Robyn Purchia

Concepts like climate change are not too complex or scary for children to understand. (Courtesy photo)

Today’s kids are working to save the planet

Room 205b at Grattan Elementary School in Ashbury Heights looks like the classrooms I sat in as a kid.

Concepts like climate change are not too complex or scary for children to understand. (Courtesy photo)
A Danish study questions whether reusable totes are more environmentally friendly than plastic bags. (Courtesy photo)

Which is better: Plastic bag or cotton tote?

Although San Francisco and California have both banned plastic bags, many city stores continue to make the contraband item available.

A Danish study questions whether reusable totes are more environmentally friendly than plastic bags. (Courtesy photo)
For restaurants, reuseable foodware may be less costly than using throwaways. (Courtesy photo)

How about a ‘real’ napkin with that pizza?

Chowing down on slices at Presidio Pizza on Divisadero and Pine streets can occasionally get messy.

For restaurants, reuseable foodware may be less costly than using throwaways. (Courtesy photo)
Since its restoration in 2005, Thompson Reach near Crissy Field has become a butterfly “hotspot.” (Courtesy/Presidio Trust)

How to get off the path toward mass extinction

The same day that another dead gray whale was found on Ocean Beach last week, news that onemillion plant and animal species are on the verge of extinction made international headlines.

Since its restoration in 2005, Thompson Reach near Crissy Field has become a butterfly “hotspot.” (Courtesy/Presidio Trust)
“Smart” technology helps San Franciscans stay connected, can improve efficiency and keep us safer. But that doesn’t mean a new wireless facility directly outside a home is necessary or appropriate. (Courtesy photo)

Plan for wireless antenna draws neighborhood opposition

Neighbors in Lower Pacific Heights are banding together to fight a small project on Baker and Pine streets.

“Smart” technology helps San Franciscans stay connected, can improve efficiency and keep us safer. But that doesn’t mean a new wireless facility directly outside a home is necessary or appropriate. (Courtesy photo)
Only approximately 1 percent of all U.S. farmland is certified organic. (Courtesy photo)

Regenerative funds invest in environmental health

Recently, researchers at the UC San Francisco and Berkeley compared pesticide levels in the bodies of American families.

Only approximately 1 percent of all U.S. farmland is certified organic. (Courtesy photo)
More needs to be done to address the many global environmental crises the world is facing. (Courtesy photo)

A public bank is good for the planet

The days around Earth Day are always full of environmental announcements.

More needs to be done to address the many global environmental crises the world is facing. (Courtesy photo)
The days of packaging cannabis in baggies is quickly disappearing as packaging regulations get tighter. (Courtesy photo)

Don’t go overboard on unneeded marijuana packaging rules

This weekend is going to be dope.

The days of packaging cannabis in baggies is quickly disappearing as packaging regulations get tighter. (Courtesy photo)
But even seemingly untouched corners of the Earth like the Farallon Islands bear human fingerprints. (Courtesy photo)

It’s time to reconsider risky plan to eradicate rodents on the Farallones

About 30 miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge lie a small group islands known as the Farallones.

But even seemingly untouched corners of the Earth like the Farallon Islands bear human fingerprints. (Courtesy photo)
In previous years, drought and water diversions significantly lowered California’s rivers and contributed to dramatic drops in fish populations. (Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times/TNS)

Soaking rains a boost for salmon

The relentless rain soaking the state is great news for salmon.

In previous years, drought and water diversions significantly lowered California’s rivers and contributed to dramatic drops in fish populations. (Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times/TNS)
A view of the Outer Richmond District from Grandview Park in the Sunset District on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Cities are failing to protect their urban canopies

Earlier this month, general contractor Webcor Builders was brought before the San Francisco Board of Appeals for illegally removing two sidewalk Sycamore trees.

A view of the Outer Richmond District from Grandview Park in the Sunset District on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
A Lord Voldemort look-a-like. (Courtesy photo)

Youth activists are reminiscent of the young heroes in the Harry Potter stories

Last Friday, about 2,000 San Francisco Bay Area students left school and marched down Market Street.

A Lord Voldemort look-a-like. (Courtesy photo)
Wells Fargo and Company CEO Timothy Sloan testifies before the House Financial Services Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill March 12, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/TNS)

Historic march against Wells Fargo planned for this week

Last weekend, reports of unethical business practices at Wells Fargo surfaced again.…

Wells Fargo and Company CEO Timothy Sloan testifies before the House Financial Services Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill March 12, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/TNS)
Last year, California

Gas cars may soon become as obsolete as horse-drawn buggies

Years ago, horse-drawn carriages shuttled San Franciscans up and down our hilly…

Last year, California
A rendering of the proposed Mission Rock development near AT&T Park. (Courtesy San Francisco Giants via Planning Commission)

San Francisco Giants ahead of the game in leaving fossil fuels behind

The San Francisco Giants are in the lead; at least, when it…

A rendering of the proposed Mission Rock development near AT&T Park. (Courtesy San Francisco Giants via Planning Commission)
San Francisco Fire fighters work to extinguish a gas line-related fire in the Richmond District on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019. (Ellie Doyen/Special to S.F. Examiner)

There’s nothing natural about natural gas

Two weeks ago, contractors working at the corner of Geary Boulevard and…

San Francisco Fire fighters work to extinguish a gas line-related fire in the Richmond District on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019. (Ellie Doyen/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Peter Fiekowsky and Erica Dodds, (left) leaders of Healthy Climate Alliance,  presented their work to a packed room at the Commonwealth Club last week. (Courtesy Healthy Climate Alliance)

Finding high-tech solutions to the Arctic ice meltdown

Despite cold temperatures and even snow in the Bay Area, climate change…

Peter Fiekowsky and Erica Dodds, (left) leaders of Healthy Climate Alliance,  presented their work to a packed room at the Commonwealth Club last week. (Courtesy Healthy Climate Alliance)
Before working on Sea Ranch, architect George Homsey, built his Dolores Heights home according to the same principles as the groundbreaking development. Natural light pours into windows and skylights, and the home is built almost entirely of wood. (Special to S.F. Examiner/Robyn Purchia)

Breaking out of the single-family house mold

In 1964, a group of Bay Area architects decided to reject the…

Before working on Sea Ranch, architect George Homsey, built his Dolores Heights home according to the same principles as the groundbreaking development. Natural light pours into windows and skylights, and the home is built almost entirely of wood. (Special to S.F. Examiner/Robyn Purchia)
Plastic shotgun wads, used to separate the shot from powder, litter beaches. (Courtesy photo)

It’s too early to ban environmentally-damaging shotgun shell components

On Baker Beach last week, Anna Kauffman picked up 23 pieces of…

Plastic shotgun wads, used to separate the shot from powder, litter beaches. (Courtesy photo)
One household's 10,000 pounds of belongings were redistributed among charities and others.  (Courtesy photo)

A couple’s lifetime of possessions find new homes

Refusing plastic straws and carrying a reusable water bottle is good for…

One household's 10,000 pounds of belongings were redistributed among charities and others.  (Courtesy photo)