Green living resource guide

Pub date April 15, 2009
WriterLaura Peach

Living green is not just about buying organic vegetables and riding a bike. It’s about making conscious choices about where you shop, what you buy, and how you interact with your environment. Here are some resources that can help you align your lifestyle with your values.

Down at Home: Greening your domestic life starts with revising your habits, but the next step is revising your actual surroundings. A consultation from the folks at Sustainable Spaces (1167 Mission, SF. 415-294-5380, will identify the areas where you can make the most substantial difference. You can pick up green building supplies, like bamboo flooring or zero-VOC paint, from the savvy staff at Berkeley’s Eco Home Improvement (2169 San Pablo, Berk. 510-644-3500, Also consider leasing a solar panel from Solar City (2245 Quesada, SF. 800-765-2489,, a company that will come out and install a solar panel on your house. (You don’t have to put any money down and the lease may be less then your monthly utility bill.)

In the Bag: Shopping is a fact of life. We all need to clothe and feed ourselves. Opt organic where you can. For green threads, from jeans and tees to sexy slipdresses, shop crisp Russian hill boutique EcoCitizen (1488 Vallejo, SF. 415-614-0100, Fill the fridge with locally sourced and organic food from eco-thoughtful co-op Rainbow Grocery (1745 Folsom, SF. 415-863-0620, or natural market Real Foods (2140 Polk, SF. 415-673-7420; 360 Fillmore, SF. 415-567-6900,

On the Street: We live in a bike-friendly city, and the folks at Valencia Cyclery (1077 Valencia, SF. 415-550-6600) are stoked to put you on spokes. If you still drive, drive green. Take your car to the friendly mechanics at clean, inviting Luscious Garage (429 Clementina, SF. 415-875-9030,, where broken auto parts are recycled and all invoices are digitized to save paper. Fill the tank with locally produced biofuel at Dogpatch Biofuels (765 Pennsylvania, SF. 415-643-3435,

Skin and Soul: Stock up on health and wellness info, vitamin supplements, and chemical-free skincare products at Clary Sage Organics (2241 Fillmore, SF. 415-673-7300, If facials are your beauty indulgence of choice, go for an organic option at Epi Center MedSpa (450 Sutter, Ste 800, SF. 415-362-4754,, which is housed in a lovely, LEED certified space. Find focus and balance—and at mat made of recycled materials—at The Yoga Loft (321 Divisadero, SF. 415-626-5638,

Out and About: You don’t have to eat at Café Gratitude to dine green. Check out Thimmakka (, an organization which helps restaurants and bars — most of them small, independently owned, and ethnic — become more eco-friendly. Thimmakka maintains a list of places they’ve certified, including San Miguel’s (3263 Mission, SF. 415-641-5866) delicious Guatamalan cuisine and Elixir’s (3200 16th St., SF. 415-522-1633, organic cocktails. Then shake your booty on the dance floor at Temple (540 Howard, SF., where the owner is so committed to being environmentally friendly that he’s working on a way to harness dancers’ energy to power the place. Catch a flick at Red Vic Movie House (1727 Haight, SF. 415-668-3914, a co-op that offers organic snacks.

Giving back: Support small businesses who are trying to be greener by using a Viv sticker (sign up at Every time you show it to a participating local shop or eatery, you’ll push the business to shift to greener cleaning products or energy efficient lights.