Green

Friday, September 18th, 2009 is the fifth annual PARK(ing) Day in San Francisco.  This event started in 2005 by Rebar, an arts collective who took one metered parking spot and transformed it into a public park.  The event has grown into an international single day event with PARK (ing) spots in 6 continents registered on the community map.

I have stumbled upon some of these sites in the past, without really knowing what was up.  I saw one and thought, what a great mini-park. ...

I just read an incredible article in Business Week, about a couple who decided in 2006 to spend a year living in the middle of New York City without making any negative environmental impact.  They lived on the ninth floor in their one bedroom apartment with a todler and used no electricity, no transportation, no coffee, no cell phone and made no purchases of anything other than locally grown food.  They continued this experiment for a year.  The result?  They cut their expenses in half, and...

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...

More people are farming in urban areas, a recent article in the New York Times reports about roof top gardening in cities throughout the country.  I have been fascinated in recent years about the boom in urban gardening.  I was looking for an article that I wrote a few years ago about urban gardening in SF (I think it made it's debut in an older print version of my newsletter).  At the time, there were two companies that were helping homeowners garden in their backyard.  Both companies...

 
It had been several months since I last spotted Oreo, the goat, in my neighborhood.  Oreo, a member of the City Grazing herd, can ocassionally be spotted in Bernal, at the dog park known as the Point (near the intersection of Peralta and Montcalm), and on Cortland Ave as well.  My dog, Stripe, seems both excited and petrified every time he sees Oreo.    
Oreo is part of the City Grazing herd, and recently finished a weed-eating gig in the Presidio.  She was spending the weekend (a...

Watching my dog's fascination with all of the discarded Christmas trees in the neighborhood as we walked this morning, I was reminded of a recent article in the Chronicle about San Francisco's ordinance to preserve special trees in the city.  In 2005, a law sponsored by Supervisor Jake McGoldrick, gave the city the right to designate trees with Landmark Status.  So far, 33 have received the designation by the Landmark Tree Committee, a subcommittee of the Urban Forestry Council. Nine have...

I have been a devote of Mrs. Meyers' Geranium dish soap for the last few years because I have loved the scent. Besides, they are "aromatherapeutic"
I was in Trader Joe's recently, passing by the cleaning products and I realized that I was almost out of Mrs. Meyers at home, so I decided to buy a bottle of Seventh Generation Lavender and Mint dish soap. It has a nice scent, cleans well and nice to have a change to spice up dishwashing.
 

Interesting information on the label: "If every...

There has been a lot of news in recent weeks about companies in the red, the bailout of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, and the $700 billion Bailout Plan, the volatility in the stock market and red states and blue states.  (By the way, my friend Monica noticed in last night's debates that Obama was wearing a red tie and McCain was wearing a blue tie. Strategic and subliminal, all at once).  Instead of writing about being in the red or feeling blue, I decided to write about green...

 

Last night I attended a presentation by Scott Silvera in his Oakland store, SCOUT.  His talk, Scout's Foolproof Exterior Color Schemes was fun and informative and a great plug for their no-VOC paint line, Mythic.  Scott has an amazing ability to pick paint colors that look great together.  He gave great tips and offerred color schemes for all sorts of houses (mostly East Bay architecture--Shingled Bungalows, Bungalows with Stucco, Mediterranean, and Queen Anne Victorians).  The staff...

While most of the news is dominated by the slow-down in the economy, I have two good things to report.

First, Slow Food.  The Slow Food Movement started in Italy in the mid-80s as an antidote to the fast food that was spreading throughout the world at the expense of good nutrition, food that is central to culture and sustainable food practices.  There are chapters all over the world today.  A few years ago, my friend Gayle Keck was attending a lecture on Slow Food, where she learned about...

San Francisco has adopted Green Building Codes that will be phased into effect by 2012.  These codes will be inforce for all new construction and for renovation projects in the city and will focus on water and energy conservation, recycling (reusing old materials) and on reducing carbon emissions.  Large buildings (commercial and residential) will be evaluated under LEED standards, standards that have been used with increased frequency in recent years.  Residential buildings will use...

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