Guide to greener living

Some local resources to help you do your ecological part
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ECOLOGY CENTER

This is your one-stop ecoshop for green resources in the Bay Area. Want to know how to convert your home to solar power or learn how to compost, garden, or use nontoxic pest control? The Ecology Center has answers and classes. Want to go biodiesel? Visit the Berkeley Biodiesel Collective, one of the center's sponsored projects. The center also runs Berkeley's curbside recycling program, prints Terrain magazine, and publishes an eco-calendar of green events and classes in the Bay Area.

2530 San Pablo, Berk. (510) 548-2220, www.ecologycenter.org

GREEN ZEBRA

"We started the Green Zebra as a way for consumers to start enjoying nearby environmentally conscious businesses," founder Anne Vollen says of Green Zebra's coupon book, which offers 300-plus pages of discounts on green restaurants, spas, travel, cultural activities, and much more. "But we've had such an enormous response from businesses and buyers alike that it's become a virtual directory of all the green-minded things the Bay Area has to offer."

www.thegreenzebra.org

GREEN CITIZEN

Don't let your used electronics go to e-waste. Green Citizen recycles obsolete and unwanted computers, CDs, cell phones, batteries, printers, and TVs (among other media-related things) and helps you hook up with institutions and programs in need of them. Can't lift that antique monitor? Green Citizen also offers pickup service.

591 Howard, SF (and various locations). (415) 287-0000, www.greencitizen.com

PLAN-IT HARDWARE

Buildings consume a third of the country's energy; substantially reducing that usage amount is possible through mindful construction and design. Plan-It Hardware is a green-focused, San Francisco–based hardware and home improvement distributor with hundreds of products and ideas for making your home greener, including environmentally conscious paint, weather stripping, flooring, gardening tools, and plumbing fixtures.

www.planithardware.com<

BAUER'S WORLDWIDE TRANSPORTATION

Eco-friendly limo. Sounds like another term for "VW Vanagon full of hippies going to the prom," doesn't it? But in the case of SF-based Bauer's, it isn't anything close. Bauers' 120 electric, biodiesel, and compressed-propane-powered shuttles and cars may be the largest fleet of eco-friendly vehicles in the U.S., but they aren't lacking for luxury. Stretch and hybrid limo-style vehicles, including the 2007 Lexus RX 400H SUV hybrid, come equipped with leather seats, Wifi, high end CD and DVD systems, LCD monitors for presentations, and even ports to plug in your iPod or phone. That's a long way from van benches soaked with bong water.

Pier 27, SF; (800) LIMO-OUT, www.icars.cc

TREE FROG TREKS

Pry your rug rats away from those glowing screens and aim them at something natural. With Tree Frog's programs, kids can go tide-pooling at Duxbury Reef, take a nature hike on Twin Peaks, and get creepy-crawly at Frog Hall with "Ross's Ravenous Reptiles!" program. There they'll meet Bully the bullfrog, Sid the snake, and Cletus the three-toed box turtle.

2112 Hayes, SF. (415) 876-3764, www.treefrogtreks.com

THIMMAKKA

Wanna eat green?