Environmental Defense Fund Editorial Shoot

A publisher of a local San Francisco newspaper that I work with recently recommended my photojournalism work to the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). The EDF is in the process of putting together a brochure to illustrate case studies of both businesses and low income families that are making efforts to lessen their environmental foot print. The brochure will eventually be used to educate both the public, business owners and politicians on the benefits (and ease) of “going green”.

Environmental Defense is a leading national nonprofit organization representing more than 500,000 members. Since 1967, they have linked science, economics and law to create innovative, equitable and cost-effective solutions to society’s most urgent environmental problems. EDF is dedicated to protecting the environmental rights of all people, including access to clean air and water, healthy and nourishing food, and flourishing ecosystems. Guided by science, EDF evaluates environmental problems and works to create and advocate solutions that win lasting political, economic and social support because they are nonpartisan, cost-efficient and fair.

I’m so happy that Environmental Defense Fund chose me for this project. They were so wonderful to work with, and it was really great to work with a team of folks whose mission really resonates with my own personal values. Here are some photos from each of the businesses I was asked to photograph:

Pet Camp:
Located in San Francisco, Pet Camp offers day care and boarding services for both cats and dogs. They’ve made a commitment to being green by becoming a Certified Green Business in San Francisco, as well as installing Big Ass Fans, converting the dog poo into energy, installing energy efficient lighting, heating, cooling and plumbing.

Alonzo Printing:
Alonzo Printing Company was incorporated in 1976 and has grown to become known as one of the premier printing companies in the Bay Area. Centrally located in Hayward, Alonzo serves a variety of customers representing several different industries such as government, education, health care, hi-tech, and publishing. Alonzo Printing is an equal opportunity union shop with a diverse work force of 50 highly skilled employees. The professionalism and dedication of Alonzo’s work force is evident in the quality of products they produce, which have earned numerous awards for printing excellence. Alonzo has been green before the term became a buzz word…they use all recycled paper, soy based inks, and employ energy saving techinques such as turning off all lights & machines when not in use, and installing energy efficient lighting. Alonzo also has in the works to coordinate a shuttle to its facilities from the BART station, to encourage its employees to use public transit.

Veritable Vegetable:
Founded in 1974, Veritable Vegetable is the nation’s oldest distributor of certified organic produce. Veritable Vegetable’s warehouse facility measures 25,000 square feet and its inventory contains over 9700 items, of which 97% is Certified Organic. Currently, Veritable Vegetable has employed eco-paint, flooring, furniture and lighting for its administrative offices, as well as temperature regulated fridges, timed energy efficient lights, and natural gas powered trucks. And, one of the many benefits of working at Veritable Vegetable, employees have access to the freshest organic produce at less than wholesale prices….YUM!

Lick Wilmerding High School:

Lick-Wilmerding is an independent, college preparatory, co-ed day school in San Francisco serving 440 students in grades 9-12. Lick-Wilmerding High School inspires students to become self-directed lifelong learners who contribute to our world with knowledge, skill, creativity, compassion and can-do confidence. Toward this end, Lick-Wilmerding integrates a distinguished college preparatory curriculum with a distinctive program in the technical arts. As a private school with public purpose, Lick-Wilmerding encourages participation in community service and is committed to developing innovative educational programs that will benefit students and teachers throughout the Bay Area. Lick-Wilmerding’s purpose, built on the foundation of a diverse and inclusive community, is to develop qualities of the head, heart and hands that will serve students well throughout their lives. This high school is doing some really interesting things to be sustainable: they serve organic food in the cafeteria where they also recycle and compost food waste, have installed solar panels on the roofs of their buildings, integrated “living roofs” into the school’s structures, implemented energy efficient lighting and energy saving techniques, and maintain a plant and meditation garden. This school left me so impressed, and the students there were so cool, it made me wish I was 20 years younger and back in school. Now, I NEVER thought I’d say that!

Temple Emanu El:
Congregation Emanu-El serves the community in many ways. They focus on hunger/poverty, the environment and literacy, offering both direct service and advocacy on behalf of their clients. They operate two food pantries and a vegetable garden at their cemetery in Colma; tutoring programs through both Back on Track and the Jewish Coalition for Literacy, and work on a wide range of environmental programs. Dedicated in April 1926, the magnificent building at Lake Street and Arguello Boulevard is the third site of this congregation. Designed primarily by Arthur Brown, Jr. (designer of the War Memorial Opera House, the Hoover Library at Stanford and, with two others, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge) the building was influenced by the Haggia Sophia in Istanbul. From the exterior of the dome (150 feet) to the four-manual Skinner organ to the nine-foot high jewel box which is the Ark itself, the Main Sanctuary is a place of dignity, power and peace. In 1927, the American Institute of Architects selected Temple Emanu-El as the finest piece of architecture in Northern California. The Awards Committee honored it as, “a glorious building . . . beautifully planned and modeled . . . realizing to the highest degree the expression of its religious character.” Currently, the congregation is making efforts to go green, including recycling, composting, maintaining a garden, offering “green” events to the community (weddings, bar/batmitzvahs, etc), and integrating energy efficient lighting.

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