An expurgated history of some key moments in Bay Area environmental history
1989: Carl Anthony, Karl Linn, and Brower establish the Urban Habitat Program in San Francisco, one of the first environmental justice organizations in the country.
1989: Laurie Mott of the National Resource Defense Council's SF office rattles the apple industry by engineering a suspension of the use of the pesticide Alar by the Environmental Protection Agency. A national debate ensues.
1992: Berkeley writer Theodore Roszak coins both the term and field of ecopsychology in his book The Voice of the Earth. The movement he helps found asks if the planetary and the personal are pointing the way forward to some new basis for a sustainable economic and emotional life.
1992: The first Critical Mass bike ride (initially called a "Commute Clot") is held in San Francisco. Similar rides, typically held on the last Friday of every month, began to take place in more than in over 300 cities around the world.
1993: The U.S. Green Building Council is founded by David Gottfriend in Oakland. The council becomes the most important environmental trade organization in the world. In 1998, the council develops the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System, which provides a suite of standards for environmentally sustainable construction and design.
1995: The Edible Schoolyard is established by Chez Panisse Foundation at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Berkeley. It serves as a model for similar programs in New Orleans and Brooklyn, and inspires garden programs at other schools across the country.
1999: The Green Resource Center starts as a joint project of the City of Berkeley, the Northern California Chapter of Architects, Designers and Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR), and the Sustainable Business Alliance.
2000: Wendy Kallins, working with the Marin Bicycle Coalition, begins a Safe Route to Schools program in Marin to encourage students to walk or bicycle to school. The program is so successful that Congress allocates more than $600 million for similar efforts across the country.
2001: The first Green Festival is held in San Francisco.
2001: Berkeley becomes first city in nation with curbside recycling trucks powered by recycled vegetable oil, thanks to a campaign by the Berkeley Ecology Center.
2002: San Francisco adopts a greenhouse gas reduction initiative that aims to reduce the city's greenhouse gas emissions to 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2012.
2003: Bay Area Build It Green is formed by a number of local and regionally focused public agencies, building industry professionals, manufactures, and suppliers. Its activities are focused on increasing the supply of green homes, raising consumer awareness about the benefits of building green, and providing Bay Area consumers and residential building industry professionals a trusted source of information.
2005: San Francisco passes the Precautionary Principle Purchasing Ordinance, which requires the city to weigh the environmental and health costs of its $600 million in annual purchases — for everything from cleaning
supplies to computers.
2006: Bay Localize is launched in the East Bay with the aim to work to build a cooperative, inclusive movement toward regional self-reliance and increase community livability and local resilience for all while decreasing fossil fuel use.