I’ve assembled a tightly curated selection of resources that I use most frequently with and on behalf of my clients. These resources provide guidance and guidelines that can enable you to step into a simple, more sustainable, and mindful lifestyle.
CONSUMER RESOURCES will help you make informed and healthy purchases and choices for you, your family, and the environment.
- Environmental Working Group (EWG) is my favorite nonprofit for consumer advocacy
- Fair Trade USA find where you can purchase fair trade goods and products
- SF Environment’s handy guide for using and making easy and safe cleaners will help you eliminate toxins and save money at the same time
DONATION VENUES – including libraries, second-hand stores, and wide array of nonprofits – are vital community resources for helping clients dispose of still useful items that are no longer needed. Here are just a few of my favorites the San Francisco Bay Area:
- Goodwill Industries of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin counties may surprise you when you learn what what they do with things like books and textiles.
- Homeless Prenatal Program of San Francisco accepts clothes for infants, children and adults, working strollers, unused diapers and lots lots more!
- SCRAP (Scroungers Center for Reusable Art Parts) – San Francisco-based and their name says it all!
- East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse – the East Bay’s version of SCRAP
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS is something we all need to make room for in our lives. Emergencies of all kinds, shapes, and sizes – from power outages or water main breaks, to tornados or earthquakes and everything in between – can alter the course of normal at a moment’s notice. Checklists, plan-making recommendations, and a plethora of information can be found on the sites provided.
- ready.gov provides preparedness and public information a la FEMA
- 72hours.org is a fabulous preparedness resource from the city and county of San Francisco
- NERT (Neighborhood Emergency Response Training) is free preparedness training for residents taught by members of the San Francisco Fire Department. For those outside these 49 square miles, contact your local volunteer CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) program. Get involved and get educated!
- CDC (Centers for Disease Control) encourages preparedness for a zombie apocalypse. (Gotta love that!)
LOCAL FOOD RESOURCES provide starting points to help you locate, purchase, and eat (yum!) fresh, seasonal, and locally-grown food. Eating food that’s grown near your home is a cost-effective and tasty feature of sustainable living.
- Local Harvest helps you find the farmers markets closest to you
- Slow Food originated in northern Italy and you can find a local convivium near you
- Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program helps you make sustainable choices
- The Ecology Center’s handy guide teaches you how to store fresh produce without plastic bags
A MAILBOX DIET is helpful if you are receiving too much junk mail. Reducing the amount of mail coming into your life has great benefits: you’ll minimize paper clutter in your home, and you’ll become part of the larger effort to reduce unnecessary paper consumption.
- Direct Marketing Association (DMA) Reduce unsolicited mail.
- Opt Out Prescreen eliminate unsolicited credit card and insurance offers.
- Catalog Choice a non-profit non-profit organization, managed by The Story of Stuff Project, is an awesome resource for reducing unwanted junk mail and catalogs.
- Valpak lets you eliminate coupon packs that arrive in the blue envelope.
RESIDENTIAL RECYCLING & HAZARDOUS WASTE know-how will enable you to properly dispose of unwanted items from paper, bottles, and plastics, to cleaning agents, nail polish, batteries, and paint. Always check with your local municipality if you are unsure where and/or how to dispose of things.