Flowers In Their Hair
Posting by Nick, US MD
San Francisco’s long had a green vibe to its community. With curbside recycling programs amongst the highest in the nation, a recently appointed Director of Climate Protection Initiatives, and a longstanding connection to the counter-culture revolution of the 1960′s that stirred loose activists’ environmental consciousness, the City remains poised to lead the nation towards a greener future. As a native Californian, this transformation seems natural. San Franciscan’s are conscious citizens, if nothing else. What’s both fascinating and heartening is to see how quickly these ideas are propagating out to the rest of the nation, and how the attendant flow of ideas and human capital is reshaping the US marketplace. Communities nationwide are quickly closing the recycling gap due to programs like Recycle Bank, a New York-based starup that’s changing the economics of curbside programs. Vinod Khosla’s venture investments are spinning off cleantech and greentech startups that are taking root nationwide, often in the most unlikely of places, and in the process, multiplying the effect of each dollar invested ten fold by creating new jobs. Organizations like the Ella Baker Center are reshaping the national debate about the importance of green collar jobs, integrating issues of social and racial justice into the dialogue, and pushing politicians and citizens to come to grips with decades of injustice. And with Federal incentives coming out of Washington DC as a response, Americans are effectively pushing environmental change at the local, business, and federal levels in ways unimagined even five short years ago. And they’re doing it nationwide, together. In every community. And inspiring others to do the same.
Admittedly, there’s still much to do in America, and San Francisco in particular. The challenge is grand, and the potential rewards great for those environmental leaders seeking to shape a healthier, more sustainable world. If you can only join us in spirit, brilliant! But if you should come to San Francisco, know that we’re waiting with open arms, and encouraging you to wear flowers in your hair as you travel.
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