Posts Tagged ‘green’

Solar on the White House

Monday, June 21st, 2010

sungevity-logoAll the finalists at the Oakland Indie Awards were proud businesses and artists of Oakland that do wonderful things here in our community.  But some go beyond our East Bay city-some do work that impacts the United States as a whole.

Sungevity is one of those nominees.  Sungevity is a solar panel business based in Jack London Square that allows clients to lease solar panels for their roof as well as purchase them.  In doing so, Sungevity hopes to democratize solar panels by providing access to solar energy to a wider-based clientele.  Sungevity hopes this will make solar panels more widely used throughout the United States.

globama-logoAnother way Sungevity is working to spread interest and awareness about solar panels is to get them back on the White House.  Solar panels used to be on the White House during the Carter administration, but came down during the first Bush administration.  Sungevity wants to get them back on.  They sent a letter to the Obamas and started a website,, where you can learn more and sign a petition to get involved.  According to Sungevity, the goal of this campaign and petition is “to drive awareness of the ease and affordability now available to homeowners and the dramatic effects it can have on not only slowing global warming, but also saving consumers money on their monthly power bill.”

You can learn more about Sungevity on their website.  And to learn about their push to get solar on the White House, check out

Talk on Researching and Selectinig Green Products

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

sustainablebizlogoWe’ve spent a lot of time talking about going green and selecting environmentaly-friendly cleaning products for your green lifestyle.  Now you can get some tips and insights from an expert!  The Sustainable Business Alliance is hosting a talk on Researching and Selecting Green Products with Environmental & Public Health consultant Ann Blake, PhD.  Come hear what she has to say on Tuesday, December 8th at UC Berkeley.  For more details, check out the Sustainable Business Alliance’s website.

A Dozen New Oakland Unwrapped Stores

Friday, October 30th, 2009

oaklandunwrappedlogo1Oakland Unwrapped would like to introduce you to the latest additions to our online marketplace:

Baby Girl Designs: fine artwork by Jeanette Madden on notecards, journals, gift bags and boxes, and more.

By Nieves: all natural handmade body care products made with essential oils.

CC Star: original and custom-made handmade cuffs and snap bracelets, coin purses and pouches made from vintage neckties.

East Bay Express eDeals: gift certificates to local stores, including bath & body, food & drink, books, music, and more, sold at 25% off the certificate face value.

Envirodryz: low-tech, eco-friendly clotheslines.

Ezme Designs: funky, unique, and custom-made ceramic bowls, mugs, and dishes.

Kristine Online: unique and fun collectible toys, dolls, and gifts.

Looks Good From The Front: handmade hair accessories and birdcage veils.

Pushcart Design: a graphic design studio that creates politically and geographically influenced t-shirts and posters.

Sarah Swell Jewelry: nature-inspiried handcrafted fine jewelry.

Steppen Simply: necklaces and earrings to make you look and feel “simply” beautiful in any outfit for any occasion at any time.

YB Timepieces: high-quality fashion watches.

More stores are being added all the time, so keep checking for more fun and unique Oakland-based businesses!

Green Chamber of Commerce Celebrates “Building an Honest Economy”

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

greenchamber-logoThe Green Chamber of Commerce is holding their Annual Celebration entitled “Building an Honest Economy” on November 5th. People from all types of sustainable, socially-responsible Bay Area business will be there, and will feature a talk by Ahmed Rahim, founder and CEO of Numi Tea (an Oakland Unwrapped vendor). More details will be coming soon, so keep checking the Chamber’s website for more information.

There are still spaces available for organic/local catering companies to sponsor the event. Any company or restaurant interested in this great opportunity should contact the chamber.

Twenty New Stores Added to Oakland Unwrapped!

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

oaklandunwrappedlogoOakland Unwrapped! would like to introduce you to our latest additions to the marketplace: original recycled clocks inspired by bikes, created by combining the industrial design of worn out bike parts with funky patterns found in reclaimed textiles.

A Touch of Life, LLC: homemade face and skin moisturizer.

ALQUIMIA handmade jewelry: jewelry made using traditional silversmith techniques as well as chunky tribal-inspired gemstone jewelry.

Ashay by the Bay: African-American and Multi-Cultural children’s books.

Black Lotus Enterprises: handmade beaded jewelry, inspired by nature.

Corinthia Peoples Designs: handcrafted, one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces made exclusively with authentic colored gemstones and sterling silver.

Cultural Crossroads: home décor, art, and accessories from around the world, including funky ethnic jewelry at great prices.

Estilo Clothing Co: original screen-print designs celebrating music and culture; clothes for men and women, including tees, tops, dresses, and sweatshirts.

fiftyseven-thirtythree: screen-printed, stenciled t-shirts and appliquéd hoodies, using solvent free inks on sweatshop free apparel and drawing from an urban aesthetic.

jadecicada jewelry: handcrafted jewelry with unique beads from all over the world, including new and old beads, gemstones, semiprecious stones, and unique cultural beads.

Just Glam: high end quality cosmetics at affordable pricing.

lemonade handmade jewelry: jewelry that mixes metals and textures to create bold and delicate earrings, necklaces, and more.

Lwanga Designs: original handmade jewelry as well as a unique array of eco-friendly African home décor, kitchen accents, jewelry and bags.

Mavazi–Clothes for the Soul: Oakland-based clothing company that sells dresses, pants, tees, handbags, tops, headwraps, and recycled denim skirts and jackets.

Paula Chan Design Studio: handmade earrings, necklaces, and bracelets made of Swarovski crystal, gemstones, and pearls, all on sterling silver; handmade greeting cards also available.

Pendragon Books: local independent bookstore that carries new and used books, greeting cards, magazines, journals, Moleskin, calendars, and book lights.

rosemary dudley designs: handmade jewelry using different shapes, textures, colors, and materials.

Sheila Moon Athletic Apparel: athletic apparel, specializing in cycling clothes, focusing on fashion, fit, and function.

The Joys of Life: skin care, including creams, soaps, lotions, washes, and body polish made with organic Shea Butter.

Vertical Home Gardens, LLC: a vertical garden container company that designs, manufactures, and sells attractive containers for individuals, schools, or businesses to grow a “real” garden year-round with limited space.

 We now have over 150 stores on our e-commerce website and are always adding more. Keep checking Oakland Unwrapped! to see the newest vendors and see how easy it is to support Oakland’s local economy while shopping online!

Take One Small Step Towards a Greener Lunch this School Year

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

one-small-step-lunchboxSeptember is here, ringing in the new school year.  As popularity of green businesses and environmentally-friendly products continue to grow in the Bay Area, you might be wondering-is it possible to go green at school, too?  Yes!  Oakland Unwrapped has many local businesses that offer environmentally-friendly products for children heading back to school.  One of our most recent additions, One Small Step, is just one of these businesses working to get parents and children to “think and act ‘green,’ one small step at a time.”

One Small Step specializes in providing everything and anything you could possibly need to pack a waste-free lunch for your child or yourself.  A waste-free lunch is just what it sounds like: food and beverage from home packaged in reusable storage containers, bags, or bottles, with reusable napkins and utensils, all packed in a reusable lunch box.  One Small Step offers all these items and more in a variety of creative styles and colors.  You won’t find any un-cool lunch boxes here! one-small-step-logo

The beauty of packing a waste-free lunch is that it is healthier and saves you money in the long run.  According to One Small Step, you can save up to one-third of your annual food budget just by sending waste-free lunches with your kids (see their FAQ page for more details).  And homemade food is always healthier-and usually tastier-than store-bought processed foods.  (Why else would college kids keep coming home for a home cooked meal?)  Founder Renata Bodon has also learned this lesson through personal experience.  She discovered that, by avoiding store-bought, pre-packaged food and packing her daughter a waste-free lunch, her daughter was eating healthier and fresher food while learning about the positive environmental impact she was having at such a young age.

One Small Step makes it easy for you, too, to save money on your food budget, eat healthier, and minimize your food-related waste by selling all these products online in one location.  One Small Step also donates 10% of all profits to community organizations, taking one more small step in bettering our communities.

For more information check out One Small Step on Oakland Unwrapped:

Sustainable Business Alliance Hosts Green Book Fair

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

sustainablebizlogoThe Bay Area is home to many sustainable business experts, including many published authors on the subject!  The Sustainable Business Alliance is bringing many of them together on September 22nd for you to meet the authors, browse their books, and network with others working to support and learn more about sustainable businesses.  Click here to register and find out more.

New Stores Listed on Oakland Unwrapped!

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

one-small-step-lunchboxOakland Unwrapped! would like to introduce you to some of our newest members of our website:

One Small Step provides everything you need to pack a waste-free, “green” lunch-from reusable lunchboxes to food containers, bottles and utensils.  Also available are environmentally-friendly school supplies as well as books with ideas and recipes for healthy lunches.  Visit for more.

O’Lover Hats are one-of-a kind hats, designed and handmade right here in Oakland!  Visit for more.

Skincare by Feleciai is all natural, handmade body soaps and creams, shampoo bars and shaving bars.  Visit for more.

These three are just a few examples of the diverse stores listed on Oakland Unwrapped!  We now have over 130 stores on our e-commerce website and are always adding more.  Keep checking Oakland Unwrapped! to see the newest vendors and see how easy it is to support Oakland’s local economy while shopping online!soap_lav

Bay Area Green Business Organizations

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Many businesses claim to be green or market their products as environmentally friendly, but how does the consumer know if they are actually supporting a company that is truly eco-friendly?

How do companies that have a double or triple bottom line differentiate themselves from those who see social and environmental issues as a marketing strategy?

How can these businesses network and learn more about running a socially and/or environmentally responsible company?

The San Francisco Bay Area has developed several organizations that certify businesses as green and socially responsible or furnish networking for businesses that are making honest and serious attempts to be as green or socially responsible as possible. Many cities and states have their own green business programs, and Oakland is the home of the Bay Area Green Business Program (BAGBP). The BAGBP verifies that businesses meet certain standards of environmental performance by conducting in depth reviews of business operations. So far, over 1,600 Bay Area businesses have been certified green since 1997 in the nine Bay Area counties. The San Francisco Bay Area is also home to the Green Chamber of Commerce, a center that fosters “the success of businesses committed to environmental and social responsibility.” The Sustainable Business Alliance also has over 250 participating Bay Area businesses. The Sustainable Business Alliance facilitates networking, education, technical services, and partnership opportunities for sustainable Bay Area businesses. San Francisco Green Drinks also makes possible the networking and socializing of area green business professionals. Once a month, environmental professionals get together at 111 Minna to socialize and discuss issues related to the environment. Another sustainable business networking group is EcoTuesday, which is held across the nation and locally in San Francisco on the fourth Tuesday of every month. EcoTuesday gives sustainable business leaders a chance to network and discuss current issues both in person and online.

There are also ways to know that the business you are supporting is socially responsible—look for the B-Corporation certification and you know that the company you are purchasing from has a triple bottom line. In order to be a certified B-Corporation, businesses must go through a series of tests and meet various standards, which are vigorously enforced. A growing number of companies are realizing that social and environmental responsibility is more than just a marketing scheme, it is important for the future that we develop sustainable business practices for the long run.