Green

It's mid-January, that time of year when people have fallen off the wagon with respect to their New Year's Resolutions.  The regular visits to the gym have fallen off or the chocolate cake looked really good.  Me?  I am not a huge believer in creating NYRs.  I am very interested in goal setting and how people achieve goals, but resist the ones set around the new year.
I've been continuing my focus of getting things out of the house that I no longer need and getting these items into the...

A friend arrived at a pot luck dinner a few months ago with a big pot of soup, wrapped in a beautiful cloth.  The cloth also served to hold the lid on the pot as she drove across town.  What a great idea! I would have put the pot in a box to try and absorb any soup that might spill if the lid came off the top. The cloth is called a Furoshiki.  These are used in Japan for many purposes--from wrapping gifts, to carrying items and can also be worn as articles of clothing.  I thought it was a...

I read a great article in this past Sunday's New York Times, "Paved, But Still Alive."  This article looks at our values towards the automobile, parking lots and parking spaces.  I have written several blog posts about parking including coverage of Parking Day, parking meters, and our policies in the city of San Francisco towards the number of parking spaces in newly constructed buildings.  I was shocked to learn that some who study parking estimate that there are eight parking spots for...


I noticed an insert that came with my HOA's trash bill.  It was the Recology newsletter and one of the articles cite's a Wall Street Journal article that talks about major cities and how much of their trash is being diverted from landfill and re-used, recycled and used for compost.  What is remarkable about this article is not that cities are working to reducing the trash that they generate.  What is remarkable to me is the difference in results between the cities who have accomplished the...

Reverse graffitti is starting to be more prevalent in San Francisco in two forms: advertising and art.  It is created by washing away the dirt and grime of city life to leave an image in the negative, or reverse.  I first noticed ads stenciled onto the sidewalks downtown.  Watch this video from Channel 7 to learn more about video ads that are sweeping [sic] San Francisco.  (please click on the link for the Channel 7 video)
I have mixed views about reverse graffiti advertising.  The city...

San Francisco's Planning Department is working to enact bird-safe standards by encouraging changes to the design of new buildings.  Birds collide with large glass towers at alarming rates because they perceive these structures to be wide open sky.  As we continue to fill out our skyline, enacting these guidelines will help protect the diverse wildlife we have in the city.  Plans are to enact these standards closest to areas with large populations of birds and wildlife--e.g. near the city's...


I recently completed my first open water swim.  That is, the first open water, out of cove swim, meaning my first swim outside of the safety of San Francisco's Aquatic Park.  The swim was about a mile, from Gas House cove, the area right behind Green's restaurant at Fort Mason back to the beach between the Dolphin Club and the South End Club at Aquatic Park.  My swim was evidently much longer than that as I kept wanting to swim towards Alcatraz.  Safely back to the Club in a reasonable...

San Francisco's Planning Commission approved the development plan for Treasure Island.  This plan, expected to cost $1.5 billion will create housing, office space and new jobs on Treasure Island, the man-made Island in the San Francisco bay.  Opponents of this development cite the environmental impacts of creating a new San Francisco neighborhood on the Island in the middle of the bay and are opposed to the 1:1 ratio of housing units to parking spots proposed by this plan.  They also don't...

As I rounded the corner from California Street onto Pierce Street yesterday, I was delighted to see my neighbor (to the office), Connie, out tending to her succulent garden.  Connie has maintained a beautiful garden in raised beds around the trees.  Her interest in succulents has led her to active involvement in the San Francisco Succulent and Cactus Society and her gardening has created a beautiful sight in the neighborhood.
 
Connie's Succulents
While we were standing there, several...

It has been interesting to watch the public discourse about San Francisco's parking meters, use of parking spots, congestion and MUNI over the last few years.  It has been difficult for some developers to get approved plans for a 1:1 ratio of housing units to cars. More parking meters are being installed along the waterfront near areas used as access to recreation for many San Franciscans.  The city is considering a plan to charge a toll for driving in certain parts of the city that are more...

San Francisco supervisors voted earlier this week to approve the plan for the project to transform the partially abandoned Hunters Point Shipyard into a new neighborhood with open space, over 10,000 new residential units, businesses, clean technology space and good urban design.

These plans have been in the works for years.  I was somewhat surprised a few years ago when almost all of my artist friends who have studio space at Hunters Point were in favor of the development project.  Many...

GreenFinanceSF launches its services this week, helping San Francisco homeowners pay for retrofits to their homes that save energy and money.  This city backed program allows these homeowners to borrow money to make improvements, and repay the city from the savings on their energy and water bills.  These loans are attached to the property and repaid through property tax bills.  This is really a no-brainer, a very effective model for encouraging home owners to take action and make...

 
In the last few years, there have been several proposals to use lots throughout the city of San Francisco that are slated for development as interim green spaces.  The idea behind this is that using land for temporary parks or public spaces while development is stalled (happening frequently in this economy) is better for the community than having a chain link fence marking off the boundaries of a lot.
I was very excited to see that the former freeway entrance bordered by Laguna, Fell and...

Congratulations!  You may be in the process of purchasing a home or condo!  Before you start packing, consider the following:  there are ways of making your move a bit greener.  
How?  First, you can cull through all of the things that are in your home and consider getting rid of the things that you don't use often.  There are many places to take your unwanted clothing and household items, and I like the SF Public Library to recycle the books that my friends don't claim.  
Second,...

The all-in-one (fax, printer, copier and scanner) finally stopped working.  I purchased its replacement, and took it to GreenCitizen to be recycled.   I also managed to find several old, partially working computers, an external disk drive and a few old cell phones.  Drop off for the computers was free (with the promise to destroy my hard drives).  The all-in-one had a per pound charge for a total of $17.  
Most people don't realize the importance of disposing of all electronics with...

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