Sunday, May 9, 2010

San Francisco, A City Making a Difference

By: Dan Flatten

San Francisco, California, home of the 49ers, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, enormous technological boom, and revolutionary ways of reducing waste, reusing resources and recycling. Through a mix of policies, legislation and initiatives, San Francisco leads the nation in environmental integrity.

Much of their success comes from the different strategic plans put into place by the city and community to improve their impact on the environment as a whole. Having separate divisions focus on certain plans, they act to improve each that needs improvement. The Environment Commission, comprised of seven members appointed by the mayor, sets policies and advises the mayor and Board of Supervisors on environmental matters. Acting as centralized planning for the cities environmental issues, they introduce new policies and measure the success of existing programs.

There's other city initiatives like the Biodiesel Task Force that reports on all aspects of biodiesel fuel, including city-wide strategies and incentives that would increase the use of biodiesel fuel by consumers, vendors, and the city's municipal fleets. They streamline the process and put into action the necessary permit process for biodiesel filling stations. In addition to pushes for more use of biodiesel, there's also a Peak Oil Preparedness Task Force, that addresses the fluctuating market and more advancement to becoming less oil dependent. With that, comes better and cleaner technology that helps the city transition to a more sustainable city for the future.

Recycling is also a driving force that is making a big difference in San Francisco, by making more materials eligible for recycling, as well as made easier so more people use the system properly. They've put people to work in this regard too, because they have more people put in place to oversee and conduct recycling efforts. Although some cities may not have the money or resources to make this happen, the knowledge is valuable furthering exposure and awareness to the severe environmental problems we face.

There are too many San Francisco task forces', committees and councils to mention in this blog, but I would urge you to follow the link below to review all the initiatives that San Francisco has. The idea here is that San Francisco's doing something right when it comes to environmental sustainability, and if we can push to see similar legislation and policies put in place at our own local level,we can spread environmental influence and improvement around the world.

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