Golden Gate Photo by aslakrSan Francisco, home of the Golden Gate, the Giants, Sourdough Bread, and an environmentalist’s dream! The city has been known for years as a progressive haven and for its dedication to the environmental movement. In the past few months they have certainly been living up to their name!  A few months ago they  passed the first Do NOT Mail Resolution and a few days ago they instituted the harshest recycling laws in the country. This is incredibly inspiring and exciting to see such great moves in this great city. Hopefully their moves will come as an example for the rest of the country and for their own state.

At least my junk mail is sophisticated Photo by orphumThe Do Not Mail Resolution, as we mentioned above, is the first of its kind in the country. Back in March, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution that urges the state of California to create a Do Not Mail List, similar to the Do Not Call List. This list would allow residents to sign up and stop annoying junk mail from ending up in their mailboxes. Even though this is merely a resolution, if put into action people can choose to end the annoyance of junk mail and cut down on paper use. The environmental impact of such a bill would be tremendous as the majority of Californians would likely sign up. Several other states have attempted similar resolutions only to find them fail at the urgency of advertising companies and the Post Office. For the city to pass the resolution not only makes history, but it is a small step in cutting down useless waste of paper.

At least my junk mail is sophisticated Photo by orphumAnd just last week San Francisco, took their recycling and composting laws a step further. The new bill states that one can be fined up to $1,000 for not properly separating their trash, recycling, and compost. Residents will now be given bins for all three requirements. Although the fines are meant to be an incentive to cut down on trash in landfills, some residents are annoyed at the Big Brother tactics. Although installing fines is a like a little police state, the city says that it will help them reach their zero waste to landfills goal by 2020. Currently the city diverts 72% of waste away from landfills and much of the compost is taken to the wine vineyards in Napa. Hopefully these harsher fines will help San Francisco meet their zero waste goals and also encourage other cities and states to follow in their footsteps!

San Francisco should be looked upon as an inspiration for the state of California and for every city in our nation. It is great to hear of change in the positive direction and we hope other cities will adopt their high standards soon. Its no wonder San Francisco tops the list of the Greenest Cities.