October 3, 2007

Greening the city

One of my ongoing interests is sustainability. I thought about going back to school for architecture so I could build low-income row homes in Baltimore that were 'off the grid'. Solar powered, green roofs, using gray water for irrigation, radient heat, etc.

This morning we had a brainstorm at work for an upcoming event in February. Apparently San Frncisco, Amsterdm and Se0ul are working together with C1sco to try to further sustainable cities. We are running the event and are charged with creating a green-friendly experience. San Fran will host up to 50 mayors and their entourages for the event. Our ideas ranged from wrapping BART trains with a welcome message (not so green friendly, though the part about taking public transport from the airport is), using laser projections to create signage, to giving each delegate an iPhone with maps, program guide and agendas already installed.

What do you do to be 'green'?


Anonymous said...

What no comments yet?

Sojournering has the chance to help make San Francisco green --

-- and none of you regulars has ideas
to contribute?

This site should be flocked with

I'm doing research. And you?

Sandra said...

We recycle shopping bags. We use them as trash bags for the bathrooms, but also Wal-Mart has a recycle program for shopping bags.

OTRgirl said...

Wow, now my Dad is bustin' all ya'll, not just me!

I personally love the idea of him researching an iPhone for me, it would definitely help me be more green. No more scraps of paper... no more photo prints... ;-)

Anonymous said...

A few ideas:

~all meals eaten at restaurants that feature locally grown/organic ingredients (and no chains!)

~no bottled drinks or disposable plates/napkins, etc... during the conference sessions - water in pitchers, cloth napkins, etc... You can get by with soda in aluminum, but bottled water - bad in more ways than one!

~If there are any "give away" souvenirs, etc... provide them with a nice canvas bag to contain the stuff - maybe with a nice San Fran graphic or conference logo? Or a backpack or messenger bag might even be better, and re-used more.

~I like the iphone idea - or other electronic means of agenda, etc... everyone tosses those handouts anyway!

I'm not a regular, but had to come out of lurking for sustainability - yea, rah, rah!

OTR sister said...

I love the iphone idea.

Let's see, I take the bus and our main car gets 40 mpg (better than most hybrids).

We reuse shopping bags, too. Although it feels like the checkout person gives me the evil eye when I choose plastic.

Cloth diapers that we wash ourselves.

We get our magazines from the library.

We don't water our lawn or garden (although that's cuz we're lazy)

Practically all of our clothes are second-hand.

I heard somewhere that poor people tend to be the most 'green' and everything I've listed we chose to do to save money, not for the environment, although it is a nice side benefit.

Beloved said...

I buy as much produce as I can locally, and I have cloth bags for the supermarket. I recycle pretty passionately with only a few lazy lapses now and then. I also drive a very fuel efficient car and try to keep idling to a minimum.

I'd like to give myself a pat on the back, but I bet my offences far outweigh any virtuous acts.

Anonymous said...

Other ideas:

You partly bike to work. I
bike all the way to work.
(12 blocks) No pollution.
No expense. Good exercise.

Bring your own cloth bag to
the supermarket. Don't use
either plastic or paper.

But, all these ideas are
just swatting flies.

For San Francisco, we need
a big idea. How about
outlawing all petroleum
burning diesels by 2010?

That's not as radical as
it sounds.

When Diesel invented his
engine in the 1890's, he
ran it on coal dust.

And, until the 1920's,
diesels ran on vegetable
oils -- until petroleum
products became cheaper.

So, the technology has
been there for over a
century. It's just a
question of (1) costs,
and (2) converting
existing engines to

OK, outlawing petroleum
burning diesels may be
too draconian. Then,
how about imposing a
stiff licensing fee for
bringing a petroleum
burning ship or truck
into the City -- but
waiving the fee if the
engine is burning a

scarp said...

I'm not going to do a whole post on this, because I don't think all my readers could handle it. But I thought you'd like to know, and it is a way I am being greener...I'm officially a cup convert :)

Rachel said...

Sounds like a cool project.

We buy food locally when we can. I try to reuse and recycle as much as possible, too. We always give our old things to the Goodwill instead of tossing them in the garbage. We have one car, and we live in a small apartment. We eat low on the food chain.

Still, I think we could do a lot more.

Anonymous said...

And trains. I forgot to mention the
diesel engines in trains.