The Green Zebra Guide, a directory to San Francisco’s eco-friendly retailers and organic restaurants, is the first Bay Area green shopping guide and discount coupon book. Created by Sheryl Cohen and Anne Vollen, it is a resource tool for cautious consumers, promotes healthy living and local shopping benefiting small businesses, the community, and the planet.
“The U.S. is based on waste and excess. It’s a cultural issue to make people go green,” says Cohen, “We just want people to be aware, read food labels, and make conscious decisions about what they buy. We are fortunate in California to have an abundance of options that are good for us and the planet. People will be encouraged to try them and other similar businesses, and start putting some thought into whether their shopping habits reflect their personal values."
While participating businesses don’t necessarily have to be “Green” to qualify for the guide, they are encouraged to promote eco-friendly products and services. Some may simply be local independents and thereby support the local economy, ease gas usage, and contribute to the vitality of the community.
Overall, Green Zebra’s goal is to empower San Francisco consumers to make more educated, eco-friendly choices and while doing so give a boost to businesses working for a better Earth, they publish a 300-page coupon book containing 250 coupons that they say could save shoppers $12,000 at local, eco-friendly businesses in the Bay area. And that's not all.... The guide also features articles with practical tips on adopting a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle...many of which were written with input from the SF Department of the Environment.
The guide also is a fundraiser. Cohen and Vollen want to help schools, churches and synagogues raise money. The coupon books cost $25, and fundraising partners get $10 for every book they sell. Whichever school sells the most Green Zebra guides will receive a solar and wind power system for their school, donated by Bay Solar Power Design. They are also giving a portion of each book sale to a local charity, in an effort to nurture the next generation of environmentally responsible citizens.