If you've ever wished the expanse of concrete outside your house were a little less paved and a bit prettier, these are the people to talk to about making that happen.
11 Grove, SF. (415) 355-3700, www.plantsf.org
All aboard the ecobus! This organization takes Das Frachtgut, the veggie oilfueled bus Jens-Peter Jungclaussen uses as a mobile classroom, on an ecofriendly party tour. Movie nights are all about watching modern classics and then doing some kind of relevant outdoor activity (e.g., see The Big Lebowski, then bowl outside). Dance nights turn the bus into a mobile DJ booth and an instant, impromptu club. It's fun, safe (no drunk driving, kids!), and above all, Earth friendly. *
GREEN KEY REAL ESTATE
There was a time when real estate was all about making money – and realtors were like the characters in American Beauty. Thankfully, times they are a changin’. Now you can buy or sell your house through Green Key Real Estate, the first (and only) green real estate brokerage in San Francisco. Green Key runs a sustainable business (minimizing office waste, donating a portion of profits to green building organizations, running the office on wind power) while encouraging sustainable building and remodeling. Most importantly, though, it’s experienced real estate agents linking like-minded people to each other and to the services they need.
28 Clayton, SF; (415) 750-1120, www.greenkeyrealestate.com
This online superstore is like Target (or Fred Meyer, for you Pac Northwest transplants) for environmentally sound products. We’re talking organic soy wax candles (since paraffin pollutes the air), recycled glass tumblers, picture frames made of reclaimed wood, super efficient refrigerators, all-natural hardwood furniture (since pressed wood products use formaldehyde and synthetic adhesives), household cleaners, baby clothes, and so much more. Plus, the Richmond-based (but exclusively online) store maintains a list of useful articles, news, and tips about living green, as well as a directory of green service providers, from dry cleaners to long distance phone companies.
A LIVING LIBRARY
Based on the principle that if we learn about our local surroundings, we learn about our world, this non-profit strives to turn barren, ugly, or otherwise underutilized public spaces into beautiful, relevant, useful parks and gardens, called living libraries and thinkparks, using local resources – human, ecological, economic, historic, technological, and aesthetic. The public can visit one of the SF sites in Excelsior or Bernal Heights, take kids to a Living Library in- or after-school program, or get involved in a free adult green skills job training class specially designed for low income adults (and especially immigrants).
(415) 215-5992, www.alivinglibrary.org
Sustainable Business Alliance
Green business is good business – at least, that’s the philosophy behind this membership organization linking companies committed to sustainability. This networking and resource group hopes to educate members about sustainability and then strengthen their businesses through involvement with each other through meetings, workshops, seminars, a green business directory, and events such as East Bay Drinks, a monthly meetup on third Wednesdays at Triple Rock Brewery in Berkeley.
PO Box 11944, Berk. (510) 931-6560, www.sustainablebiz.org