Thursday, September 10, 2015

Thursday, September 10, 2015

#DamnCaliforniaHippies | Green City Spotlight: San Francisco

It's no secret that I love San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area. Not only are the hills a nice break from our flat lands, but it's like visiting a treehugger's paradise. I recently went on a quick getaway, but while there, I found myself taking lots of mental notes and nerdy pictures of different eco-friendly things. An incredibly fun blogging field trip, if you will.


How does Lafayette compare to San Francisco?

 

San Francisco: 

85,827 Priuses, 16 the same color as mine. (Yes, I counted.) (Although, I still wonder how all those Prius drivers get any sort of fuel efficiency driving up the slightly terrifying hills and keeping up with traffic. Never mind my confusion at how Smart cars get anywhere at all on those hills.)

Lafayette: 

22 Priuses, 1 the same color as mine.

San Francisco: 

Teslas!

Lafayette: 

Tes-whas?

 

San Francisco: 

Free EV car charging at Crissy Field.

Lafayette: 

Not even sure there are EV stations at our Whole Foods. For the one Volt I've seen driving around.

San Francisco:

Transportation options include hybrid taxis, electric buses and lots of bike lanes.

Lafayette:

Taxis really not an option here, and they certainly aren't hybrids. But the bike lanes are coming along! And it's easier to ride here anyway. Also, part of our bus fleet runs on compressed natural gas.


 

 

San Francisco: 

Do you want to purchase a paper bag for 10 cents?

Lafayette: 

Do you want your one item triple plastic bagged for free?


 

San Francisco: 

All the compost and recycling bins in public!

Lafayette: 

Some trash cans in public!

 

San Francisco:

Please, take a cup made of compostable plastic, and place it in this convenient recycling bin when you're done.

Lafayette:

How big of a styrofoam cup do you want?

San Francisco:

"Can I get my drink in my reusable bottle?" "Sure!"

Lafayette:

"Can I get my drink in my reusable bottle?" "...Um...I think I can do that."

San Francisco: 

Locally sourced, free range, vegetarian-friendly.

Lafayette: 

Locally sourced, fried.

 

San Francisco:

Our parklets are located outside of bean-to-bar chocolate shops in the Mission District and are equipped with solar panels (for what exactly, I do not know).

Lafayette:

Hey, our downtown parklet really is awesome!


 

San Francisco:

Recycled materials all up in our decor!

Lafayette:

Seen those pallet crafts on Pinterest? Totally wanna try them!

San Francisco: 

Solar panels on all different kinds of houses.

Lafayette: 

Solar panels on about three homes.

 

San Francisco: 

Water available upon request, mainly due to the massive drought. And I saw one waitress use the water another table left behind to water some nearby landscaping.

Lafayette: 

Pour all the free water!

While this might be a green city spotlight, San Francisco actually has a public service campaign in effect called Brown is the New Green. Because of the drought and water scarcity, officials are trying to enforce widespread water conservation for nonessential uses. We saw a fire truck pull up to a dripping faucet outside, and I can only assume it was to take care of the wasted water.


San Francisco is just one of those places that inspires me and gives me eco-friendly ideas that I want to make happen here in Lafayette. Why can't we make recycling more widespread? Why can't we encourage more cloth bag use?  

How can do my part to make these things happen?


Looking for photos that aren't recycling bins, compostable cups and bathroom signs? This part's for you!

Muir Woods

One of my must-dos on this trip was get out to Muir Woods to see the redwood trees. (Hello! My name is Joe!) Perfect time to go is around 8:30 in the morning. Especially if the whole area is experiencing a heat wave. The morning is less crowded and less hot. And the hike was incredible. Did I record a video of a babbling brook for the peaceful sounds? Yes. Did my fiance ruin my first attempt by making a fart sound? Welcome to my life.




 
 
    

The City

We devoted one day to exploring the city itself, either seeing things again that we really loved, or seeing new things. And we walked everywhere. Almost 39,000 steps and 16 miles. No, my legs still have no recovered. Instead of going, "We walked how far!?", I have taken to calling it an urban hiking trail. Russian Hill, Marina District, Crissy Field, Palace of Fine Arts, Fisherman's Wharf, Financial District? We done walked it all. Eco-friendly transportation, and no waste left behind.

 


 

Design

My fiance and I love dreaming about future home styles, from the realistic to the tiny home to the house on a hill overlooking the bay. During our urban hike in San Francisco, we found ourselves wandering neighborhood streets, checking out houses and what we liked about particular ones. I'm a sucker for a good midcentury modern design and found it all over the city. We'll gladly take a house in or near the Marina District, and I've already found the closest grocery store. We can exercise easily outside and the area is relatively flat. Win win win!








 

Food + Wine

Anytime I travel, I am drawn toward trying local restaurants with food I can't necessarily get at home. This trip definitely fulfilled a lot of that. Tacolicious in the Mission District had the best shrimp street tacos, and their guacamole didn't last long at our table either. We also checked out Zero Zero in the South of Market area, for a nice little date night. A glass of wine for me, and a Castro pizza and gnocchi dish to split. One of the best Italian meals I've had in a long time, and we had a gorgeous window seat to boot!

On Labor Day, we took a trip out to Napa for a few wine tastings. Even though it was ridiculously hot (coming from a Cajun), we had a great time day drinking and relaxing near the vineyards.
 




 




  
              

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