GREEN CITY Alan Weisman's book The World Without Us begins with a funny but humbling exploration of what would happen to New York City if humans were gone, wiped out by a virus or a wizard who perfected a way to sterilize our sperm. Read more »
GREEN CITY It seems like most of the recent talk about global warming has been in terms of its apocalyptic potential in the distant future. Yet Bay Area heat waves and soaring temperatures in the Central Valley of late could certainly cause me to wonder whether it's already begun. What has happened to our legendary cold summers and heavy rainy seasons? Read more »
GREEN CITY Pedaling or walking along a Panhandle pathway is the essence of green, a simple act of sustainable living and connection to a natural area within an urban core. It's a calming, transformative activity at least until you get to Masonic Avenue and the telling words painted on the path: "Death Monsters Ahead."
The death monsters, a.k.a. automobiles, that bisect this three-quarter-mile-long green runway into Golden Gate Park would be jarring even if traffic engineers had made that intersection the best it could be. Read more »
GREEN CITY Doing the right thing often costs a little more. Organic food, solar panels, and compact fluorescent lightbulbs are all pricier than conventional options. But Café Gratitude is now adding legal fees to the cost of going green for terminating a linen service contract in order to use unbleached cotton napkins in its four restaurants.
It's hard to imagine how a restaurant could be any more humane, sustainable, and environmentally conscious. Read more »
GREEN CITY Today's environmental problems global warming, peak oil, drastically dwindling biodiversity, an unsustainable economic system that pollutes and consumes too much are big. And there are many big solutions proposed by big governmental bodies, big individuals, and big corporations.
A major commitment is truly needed, but perhaps it's the million small innovators and gestures that are most likely to add up to the most fundamental shift. Read more »
GREEN CITY I spent my undergraduate years at a microscopic liberal arts college set in the shadow of a national park on an island in Maine a remote idyll where people abhor locking their doors and you can almost smell the Atlantic whale migration when a southeastern wind blows.
The college is overtly environmental and so small it's possible to practice what's preached: food is grown on the school's farm, students cycle around on communal bikes, ceremonies strive to be zero-waste. Read more »