Guide to greener living

Pub date April 16, 2008

Click here for even more green businesses and services, including Green Citizen, Green Zebra, PLANTSF and more!


Want to obey the bumper stickers and kill your television? That’s OK. But be careful where you bury it. TVs, as well as computers, DVD players, and all kinds of electronics, have no business in landfills. They’re made of plenty of metal which can be recycled, along with plenty of chemicals that are hazardous to the public. The eRecycle campaign, sponsored by the California Integrated Waste Management Board, maintains a Web site of local pickup and drop-off services for your e-waste — and thankfully, just in time for the high-def TV changeover in 2009.


Want a greener home from the ground up? This is your one-stop shop. From flooring and cabinets to decor and lighting, everything here is natural, sustainable, and eco-friendly.

2617-2619 San Pablo, Berk. (510) 644-3500,


Finding the right dentist is tough. But Dr. Namrata Patel makes your decision easier with her new LEED-certified (that’s Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Design) office. Patel uses nontoxic products — keeping PVC, formaldehyde, and chlorine out of everything from floors to cabinetry. She’s careful about reducing waste. She uses minimal radiation and a special filtration system for dealing with mercury fillings. Even her office furnishings are made with recycled materials. And yes, she accepts insurance!

360 Post, Suite 704, SF. (415) 433-0119,


Want to make sure your favorite restaurant or preferred electrician uses green practices? This online resource will point you toward businesses in SF, from bars to baby clothes retailers, who are committed to the environment.


The actual act of driving isn’t the only reason having a car is hard on the environment. Maintaining it is too. But Luscious Garage is trying to help on both accounts. This woman-owned and operated facility specializes in hybrids, and runs the whole business as sustainably as possible, from the machine shop to the office. And for these luscious ladies, sustainably goes beyond chemicals and objects — they also sustain their community by hosting classes and a hybrid car club in their beautiful facility.

459 Clementina, SF. (415) 875-9030,


Like Luscious Garage’s brother, Pat’s also focuses on environmentally friendly business practices. Bring your Honda, Acura, or Subaru for services you can feel good about. Or, if you have a hybrid, you can work with Pat’s partners, Green Gears, to upgrade your hybrid with plug-in capabilities. Bonus? They offer free car classes for women.

1090 26th St., SF. (415) 647-4500,,


This SF-based business wants you to rest easy with their eco-friendly mattresses. With recycled steel in the coils, bamboo and unbleached natural cotton for fabrics, nonchemical odor-controlling and antibacterial treatments, and ingenious use of scrap memory foam bits, every mattress is as kind to the earth as it is to your body. Keetsa further reduces its carbon footprint with its innovative mattress compression technique, allowing for easier and more efficient transport. But are they good mattresses? They must be. After less than a year in business, they’re already opening a store in Fairfield.

271 Ninth St., SF. (415) 252-1575,


Just bought a new Keetsa and want to get rid of your tired old Sealy? Don’t just throw it in the trash. If you don’t live on one of those SF streets where a stranger will pick up your stuff from the sidewalk within an hour, call San Rafael–based Ecohaul. This nationwide service will pick up your furniture, appliances, yard waste, and just about anything else you can think of. Then they’ll reuse, recycle, and repurpose everything they can, diverting as much from the landfill as possible.



You’ve greened up your home, so why not find an eco-friendly home away from home? The Orchard Garden was the third hotel in the United States to be given LEED certification for its key card energy control system (SF’s first — it’s based on the European model), organic bath products, natural materials, and general commitment to sustainability. Also check out its sister hotel, the Orchard, on Union.

466 Bush, SF. (415) 399-9807,


Ten years ago, Epi Center was the first spa in the country to combine traditional spa treatments and medical procedures. Now it celebrates its anniversary with a new innovation: the ecomedspa. This LEED-certified arm of the original spa combines regular procedures with organic treatments in a healthy environment, all according to the principles of William McDonough’s "Cradle to Cradle."

450 Sutter, SF. (415) 362-4754,


Based in Penngrove, this company imports handmade Nepali paper made from bark of a white shrub called lokta, which regrows after pruning. Not only does this mean no trees are cut down, it also means employment for many women in Kathmandu Valley and financial support for village regions of Nepal. Plus, the paper’s gorgeous. Order online, or find it at Stylo, Autumn Express, Kinokuniya Stationery and Gifts, or San Francisco State University.

(707) 665-9055,


Make a fashion statement with these simple, 100-percent organic T-shirts by Heidi Quante. The shirts, which are brown with white lettering saying "More Dirt" on the front are meant to capture attention and send people to Quante’s Web site, which shows people how to combat global warming through planting trees, establishing community gardens, and using permaculture techniques. Inks are made without PVC or phthalates, and shirts come in sizes for men, women, and babies.


Family owned and operated since 1984, A. Maciel specializes in recycled and tree-free papers as well as soy-based inks. What’s even better? The shop is completely wind-powered. Though the print shop is capable of doing corporate jobs, A. Maciel caters to nonprofits and community groups like the American Land Conservancy, Forest Ethics, and Greenpeace. They’re also part of Northern California Media Workers/Typographical Union. Sure beats Kinko’s.

50 Mendell, Unit #5, SF. (415) 648-3553, www.amacielprinting


All aboard the ecobus! This organization takes Das Frachtgut, the veggie oil–fueled bus Jens-Peter Jungclaussen uses as a mobile classroom, on an ecofriendly party tour. Movie nights are all about watching modern classics and then doing some kind of relevant outdoor activity (e.g., see The Big Lebowski, then bowl outside). Dance nights turn the bus into a mobile DJ booth and an instant, impromptu club. It’s fun, safe (no drunk driving, kids!), and above all, Earth friendly.