Going green, one small step at a time

SAN JOSE — Stan Kawamata lifted up a colorful plastic bin containing worms wriggling around in the soil in order to demonstrate the process of creating a worm farm. Kawamata’s worm composting exhibit was among the demonstrations at an Earth Day celebration sponsored by the San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin EcoSangha, which was held on […]

Style points for being green?

Posting for an environmental blog can be an exercise in confronting your own hypocrisy. Case in point: My last blog post covered the evils of disposable chopsticks, but I use waribashi all the time. I do own a reusable set of bamboo utensils that come in a handy carrying case and include a pair of chopsticks, but I always seem to be leaving […]

The disposable chopstick question: Your hashi or their waribashi?

Internet wacky arrived in my inbox this week in the form of a 16-page PDF entitled “Scarychopstick” courtesy of Nichi Bei Weekly volunteer extraordinaire Amy Hanamoto. In both awkward English and Chinese (the quality of which I cannot speak for), this virtual pamphlet offered a cautionary tale about the horrors of disposable chopsticks. An excerpt: “Possible consequences of using disposable […]

Lawmakers propose bill to ban trade in shark fins to save declining populations

State legislators and marine environmentalists held a news conference at San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences Feb. 14 to announce legislation that would ban the sale, distribution and possession of shark fins in California. The proposed law, co—sponsored by Assemblymen Paul Fong (D-Cupertino) and Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), aims to curb a rapid decline in […]

State Senator Yee, San Francisco Chinese Restaurants Call for Greater Conservation Efforts, Not Ban on Cultural Cuisine

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, state senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) joined dozens of San Francisco Chinese restaurants to oppose a bill to ban the sale of shark fin soup and make it unlawful for any person to possess, sell, trade, or distribute a shark fin. Yee released the following statement: “I am very concerned with […]

Electric car excitement: Let’s have hamburgers while charging

Behold, the future! Well, maybe. This space-age piece of hardware is a 50-kilowatt charging station. For what, a rocket ship? No, silly — for a car. An electric car. But aren’t those dead? Actually, they were hanging onto life support for about a decade, but the electric car is making a comeback. Leading the (ahem) charge […]

Sushi sustainability and other alliterative quagmires

Writing about fish makes me hungry. Like, ‘pass the shoyu and get out of my way’ hungry. But when you write about fish on an environmental blog, you’re supposed to caution against eating many of the tastier species, since they are experiencing population crashes as a result of our gustatory enthusiasm. It’s a dilemma. A depressing, delicious dilemma. As I mentioned a couple weeks […]

Something fishy with our fish

Let me make one thing clear off the bat. I love maguro. LOVE IT. It’s like savory ocean pastry. Or red velvet cake with fins. Okay, maybe I won’t make it as a food writer. But maguro sushi is obviously way high on my list of favorite eats. So a little part of my soul dies when […]

Bags on the Brain

Needing change for the bus the other day, I dropped into Ichiban Kan on Post Street in SF’s Japantown, looking to break a larger bill. For a little more than two bucks, I saw this: An eco bag? My Japanese isn’t so sharp, but the kanji for shopping is printed on the label, along with images […]

That’s some strong grass!

Tomorrow, the kadomatsu that have been adorning doorways from Japan to San Francisco Japantown will be removed. These traditional pine-and-bamboo arrangements (such as the one pictured here that has been gracing the east entrance to the Kintetsu Mall on the Peace Plaza) symbolize long life (the pine) and strength (the bamboo). At least, that’s what my mom told me, explaining […]