Shop in Bulk and Source Locally
Packaging takes up a huge portion of the landfills on our planet and by buying in bulk, you can cut down on unnecessary waste.
Rainbow Market in the Mission has a great selection of bulk products and even gives you ten cents off your total for every bag you reuse or container you bring in to use. Whole Foods also has a great bulk section that offers a variety of organic (and sometimes even local) products.
As far as your produce goes, shopping at local Farmer’s Markets helps to cut down on carbon emissions because your fruit and vegetables don’t have to be shipped from halfway across the world.
Often times, the farms are between 20 and 100 miles away and offer organic and sustainable produce. They offer seasonal produce, and the vendors at the markets are happy to tell you where the produce comes from, how it was grown and whether or not pesticides were used in the farming process.
One Word: Vegan
I’m not telling you to give up your meat and dairy completely, but at least cut back on the amount of animal products and byproducts that you consume. One healthy, adult cow produces, on average, one hundred pounds of waste a day. This is the biggest source of greenhouse gas emission and by cutting back on meat and dairy, you can help to eliminate some of these effects.
If you must eat meat or dairy, make sure that it is organic, free range, and hormone free. Straus Creamery is an excellent local dairy farm and all of their products are sustainable and good for the environment. Also, make sure to get cage-free, hormone free eggs. The couple more dollars you spend on these items will be worth it in the long run.
Help Out in the Community Garden
Did you know that USF has a community garden right next to the ED building? If you come and help out on a Friday workday between 12P- 4P, you can not only walk away with some fresh greens, but you can also learn how to plant, grow, and harvest your own produce based on what is in season.
You can also use these skills to plant a window box with fresh herbs or take it to the next step and start planting your own fresh veggies!
Interested in Learning to Live Off the Land? Take A USF Summer Course
Green Media will be taught this summer by David Silver as a media production course. This year, it is being taught from July 24th- August 7th at Buck Mountain Experimental Station, owned and operated by Professor Melinda Stone.
If you need a cell phone and computer to get through your day, this course isn’t for you. Nestled in Northern California, the station is removed from the hustle of everyday life and perfect for those wanting to have a hands on experience.
In this intensive class, you will walk away knowing how to live off the land and how to produce your own food. While it is a media studies course, it is hosted by USF’s environmental studies department. There are very limited spots so make sure to sign up!
Eat At Restaurants That Use Sustainable, Local, and Organic Ingredients
I love eating out, but sometimes it can be discouraging to think about where your food comes from. Many restaurants in the city are now priding themselves on offering sustainable, local, and seasonal ingredients. Try out these sustainable restaurants:
(California between Divisadero and Broderick)
Sorry to break it to my raw fish lovers, but a lot of sushi is extremely unsustainable and is harming the environment. Tataki Sushi is a sustainable sushi restaurant that was introduced to me by a colleague. It is not only delicious, but it makes sure that the dish offered is viable for the planet.
Favorites on the menu: extinguisher roll ($13), sashimi taster- 6 pieces of the chef’s selection ($12), tuna poke ($11)
Plant Cafe Organic
The Plant Cafe is one of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco. I find myself here a couple times a month. Not only is their food fresh, but their name says it all. The Plant Cafe prides themselves on using organic and sustainable ingredients and is a great restaurant for vegans. Their poultry and seafood is free of hormones, antibiotics and is oftentimes sources locally.
Favorites on the menu: quinoa bowl ($10.25), fish tacos($12.5), tuscan chicken panini ($10.50), skin refresher juice with cucumber, apple, strawberry and watermelon ($5.75 for 12oz.)