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Mayor Lee challenges San Franciscans to pledge to conserve water

March 30, 2012

Mayor Edwin M. Lee today is challenging San Francisco residents and businesses to show the nation how wisely they use water by participating in the National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation – an online pledge drive to conserve water, save energy, and reduce pollution. The challenge is a friendly competition between cities across the United States to commit the public to save millions of gallons of water during April Earth Month starting today.

“Hetch Hetchy tap water is some of the best tasting water in the nation. It is also one of our City’s most precious assets,” said Mayor Lee. “Let’s show the rest of the nation how we in San Francisco already make every drop count. Sign the pledge to conserve water today!”

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), operator of the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System, is supporting the Mayor’s pledge and starting today will be signing people up and offering free tap water refills from a mobile water tanker at various locations around the City to promote tap water over single-use plastic bottles, water conservation and dialing 3-1-1 for water quality issues. A limited number of free stainless steel water bottles will also be distributed to encourage the use of tap water in reusable water containers versus bottled water. People can find out the location of the SFPUC water tanker by following the SFPUC on Facebook and Twitter.

Bottled water is 300 times more expensive than tap water and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and waste due to plastic bottle manufacturing and disposal. Hetch Hetchy tap water meets all federal, state and local regulations, is tested and proven safe over 100,000 times per year, and costs less than $0.0003 per gallon.

Participants can sign the Wyland Foundation’s National Mayor’s Challenge online between March 30thand April 30th. Participants receive helpful water saving and pollution prevention tips, and also are enrolled to win thousands of prizes, including a brand new Toyota Prius C Hybrid.

San Franciscans can also take advantage of the SFPUC’s water conservation programs like home water audits, free fixtures, leak-fixing videos, and rebates. To date, conservation efforts in San Francisco have resulted in a use of just 80 gallons per person per day, less than half of California’s statewide average.


Mayor Lee celebrates San Francisco’s composting achievements

March 28, 2012

Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced San Francisco reached a major environmental milestone last November having collected a million tons of compostable material through Recology’s green bin program, and today, the millionth ton returns to San Francisco to be applied as nutrient-rich compost to fertilize gardens and grow healthy, organic foods.

“San Francisco is leading the way in sustainability policy and this composting achievement is another reason why we are the ‘Greenest City in North America,’” said Mayor Lee. “Recology has been a leading partner for our composting efforts and this is the ultimate full-circle moment in sustainability. Thanks to local community farmers, especially those who volunteer at Alemany Farm, for providing healthy food to our communities, fostering environmental education and promoting green jobs.”

San Francisco diverts 78 percent of all waste generated in the City away from landfill disposal through source reduction, reuse, and recycling & composting programs. By working together, the City, Recology and the San Francisco Department of Environment have been able to provide some of the most innovative and advanced waste reduction programs in the country. These programs have landed San Francisco the honor of being named the Greenest City in North America and a perfect score for resource recovery and recycling category in the 2011 Siemens Green City Index. The City’s easy-to-use, readily available programs such as the curbside green bin program are shaping the country’s approach to waste.

“Residents and businesses have embraced the City’s goal of Zero Waste and are actively composting their coffee grounds, food scraps and plant cuttings,” said San Francisco Environment Director Melanie Nutter. “The compost program not only gets us one step closer to our goal of Zero Waste by 2020, it’s also a critical component in reducing carbon emissions around the Bay Area.”

“As a leading partner for Recology’s recycling and composting program, Recreation and Park is one of the City’s biggest producers of green waste,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “We know that when we compost our waste, we can recycle it to better our park system. This is a great way to greener parks for all San Franciscans.”

The composting program alone has diverted one million tons of waste from landfill disposal. By reducing methane, a potent greenhouse gas produced in landfills and by sequestering carbon in the topsoil of local farms, the program has created a total carbon dioxide equivalent benefit of more than 305,944 metric tons – equal to offsetting emissions from all vehicles crossing the Bay Bridge for two years (greenhouse gas offsets based on a protocol set by the Climate Action Reserve).

“We truly believe in the work we do every day at Recology – not just providing good service to San Francisco homes and business – but in building partnerships with our neighbors and giving back to our community,” said Recology President & CEO Mike Sangiacomo. “As a San Francisco based company we take great pride in leading the country in resource recovery – let’s keep the great momentum going.”

In continuation of the celebration, Recology will also be hosting a free compost giveaway on Saturday, March 31st at four locations throughout San Francisco. Since its inception in 1996, the green bin composting program has converted City food scraps, plant trimmings and soiled paper into over 600,000 cubic yards of finished compost – a soil amendment that helps local farmers grow healthy, sustainable food.

The Great Compost Giveaway
Saturday, March 31stfrom 8:00am – 12:00 noon, Recology will be offering up to 5 gallons of FREE mixed compost to each resident at four locations across San Francisco while supply last:
·        Alemany Farm, 700 Alemany Boulevard, off Interstate 280 South
·        Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, Ferry Building at the Embarcadero (foot traffic only)
·        McLaren Park, Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, John F. Shelley Drive at Mansell Street
·        Ocean Beach Parking Lot, 950 Great Highway between Lincoln Way and Fulton Street
This is a BYOB (Bring Your Own Bucket) event.

For more information

Sophie Azouaou of SophiSticate Interiors Receives Houzz’s 2012 ‘Best Of Remodeling’ Award

March 20, 2012

First-Ever Survey & Analysis of More than 1.2 Million Members Reveals Top-Rated Professionals and Current Design Trends from Across the Country

San Francisco, CA  — March 21st, 2012 – Sophie Azouaou of SophiSticate Interiors, San Francisco, CA has been awarded  “Best Of Remodeling” 2012 by Houzz, the leading online platform for residential remodeling and design. The Founder of the luxury interior design firm was chosen by more than 1.2 million registered members of the Houzz community.

The Houzz “Best Of Remodeling” award for 2012 is given in two categories: Customer Satisfaction and Design. Customer Satisfaction award winners are based on homeowner members who rated their experience working with remodeling professionals in 12 categories ranging from architects, and interior designers to contractors and other residential remodeling professionals.  Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the 1.2 million members, also known as “Houzzers,” who saved more than 16.5 million professional images to their personal ideabooks via the Houzz site and iPad/iPhone app.

I am thrilled and honored to have won such a prestigious award, the viewers have spoken and made their choice. One of  our designs is on over 2 thousands ideabooks “ states Sophie Azouaou, CEO and Founder of SophiSticate Interiors.

With 3.5 million monthly unique users and 80 million monthly page views, Houzz has rapidly become the largest community of active remodelers, providing homeowners and design enthusiasts with first-hand advice from Houzzers who have been through the renovating and decorating process,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of marketing for Houzz. “This is a real stamp of approval for Sophie Azouaou from the Houzz community and we’re thrilled to welcome her to this elite group of ‘Best Of’ winners.”

About Sophie Azouaou:

Sophie, the Founder and President of SophiSticate Interiors, is an Interior Designer, a national Keynote Speaker, Media representative and award-winner columnist for the San Francisco Examiner. Her firm has broken new ground in the Interior Design industry by leveraging Interior Design to improve the lives of San Francisco’s less fortunate. Lieutenant Governor and former SF Mayor Gavin Newsom has recognized her great work and efforts in the community. Sophie has been covered in many press stories and has been featured on ABC7, NBC, CBS 5, Extra TV, Current TV, California Home and Design, 7×7 magazine, SF Luxe, San Francisco Chronicle and more.

For more about Sophie

About Houzz:

Houzz is the leading online platform for home remodeling, providing inspiration, information, advice and support for homeowners and home improvement professionals through its website and mobile applications. Houzz features the largest residential design database in the world, articles written by design experts, product recommendations, a vibrant community powered by social tools, and information on more than 1.2 million remodeling and design professionals worldwide who can help turn ideas into reality.

San Francisco hits milestone for electric vehicle charging stations

March 12, 2012

TodayMayor Edwin M. Lee and Assemblymember Fiona Ma joined the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and the Department of the Environment to announce the completion of the City’s first round of electric vehicle (EV) charging station installations in City-owned parking facilities. The 26 newly installed EV charging stations will join existing units currently installed at San Francisco International Airport and on Treasure Island. In total, the City now operates 49 publicly accessible EV charging stations at 14 locations, offering 100 percent greenhouse gas-free Hetch Hetchy power.

“We’re making it easier for residents to charge their electric cars anywhere in San Francisco – from SFO to Treasure Island,” said Mayor Lee. “Our future lies beyond oil, and in San Francisco we are investing in the innovation and infrastructure that will jump start our green future today. We are using clean Hetch Hetchy power to charge electric vehicles and in the process we are improving air quality, reducing greenhouse gas, and creating green jobs.”

Each charging unit is monitored for energy usage, fuel savings and greenhouse gas reductions. By the end of 2012, the City’s EV infrastructure will increase by about 33 with new installations at additional City-owned parking facilities, Civic Center Plaza, the SF Zoo and more. Hetch Hetchy energy at the charging stations is available to the public at no-cost through 2013.

“Unlike many EV charging stations outside of San Francisco that use coal or natural gas as their energy source, inside San Francisco we use Hetch Hetchy hydroelectricity to ensure that your vehicle is a truly a greenhouse gas-free or zero-emission car,” said San Francisco Public Utilities Commission General Manager Ed Harrington.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, leading vehicle manufacturers already have plans for cumulative U.S. production capacity of more than 1.2 million electric vehicles by 2015. With 49 stations installed and more on the way, San Francisco is well-positioned to meet growing demand.

Installing electric vehicle charging stations became easier after Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assemblymember Ma’s bill (AB 631), which codifies a California Public Utilities Commission decision to not regulate electric vehicle charging stations as utilities. AB 631 encourages economic growth, technological innovation, job creation in alternative transportation technologies and allows EV infrastructure and services to be developed in a free market.

“I thank Governor Brown for his leadership in further greening California’s economy and Mayor Lee for his dedication to making the San Francisco Bay Area region as the EV capital of the nation,” said Assemblymember Ma. “By improving the EV infrastructure, we are making sure ‘range anxiety’ goes away and we reduce our dependence on foreign oil. I look forward to the day when I trade in my hybrid vehicle for a true electric car.”

“AB 631 has helped accelerate the installation of electric vehicle infrastructure throughout California. Under Mayor Lee’s leadership, San Francisco has seized the opportunity and installed nearly 50 chargers for public use in 14 different locations, with dozens more chargers coming in the months ahead,” said San Francisco Department of Environment Director Melanie Nutter. “San Francisco has joined other ‘early adopter’ cities and is rapidly becoming a central hub for the electric vehicle market.”

For more Green updates check our San Francisco Examiner Green Living Column 

Our interview with The Artist Actor and Producer Ken Davitian

February 27, 2012

Adria Tennor and Ken Davitian


Check my interview with Ken Davitian on Utube courtesy of Liz Kelly.

Actress Adria Tennor and Ken Davitian (Producer of The Artist) tell us how it felt to be in the film  The Artist :” It is fantastic, we are truly lucky to be part of such a talented cast. It is a love story about real love. Only a French man can do that, it is better than any flowers and candy in the world. A movie written for his wife and dedicated to love.”

They also share their Green recommendations and what we should do to avoid waste

Go to the full article.

More about Global Green USA

Stars dazzle the Green carpet in support of Global Green USA

February 25, 2012

Global Green USA Logo

On February 22nd, 2011 Global Green USA held its 9th Annual Global Green pre-Oscar party
Founded in 1993 by activist Diane Meyer Simon, Global Green USA focuses on fighting global climate change through green affordable housing initiatives, national Green schools initiative, green building policies, advocacy and education.

The eco-glamorous event took place at the beautiful Avalon in Hollywood with more than 1,200 people attending. The Chevy Volt electric vehicle chauffeured attendees in eco-friendly style.
The Green carpet dazzled with Hollywood’s eco-conscious stars.

Actress Emmy Rossum. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Global Green)

Actress Adria Tennor (L) and actor Ken Davitian. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/Getty Images for Global Green)

Actress Sophia Bush. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/Getty Images for Global Green)

Actress Maggie Grace. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Global Green)

Singer Michelle Branch. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Global Green)

Actress Serinda Swan. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/Getty Images for Global Green)

Actor Anthony Denison. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/Getty Images for Global Green)

Adrian Grenier. (Photo by Sophie A.)

Kat Graham. (Photo by Global Green)

Matt Petersen and Sophie

Guests included Adrian Grenier (Entourage), Emmy Rossum (Shameless), Sophia Bush (One Tree Hill), Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory), Kelli Garner (Pan Am), Alison Brie (Community), Ed Begley Jr. (Pineapple Express), Michelle Branch (Musical Artist), Anthony Denison (The Closer), Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother), and Dylan McDermott (American Horror Story), among others.

We interviewed some celebrities. Here are some highlights of what we heard on the Green carpet:

From the Oscar nominated movie “The Artist”, ators Adria Tennor and Ken Davidian shared: ”we need to get corporate America Involved and ask them to use recycled materials only. Think of the waste we would save! Being green also starts at home and we all should use our own grocery bags.”
Needless to say we asked how if felt to be part of The Artist:” It is fantastic, we are truly lucky to be part of the cast. It is a love story about real love. Only a French man can do that, it is better than any flowers in the world. A movie written for his wife and dedicated to love.”

Sophia Bush had a powerful message: “ everyone in senate and congress should have their salary go to teachers,” following her on the Green carpet Adrian Grenier was quick to add ”please save water, it represents 70% of our planet“.

Sophia Bush. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/Getty Images for Global Green)

Model and Celebrity Jane Graves created the Vegan and organic lip balm Ladybug Jane in honor of her mom who had cancer. “Toxicity starts with the beauty products we use, our skin absorbs more than 60% of the products we use,” she states.

Jane Graves. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky Getty Images Collection)

“I was born a hippy kid and my family was all about trees and respect of nature. In its own way, Global Green is a trend setter in the Green movement and I am thrilled to support them,”says actress and model Serinda Swan.
Guests enjoyed organic treats while listening to musical entertainment from Evaline and New Division, and an amazing performance by Sheila E. Herself a supporter of Global Green USA.

The New Division. (Photo By Sophie A.)

Sheila E. ( (Photo by Alexandra Wyman/Getty Images)

When asked about the benefit, this is what CEO of Global Green USA an Chair of event Matt Petersen has to say: ”It is amazing to be celebrating our 9th year. We have so grateful to have so mnay eco-friends who are supporting us and who are spreading our mission. Our message tonight is clear: we want to get President Obama to attend Rio+20 Summit in Brazil in June.”

Later in the night, Petersen announced the kick-off of an online Citizen Entrepreneur Contest/local green hero . “As Hollywood prepares to celebrate their nominees for best performances and films, we invite Americans to nominate a student, teacher, architect, or community activist greening their corner of the world,” he said.
Beautiful models showcased eco-designs from rising star Oliver Talentino.
Tolentino, a favorite fashion designer among Hollywood celebrities invited us to his room for a behind-the-scene chat.

Models in Eco-couture (Photo by Jeff Vespa/Getty Images for Global Green)

Oliver Talentino and his muses. (Photo by Sophie A)

“I’m making dresses in honor of my mother who is my hero. She taught me the value of hard work and is my inspiration.
I created the Lydia dress in her honor. I want heads to turn when a woman wears my gowns, ” states Oliver Talentino
The colorful designs made of sustainable pineapple fabric and hemp, showed the world you don’t have to sacrifice couture to be environmentally conscious.

Eco-couture by Oliver Talentino

The benefit was fun and inspiring.

Adrian Grenier (L) and Sophia Bush. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/Getty Images for Global Green)

Dylan McDermott and Shasi Wells. (Photo by Todd Oren/Getty Images for SodaStream)

Newly launched in the US, Nutrilys Del Mar, a Pioneer in eco-friendly marine-based supplements showed its support to Global Green USA by giving away samples of its unique organic wild seaweed supplements for each VIP guest to take home.

Guests left armed with eco-goodie bags courtesy of generous eco-sponsors. Being Green starts at home. We hope the eco-gift bags will be re-used and turn into grocery bags. A simple step can make such a difference! In one night 500+ grocery bags could be saved. Hundreds of guests will have been introduced to new initiatives and green sources. The cycle of Green continues, will go full circle and never end.

Some of the sponsors this year: LAcarGuy, Lux & Eco, Office Depot, Revo, The Ambrose Hotel, Cline Cellars, Gardein, KeepCup, Lexington Social House, MKG, Nutrilys Del Mar, Pureology, 7th Generation, Zimride, North Star Moving, Picore Worldwide,San Francisco Green Living Examiner, The Playlist Generation, Mulu, Sunset Marquis, Verdant Brand, J. Lohr, One Hope Wine, 360 Vodka, BWR, EcoFabulous, and

For more on Global Green USA
For more pictures

We are privileged to announce that Oliver Talentino named an eco- gown “The Sophie”, the same night the event took place.

The Sophie Dress (L) By Oliver Talentino

What an honor! We hope we will give it justice. Stay tuned for an upcoming feature about Talentino.


February 17, 2012

Port of San Francisco

The San Francisco Port Commission this week approved a new policy for Zero Waste Events and Activities on port property for events with a total expected attendance of 5,000 or more people restricting the sale, use and distribution of certain plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic food ware and the release of balloons.

The Port of San Francisco has worked closely with the City’s Department of the Environment to address issues associated with waste generated at large events along the waterfront.
“This policy ensures that events at the Port of San Francisco will be even more sustainable and in keeping with the great beauty of this waterfront and the San Francisco Bay,” said San Francisco Port Commission President Doreen Woo Ho. “The support and expertise of San Francisco Environment was essential in developing this landmark policy.”

The Port is host to numerous events on Port property each year including fundraising walks and runs, “tailgate parties” at athletic events, 4th of July Celebration, Oktoberfest, Fleet Week, New Year’s Eve Celebration and the proposed 34th America’s Cup events (subject to pending environmental review).
Large outdoor events of this size typically generate a variety of plastic wastes from the sale of water in single-use bottles, the use of non-compostable plastic food ware, and the distribution of plastic bags to customers for food, merchandise and souvenirs. Along the Port’s facilities, the inherent challenges of waste management at a large event are compounded by a windy environment and proximity to the San Francisco Bay.

“We were pleased to collaborate with the Port on their new zero waste event policy,” said Melanie Nutter, Director of San Francisco’s Department of Environment. “This policy encapsulates many of the sustainability goals and policies that the City already has in place and adds new components to make it comprehensive. All events on Port property will play a role in helping to safeguard our Bay and our environment from plastic debris and other waste.”

• The sale, use and distribution of single-use plastic water bottles are prohibited.
• The sale, use and distribution of single-use disposable plastic bags are prohibited.
• The sale, use and distribution of single-use non-compostable plastic food ware are prohibited.
• All compostable plastic food service ware must meet ASTM D-6400 (American Society for Testing and Materials) standards for compostable plastics and have BPI (Biodegradable Products Institute) certification (
• The intentional release of balloons on Port property in connection with an Event subject to this Policy is prohibited.
• The Policy for Zero Waste Events and Activities also serves as non-mandatory goals for events and activities with expected attendance of fewer than 5,000 people.
• The Port Commission may grant a waiver of any of the provisions of this Policy, in its sole discretion.

“Pervasive plastics, such as plastic bags, bottles and food ware, pollute San Francisco Bay, threatening wildlife, spoiling water quality and degrading our recreational areas,” said Save The Bay Executive Director David Lewis. “We are pleased with the Port Commission’s leadership in reducing this harmful pollution.”

“We share a commitment to sustainability with the City and the Port, and are focused delivering the 34th America’s Cup as a model sporting event, in one of the most sustainable cities in North America,” said Jill Savery, Head of Sustainability, America’s Cup Event Authority. “We’re very proud to have introduced the AC34 Sustainability Plan, setting forth a brand-new model for future events in San Francisco that includes very tangible actions such as prohibiting single-use plastic bags and plastic water bottles at our event sites along the waterfront and throughout the City.”

In September 2002, the Board of Supervisors adopted Resolution No. 679-02 setting a goal of 75% diversion from landfill by 2010 and promoting the highest and best use of recovered materials and authorizing the Commission on the Environment to adopt a zero waste goal, which it set as 2020.

SF Environment creates visionary policies and innovative programs that promote social equity, protect human health, and lead the way toward a sustainable future.

The Port of San Francisco, an enterprise agency of the City and County of San Francisco, oversees a broad range of commercial, maritime and public access facilities along the City’s waterfront that are held in public trust for the people of California.