It’s Easy Being Green

by Ellen Hong on November 17, 2009

San Francisco’s mandatory recycling law has been in effect for three weeks, and it’s about time. While our city leads the nation with the most comprehensive mandatory recycling law, the step we’ve been missing is green recycling in apartments.

In preparation for the recycling law, I began composting 6 months ago. At first it was frustrating because there isn’t a green bin in our building. I’ve been advocating for about 9 months to get a green bin, but my building’s Board of Directors are slow to enact the request. For now, I take my compost bag every week to my neighbor’s green bin and if I miss my Wednesday pickup, I just walk to Trader Joe’s or the Italian restaurant next door to drop it off.

Even though I don’t have a green bin in my building (yet!), I found composting to be really easy. I use compostable liners I buy from Walgreens. I keep a big bowl on the kitchen counter top and I throw all my veggie peels, coffee grind, tea bags, paper towels and all other compostable items.

Some of my friends that don’t live in San Francisco are baffled that not enough recycling is done in their cities. That is why I am so proud to live in a city where we are leading the charge to be zero waste by 2020.

People need to realize that everyone can make an impact and that it’s the little things done by everyday people that will count toward climate change.

To get started on composting, order a free green pail at

Ellen Hong is a Student Representative at Presidio Graduate School.

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