There’s nothing like Green to attract Green. In this case, the just concluded AlwaysOn Going Green 2008 Conference attracted a slew of VC and Biz Dev money looking to invest their portfolios in green tech. The summit as a whole brought together serious money looking for innovative ideas but to say that all the ideas and companies behind them offered true green innovation and philosophies would be somewhat akin to out-and-out greenwashing.
Early conference sessions including the solar breakthrough panel discussed various solar advances such as the Mono-crystalline silicon solar cells yet dialogue seemed rather low key and needed a jolt.
The “abundant clean green water” session got a little splashier and brought out honest panel responses such as “The water industry is dysfunctional. Like a train wreck.” To us it seemed appropriate with the water price gouging, privatization of water companies and the like that the panel compared the water policies of many companies to Pyongyang economics.
From Keith Rockmael at Greenerati.com
We felt a little guilty strolling through the San Francisco stop on Green Festival tour while others removed black gold from various wildlife that an Exxon Valdez-like tanker recently dumped into San Francisco Bay. At least a good percentage of the environmentalists, vegan hipsters, LOHAS types and simple non Green classifieds rode bikes, walked, skateboarded and even took Muni to the SoMa location. Unfortunately, the packed nearby parking lots had their share of cars which didn’t exactly make our green hearts go pitter-patter.
Once we entered, the various green venders assaulted our minds and stomaches with organic, free trade, vegan desserts, drinks and energy bars. With all the samples, who even needs to eat lunch at these Green festivals? Maybe we should have fed our dogs as well as the show offered half a dozen natural pet related displays and products.
Nevertheless, the main advantage of wandering around eating gave us that much more time to enjoy the words and wisdom of Paul Hawken and Deepak Chopra who typically feed the urban Greenies with more energy than can be had in a full can of Steaz and a Bumble Bar.
Like a fine bottle of organic wine, the Green Zebra guide seems to get better with age. Okay, this 2008 version represents only the second San Francisco edition but it marks an improvement over numero uno. We must not be the only ones into this whole Green money saving coupon thing as the Zebra spread its stripes to Marin County and the Peninsula.
We like the opening section that that details some of the non-sustainable dangers that lurk in beauty products, the absurdity of drinking bottled water, and how to judge a green business. They kept and updated the sustainable seafood chart so for now we’ve nixed the imported shrimp right off the barbie.
We’re all about the Green Zebra support of the San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance that helps bring Green awareness to various city schools. This version appears to have even more emphasis on restaurants that have sustainable practices and support local growers. Those into hard number will appreciate that they used the same 98% post consumer New Leaf printing and increased the number of money saving pages from 320 to 352.
Enough chat, we’re off to redeem our fair trade, organic coffee coupon.
Thanks to Keith over at Greenerati for this post.
Those of you who think we have it bad with the tap water here in San Francisco might think twice after attending one of the more
thought provoking sessions at the 2007 BSR (Business for Social Responsibility) Conference here in San Francisco. The panel of John Frazier, Director of Considered Chemistry and Environment for Nike; Pascale Guiffant with the SUEZ company; and Chris Jochnick director at Oxfam, led the environmental session “Green Human Rights: Do Water and Climate Count?” and brought about Paul Hawken-esque issues about water rights tied with human rights.
Oil seems to be on everyone’s mind but good old H2O might be more of a future issue. Even those waiting for the ice caps to melt might think twice when seeing how much corporations pollute that water. The panel tied together ideas how human rights and climate change can be tied to water. Even now the UN only recently started to realize that water can be recognized as a human issue. One problem is that most of the private sector doesn’t cover the local populations’ right to a healthy environment.
We applaud Frazier’s opinion that Nike should talk more about what
they are doing on the environmental side as opposed to how to dunk a basketball. Nike has their new Green shoe and they continue to work on a “Considered Index” that will measure the VOCs and other harmful elements in their shoes. Nike, which used to be a poster child for non-Green companies, seems to be taking a Green Shaq size step forward. We say, “Just Green It.”
Keith is a editor of Greenerati.com
It’s that time of year when we all start seeing the 2008 calendars, and other dated material so, of course, our eyes caught a green glimpse of the 2008 EcoMetro Guide. The East Bay guide follows the recent trend of not only supporting local community shops, restaurants and vendors but doing the very American thing of saving money by clipping coupons.
We’re always told not to judge a book by its cover, or what the cover is made of, and in this case the EMG pushed the limits and possibly the sanity of their local printer by using 40% post consumer paper (read page 8 of the guide for a full printing overview) as well as soy ink printing done by INX International.
In addition to the myriad coupons for local restaurants (all of which apparently passed some sustainable survey) as well as grocery items, the guide includes creative Green tidbits, lists and warnings. We’re not really sure why they included national grocery coupons items especially when they promote the “Green is Local” mantra but some people need their Ecos laundry products or organic Kettle chips. We know that these are minor Green quips but this guide still makes for a good “read” for any sustainable Oaklander.
It’s not like Organic Architect Eric Corey Freed needs more publicity but we feel obligated to dole out some props. As one of the West Coast Green noted speakers his “An extremely unusual look at Green building” certainly caused a stir during day one. We knew that we were in for a Freed special when he started his talk with his recent quote, “Guilt is no way to sell environmentalism.” We agree. As he says it’s time to do something, and that doesn’t mean buying carbon credits.
His speech, divided into convenient bite sized pieces, brought up unusual and startling images of how we waste materials and what we can do to improve things. He pulled up facts like Americans spill about 17,000 million gallons of gasoline while filing those nasty lawnmowers which cause five percent of CO2 emissions. Why do we have lawns anyway? Why don’t people plant native species in their front and back yards?
It could be considered the country’s (or at least San Francisco’s) first Green mini mall or mini Green department store. Over on Polk Street, near a lot of mass transit and foot traffic, the recently opened Green Home Center had eco-sexuals checking out not only the
shops but the interior as well.
Talk about making use of density, the small retail space combines several sustainably minded companies in one space. The Green concept shops offer Green minded consumers kitchen and bath cabinets with low or no formadlyldle and FSC wood (Brand Kitchens & Designs), Green bedding and furniture (Eco-terric), reclaimed wood doors (Liberty Valley Doors) and as they say much, much more.