park in San Jose. It is located at Oeste del Hospital, Mexico, San Jose, Costa Rica. It is established in the year 1964.
- Museum Of Costa Rican Art: Museum of Costa Rican Art is an art museum with Latin American works. It is located in Calle 42, Sabana, San Jose, Costa Rica. It was founded in the year 1994.
- Importadoa Monge: Importadora Monge is a city park with an ionic bandstand. It is an electronics store in San Jose, Costa Rica. It is located in 75 oeste del Parque Morazan, San Jose, Costa Rica.
- Metropolitan Cathedral Of San Jose: The Metropolitan Cathedral of San Jose is a historical cathedral with notable design. It is located in Calle Central, Avenida, Segunda, San Jose. The cathedral was built in the year 1802.
The city has many things to offer apart from the many historical and culturally renowned places packed with tourists. The various parks, beaches, museums, and landmarks will help you get a deep insight into the local culture and its beauty. This city ensures that it has places that play roles in calming and relaxing the mind. This is one of the major reasons that why it has become a popular tourist spot.
There is so much to do in this city, so tourists should have a scheduled plan ready in order to make the most of their times.
The city is big, and it has a great collection of parks and other such places. It has big open spaces and greeneries where you can spend time with your children and other family members. The views are one thing you cannot take away from parks.
Here are some famous city parks of the city:
- La Sabana Park
- Paeque Nacional
- Nacional, San Jose, Costa Rica
- Alajuelota Central Park
- El Carmen
The country has always been famous for its beautiful and graceful natural resources, and so that this city has a wonderful collection of national parks and a zoo. We are listing down a few of them that may not exactly be located in and around the city but are not very far away from the city.
- Parque Nacional
- Zoologico Y Jardin Botanico
- Braulio Carrillo National Park
- Volcan Poas National Park
San Jose is a city of famous beaches. It has some islands and beaches around it. But there is nothing to worry about because a few districts are there near to the city where you will get the finest beaches. San Jose is famous for its stunning beaches, and therefore it attracts thousands of tourists from across the world.
- Manzanillo Beach
- Playa Manuel Antonio Beach
- Conchal Beach
- Malpais Beach
The city of San Jose also has its share of memorable landmarks and monuments. You must try and visit as many as you possibly can. While the list is quite long, we are mentioning a few of them for our readers' benefit.
- Arenal Volcano
- Central Park
- Spirogyra Atlantico Railway Station
- Galeria Namu
- Buses Para Grecia
Visiting museums would be the icing on your holiday package. Museums will allow you to explore historical artifacts and give you an insight into the history of the city.
Here are some of these museums given are as follows:
- Children’s Discovery Museum
- Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum
- The Tech Interactive
- San Jose Museum Of Art
- New Almaden Mercury Mining Museum
- Japanese American Resource Center
You will find that the locals prefer to eat healthy and nutritious food with lots of vegetables and meats. Apart from these traditional and modern cuisines, the local street food is a must-try one that will leave your mouth lingering with their flavors. You will find that vegetarian, and non-vegetarian dishes are popular, and you will not find much trouble conveying your food preferences. Here are some famous local restaurants, vegetarian and vegan, and street foods are given below.
Traditional Local Restaurants
They are must-visit places to get a good experience. These restaurants are some of those restaurants in San Jose that continue to serve traditional Costa Rican food made in traditional ways. Here are some famous local restaurants which serve their authentic traditional foods are given below:
- Patty’s Inn
- Smoking Pig Bbq Company
- Holder’s Country Inn
- Firehouse No. 1
- Bill’s Café – Alameda
- Sabores Of The Valley
- Stanley’s Sports Bar
Vegetarian and Vegan
Sometimes the habits of two people are different. Thus, everyone does not have the same eating habit or love the same pattern when it concerns food choices.
If you are a vegetarian, you do not need to worry when you are in this city as there are many restaurants to attend to your needs. With these places, you will get to enjoy traditional meals properly with your regular choices. Some of these vegan restaurants are:
- Curry Up Now
- Vegetarian House – Vegan
- Good Karma Artisan Ales And Cafe
- The Happy Hooligans
- Green Lotus Restaurants
- Veggie Grill
- Tofoo Com Chay
One of the best things about the city is the street food that defines it's culture to a great extent. You will be amazed to see the street food options, and it will surely wake up the real foodie in you. Different cities have different dishes they classify as street food. Suppose you are a street food enthusiast and would want to try some in this city. You know those foods you can easily get at the roadside without the need for a fancy restaurant—those are classified as street food. The preparation time for them does not take long, and it is something you can eat on the go. One thing about street food is that you can try out varieties at the same time. San Jose’s street vendors' city serves many unique and delicious foods that are part of Costa Rican’s cultural heritage. These food items are a must-try in order to get proper exposure to the city's culture.
- Gallo Pinto
- Oll De Carne
- Sopa Negra
You also will be able to come across many fruit juice stalls where you can enjoy almost all types of fruits that keep your body cool and in good health. You will be able to get various beverages, various wines, and many other local drinks that will help you know the locals well. If you find a bar or pub in the city, you will not have to look much as it is plenty. Both local people and foreigners visit bars, pubs, and cafes to get the best experience of having different drinks. If you would like to restrict yourself to only soft drinks, the city of San Jose offers options for the best of coffee, tea, and other beverages apart from branded soft drinks.
The tap water in the city is 100% safe to drink without any harm to your health. But most of the local people in the city do not drink it without boiling. No matter how clean the water is, the locals do not recommend it to drink. You can drink tap water without filtering, but the locals will give you some side-eye. Boiling or filtering is not necessary, but you can do it just like locals. One of the most common things tourists need to know before landing in the city is water quality. Knowing the quality of tap water will help you to know if you can drink it or not. As an eco-friendly traveler, try to avoid drinking packaged water. Instead, boil and filter the tap water and drink it. If you are staying in a green hotel, you will get the best drinking water. In most parts of the city, you will be able to get bottled mineral water that you can buy.
The city has stood up to the task of catering for all segments of the population, including those with a preference for organic foods. Since some people would prefer eating organic, it is not out of place to have organic cafes in different cities. While they are not as obvious as the mainstream restaurants, the city has several organic eateries:
- Chromatic Coffee Co.
- Ijava Café
- Good Karma Artisan Ales And Café
- Happiness Café
- Vegetarian House – Vegan
- Vegan Donut And Café
- Green Bites Cafe
There are some places that you can visit to get international craft beer options. The city offers a few breweries collections, and it is one of the last places that a beer lover wants to visit. These brewery shops are trendy amongst the locals for an after-work drink. Without having proper breweries, you will not be able to explore the city and its culture. Many craft breweries produce this particular beer, and they also have shops in the city where these beers are sold. If you love alcoholic drinks, you will have a swell time in the city as there are many fabulous options for you. Have a look at some of its breweries:
- Oproar Brewing Company
- Floodcraft Brewing Co.
- Hermitage Brewing Company
- Hapa’s Brewing Company
- Strike Brewing Co. And Warehouse Taproom
The museums and art exhibitions are always there for you to explore, making you appreciate art. Even if you are not a lover of artwork, something in you will be compelled when you see them.
The city is best known for its art and culture in tourism, and it has many places to explore. However, this is not the case for people who wish to visit the city as there is always something to do. Foreigners hate getting bored when in a new city, so you would see those seeking locals' recommendations. If there is not much to do in a city, then what is the point of visiting there? It would be best to make friends with the locals to have an epic experience in the city.
Yoga and Retreats
You will find that young people are the ones that like to participate in such fitness exercises. There are many yoga institutes in the city where you can train under a qualified and experienced yoga teacher. With increasing awareness of the need for a healthy and fit lifestyle, the local people are gaining interest in yoga, an ancient Indian practice for maintaining the health of mind and body. Some of the renowned yoga centers are as follows:
- Almaden Yoga
- Willow Glen Yoga
- Balance Yoga Center
- Downtown Yoga Shala
- Bikram Yoga San Jose
- Live Lotus
- 24 Hour Fitness
These places help the tourists to have a comfortable and convenient stay in the city of San Jose. There are many green hotels, camping sites, and couch-surfing hosts that offer accommodation at much cheaper rates and are ideal for those with a tight budget. No matter what type of accommodation you are searching for, you will find most of the types here. You will also get some hotels in the city that offer the best view of the twin towers. Staying and spending days in a city depends a lot on the hotels and motels of the place. The city center is the most crowded spot in the city where you will get to see many shops, different local foods, and other tourists.
You can opt for booking a hotel room or set a deal with a couch-surfing host before visiting the city of San Jose to make your trip even more convenient. Although couch-surfing is a recent accommodation concept, it is gaining a lot of popularity in the city of San Jose. Staying in a hotel that provides different services helps you get the best time in the city and have a great experience. You will find many accommodation options in the city from different places, but it's best to book a hotel that is close to the city center. As an eco-friendly traveler, you will also get the option of green hotels to make your stay healthy and well. It will help you to reach different attractive spots easily.
Many foreigners fail to realize that they have a role to play in protecting the environment, and it does not matter if it is your place of origin or not. If you are an environmental enthusiast, we know that you would search for green hotels in San Jose to ensure that you have an eco-friendly stay in the city. You should play a role in any place you find yourself.
Here are some of the green hotels in the city given below:
- Wyndham Garden San Jose Airport
- Hyatt House San Jose / Silicon Valley
- Fairmont San Jose
- Double Tree By Hilton Hotel San Jose
- San Jose Marriott
- Comfort Suites San Jose Airport
Hostels and Guest Houses
Here are some comfortable and affordable guesthouses as well as hostels in the city. You will get plenty of options for hotels in the city, from low to high price, three stars to five stars with different offerings. Both online and offline bookings are available in most of these hotels. They are given below:
- Motel 6 San Jose, Ca – South
- E – Z 8 Motel San Jose I
- Sterling Inn
- Valley Inn San Jose
- Mansion Startup House
- California Motel
You will have many such options available to you. However, not all apartment owners may feel comfortable renting out their properties to foreigners, but things are changing. Renting apartments will not be much of a problem in the city as you will get many opinions. You can take the help of different services to rent apartments at an affordable price. It will help you get a better service and save you the trouble of finding one in the city on your own. They would like to earn some passive income from their apartments that otherwise would have remained vacant. Choosing a rented apartment helps to save a lot of money and allows you to enjoy a comfortable stay in the city. It is best to find and book the apartment before stepping into the city.
There is an online community known as couchsurfing.com, and if you are a part of it, you will be able to come across dozens of CouchSurfing mates and companions. The perk of Couchsurfing is that it is free. As a foreigner, you do not need to pay your host. However, it is your responsibility to be respectful and abide by the laws of the city. It is a new concept but has taken off quite well in the city. The idea surrounding Couchsurfing is that locals of the city offer hospitality by opening their homes to foreigners. It is usually voluntary so that there will be no complaints. Thus, anyone who signs up to accommodate people through Couchsurfing is expected to treat them right as they were not forced to do it.
Campers describe the experience as exciting, and it lures those who have never been camping before. It helps you meet new people, and you get to do things you have never done before. If you a lover of nature and the outdoors, we know that you would wish to experience camping in whatever form when you are in a new city. The thing with camping is that there are particular areas for it; else, the whole purpose is defeated. Thus, it is right to know about camping sites.
- San Jose Trailer Park
- Woodland Youth Camp
- Joseph D. Grant County Park
- Garden City Rv Park
- Trailer Tel Rv Park
- Foothills Mobilodge And Rv Park
How to Get There
Tourists and local people can book the tickets using their online services of various transportation services to reach the destination smoothly without any complications. The proper thing that any tourist should do is research the available means of transportation to the city from their current location. That way, you would know the options you can use, which would help you choose. It is not all means of transportation that might be available from your home to the city you want to visit. If San Jose is your destination, you should know that there are many ways of getting into the city. Here are some options for transportation and details about them, which will help you know what type suits you best.
The city has its airport named Juan Santamaria International Airport. This airport is very well connected to all the different countries. You will be able to catch a flight from different places to reach the city. Compared to all the other transportation options, the air is the most convenient way to save a lot of time and helps you travel comfortably.
The bus terminuses are chaotic, and you may have to take some local help to determine which bus to choose for your requirements. This is because the intercity bus terminus is located around one hour from the city. The city has reasonably advanced local bus transport services, but intercity bus services are not very comfortable.
San Jose railway station is the Sabana – Contraloria Railway station. It provides regional, inter-city, national destination trains. This public mode of transport is quite popular amongst the locals as a cheap and convenient mode. However, you would get more time to appreciate the views and nature when you use a train as your desired means of transportation. The best thing for anyone to do when using a train is to engage in other activities like reading a book or playing games to whirl away time.
While the locals are quite friendly and hospitable and hitchhiking is a common practice in many parts of the world, it is not common to encounter hitchhikers in San Jose. Hitchhiking is very much in vogue in the city, but you have to be careful when choosing the right person. Most drivers are naturally wary of picking up strangers, fearing carrying robbers and carjackers. While there are exceptional cases of drivers who would be okay with offering one a lift, most of them would not, especially when driving at night.
A journey is not a very good start on tour, so it is better to stick with the option of flight or train. There are many other transport options available to you if you are traveling from the cities in the country or other countries. You can also book a cab to travel from other cities to the city of San Jose. Most people avoid these options because they are both time taking and costly. You can always reach the city by the road having four wheels or two wheels. It will take you a lot of time, but you will need a lot of time compared to other options to reach your destination.
These modes of transportations are efficient in helping you move around the city and discover the city's hidden gems. If you wish to travel, then the best option at your disposal are public transports such as trains, available buses, and electronic vehicles. Walking is an alternative mode of moving around but is the healthiest and cheapest mode.
Despite numerous attempts to decongest the city, including increasing the parking cost in town and banning public service vehicles from accessing certain parts of the town center, the streets have continued congested. Away from the city and into the residential suburbs boasts of many trees along many avenues that provide shade and fresh air as you stroll along. Walking is the most eco-friendly means of transport but also because of the traffic jam. As the city has rapidly grown, San Jose has become known for its unending traffic jams.
Bicycles are friendly to the environment and your travel budget. You can easily find bike renting stores in almost every district of San Jose city. If the city of San Jose is your destination city, you should have no worries about cycling around in the city as the roads are in an excellent state, which assures you of your safety. Once you have paid the rental fee, you do not need to bother about transportation as the bicycle would help you out. As a plus, you should also rent helmets when you are renting a bicycle as one can never be too safe.
They are expensive compared to the other transportation mode, but they also help you reach your destination faster. It is the best option if you are visiting someplace far within the city using high roads. You can get different electronic vehicles in the city, so this should not disturb your mind. The city is highly urbanized, and they are in touch with the latest features in the world. It is expected that everyone would have safety procedures at the back of their mind, and you would not want to use something like an electronic scooter on a busy road to obstruct cars.
You will be able to find many buses in the city, and all of them help give a very nice and comfortable riding experience. You can also catch the city bus, which is known to be a free bus service in the city. Most of these buses run near the city's popular sites to help travelers move from one place to another. If you want to save money while traveling to different places in the city, then a bus is the best option for you as a mode of travel. Buses are very frequent in this city, and you will get ones easily from the bus stands. The best thing about this transportation mode is that it helps you get to the destination very fast in a cheap fare that saves time and money.
Tram, Train and Subway
People use these transports for a faster way of moving around the city. You will find that trains help you reach destinations inside and outside the city as they have a more comprehensive range. You can buy the ticket from the stations or online to travel on these trains. You will be able to avoid the crowd, signals, traffic, and other complications on your way to the destination and get a very comfortable journey experience on these trains. On the other side, trams work only in some particular areas inside the city and are a great way of experiencing the local culture.
Eco-friendly sustainable stores that promote zero-waste are increasing rapidly in the city, and many locals are tying hearse products. You will be able to get some branded eco-friendly stores too in the city. You will be able to get many different local shops that sell traditional items. Make sure to buy from the local shops to support them and help them make a living. As an eco-friendly traveler, try eco-friendly shops such as recycled or send hand items.
Some of the food markets also have some food stalls filled with delicious local foods. Roaming the food markets is always good, as you will be able to get close to the locals and learn about different cooking and eating ingredients. These markets are better options as they are relatively cheaper and better sources than the frozen and preserved food in the supermarkets and departmental stores.
- Sajj Mediterranean San Jose
- Grocery Outlet
- Whole Foods Market
- Lunardi’s Markets
- Zanotto’s Family Market
- Sprouts Farmers Market
Shopping with a twist is always very good for the tourists, and they often look for flea markets wherever they go. Some of these markets operate daily, whereas some markets operate on special days or fixed days of the week. If you are one of them, then you do not have to worry much as you will get many flea markets in the city. Some of the best flora markets that can help you get some of the best crafts, antiques, and hidden gems are given below.
- The San Jose Flea Market
- San Jose Capitol Flea Market
- Nu Coast Inc
Second Hand Stores
While many travelers always buy second-hand clothes, ornaments, and other essentials, local people have started to adapt to these things. Using second-hand products is a great way to decrease wastes and help the city become eco-friendly.
Here are some of the famous second-hand stores:
- Round Robin Consignment
- Unicorn Thrift Shop
- Neu2U Thrift Shop
If you want to try some eco-friendly fashions that will help you stay healthy in the city and make the city safe, you can try many options available in the city. Eco-fashion is the use of sustainable materials that protect the environment to make clothes. These shops promote zero waste and recycling that helps to keep the environment safe.
Many parts of the city, especially the low and middle-income areas, don't even have waste collection systems in place. In high-income areas, private waste collection companies are booming. While many local people understand the long-term ramifications of improper solid waste management to the environment, recycling has not caught on, particularly in middle and high-income areas where recycled products generate income proportionately too minimal to consider pursuing seriously. Residents pay handsomely without really knowing where the waste will end up.
The locals are always happy when foreigners visit and commend the pristine state of the city. You will also notice that people have excellent health due to proper waste care. They understand that it is their responsibility to keep their environment clean, and whatever they do can either make or mar their atmosphere. These people strive to have a city conducive to living and know that it is impossible without an adequate waste management organization.
Work and Study Abroad
The city is very well known worldwide in different countries for being the capital of Costa Rica. Taking the help of online job finders also helps very much to find the best available jobs easily. The city is quite developed from different sectors, which include work and study too. Apart from that, these students also have a permit to work in the city while studying to earn pocket money and fess. These universities and colleges offer good courses to students, and they have different offers for international students that attract students from all over the world. There are many available jobs in the city that these students can take and earn a good amount of money.
There are many universities in Costa Rica and San Jose that partner with schools in other countries to have a student exchange program. Thus, you should check if your school partners with anyone in the city of San Jose if you desire to visit the city. The universities offer short term programs and long term scholarships as well. There are many exchange student opportunities that are there in the city for students to choose from. There is a specific semester in the city that is getting famous and inviting students from other countries. During the student exchange program, you get such an opportunity to learn Costa Rican-style education thoroughly and is a plus as you also get to explore the city.
You will get an excellent response from the local people when searching for au pair if you know where to search for them. Au Pair is available in the city of San Jose, but you will need to find a little bit hard to get a hold of them. This is one of the best options for students and foreigners to stay in the city. Not only it helps the person, but it also helps the host to do their daily work. It is a perfect chance to earn money and continue studying in a foreign country for students. People planning to stay in the city from different countries can take the help of the au pair in the initial stage to earn money and get shelter. Take the help of different services that help to find the perfect au pair for you as per your choice. This is a good accommodation option available for tourists also.
You can volunteer in many areas while in the city to research and choose a focus. Obviously, in a city of this size, there are plenty of issues to tackle. You can do your bit for society by volunteering for various endeavors, especially by NGOs and service groups. The city has several different organizations that work for a wide variety of causes. You can also contribute to society by doing your bit and volunteering for any of the programs being undertaken by some organizations or even arms of the government.
By volunteering, you are playing a role in being eco-friendly. A reason why some people visit other cities is that they want to be volunteers. They get satisfaction by volunteering and helping out in different capacities. We do not think that any city is not open to volunteers' ideas, and it happens in the city of San Jose.