Friday, September 21, 2007

Green Tags

CO2 offsets fund projects that have a net-positive effect on the environment, thereby nullifying the negative effect of the pollution you create.

TerraPass - supports wind and biomass projects.
Carbonfund - non-profit offsetter that supports solar and wind farms, promotes cleaner industry, and plants trees around the world.
Native Energy - supports Native American alternative-energy projects.
Consumers' Guide to Retail Carbon Offsets - not all offsets are created equal.
Climate Counts - compare the carbon-cutting commitments of several major corporations.

Post borrowed from Ideal Bite.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Park Yer'self

September 21st is PARK(ing) Day 2007!

Conceived by REBAR, a San Francisco-based art collective, PARK(ing) Day is a one-day, global event centered in San Francisco where artists, activists, and citizens collaborate to temporarily transform parking spots into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public parks.

Learn more at PARK(ing) Day.

Top Green Contractors

The Mainstreaming of Green Building
Gary J. Tulacz,, September 19, 2007

Until recently, the notion of sustainable design or green building was hazy. There were standards being issued by groups like the U.S. Green Building Council and the Green Building Initiative, and companies were constructing showcase projects. However, in the last couple years, the concept has taken off. Membership in Washington, D.C.-based USGBC, which had just over 500 members in 2001, skyrocketed to 10,000 within five years, making it one of the fastest growing organizations in the country. Over the past decade USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and En­vironmental Design rating system has gone a long way to define what it means to build green. “LEED is coming to be the definition of sustainable design and construction in the U.S.,” says Michael Deane, operations manager for sustainable construction for Turner Construction and a member of USGBC’s board.

For many firms, interest in green building is rising to new and unheard-of levels. “In 2004, less than 1% of our work was sustainable,” says Ted van der Linden, director of sustainable construction for DPR Construction. “In 2005, it was about 5%. By 2006, about 45% of our new work was green construction. And this year, it is tracking at about 50%.” He says not all of this work will be certified under a third-party rating system, but it will contain substantial sustainable elements.

DPR isn’t the only firm experiencing this level of green activity. “We have about $4.5 billion in backlog and nearly $2 billion is in some form of green building,” says Jeff Hoopes, executive vice president of Swinerton. For Clayco, “Cli­ents raise the issue a sustainability in at least 35% of our projects, and we raise it in the rest,” says Paul Todd Merrill, Clayco’s director of sustainable construction. “Only about 15% of clients don’t want it.”

To read the rest of ENR's article on green buiders, visit

To see ENR's list of 2007 Top 50 Green Contractors, visit (note SF-based Swinerton at No. 4!).

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Breaking News: Automakers Lose

Court Rules Against Automakers in Global Warming Case
Justin Hyde, Free Press Washington Bureau, September 12, 2007

A federal judge on Wednesday rejected the U.S. auto industry's attempt to block California and 14 other states from setting tough new fuel economy standards, saying the industry had not proved the regulations were illegal, unsafe or unattainable.

The ruling was a big loss for the industry in the fight over whether California and other states can require more efficient vehicles to reduce emissions linked to global warming. The auto industry - Detroit and foreign companies alike - maintain the standards calling for cars to average 43 miles per gallon by 2016 isn't achievable, and would force the industry to stop selling many models.

The U.S. EPA has yet to rule on whether California can proceed with its standards, but environmental groups have expressed concern that the Bush administration will deny California and other states permission to proceed while federal regulators create their own greenhouse-gas controls for vehicles.

Read the complete story at

Also covered in the SF Chronicle:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Coastal Cleanup Day

The 23rd Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day is 9:00 am to noon this Saturday, September 15th!

Visit the Coastal Commission’s website to find a cleanup site near you.

Top Ten Trashy Creeks

Save the Bay lists the area's most garbage-filled waterways
Peter Fimrite, SF Chronicle, September 11, 2007

Save the Bay recently released a list of the 10 worst trash hot spots ringing the San Francisco Bay, including waterways flowing through communities from San Francisco to San Jose and from Berkeley to San Rafael.

It depicts creeks and sloughs lined with diapers, cigarette butts, batteries and all kinds of household rubbish...not just from factories or refineries or sewage plants. Ecologists say the situation will get worse unless regulations are passed requiring trash-filtration systems or other cleanup measures in the many waterways flowing into the bay.

The trashiest waterways, according to Save the Bay, are Alameda Creek in Hayward; Colma Creek in South San Francisco; Coyote Creek in San Jose; Damon Slough in Oakland; Grayson Creek in Martinez; Guadalupe River in San Jose; Laurel Creek in San Mateo; San Rafael Creek in San Rafael; Strawberry Creek in Berkeley; and Yosemite Slough in San Francisco.

Read the complete story at

Friday, September 7, 2007

Green Investing

Launched in 1999, the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes are global indexes tracking the financial performance of corporate sustainability leaders. The indexes provide asset managers with reliable and objective benchmarks to manage sustainability portfolios. DJSI links companies implementing sustainability principles and investors wishing to support corporate sustainability (and make a few bucks in the process).

What is corporate sustainability, you ask?

According to DJSI, "Corporate Sustainability is a business approach that creates long-term shareholder value by embracing opportunities and managing risks deriving from economic, environmental and social developments. Corporate sustainability leaders achieve long-term shareholder value by gearing their strategies and management to harness the market's potential for sustainability products and services while at the same time successfully reducing and avoiding sustainability costs and risks."

Visit DJSI for more information.