Archive for the ‘Products’ Category

New Microsite Makes It Easier To Find Green Home Products

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

LEED logoSeveral years ago before the real estate market imploded, the trend in the real estate and building industry looked Green. True, not ever building or homeowner slapped on solar panel or installed a tankless water heater but many did move in direction of sustainably built homes.

Then with the real estate industry tanking, Green building went out the dual paned window. Maybe things in the real estate will again turn that Green corner

Homeowners and contractors can now find Green building products through the LEED Home Depot. This microsite within the main Home Depot site lists over 2500 products, many of which qualify for LEED points.

We’ve said before that we’re not all about LEED points. People often get caught up in the points and forget about the aspect of Green building itself.

Green building offers homeowners opportunities to reduce energy and resource consumption. However Green building offers more than just lower utility bills, as the often overlooked aspect of heath and superior air quality remain paramount in the overall Green picture.

Last year, Green building comprised 17% of new residential construction, tripling since 2008, and expected to increase to 29%-38% of the market by 2016, according to a McGraw-Hill Construction report.

Here’s to a Green real estate recovery.

Green Festival Rolls Into San Francisco

Monday, April 11th, 2011
Joey Shepp

Joey Shepp

The Green festival rolled into San Francisco this past weekend with less fanfare than in the past. Not that the participants, vendors and speakers didn’t have the energy of years past but this recent version saw a drop in vendors and also in the overall show days (from 3 to 2). Maybe the festival needs work on the “less is more” thinking and revert to the November only event.

The event did offer some notable and thought provoking speakers. We spent time to hear local Joey Shepp discuss social media for sustainable business. Even for people experienced with sustainable business ideas he certainly added some innovative ideas. We saw several business people typing notes madly on the Smart Pads. Some of the products and ideas worth mentioning include: the Fujitsu scansnap that quickly scans documents and business cards and the like quickly and efficiently. Of course he mentioned the world of cloud computing and how they will cut down on paper use. He mentioned that currently products will be about what the client wants not what the company wants (crowd sourcing) and that great sustainable ideas don’t have to come from angel investors or VC with organizations like Kiva, Kickstarter, and Crowdfire as outlets for people to start their own business. With so much info, he quickly rushed through his belief that Wikileaks will add truth and cause companies (or governments) to be more transparent. It adds truth, and what remains is education and creativity.

The other thing that seemed to be generating buzz is the GMO talk. Organizations may be angling toward getting mandatory labeling of GMOs on the California ballot because a high percentage of consumers want GMO labeled and because supermarkets, products and apparently are government don’t want to be transparent about what our food contains.

Carnaval 2010 San Francisco – Sexy for Sure But It Could be More Green

Monday, May 31st, 2010
Carnival San Francisco - Green Section

Carnival San Francisco - Green Section

Carnaval here in San Francisco may not be as sexy, rambunctious or famous as its counterparts that take place in Rio or New Orleans but that doesn’t mean that the 2-day event doesn’t mean that the crowds don’t enjoy the fun, sun (the weather actually cooperated with glorious 80 degree SF weather) music and sexy costumes.

With all of the things going for Carnaval why can’t there be some added consideration given to making the event more Green. We did spy a plethora of compost and recycling canisters and the beer areas did utilize the non-plastic cups.  The event did have a small cluster of vendors dedicated to products or services at least slightly aligned with being somewhat progressive. Earthlust sold slightly dented reusable water bottles at a discount, San Francisco Vegetarian Society, Zip Car, Rainforest Action Network and some others. Sure these aren’t as sexy as some of the other venders but Green can be sexy as evidenced by some of the Hollywood A-listers creating Green events or supporting various green products.

Nos gusta gazing at the colorfully sexy costumes and gyrating to the various Latin beats but wouldn’t it be great to see some of sexy thinking combined with some Green ideas?

Fancy Food Show – A Grocery Bag of Tasty Treats

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Who doesn’t like food? Especially fancy food. Lot’s of people do as judged by the crowds filling the aisles and booths of the Moscone Center for the 35th Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. With so many munchies, nibbles and treats to delve though we had to restrict our nibbling, tasting and inquires to the ever expanding Natural and Organic section.

Food like anything else can be about expectation. We set the organic chocolaty bar fairly high and weren’t disappointed by the plethora of organic chocolates but we actually went in search of more interesting items. Zhena’s Gypsy teas marked our first discovery. Even though they’ve been around for about 10 year they more recently created five biodynamic teas and we felt much better after sampling the Caramelized Pear flavor. On top of the tea itself we had to like containers made from 70% recycled steel (and the cans are 100% recyclable because they contain no paper stuck with glue. They make their tea bags from non-GMO corn silk and can be composted as they biodegradable after 60 days. Having this teas makes us feel good better come 4 pm tea time.

We know that several natural partially organic (organic flour) bog bones exist but we could help from talking (no sampling for us) with the owners of Bare Bones dog bones. If they hailed from Cali then we might not of stopped but seeing that these guys make their all natural bones in Dallas caused us to discuss how people in Big D see these dog bones of all things. They mentioned that the people in Texas don’t exactly “get” the whole dog bone thing but they know that organic is some buzz word so they continue to go along for the ride. Go get ‘em Fido!

Field Roast impressed us not just by feeding us tons of samples of their various fake meats but by showing us their factory in  a renovated 1920s former dairy building in Seattle. These commitment to re-using an existing building cost them more than moving into some new factory but it showed that along with their commitment to use local veggies and minimal packing that their heart or rather their “meat” is in the right place.

We weren’t so happy to see all the companies pushing organic this and that in horrific plastic packaging. We saw enough gluten free, natural, corn syrup based products in the section (we don’t want to call anyone out at this point) that must have had various green marketing gurus earning their bonuses. We wish that they would spend less money on marketing about how good their product is and just make their product better.

Social Networking and High Tech at Inman Connect 2009

Friday, August 7th, 2009

inman connect fotoIt’s kind of exciting to be around some of the top bloggers, social media giants, and computer media gurus at the 2009 Inman Connect. It would be silly to search for significant Green aspects within this conference, but the as they say it’s about people, planet, profit. Of course, the real estate industry here remains about profit but much of the new innovation deals with people.

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Mt. Whitney Water and Pollution

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

It’s not that Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the Lower 48, needs any more publicity. After all, about 30,000 hikers annually make the trek up to the thin air of 14, 496 feet. People who secure even a day use wilderness permit (not much fun making the ascent in one day) through the Mt. Whitney lottery system often feel better than if they had won a state run lottery where they actually win money.

On a recent (this past week) stroll up into the thin air of Mt. Whitney my hiking buddies and I discovered some things. While most hikers have courtesy and smarts to be as conscious as possible toward environmental stewardship it always happens where a few conventionally grown apples ruin it for everyone else. Case in point being at the last reliable water source (High Camp Tarn) before the final push up the 99 switchbacks to reach the summit what did we spy? A dazzling reflection of the various peaks? Yes. A plethora of discarded Mountain House packages resting on the floor of the tarn. You bet. Not only did these packages tarnish the beauty of the scenic watering hole but even forgetting esthetics, who wants to drink water from a polluted lake before a major climb? (more…)

Vegan, FSC, Fair Trade shoes

Friday, January 16th, 2009

HTOlivePairs-1A couple months ago while strolling or rather avoiding the Bay Bridge rush hour type traffic masses in the Green Festival we spotted a shoe company. No dahhling, we didn’t spy any sustainably made Manolo Blahnik pumps (we wish) but rather some shoes that caused a Chuck Taylor déjà vu. Even more than the shoe, a sign caught our eyes – FSC certified soles. What? How can shoe soles be FSC certified? That’s a wood certification. Then we had one of those “oh yeah” moments. The soles come from rubber trees.

Okay, we’ll admit that the last things you would mistake us for are “fashionistas” but we can spot sustainable shoes when we see them. Don’t get on our case about shoes and sustainability. Okay, going barefoot would be the best way to go but for the rest of us we just wear our duds as green as possible. The still relatively unknown Autonomie Project creates the eco-friendly Ethletic footwear, as well as other clothing and accessories. They offer the classic low-top as well as flip-flops but the Organic Chucky Ts got us. (more…)

Who’ll Stop the Rain?

Thursday, September 21st, 2006
Rainscreen

With the Arterra, San Francisco’s first LEED certified San Francisco condos, just about ready to go into pre-sales it’s no surprise that some visitors in the sales office appear from curious to confused.

Some prospective buyers who drifted around the sales office came for the Green factor but others don’t know green from pink. The salesroom doesn’t exactly push the green aspect. Those who don’t have an attention to detail could easily miss the bamboo kitchen floors, and the dual flush toilets. Even so, one green product continually baffles potential buyers – the Trespa rainscreen system. It more than baffles, it disturbs some.

We’re not exactly fans of bedding down in high-end coffins, except maybe during Halloween, so people here should get over their fears of something new. The rainscreen system isn’t exactly the new green kid on the block. Builders have been using this overcladding technology since the 1940’s in Scandinavia. (more…)