Green shopping guide: 6 earth-conscious fashion outposts


We've been shopping green for a week now -- check out our previous guides to housewares, kid's stuff, gardening resources, and local beauty

Let’s face it. Finding an oversized sweater in your mom’s closet that looks good on you tends to make you feel better than purchasing one at a corporate retail store because (a) you hate homogeneity, (b) you like saving money, (c) you’re rocking something straight out of the 80s, and (d) you’re relieved of the guilt associated with buying an item produced overseas. Here are a few suggestions on where to shop locally for you tree-hugging, fashion-conscious souls. Read more »

Green shopping guide: 8 sources of weekend-ready, enviro-friendly beauty


Beauty is said to only be skin-deep -- but the businesses that use holistic, organic, and plant-based ingredients want to demolish this age-old idiom. You can simultaneously rejuvenate yourself and the planet by ditching those toxic, harmful products once and for all. Think of it! With their products and services, self-care is no longer akin to being vain or selfish. These eight local spas, soapmakers, and producers of flower-based essences align nature, commerce, and beauty so that the world can sustain that perfect summer glow. Read more »

Green shopping guide: 7 shops for kids and housewares


Children, don't let your parents grow up to throw away aluminum foil. Now that you're a big kid, with attendant home cleaning and offspring-maintaining concerns, there's little reason to stop paying attention to the environment -- in fact, what with the better-world-for-the-little-ones hope, you might find yourself doubling down on decorating motifs that will save the world.

Here's a passel of stores (locally-based online enterprises and brick-and-mortar both) in the Bay where you can shop with a clean conscious for housewares and kid's items. We're guiding around enviro shopping all this week -- check out yesteday's guide to garden stores. Read more »

Green shopping guide: 8 shops to jump-start your spring garden


You can turn your slice of this concrete jungle into jungle, with a bit of elbow grease and ingenuity. Oh, and resources might help, too. Whether you're looking to build a succulent-laden sanctuary, an extensive drip irrigation system, or a simple window box, our local gardening centers and shops have you covered. Come for the enthusiastic and knowledgeable staffs, quirky clientele, and a chance to momentarily forget you live in a hectic city.

Flora Grubb Gardens

For those of us who like our plants and gardening implements flawlessly presented to us, Flora Grubb’s where it’s at. A gardening virgin won't escape this place without picking up something beautiful and fertile. Read more »

Is San Francisco ready for the electric bike?


"I'm so excited for that hill!" I shouted. And I was on a bike. 

I've never been excited for a hill on a bike before. But last week I tooled around on an electric bicycle with Karen and Brett Thurber, the husband-wife owners of Bernal Hieghts' sweet-swanky new shop New Wheel. We did about half of a 49-mile scenic drive (the one created in 1939 for the Golden Gate International Exposition that was meant to showcase the city's then-new neighborhoods), went up Twin Peaks, and I felt like a million bucks at the end of it.

I tell you this at the risk of sounding soft to pretty much every biker I know, but: "e-bikes" are fun. You can decide yourself -- New Wheel's always open for test rides, and it has a weekend of festivities planned Sat/31-Sun/1 to introduce the metal steeds to your loins. If you're open.  Read more »

Green Film Fest shorts: Just Do It


Activist ire need a jump start? The Green Film Festival takes over Japantown's San Francisco Film Society Cinema now through Wed/7. Go for tidings on the fight for our planet around the world -- documentaries, expert panel presentations, and short films will be taking place. Check out Ali Lane's previous reviews from the festival here.

Just Do ItRead more »

Green Film Fest shorts: The Global Catch


Chins up, enviros -- this week there's a slew of movies showing that prove that you're not alone in fighting the good fight. The Green Film Festival takes over Japantown's San Francisco Film Society Cinema now through Wed/7, and includes looks at exciting new forms of activism, as well as the film work from intrepid whistleblowers the earth over. Drop through for tidings on the fight for our planet around the world -- documentaries, expert panel presentations, and short films. And be sure to check out the rest of Ali Lane's reviews of Green Fest flicks.

Sushi: The Global Catch

The opening of this film shows Tokyo chef Mamoru Sugiyama carefully placing gorgeous transparent and artistically sliced pieces of nigiri atop perfectly formed mounds of vinegar rice, in his Michelin-starred restaurant kitchen. If you’re the kind of person who loves sushi, this scene makes your mouth water. It’s such a cruel tease. The film proceeds to tell you all the reasons why your San Franciscan appetite for sushi, so geographically remote from the land of its creation, is actually a very destructive thing. Read more »

Green Film Fest shorts: You've Been Trumped


Activist ire need a jump start? The Green Film Festival takes over Japantown's San Francisco Film Society Cinema now through Wed/7. Go for tidings on the fight for our planet around the world -- documentaries, expert panel presentations, and short films will be taking place for the next six days. Check out Ali Lane's review of Blood in the Mobile (screening Sun/4), and stay tuned for more Green Film Fest reviews next week. 

You’ve Been Trumped

If you needed another reason to hate Donald Trump, besides the crazy hair and enormous ego, this is the film to watch. Turns out he’s destroying Scotland! The documentary follows the land preservation efforts of the town of Aberdeen in Scotland, in the face of the development of Trump’s new multi-million dollar golf resort. The entire project is based on international tourism, bound to generate huge carbon costs associated with jetting people to what Trump claims will be the “world’s greatest golf course.” Read more »

Green Film Fest shorts: Blood in the Mobile


San Francisco is, famously, home to film festivals that wanna make a difference. The Transgender Film Festival, the Anti-Corporate Film Festival, the Bicycle Film Festival -- the list and cameras roll on. There's a reason for all these cinematic communes. The power of a film festival to make people sit down and hang out with open eyes and enough snacks to keep them in one place is formidable. It's prime time to absorb information -- or just catch that activist flame that the whipping winds of a presidential election year can threaten to extinguish. 

This week, the second annual Green Film Festival hits the big screen starting today, from Thu/1-Wed/7, taking over the must-see-if-you-haven't-yet SF Film Society Cinema in the basement of Japantown's New People mall. So thrilled were we by its enviro-conscious, better world-making fervor (and its capable, enjoyable program of films) that we will be running brief reviews of its offerings for the next four -- business, c'mon now -- days. Here's the first of these, a Sun/4 screening that explains the connection between conflict and Africa and your cell phone. Read more »

Marc Bamuthi Joseph gets the green movement to live, already


Consider, if you will, the prosaic class issues in the green movement. The price of BART vs. driving, the utility of feeding one's children McDonald's after one's shift is order so you can play with them outside the kichen, the inconvinient truth of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Now add race, and stir. 

Dancer-community activist-poet Marc Bamuthi Joseph did. The result was the Life is Living festival, which he stages in underserved 'hoods throughout the country (and took place in West Oakland Oct. 8). The festival's amazing, but its creation was a journey -- which Bamuthi has brilliantly set to stage with dancing and singing at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts through Sat/22. It's called red, black & GREEN: a blues Read more »