Simple H2O makes it go (into your head and stay there)

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We salute Los Angeles' Mark Bedol, inventor of the battery-free, water-powered clock, for bringing the ditty-centric production values of local cable TV ads to the Internet. The lil' timekeeper comes in pink, red, blue, green, etc. You can choose to go meta with the water drop-shaped model or be boring and buy yet another round clock. Read more »

Portable pollution

The dirty generators powering a rapidly expanding number of mobile food trucks escape the attention of air quality regulators


With its decidedly hip aesthetic and clientele, San Francisco's food truck trend may be naturally assumed to be environmentally sound and health conscious. But the rapidly expanding craze may actually be creating air pollution and endangering the health of their employees in ways that aren't yet being regulated.Read more »

Bernal Heights pumps up the volume


Climb Bernal Hill as a sweaty pedestrian and you just might descend by flying down on a futuristic -- newly charged! -- electric bicycle. Or at least, with a fully-juiced iPhone. Starting this month through the end of the summer, a collaboration between Sol Design Lab and The New Wheel has brought the city's newest solar energy recharging station to Bernal Heights. Plug in your speedy e-bike, or hell, electric toothbrush. Read more »

The great car slowdown

Could lowering the speed limit help us reach our biking goal by 2020?


EDITORIAL It's going to be hard to reach San Francisco's official bike transportation goal, which calls for 20 percent of all vehicle trips to be taken by bicycle by 2020. Everyone in town knows that; everyone at City Hall and in the biking community agrees that some profound and radical steps would need to be taken to increase bike trips by more than 500 percent in just eight years.Read more »

I get by with the help of my local DIY classes

CAREERS AND EDUCATION: A day in the life of a sustainable urbanite


What would the ultimate DIY day look like? There's heaps of classes you can take in the Bay Area to make yourself more handy and sustainability-minded. Here's a hypothetical 24 hours using the skills you can cull from those courses — scroll to the end of the article for details on where you can take each class concerned.Read more »

Green shopping guide: 6 earth-conscious fashion outposts


We've been shopping green for a week now -- check out our previous guides to housewares, kid's stuff, gardening resources, and local beauty

Let’s face it. Finding an oversized sweater in your mom’s closet that looks good on you tends to make you feel better than purchasing one at a corporate retail store because (a) you hate homogeneity, (b) you like saving money, (c) you’re rocking something straight out of the 80s, and (d) you’re relieved of the guilt associated with buying an item produced overseas. Here are a few suggestions on where to shop locally for you tree-hugging, fashion-conscious souls. Read more »

Green shopping guide: 8 sources of weekend-ready, enviro-friendly beauty


Beauty is said to only be skin-deep -- but the businesses that use holistic, organic, and plant-based ingredients want to demolish this age-old idiom. You can simultaneously rejuvenate yourself and the planet by ditching those toxic, harmful products once and for all. Think of it! With their products and services, self-care is no longer akin to being vain or selfish. These eight local spas, soapmakers, and producers of flower-based essences align nature, commerce, and beauty so that the world can sustain that perfect summer glow. Read more »

Green shopping guide: 7 shops for kids and housewares


Children, don't let your parents grow up to throw away aluminum foil. Now that you're a big kid, with attendant home cleaning and offspring-maintaining concerns, there's little reason to stop paying attention to the environment -- in fact, what with the better-world-for-the-little-ones hope, you might find yourself doubling down on decorating motifs that will save the world.

Here's a passel of stores (locally-based online enterprises and brick-and-mortar both) in the Bay where you can shop with a clean conscious for housewares and kid's items. We're guiding around enviro shopping all this week -- check out yesteday's guide to garden stores. Read more »

Green shopping guide: 8 shops to jump-start your spring garden


You can turn your slice of this concrete jungle into jungle, with a bit of elbow grease and ingenuity. Oh, and resources might help, too. Whether you're looking to build a succulent-laden sanctuary, an extensive drip irrigation system, or a simple window box, our local gardening centers and shops have you covered. Come for the enthusiastic and knowledgeable staffs, quirky clientele, and a chance to momentarily forget you live in a hectic city.

Flora Grubb Gardens

For those of us who like our plants and gardening implements flawlessly presented to us, Flora Grubb’s where it’s at. A gardening virgin won't escape this place without picking up something beautiful and fertile. Read more »

Is San Francisco ready for the electric bike?


"I'm so excited for that hill!" I shouted. And I was on a bike. 

I've never been excited for a hill on a bike before. But last week I tooled around on an electric bicycle with Karen and Brett Thurber, the husband-wife owners of Bernal Hieghts' sweet-swanky new shop New Wheel. We did about half of a 49-mile scenic drive (the one created in 1939 for the Golden Gate International Exposition that was meant to showcase the city's then-new neighborhoods), went up Twin Peaks, and I felt like a million bucks at the end of it.

I tell you this at the risk of sounding soft to pretty much every biker I know, but: "e-bikes" are fun. You can decide yourself -- New Wheel's always open for test rides, and it has a weekend of festivities planned Sat/31-Sun/1 to introduce the metal steeds to your loins. If you're open.  Read more »