March 2008

250px-pepperseggplants.jpgCan green be luxurious? I attended a panel this evening presented by The Luxury Marketing Council in San Francisco. The panelists consisted of Eric Corey Freed principal of organic Architect, Mike Freed co-owner of Passport Resorts (resorts such as Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur), Kimberley Gardiner, Hybrid Marketing Manager with Lexus, and Helge Hellberg, Executive Director of Marin Organic. A touching answer to the question whether green can be luxurious came from Eric Corey Freed. He explained to the roomful of San Francisco and Marin realtors that being green (nature) is naturally luxurious and abundant. Think about it, leaves fall off trees and are recycled into the earth to prepare for the next cycle of trees.  The concept is that our environment is naturally abundant if left alone. How luxurious! This applies to almost every consumer product. Unused clothing can be recycled into new hip, trendy clothes. Discarded wood can be recycled into beautiful tables, chairs, and hardwood floors. Recycled materials can be used by developers of green buildings. Green hybrid cars have come to be a very comfortable, stylish ride (luxurious) all while conserving on fuel (good for the environment).

 The overall recommendation from the panelists to live a green life was to pick one green mission and do it well. Do it with authenticity. Recycle, eat organic foods, buy green products, learn how to green your San Francisco or Marin home. The green movement is not perfect and there is still a lot of ground ahead of us. However, there are several experts willing to share their knowledge.  Many were in the room this evening. You may find ‘living green’ is luxurious, tasty, and satisfying.

Jenn – your San Francisco EcoBroker


I attended EcoTuesday in San Francisco tonight held at Le Colonial. I was surrounded by green enthusiasts, sustainability entrepreneurs, and socially conscious business people. As I am on a mission to educate my clients on how to green their own homes I met an interesting person.  Jason Teramoto, Democrat for Assembly in the East Bay. He was at the event in the hopes of launching an EcoTuesday evening in the East Bay but it was clear he was on his own mission to better his own community. You can find more information about him at It was clear he understands that there needs to be a thoughtful approach to understanding global warming, greening of our community, and what it actually takes to be a socially conscious individual.

 We need more people like him running for public office.


san_francisco_federal_building.jpgToday, Thursday, March 20th, was one of those glorious sun filled days in San Francsico where you just wanted to pinch yourself to appreciate you live in paradise. In San Francisco. Or in a slice of heaven. And look what wonderful things our Building Inspection Commission is doing to bring San Francisco to a greener city. They just approved to send green building standards to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.  If the supes agree on these standards, then Mayor Newsom will sign them into law.  This Chronicle article explains this in a wonderful way. Basically developers would have until 2012 to comply with the new codes. And there are ways to green the existing building you live in. I just love this since there is relatively little new construction happening in the city so most residents have an older structure to try and ‘green’ (if motivated). Here’s what one can do:

Install solar panels (reduce the use of electric and gas utilities)

Companies can encourage employees to ride bikes to work by allowing large bike storage rooms (less cars on the road, less gas used, cleaner air)

Landscapers can use plants and flowers that do not require a lot of watering (preserves a natural resource)

Remodeling companies can use recycled wood and other products in homes. You should see some the quality of these products! Check out for recommendations.

Have you seen the Federal Building on 7th Street? You may have been struck by the style of architecture. One of the many goals of a green building is to maximize the amount of light that can enter a building to reduce the use of electricity.  That Federal Building is a prime example of a green building maximizing light!

 I feel truly blessed to be living in San Francisco and it was its temperate weather and environment that drew me here years ago from the East Coast. It started as a simple dream, I just wanted to be able to run year round. I now want to run year round and preserve this phenomenal environment we live in.

 A slice of heaven all over San Francisco! Can you imagine owning property anywhere else? 🙂

The Fed has made another move and the stock market has responded positively. San Francisco real estate continues to have multiple offers on many properties and homeowners are still coming out ahead on most deals in spite of the negative press out there. The idea is to buy wisely and if selling, price accordingly. We are in a different market than the last few years but it is still possible to come out ahead in San Francisco real estate as long as one seeks the right guidance and counsel.

But I digress from the green theme.  There is a valuable blog out there for all of you venturing into a green business. It is  The posts are insightful, informative and overall, inspiring.  Stay tuned for more on green living, as the living is easy!

San Francisco St. Patrick’s DaySt. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow upon us and of course my mind turns to all things green. I came across this site Feeling the need to green your home? Interested in finding a green architect, or more information on green products for remodeling, or even how to have cleaner air? Just click on and check out the robust site full of information.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

We are in new times! The Fed announced yesterday, March 11th , the Term Securities Lending Facility (TSLF). This is an innovative tool for these interesting times. In the past, raising the Fed funds rate was the tool to heat up or cool down the economy.  Bernanke is applying his creativity. The TSLF is aimed at mortgage backed securities that have been staying on bank balance sheets and slowing the normal flow of credit.  The intention of this new tool is to inspire more lending and borrowing.  You can read more in this Business Week article. Essentially the Fed is to lend up to $200 billion to banks in an effort to loosen up tight credit markets . The stock market rallied yesterday by 400 points – its biggest gain since July 2002.  It declined again today, but stay tuned for more innovative tools from the Fed.

Meanwhile, San Francisco continues to sell many properties at a fast clip. Don’t these buyers know it’s hard to get a loan?

 For more information, I can be reached at or

San Francisco’s South of Market is rapidly evolving into a hot neighborhood.  As quoted in today’s San Francisco Chronicle, ‘South of the Slot’ was the original name of this industrial area located on the wrong side of the cable car tracks.  Today over 50 residential projects have been completed and many of the buyers are in high tech or finance.  What can explain the growth of this area in spite of the housing woes across the country? 

Richard Florida, author of ‘The Rise of the Creative Class’ has recently come out with the book “Who’s Your City?” This book is also covered in this recent SF Chronicle article. He states that it is the creative class that has driven our economy. San Francisco and Silicon Valley are home to some of the most brilliant entrepreneurs, scientists and artists.  Florida’s argument is that it is where you live that fuels this kind of creativity which is counter intuitive to our growing global economy.  One may believe that we can remain connected and productive anywhere in the world thanks to the internet, but ‘megaregions’ such as the Bay Area are central to this kind of innovation.

I recently read ‘Bowling Alone – Collapse and Revival of the American Community’ .  He writes in depth about the decline in social networks that tied communities together such as bowling leagues, church outings, monthly picnics and more .  People are feeling disconnected from their families and communities and the impact is a decline in education, creativity, and our overall happiness.  Perhaps the draw to the new and improved ‘South of the Slot’ aka ‘SOMA’ is the pull of social connectedness in a community that fosters creativity. I look forward to the new residents of this neighborhood.