05 Apr The Green City Series: San Francisco, California
It’s no surprise that San Francisco remains a front runner as one of the greenest cities in the United States. Ranked #1 in both 2016 and 2017, San Francisco pledged a goal to be completely “waste free” by the end of 2020. Whether or not San Francisco will hit this goal, it should be applauded for its green initiatives. The eco-friendly city boasts farmers markets on almost every street corner, makes recycling a common practice amongst its residents, was the first US city to ban plastic water bottles, promotes renewable energy sources and has one of the most stellar park systems in the States.
WHERE TO STAY:
Located in the heart of Fisherman’s Wharf, this landmark hotel “is certified as a Green Business by the Department of the Environment and has been recognized with 4 Green Keys…In addition, (it has) achieved GreenLeader Gold Level status with TripAdvisor.” Some eco- features include motion sensor panels in guest rooms, stem battery power and low flow water valves in the guest rooms as well as common areas, responsible cleaning products and our favorite…NO MORE TINY BOTTLES in the bathrooms! The hotel proudly stocks refillable pump bottles with luxurious bath and body products from Lather.
We love that kitchen grease is collected and recycled into BioFuel and compost, diverting 74% of the hotel’s waste stream from landfills. The hotel provides complimentary bikes to all guests and has a partnership with the local park service.
Enjoy cocktails and a bite at the hotel’s Blue Mermaid Restaurant and Bar, which features local, organic produce and sustainably prepared seafood dishes from the Bay.
This eclectic boutique hotel features furnishings almost exclusively from reclaimed and recycled materials. Fun fact, the bedding was designed using 75% recycled soda containers and chic bed frames made from reclaimed wood. All toiletries are eco-friendly and the rooms feature a water conservation system. The hotel serves organic food and offers complimentary bicycles as well as free parking to guests with hybrid cars. We love their motto: “For us, green living isn’t about lecturing and finger wagging, it’s about having fun.”
The colorful and charming Hotel De Sol is the premiere pet and kid friendly hotel in the heart of the Marina. In fact, it was the first of its kind to win the Green Certification in the Marina. We love that the hotel sources products from local, eco-friendly vendors as much as possible. All laundry and cleaning products are purchased from Vaska, a leading producer of truly green cleaning solutions. The hotel promotes “reduce, reuse, recycle’’ in all aspects. Employees are encouraged to ride bikes to work and the hotel offers shower rooms and bike storage for all hotel staff.
Also check out the Orchard Garden Hotel, another LEED certified hotel that uses Energy Star appliances, carpets made from recycled materials and organic cleaning products throughout.
WHERE TO EAT:
Homage takes the Farm-to-Table movement to the highest level by paying a tribute to the local farms in the area. “Each week, (the) team travels to the market, building farm relationships, and gathering produce in perfect ripeness. (They) then prepare a concise, monthly changing menu, spotlighting and focusing on one single-origin farm.”
Homage also offers a beautiful catering menu for your next party or event.
STEM Kitchen and Garden has an innovative take on gardening and al fresco dining. The restaurant has partnered with Farmscape, an organization dedicated to sustainable urban farming. We love that the majority of produce used is grown on-site at the restaurant. “Dishes at STEM feature seasonal local produce, humanely raised meat, certified cage-free shell eggs, and seafood that meets Monterey Bay Seafood Watch sustainability guidelines.” Dine in the heated outdoor garden and play bocce ball while sipping a cocktail around the fire-pits. Check out STEM’s Healthy Kid Saturdays Program, that encourages kid friendly hands-on cooking classes!
Take a quick drive to Sausalito to experience some of the freshest, most sustainably caught seafood in the Bay Area. “Fish is proud to be completely dedicated to renewable seafood and organic produce, bought locally from the people who work so hard to bring the season’s best to our doors“. Much of the seafood actually comes from the local fishermen in the area. Fish notes the name of the fishing vessel and the fisherman who owns the boat when listing the catch of the day so you know exactly where your food is coming from. Enjoy classic, casual dishes with a waterfront view and remember to bring cash. Check out the specials board for the fresh fish of the day or go off the menu for the award winning Portuguese red or clam chowder.
San Francisco has been ranked #5 in the top 10 bike friendly cities in the USA. More than half of the public transportation in the city is “zero emission and the rest will transition to hybrid-diesel by 2020”. Take a bike ride from Pier 39 to the Golden Gate Bridge to see the city highlights as well as some of the most magnificent views around.
THINGS TO DO:
“With over 30 miles of hiking trails within city limits, there is no shortage of places to see the beautiful city views. Check out Twin Peaks, a hiking trail accessible by both walking and driving, offers breathtaking 360-degree views of the city and East Bay.“
Explore the historical City Lights Bookstore, Do some vintage shopping in Haight-Ashbury, or venture outside the city to explore Muir Woods, Big Sur, and the beautiful sea-side town of Carmel. Whatever the length of your stay, the greenness awaits!