Slow Down and Celebrate Earth Day


Did you miss all the Earth Day celebrations around the Bay Area over the weekend? No worries, since Earth Day is this Wednesday, April 22. You can still celebrate on your own, and I have good news for you: you don’t have to add anything to your schedule, only subtract. I’m re-running this post from April 2011 to explain how.

On this 41st Earth Day I have two words for how to be a good neighbor to the planet: SLOW DOWN.

Here are some ways slowing down will make each of us a better neighbor to the Earth. I start with the more obvious ways, and end with a way that may be a surprise. [Read more…]

Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in April


National Poetry Month 2014 PosterLike a pebble plunk

Making circles in a pond,

Good neighbors reach out.

Like my haiku? It’s in honor of National Poetry Month, one of many, many great things you can get involved in as a “good neighbor” in your community. Pick one of these five suggestions and reach out!

1. Celebrate Poetry: As I said, April is National Poetry Month, a time to celebrate an important and cherished art form. Libraries and poets laureate all over the Bay Area are marking the month with special events and displays to help people interact with reading and creating poetry. Folks at the Oakland Public Library decorated the staircases from top to bottom with poems created by Oakland Youth Poet Laureates, California poets, and children’s poets. In Cupertino the Poet Laureate has launched a Poetry Exchange, where people can see new poems daily, or contribute their own poems. Contact your local library to find out what special events are happening in your city. [Read more…]

Bay Area’s Super Volunteer Weekend Approaches; Sign Up to Make a Difference


From Beautiful Day 2012.

A wave of kindness and compassion is about to wash over the Bay Area this weekend. Are you ready to dive in?

Numerous nonprofit and faith-based groups are sponsoring large-scale volunteer events all over the region April 27 and 28, and they’re counting on you, along with thousands of others, to swing hammers, pull weeds, paint homes, beautify schools, and take long walks all in the name of helping our communities.

The biggest events of the weekend, Beautiful Day and Compassion Weekend, could draw as many as 10,000 people to projects from San Francisco to Hollister.  National Rebuilding Day takes place on Saturday, when even more thousands of volunteers representing four local chapters of Rebuilding Together will refurbish dozens homes. There are a few more Earth Day events taking place, and several charity walks are slated.

UPDATE (4/25/13): Giant Sweep, a collaboration of Starbucks, the San Francisco Giants, and the City of San Francisco, is also taking place on Saturday, April 27, in what the coffee giant is calling a Global Day of Service. Up to 1,000 volunteers are needed to clean up litter and make improvements around the city from 8:30 a.m. to lunchtime.

Below is a rundown of all the major events happening in the region this weekend, with links to online registrations. Consider joining your neighbors in making the Bay Area a better place for all.

Did I miss an event? Please share the information in comments! [Read more…]

Happy Earth Day!


Image Credit: Giving Tuesday.

On this Earth Day, let us remember that by being good neighbors to the Earth, we are good neighbors to all who inhabit the planet.

Earth Day Events Flood Weekend Calendar


volunteer-cleans-up-creekGet ready to love the Earth this weekend, there are dozens of Earth Day events happening all over the San Francisco Bay Area, mostly on Saturday, but other events are taking place Sunday, and even into next week.

The biggest, and perhaps most well-known of the events, is Earth Day San Francisco, taking place 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., in the Civic Center Plaza in the downtown area. The main stage features “edutainment”, with music and other live performances throughout the day. There are hands-on exhibits, an entire area dedicated to electric transportation, eco fashion shows, eco art, sustainable/solar powered beer and wine gardens, Earth-friendly vendors, an “Eco Youth Zone”, and two children’s playgrounds.

Across the bay in Oakland there are more than 80 volunteer projects scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon. You can download a complete list of project locations from Oakland’s website. Bring your own tools, gloves, hats, and sunscreen. [Read more…]

Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in April


Earth-Day-ways-to-be-a-good-neighbor-April-2013As the weather warms up, so does the calendar: there are an increasing number of activities going on in the Bay Area in April. Lots of opportunities for cleaning up the environment, charity walking, service projects, community events, and more, are available.

Every month I list five ideas of how you can get involved in the community and make a difference to those around you and the rest of the world. Consider incorporating at least one of these suggestions into your calendar.

Speaking of calendars, check out my new Kindness Calendar, which lists special service and awareness days/weeks/months that happen annually. There are eight listed for April alone! And for even more community events, keep an eye on the GNS Community Calendar (or list your own events there!).

1. Love Your Mother (Earth): April 22 is Earth Day, but the entire month of April is in essence, Earth Month, with all the events happening around the Bay Area designed to beautify, build awareness of, and celebrate, the care and protection of our planet (it is, in fact, Keep America Beautiful Month, and Arbor Day is April 27). The first weekend in April kicks off Earth activities. Saturday, April 6, the City of Cupertino is [Read more…]

Five Ways to Be a Good Neighbor in April


It’s April, which means spring is now in full swing. Opportunities to be a good neighbor around Silicon Valley and the Bay Area are sprouting as fast as seedlings in the warm sun.

Here are five ways to do good for others (and yourself) this month.

1. Drive Focused: April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The California Highway Patrol and other local departments plan on cracking down on distracted driving all month as a way to bolster public awareness of this dangerous problem. Using a cell phone while driving—hand-held or hands-free—delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent, according to one university study. And text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted. Find out more at In the meantime, officials want everyone to take the pledge to drive distraction free, and to encourage others to do the same.

2. Knit for a Cause: A group of people who love to knit and crochet get together regularly to create hats and scarves for Sacred Heart Community Services. Called One Brink Knits, it’s a part of the One Brick Silicon Valley group that helps connect volunteers with service projects. Don’t know how to knit or crochet? [Read more…]

Drive Less, Silicon Valley!


Just in time for Earth Day comes a great two-week challenge to drive less miles around the valley. The Drive Less Challenge initiative launched two years ago in Menlo Park, and has now expanded to 13 cities on the Peninsula and around the South Bay.

Check out the Patch story for more information, and be sure to visit the Drive Less Challenge website. The site features handy trip planners for walking, biking or taking transit. Registered participants can win prizes from local merchants for their efforts to cut down the amount of driving they do from today through May 5.

Earth Day Commentary: Be a Good Neighbor to the Planet by Slowing Down


On this 41st Earth Day I have two words for how to be a good neighbor to the planet: SLOW DOWN.

Here are some ways slowing down will make each of us a better neighbor to the Earth. I start with the more obvious ways, and end with a way that may be a surprise. [Read more…]

Five Ways to Be A Good Neighbor in April


1)   Be Kind to the Earth: Earth Day is April 22. Here in the Silicon Valley numerous cities and organizations are doing fairs and other events to promote greener living. Check your city’s website for details. The Earth Day Network is encouraging individuals, corporations and organizations to commit to acts of earth care through its “Billion Acts of Green” Campaign. Make your own commitment to take one new green action this month.  [Read more…]