Going green in San Francisco

Travel Ideas

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I was watching the film Milk the last week, which is about Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to public office in the USA. I liked it a lot more than I expected to and Sean Penn is fantastic in it as Mr Milk, so I’m not surprised he won the Oscar earlier this year. But as well as turning my mind to the awful injustices of the time, the film made me think about San Francisco as a city – and how much I want to visit again.

I’ve been to San Francisco once on a family holiday when I was in my teens and, from what I can remember, I adored it. At the same time, I couldn’t help thinking that I’d get more out of the city if I came back when I was older – especially when we walked past welcoming-looking bars! What’s more, I’m determined to make my next holiday an eco-friendly one, and I think San Francisco might be just the answer.

Yes, I know that California is half way round the world and of course, I’ll have to fly there! But my research tells me that, once I get there, there will be plenty of ways to keep my travel green. San Francisco is widely known as one of the greenest cities in the United States. Its forward-thinking mayor Gavin Newsom is planning to implement mandatory recycling for all households in the city, and he’s also promised to make every taxi in San Francisco convert to become a hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle by 2011.

There seems to be plenty of ways to enjoy San Francisco’s main attractions in an eco-friendly way too. For starters, who ever said that you had to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge to truly appreciate its magnificence? I’ll walk or bike across instead! There seem to be a few environmentally-friendly tours to take too. Mr Toad’s Tours, for instance, apparently use propane-powered pre-1930s touring cars, while the 74X CultureBus offers an economical and eco-friendly way to see the city’s main museums.

It’s early days yet, but I’m hoping my plan will come together. The official visitor’s guide to eco-friendly ways to see the city is pretty useful but if you’ve got any insider tips on how to go green in San Francisco, I’d love to hear them.

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