Earth Day is a good reminder that it will take each and every one of us to steer the planet towards a more sustainable future. So maybe you can’t singlehandedly end climate change but, over time, small changes can reap big rewards.
In 2023, it’s easier than ever to trade less sustainable practices for cleaner, greener ones without sacrificing what you love. From groceries that fight food waste to beauty products made without harmful ingredients or excessive plastic packaging, here are seven Bay Area–based ways to make this year your most sustainable yet.
Petaluma: Green Dog Food
Oakland-based dog food company Petaluma serves sustainable, plant-based food made in renewable packaging.
(Courtesy of @feedpetaluma)
Oakland dog food company Petaluma is on a mission to produce delicious, sustainable dog food without animal ingredients. Contrary to popular belief, plant-based diets can provide pups with all the protein they need (the same is not true for cats, in case you were wondering). Petaluma’s expert pet nutritionists and developers have done just that: created a healthful canine diet that revolves around peas, beans, nuts, and seeds. The Certified B-Corp’s oven-baked roasted peanut butter and sweet potato bites and dehydrated sweet potato jerky treats are a hit with most dogs and have a much smaller environmental pawprint than the kibble and chews sold by competitors. // feedpetaluma.com
Ridwell: Recycle Better
Ridwell has finally unleashed its community recycling program on the streets of the Bay Area. The Seattle-born collective provides an easy solution for disposing of or finding new homes for common items like batteries, lightbulbs, plastic bags, and clothes that can’t (or shouldn’t) go into city bins. A monthly subscription ($14-$18) gets you a Ridwell bin with clearly marked bags that they’ll pick up bi-weekly right from your stoop then recycle, upcycle, or donate to local partners. Pickups for more out-of-the-ordinary items (think bike tires or eyeglasses) rotate every two weeks. Because Ridwell strives to make its pick-up routes as energy-efficient as possible, the more people who sign up from a single neighborhood, the more quickly they’ll add it to their roster. // ridwell.com
Bar Agricole: Sustainable Spirits
(Courtesy of @baragricole)
Clean up your bar cart with Bar Agricole’s single origin spirits. Unlike most distributors, Bar Agricole, which also operates as a bar-restaurant Tuesday through Saturday, partners only with distilleries that have fully transparent grain to glass practices. Their bottles aren’t just filled with the best tasting spirits on the market, but those that are made sustainably with local and heirloom crops and “green” distilling practices. Order online or pick up favorites from Lalocura and St. George, or one of the shop’s pre-mixed cocktails, at Bar Agricole’s SoMa storefront. // 1540 Mission St. (SoMa), baragricole.com
Too Good to Go: Fight Food Waste
Too Good to Go made its SF/Oakland debut back in 2021 and has been growing ever since. The food waste–fighting app gives users the opportunity to buy the day’s leftovers from local bakeries, markets, and restaurants at a major discount, perfectly edible items which would otherwise go into the trash bin. Hundreds of businesses have joined, from Sour Flour and El Toro Taqueria to Blue Bottle and House of Dim Sum. While some are relatively specific about what you’ll take home at the end of the day (pastries, for example), most offer a “surprise bag” full of whatever goodies they have on offer. There’s often enough food to last you a couple of meals, starting at just $4 a bag. // toogoodtogo.com
Credo: Clean Beauty
(Courtesy of @credobeauty)
San Francisco–based beauty purveyor Credo is disrupting an industry full of chemicals, cruelty, and waste. From their brick-and-mortar shops in Hayes Valley and Pac Heights (and their website), the company sells products from 130 clean, sustainably sourced and sustainably produced brands including Ilia, Ursa Major, and Kinship. Concentrates, zero-waste items, and refillable makeup palettes go the extra mile to make a dent in the volume of beauty packaging headed to landfill. // 552 Hayes St. (Hayes Valley) and 2136 Fillmore St. (Pac Heights), credobeauty.com
Gently: Secondhand Fashion
Across the globe, almost 100 million tons of clothing ends up in landfill each year. The garments that don’t are often resold through secondhand retail sites like The RealReal, Poshmark, or ThredUp. But if you’re looking for something specific or keeping your budget in check, comparing and contrasting what’s out there can help make the kind of decisions that will keep you loving your fashion choices for longer. San Francisco–based Gently’s got a website for that. Tell them your preferences and they’ll scan every secondhand fashion site out there and let you know when they’ve discovered items that fit your style. Gently also guarantees free returns, which comes in handy if you’re purchasing from an eBay dealer that doesn’t. It’s the second best thing to going to a local thrift or consignment shop. // gently.com
Imperfect Foods: Recycle Ugly Produce
Ugly fruits and veggies live their best lives with Imperfect Foods. Like a CSA, the company gets the goods straight from local farmers and producers and delivers them to your door. Unlike a CSA, you can pick and choose what you get from the list of available items. In addition to blemished or undersized produce, Imperfect also carries upcycled snacks, ethically produced wellness items, and sustainably raised meat. // imperfectfoods.com