A Day at the San Francisco Green Festival

Jon and I drove out to the 12th Annual SF Green Festival at the Concourse Pavilion in San Francisco, a 2-day event featuring guest speakers, workshops, and green businesses offering eco-friendly and sustainable products and services from around the San Francisco Bay Area and country. Here’s a small sample of what I found out of HUNDREDS of vendor booths to explore…

San Francisco Green Festival welcome entrance

Have you seen this green box?

San Francisco Green Festival campus california box

I’ve seen them everywhere around the Bay Area, and always wondered what they were randomly doing in the middle of neighborhoods. It reads it’s a Clothes and Shoes collection box, but do people actually drop things off in it? Where do the donations go?

Campus California staff

At the SF Green Festival I got the opportunity to meet Sophia Duus (right), manager of the Richmond, Ca. based Campus California, the company responsible for them. Campus California is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that serves hundreds of locations from the SF Bay Area to Salinas with their 24/7 donation boxes.

Founded in 2000, Campus California’s mission is to support sustainability projects and work toward California’s solid waste reduction goals through the collection and sale of donated items. They work in cooperation with communities most affected by global climate change and those living in poverty locally – including Bay Area schools, libraries, and community groups – and globally. For more information about Campus California, donation box locations near you,  or to take part in their program by hosting a box at your school or business location, visit www.Campus-California.org


Beware of the hangers in your closet!

San Francisco Green Festival ditto wire hanger

San Francisco Green Festival ditto plastic hanger

An estimated 8 billion plastic, wire and wood hangers go into landfills every year. Why?

  • Companies ship clothing to stores on plastic hangers. Each hanger has just  one use and is thrown into a dumpster after the sale. 
  • Recycling centers don’t take hangers because they tangle in recycling machinery and break apart, making identification of the material impossible. 85% of all hangers end up in landfills, including wood and bamboo.
  • Plastic hangers take an estimated 1,000 years to break down in a landfill. Clear polystyrene hangers leach benzene (a carcinogen) into ground water. Polycarbonate hangers leach bisphenol A (BPA, a hormone disruptor).

ditto hangers

It all sounds scary, right? At the SF Green Festival I discovered Ditto Hangers, makers of the 100% non-toxic and heavy-duty Ecological Hanger.

ditto hangers

Engineered from super strong “Proterra” paper fiberboard, the Ditto Hangers are made with soy-based inks and starch-based adhesives. They are 100% recyclable, compostable, and biodegradable. They are so good, the Monterey Bay Aquarium uses them in their gift shop. If only all the world used Ditto Hangers…

For more information, visit www.dittohangers.com


Looking for a good house cleaner? Who isn’t?!

San Francisco Green Festival natural home cleaning

I met the ladies of Natural Home Cleaning, an eco-friendly, worker-owned housecleaning cooperative based out of the East Bay that serves the entire San Francisco Bay Area.  Natural Home Cleaning uses natural ingredients – such as vinegar and baking soda – and brand products that are tested for effectiveness and safety. They offer regular cleaning, deep cleaning, move in/move out cleaning, spring cleaning, and special project cleaning such as stoves and refrigerators. For more information, visit the cooperative in your SF Bay Area location:

Berkeley/Oakland  http://naturalhomecleaning.com/

Contra Costa County – http://greencleaningcontracosta.com/ 

San Francisco – http://homegreenhomesf.com/


I am wonderfully made.

The Concourse Pavillion is a big place, and walking around visiting hundreds of booths can get these wonderfully made legs tired… but nothing that a little stretching and relaxation won’t fix. Let’s lay down and get comfy on a fun and eco-friendly Affirmat…

San Francisco Green Festival affirmats

Look How Awesome they Are!

San Francisco Green Festival affirmats 2

Apparently very popular, this was the first time I’ve seen these yoga mats made of Jute and ecoPVC. Non-toxic, non-slip, with affirmations written on them such as:

  • i am free
  • i am love
  • look how awesome you are
  • i am healthy, i am wealthy, i am love
  • i am wonderfully made
  • breath in love

San Francisco Green Festival breath in love

 I had to pick one up for myself! For more information about the Affirmat, visit www.affirmats.com 


Oh Baby!

San Francisco Green Festival fellini baby 00

After a little downward facing dog, I took another stroll and soon met Catherine Andrews, owner of Fellini Baby, a Humboldt County-based baby clothing company that uses 100% organically grown cotton of the highest quality sourced with Oxfarm fair trade suppliers. Made with nickel-free snaps and non-toxic reactive dyes, Fellini Baby is known for it’s European styling and handcrafted custom design with a careful finish for long-lasting wear and bold, beautiful colors.

San Francisco Green Festival  fellini baby 02

San Francisco Green Festival fellini baby 01

There’s also a meaning behind their signature tree logo. To find out more, stop by their adorable baby pop-up website at http://www.fellinibaby.com/


Urban Farming

San Francisco Green Festival laundry to landscape

After fueling up on TONS of free organic, vegan, sustainable, and gluten-free food and drink samples, I came upon the guys of The Urban Farmer Store. Based out of Richmond, CA. they serve the East Bay, San Francisco, and Marin County with efficient irrigation and lighting for the landscape, including graywater irrigation installation. They show you how to put together complete projects or improve and update an existing system. Just take them a sketch of your yard and they’ll help you design a water-efficient system. They also help with ponds, fountains, waterfalls, and outdoor lighting projects, and offer free classes on drip and sprinkler installation.  For more information, visit urbanfarmerstore.com


Repurpose & Upcycle

After putting your dream vegetable garden together, you’re bound to grown an abundance of food. That means you’ll be needing an awesome CUTTING BOARD! How about one of these beauties?

San Francisco Green Festival mac upcycle

I met Josie McHale, owner of San Bruno-based Mac Cutting Boards. Their products are crafted by repurposing and up-cycling scrap hardwoods.

San Francisco Green Festival mac repurposed

San Francisco Green Festival mac coat racks

They also make creative and functional coat racks using door stops, water hose faucets, and more! For additional information including their retail locations, visit www.maccuttingboards.com


What a great day! All the walking around, eating, meeting and talking to fascinating people and discovering new eco-products and services made me tired. Just when I was ready to find Jon and go home, perhaps lay on the sofa and watch some tube, I stumbled across this…

San Francisco Green Festival toxic couch

Is my couch a KILLER?!

Is it one of MANY couches covered with flame retardant chemicals? The folks at the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) informed me that it just might be, and they are working hard to ensure that furniture makers produce flame retardant-free products by 2014.

It’s the shocking story that the nightly news fails to tell: every day we are exposed to chemicals that can make us sick. These chemicals hide in our furniture, our food, and our personal care products. The Oakland and New York-based Center for Environmental Health works to eliminate toxic chemicals in our homes, schools, the workplace, and the products we use daily. Get educated and stay informed at http://www.ceh.org/


It was time to head back to the Monterey Bay Aquarium exhibit booth, where Jon was hanging out visiting his co-workers. I was immediately greeted by bright and bubbly Andrea at the Seafood Watch table.

San Francisco Green Festival seafood watch

What is Seafood Watch?

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program helps consumers and businesses make choices for healthy oceans. Their recommendations indicate which seafood items are “Best Choices,” “Good Alternatives,” and which ones you should “Avoid.”

Yellowfin tuna

Seafood Watch raises consumer awareness through our pocket guides, website, mobile applications and outreach efforts. They encourage restaurants, distributors and seafood purveyors to purchase from sustainable sources. To find out more, go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch website.

San Francisco Green Festival aquarium booth

A beautiful, sunny day in San Francisco, and a tasty, education-filled day at the SF Green Festival. Time to head home and fall asleep on my eco-friendly Affirmat.

For more information about this weekend’s event and SF Green Festival 2014 which will take place at Fort Mason Center, visit http://greenfestivals.org/sf I suggest setting aside a full day to take in all this annual event has to offer.



Isabella Guajardo, also known as Girl With A Truck™, is a professional home organizer and a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). Living in Oakland and Monterey, she travels in her truck to work with clients throughout the SF Bay Area, East Bay, South Bay, Silicon Valley, Santa Cruz and Monterey Peninsula. She shares simple and creative ways to stay organized and stylish while reducing, recycling and re-purposing. Join Bella Organizing on Facebook. Gift certificates are available.

Call (510) 229-7321 to schedule a complimentary telephone consultation.