Monday, November 13, 2006

Green Festival SF 2006 - WOW

Still pretty exhausted - but here are some first impressions.

The buzz was energizing, the crowds were intense. I saw lots of commerce, lots of community, lots of green folks sharing a great vibe. As usual, the Green Festival is a bit overwhelming when you first walk in the door. This year we assigned ourselves the task of getting interviews with the founders of the festival and with San Francisco-based green businesses. We did pretty well in meeting our goal. We got some nice interviews with Kevin Danaher of Global Exchange and Alisa Gravitz of Co-op American. We fit in as many interviews with local businesses as we could including interviews with Verde Green Cleaning, Woodshanti, Eco-Talk Radio, Sustainlane, Dropwise Essentials and many more. It will take a while to get the videos edited (we shot about 4 hours of video), but we should have some photos up within a few days.

All in all, the Green Festival is like nothing else on earth. It is definitely overwhelming to the senses - but in a good way. We are ready for the day when the Green Festival (or Green Mart) has a permanent home we can visit any day of the year. Until then the annual Green Festival keeps our hopes and spirits high.

Check out these folks who are writing about their Green Festival experiences...

I suspect there will be more blog posts once folks have a chance to get home and catch their breath. The San Francisco Green Festival was an amazing accomplishment and deserves to be celebrated and honored. Congratulations to the people who make this happen.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Green Festival is Coming Nov. 10-12

San Francisco Green Festival
If you are at all interested in the San Francisco Green Scene, you have to make time to go to the San Francisco Green Festival November 10-12. This year the festival is 3 days long with 100 speakers and over 400 exhibitors. Whether you are interested in hemp products, political speakers, solar panels, great food, fair trade or just some great holiday shopping, the Green Festival is a wonderland.

The Hours this year are:
Fri, Nov. 10 2pm to 8pm
Sat, Nov. 11 10am to 8pm
Sun, Nov 12 11am to 6pm

A 3 day ticket is $29 and includes: adminisstion for all 3 days, an organic cotton t-shirt, one-year memberships in Global Exchange and Co-Op America and more. A one day ticket is $15. If you ride your bike to the festival, you can get in for $7 a day and there's a free bike valet. Senior, students and union members (all with ID) also get in for $7 for the day. Children under 12 are welcome with no charge. As usual the Festiva l is at the Concourse at 8th and Brannan.

There is a a Benefit Party on Friday Night. Tickets are $50 each with proceeds going to the Green Festivals. You'll feast on yummy organic and vegetarian food, beer and wine. There's a silent auction if you're looking for something a little different. Ticket includes a free ticket to the Green Festival as well.

Tickets are on sale now at the Green Festival site. If you're low on cash, you may be able to volunteer in exchange for free entry.

The Green Festival is a project of Global Exchange and Co-op America, two amazing organizations you should know more about. Get your tickets early and plan to be there all day. As the say, it's a great "party with a purpose."

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Spare the Air 2006 - How did we do?

Here's our score for 2006, compared to previous years, from Spare the Air website at I'm not an expert, but it doesn't look good to me. It looks like we exceeded both California and National standards on over 11 days this year.

* The national 8-hour standard was not implemented prior to 1998.
** The California 8-hour standard became effective May 17, 2006. The Air District began keeping records for the standard in 2005.
***The national 1-hour standard was revoked on June 15, 2005.

· Spare the Air advisories are issued when violations of national health standards are predicted by the Air District during the Spare the Air season. In 2004 this extends from June 1 through October 15.

· The national 1 hour air quality standard for ozone was set at 120 parts per billion in the ambient air, averaged over 1 hour. The U.S. EPA revoked this standard as of June 15, 2005.

· The national 8 hour standard for ozone is set at 80 parts per billion of ozone in the ambient air, averaged over 8 hours.

· The California 1 hour standard for ozone is set at 90 parts per billion of ozone in the ambient air, averaged over 1 hour.

· The California 8 hour standard for ozone is set at 70.0 parts per billion of ozone in the ambient air, averaged over 8 hours.

Visit the Air District's web site for more information about the state and federal ambient air quality standards and the Bay Area's attainment status, and to see ten years of annual air quality summary information about Bay Area air quality.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Free Fare to Spare the Air

photo by Raymond <span onclick=Yess" onload="show_notes_initially();" class="reflect" align="left" height="152" hspace="5" width="201">Michael Cabanatuan of the SF Chronicle reports that use of mass transit was way up on the first 2 spare the air days of 2006.

On the first Spare the Air Day, BART reported that 33,000 more passengers than usual rode its trains -- an increase of about 10 percent over a typical Thursday. Ferries also saw large jumps in the number of passengers. Golden Gate Ferry experienced a 60 percent jump in ridership, while the Sausalito ferry saw a 200 percent increase in the number of people taking rides.

Of course, the fact that public transportation was FREE on those days might have had a little something to do with the increase in ridership.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission has ponied up almost $7 million and the the Bay Area Air Quality Management District is kicking in $900,000 to fund free public transportation on the first 3 "Spare the Air" days of the year. A Spare the Air day is a hot wind-free day predicted to exceed federal clean air standards.

Monday June 23rd will be the third Spare The Air day and most definitely not the last. Unfortunately, it WILL be last of the free transit days unless millions of dollars suddenly pour down from the cloudless sky. This could be a very particulate-filled summer.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Almost the Most Sustainable City

We were close, but apparently the high cost of housing and the high level of traffic congestion kept us from being the number one most sustainable city in the country. Instead, we have been declared the second most sustainable city in the U.S. in the SustainLane 2006 US City Rankings.

SanFrancisco copy.gifFrom the report...

"San Francisco does a lot of things extraordinarily well: It’s a healthy place to live with a city government that is leading the way toward sustainable alternatives in most categories. Other cities can learn a lot from San Francisco’s model.

But like all big cities, San Francisco still faces some tough challenges. The high earthquake risk demands that the city government and San Franciscans together examine scenarios for transit, water, and power disruption on a regional scale.

Locally distributed power through solar or tidal systems can provide some insurance against an earthquake, as can continued development of alternative transit sources such as ferries and bicycles.

Affordable housing, however, is San Francisco’s biggest sustainability albatross, with even professionals currently priced out of the market in many neighborhoods. Development of 6,000 more infill residential housing units near downtown in the Mission Bay area will provide some near-term relief, but much more housing development will be necessary to have any meaningful impact. Otherwise, San Francisco may eventually face the danger of becoming more of a tony coastal resort community than a working city with diverse living opportunities in all of its neighborhoods.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

CatWalk on the Wild Side This Weekend

Ooh ooh, this looks like it could be fun. Unfortunately I'll be out of town :-(

CatWalk on the Wild Side...

Celebrate United Nations World Environment Day at "Walk the Talk" featuring the Global Citizen awards, a gourmet organic dinner and the 2nd Annual Catwalk on the Wild Side eco-fashion show.

From the web site...
You're invited to join social entrepreneurs, visionary trendsetters, and celebrity guests for thought-provoking ideas and glamorous entertainment.

* 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Reception and Walkabout Exhibition*
* 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. Walk the Talk Gourmet Organic Dinner
* 8:00 - 9:30 p.m. 1st Annual Global Citizen Award Presentation and Live Auction
* 9:30 - 11:00 p.m. 2nd Annual Catwalk on the Wild Side Eco-Fashion Show
* 11:00 p.m. - 2:00 a.m. Walk This Way Closing Celebration

The event is Saturday June 10 at the Galleria (San Francisco Design Center.) Tickets range from $50 to $350.

Buy a Ticket, Plant a Tree
In Ticketing is proud to sponsor the "Tree for Ticket" program for Walk the Talk. For every ticket purchased for this event, In Ticketing will sponsor the planting of one tree. Each tree will sequester an average of 50 lbs. of carbon per year, which is equivalent to the carbon emissions from driving a vehicle for 50 miles. Each tree will live for approximately 40 years, which means it can withdraw a ton of carbon from the atmosphere. The trees will be planted by indigenous villagers in developing nations who are reclaiming their lands and reawakening native forests using bio-assisted regeneration. To plant more trees and for additional information, visit http://www.globalcooling.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Welcome to the Neighborhood

Wow, how did I miss this? It seems Al and Tipper Gore have bought a condo in the new St. Regis tower, next to SFMOMA. I guess it makes sense if you think about the fact that the Vice President's TV Channel, Current TV is produced here. But I've always thought of them as an East coast family.

In any case, we're happy to have them here. Having smart, high-profile, green leaders in town can only be a good thing!


Monday, June 05, 2006

Now I've Got My Magic Bus

It's quiet, it's pretty, and it's low to the ground. What's not to love about the new diesel hybrid bus delivered to San Francisco last week. On June 1 we received the first of 56 Diesel Hybrid buses we've ordered from Daimler Chrysler. At $488,000 each, these buses are not cheap, in fact they are about 40% more expensive than traditional diesel buses. But, Daimler Chrysler estimates that the buses will use 1.2 million fewer gallons of diesel over a 12-year period. That's a savings of about 13,000 barrels of oil. Oil was going for $72 a barrel today.

Perhaps the biggest benefit is that these buses spew 90% fewer particulates into the air. If you've ever stood near the tailpipe of a MUNI bus, you know exactly what those particulates smell and feel like - it is nasty stuff. In addition the new buses have about 40 percent less nitrogen/oxygen emissions. San Francisco is also working to increase the use of biodiesel blends in city vehicles, so the pollution could be even less and the oil savings could be even higher.

All in all these buses seem like a good investment in a cleaner and greener San Francisco. Other cities are making the move to hybrid buses as well. New York is planning to put almost a thousand of the same model (the Orion VII) on the streets by the end of the year. Too much, the magic bus.

Daimler Chrysler

Friday, June 02, 2006

Kick Off Your Weekend the Clean and Green Way

If you're wondering what to do with your weekend, here's one suggestion that gives you the opportunity to get out in the sun, meet great people, and do some hands on cleaning and greening of the city. This Saturday's Community Clean Team kicks off a month-long clean up effort in District 5 (Western Addition, Hayes Valley, Haight Street and Golden Gate Park Panhandle)

The fun begins at Ella Hill Hutch Community Center on Saturday, June 3. More than 100 volunteers are expected to help spread wood chips, pick up litter, paint out graffiti, clean tree basins, and remove weeds around the District. Volunteers will be joined by Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, City Administrative Officer Ed Lee, and Department of Public Works Director Fred Abadi. (If you've been wanting to talk to any of these guys, here's your chance.)

Sunset Scavenger Company is providing Gigantic Three services to residents in District 5 on Saturday morning from 8 am to 12 noon at the Ella Hill Hutch Center, so bring your recycling, compost, and even that old furniture or mattress cluttering up the garage.

The Community Clean Team event, will start at Ella Hill Hutch Community Center (1050 McAllister @ Webster) from 9 AM - Noon. I'm not sure, but I think a free lunch is served at noon.

So get out there, do a little cleanup, enjoy your free lunch, and feel good about yourself all weekend!

Sf Clean City Coalition

Thursday, June 01, 2006

"An Inconvenient Truth" Opens in San Francisco

I'm reasonably confident you've already heard about this film. If not, check out the web site at

According to Steve at the Embarcadero, this film is already wildly popular and it doesn't even open until tomorrow (6/2/06). It's an open ended run, which means they will keep showing it as long as there is interest. As of today, they are running it on 3 screens, have tons of advance ticket sales, and some shows are sold out on opening night.

It's possible this movie could run through the entire month of June, but definitely call to check exact dates and times (415-267-4893.) Buy advance tickets through MovieFone or online.

There is a special ticket price of $7 available for groups of 25 or more (everyone needs to attend the same showing.)

For those of us on the West side of town, An Inconvenient Truth opens next Friday at the Stonestown theatre.

Siteus Interruptus

The ideal web site development scenario does not include launching the site and then disappearing for a month. But due to the timing of a long-planned vacation to Europe, that's exactly what happened with the SF Green Scene site - after a great launch in April, we were gone for the month of May.

So now we're back, refreshed and ready to rock. We started by uploading some new photos from the April Recycled Art reception at SF Recycling. The event was covered for the SF Green Scene site by the extremely talented Jarid Johnson of SFVisuals. Thanks Jarid!

We also added this blog to the site and we've been updating the calendar. While doing the calendar updates, we decided to also set up a Google calendar to allow us to easily subscribe to other Google calendar listings. Next we need to link the Google calendar into the site. For those of you who keep a Google Calendar of your own, you can subscribe to the SF Green Scene calendar here...

We still have a long to-do list for the site, so stay tuned!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Hi There!

Welcome to the new sfgreenscene blog. We're planning to use this blog to post updates about the web site, the San Francisco Green Scene, and other green things catch our attention. I've set the blog up at The current Joomla blog modules just aren't quite there yet although they are getting better rapidly and I suspect we'll switch to Joomla solution within the year.

If you are reading from the sfgreenscene site and you want to comment on a post, just click the title and you'll be magically transported to blogger where you can add your comment.

Here we go!