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2007 September | Lights Out San Francisco - Part 2

Black Balloons and Sea Level Rise

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

A new friend tipped me off to an interesting visual. Black Balloons: making CO2 real provides an interesting visualization of household greenhouse gas emissions. Yet another reason we need to conserve energy.

If those black balloons aren’t scary enough, watch ABCs Fear of Rising Waters video. For more information, read Architecture2030’s Coastal Impact Study: Nation Under Siege.

Also, uur web host put us on their website. Check it out–we’re at the bottom of the page. Thanks AISO!

Lights Out–for the birds?

Monday, September 24th, 2007

Every spring and fall, birds migrate along the Pacific Flyway through the San Francisco Bay Area. Several migratory bird species are threatened or endangered; needing all the help they can get along their journey. Some birds fly long distances, between Alaska or Canada in North America and Patagonia in South America.

The birds that migrate at night rely upon the stars and moon for navigation. Studies indicate that artificial light disorients birds, especially the many birds that migrate at night.

If you are interested in volunteering for “lights out for birds,” please email Golden Gate Audubon’s Conservation Committee at You can also learn more about protecting Bay Area resident and migratory birds at

More press…

Monday, September 24th, 2007

We’ve been featured on ECOFRIENDS weblog.

Also, stay tuned to our Lights Out America webpage for details about a national event in March 2008.

Help promote LOSF by adding a banner to your website!

Friday, September 21st, 2007

The Associated Press sent out this LOSF press release today. We’re very pleased to be getting recognition on the national level!

Please help us spread the word by posting one of our great banners on your website, MySpace page, or blog. Here’s just one of the three you can download:


Another big day!

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

Great news. Today we were featured in both the SF Chronicle and the LA Times. Nate’s got some priceless quotes, and LOSF received some great publicity!

CalTrans has just confirmed that the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge will turn off lights. The Transamerica Pyramid has agreed to turn off lights as well.

Thanks also to Coalition of San Francisco Neighborhoods which moved to endorse us last night.

Some Notes on Green Building

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

Edward Mazria, keynote speaker at both West Coast Green, and Climate All Stars Conference, is the founder of Architecture 2030. Mazria established his non-profit organization in response to the climate crisis. Architecture 2030 hopes “to achieve a dramatic reduction in the global-warming-causing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the Building Sector by changing the way buildings and developments are planned, designed and constructed”. They’ve got a great vision, and their website is an excellent resource.

Earthship Biotecture, a New Mexico-grown phenomenon, is an interesting example of sustainable architecture. These eco-friendly living spaces are made using recycled materials. They also collect water from rain and snow, and use solar and wind power as an energy sources. Some are humble, and others are works of art.

Jay Shafer, creator of Tumbleweed Houses, presents another alternative to the average home. Shafer lives in a home of just 100 square feet in size, and designs and builds Tiny Houses as well. My favorite is the Weebee.

On another sustainability note, I came across this article about PG&E. In late July, the power company signed an agreement with Solel, which will provide customers with 553 megawatts of solar power when the Mojave Solar Park plant is completed in 2011.

Down to a Science

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

Thanks to Eric Case, Lights Out SF made it into Blogs of Note last week!

Upcoming event: Please join us this coming Monday, September 24th, for Science Café hosted by Down to a Science. Melissa Capria, SF Climate Action Coordinator, will be giving a talk entitled “Microclimate change: Global Warming and the Bay Area”. LOSF will be on hand to pass out info about our October 20th event as well. Science Café will begin at 7pm, at 330 Ritch between 3rd & 4th Streets and Brannan & Townsend near AT&T Park.

Down to a Science (DtaS) is an ongoing Science Café, a casual forum where leading scientists discuss their research with the public. DtaS is held on the 3rd Tuesday of every month at a local San Francisco bar. No lectures. No technical jargon. Just food, drinks, and science!

Down to a Science was created to start a civic discourse through scientific dialogue with a focus on science here in the Bay Area. Topics range from local climate change to fertility to earthquakes. You’ll never know what you’ll learn about next!

In addition, DtaS features an entertaining science blog with content related to the topics.

Stay tuned this week for information about sustainable building and renewable power sources…there are too many interesting things to write about in just one sitting!


Monday, September 17th, 2007

Check out the Boing Boing page here.

Thanks to Yahoo!, we now have 10,000 CFLs to begin handing out!

Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Turning Lights Out

Monday, September 17th, 2007

Exciting news….today we announced that the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, City Hall and others are joining us and in turning off lights. And…our good friend Xeni just Boing Boing(ed) us!

Here’s the press release (sorry a little long).

Lights Out San Francisco Invites City to Turn Off Lights on October 20th

from 8:00-9:00 P.M.; Install One Energy-Efficient Light Bulb to Save Energy

Event Gaining Momentum with San Francisco City Hall, Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and Local Businesses to Darken Facilities in Support

SAN FRANCISCO (September 17, 2007) – Lights Out San Francisco, a community-based non-profit organization dedicated to energy conservation, announced today its inaugural citywide energy savings event ( On Saturday, October 20 between 8:00 and 9:00 p.m., San Francisco residents and businesses are invited to turn off non-essential lights for one hour and install one energy-efficient light bulb in an effort to raise awareness about energy conservation and to reduce carbon emissions into the air.

“Lights Out San Francisco is an innovative way to incorporate energy conservation into our daily lives,” said Mayor Gavin Newsom. “This is an opportunity to fundamentally change the way people think about their energy consumption.”

This first-ever U.S. public call-to-action will be highlighted by the participation of some of San Francisco’s most notable landmarks. The Golden Gate Bridge will extinguish lights on its main towers (roadway lighting will remain on for safety); City Hall and other city buildings will turn off lights; the Golden Gate National Parks Alcatraz Island will also turn off lights.

“San Francisco is the ideal place to launch this energy conservation event because of the city’s strong commitment to environmental awareness and activism,” said Nate Tyler, founder and executive director of Lights Out San Francisco. “We’re amazed by the positive reception we’ve received, and we hope San Franciscans will create a model for energy awareness that can be adopted nationwide.”

Free, energy-efficient light bulbs, or compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), will be distributed throughout the city during the months of September and October to provide resources for continued energy-saving. Bulbs will be donated by PG&E and Yahoo!.

“The goal of this program is to increase public awareness about simple energy conservation practices such as using energy-efficient light bulbs, taking public transportation, and unplugging appliances when idle – all viable ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said San Francisco Supervisor Jake McGoldrick.

The San Francisco Restaurant Association is organizing candlelight dinners throughout the city. Neighborhood coalitions are recruiting residents to turn off lights and host local celebrations. The list of supporters continues to grow. For more information, visit

It is estimated that one hour of energy conservation in San Francisco could save as much as 10 percent of the energy consumed on a Saturday night. A similar event recently took place in Sydney, Australia where by turning out the lights for one hour, 2.2 million participants conserved 24.86 tons of carbon dioxide that would have normally been released — an amount of energy equivalent to removing 48,613 cars from the road for one hour.

After its San Francisco launch, Lights Out San Francisco plans to take its energy-conservation mission nationwide with Lights Out America in March 2008. The organization hopes to link its efforts with other cities around the world, including Sydney, London and others.

Demonstrating their commitment to energy conservation and environmental awareness are Lights Out San Francisco sponsors eSurance, Integrated Archive Systems, and Safeway.

Community supporters include: California Interfaith Power and Light, California League of Conservation Voters, Flex Your Power, Gap Inc., Golden Gate Restaurant Association, The International Dark-Sky Association, Neighborhood Parks Council, PG&E, Rainforest Action Network, SF Chamber of Commerce, SF Climate Challenge,, San Francisco Department of the Environment, San Francisco Parks Trust, Sports Basement, Teacher With the Bus, Tides Center, Working Assets Wireless, and Yahoo!.

A citywide celebration will be held at Dolores Park on Saturday, October 20 between 5:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., where San Franciscans can come together to enjoy free live music ranging from local bands and DJs to Opera in the Dark.

Volunteers interested in becoming more involved with the Lights Out San Francisco can sign up to join the field campaign by contacting For further information on how to get involved, or to make a donation to Lights Out San Francisco, please visit

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Thanks to all who came to Pete’s!

Friday, September 14th, 2007

Many thanks to the great folks who attended our Happy Hour at Pete’s Tavern last night! We greatly appreciate your donations. We’ll be hosting several more fundraising events before October 20th, so stay posted. Online donations are also gratefully accepted.


Also, we were mentioned in the San Francisco Chronicle. Check out their Energy waste focus of ‘Lights Out’ event article.

Lights Out San Francisco is a Tides Center Project