Monday, December 14, 2009

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

How I wondered what kind of deep dish I was going to devour.  The meatball special it was! A half-OFF meatball special that is – as many other Vivers enjoyed during our incredibly sweet 3-Day Viv Special at Little Star Pizza last week.

SFer’s braved the cold and rain to take part in the Viv Special – nothing could keep them from Little Star’s mouth watering pizza!  The house was packed all three nights as everyone cozied up and awaited their pies.  Vivers received some awesome eco-gifts such as CFL’s, low-flow faucet aerators, SF Environment canvas bags, and composting kits, all as a simple thanks for coming out!  Sarah Z, one lucky Viv fan, won our eco-giveaway from TerraCycle JUST for signing up for our newsletter – a YakPak billboard bag and a set of energy efficient Frito-Lay speakers.

MORE specials, eco gifts and giveaways to come.  Start saving and learn more about Viv here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tis the Season . . . to be Saving!

Viv Specials are off and running – here’s the scoop on the last two at Parea and Jubili and those to come.

The Viv Team and some great SF peoples headed to Paréa Wine Bar and Café last Wednesday for the 30% OFF Viv Special, taking refuge from these chilly nights, saving some dough, and warming up with delicious food and wine.  Peter N, one of our Viv fans who signed up for our newsletter that day won our sweet $50 gift card giveaway from Preserve (, who makes stylish products from #5 plastic that are in turn recyclable, such as kitchen ware, toothbrushes and razors.  Jealous?  If you sign up for our newsletter at by Thursday Dec 10th at midnight Pacific, you will be entered to win a YakPak billboard bag and Frito-Lay energy efficient speakers from TerraCycle.

Come to our next Viv Special to find out more!

Vivers hit up the 45% OFF Viv Special at Jubili on Saturday night for some yummy frozen yogurt, bringing in their own bowls to earn a free extra topping! I got three toppings myself (mochi, fruity pebbles, and blueberries) and they tasted even better in my reusable bowl!  

Oh, and there’s more to come people! Once again, your favorite deep dish pizza will be HALF OFF at Little Star (Divisadero) starting today, Tuesday December 12th through Thursday December 14th from 5 to 6:30 each evening.   (Details here: Don’t miss it, and do yourself a favor and try their wings, you WON’T regret it!  Check out more upcoming Viv Specials here: 

Monday, December 7, 2009

Viv evolving for everyone... especially you

Wow, a lot has happened with Viv.  Since the start of the year when it was just Dinesh and me working night and day... to the end of an amazing summer when the team had quadrupled and built a growing Viv community with increasing traction in San Fran.  We finished August with Viv spots in 10+ neighborhoods and thousands of people stickered-- a huge leap from when we began this year!
Then we took a healthy pause.  We asked ourselves, are we building as fast as we want to?  If we are not, how long until we drive massive social change?  Not soon enough.  So as a full team, we stepped back to do a 360 degree review of the business from the highest to lowest levels of the company.  We found a number of awesome ways (along with a few hidden gems) that we could drastically improve Viv for everyone involved-- users (ie, you, our beloved Vivers), merchants (ie, Viv spots), partners, investors, and of course the environment.
For the first two weeks of September, we cranked away considering big changes to our program, with all the research and investigation that comes with it.  It was top priority for the entire team.  Those 2 weeks turned into 3 weeks, then 4, and 5, 6, 7... and #8.  September and October may have been the most intense and anxious months for me since we started Viv.  I take a wee bit of comfort in the fact that so many great start-ups and inspiring businesses had to rethink how they did things and overhaul themselves to get to the next level.  I also remind myself... no one ever said it would be easy to change the world (damn).

Finally, week #9 came at the end of October and things came together.  The little things... and the big things.  We figured it out!
So (if you haven't heard the full scoop yet) here is the latest on how Viv is changing and the amazing things that we already have coming for you.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Introducing the Viv Wiki - GREEN gone FUN

Okay, so remember back a couple Sundays ago, when the Viv blog was just a new fresh face in your Google Reader? We made a bold statement about how Viv is aiming to “#1, encourage, then #2, enable, and #3, incent” all of us to make socially and environmentally responsible decisions? Well, I’d like to introduce #2: ENABLE. Drum roll, please! Perhaps, it isn’t that dramatic, but Viv has begun construction on a robust (& fun) online library of eco-resources. You may be wondering what the heck to do with that composting stuff you got with your cupcake or what to do next now that your low-flow aerator is on the sink in the bathroom. We’ve got loads of useful information, links, and videos on our Wiki How-to Library that will make you laugh and get you started. Yep, I said Wiki – as in ‘pedia, which means you can browse, leave comments, or even write up some content if you’re dying to tell the world about how to volunteer with Surfriders or something.
Viv wants to get you started making a difference in your community, even before we start bribing…I mean incentivizing…you to do so. We think the site is chock full o’cool videos, useful links, and eco-bathroom humor, but let us know what you think of these pages:
-San Francisco: Not as Trashy As You Thought – how to sign up for composting and updated info on what goes in which bin (blue, green, black, what?)
-Bathroom Reading – easy how-to videos on how to make your bathroom a whole lot more water and energy efficient
-BYOB Everywhere – frightening footage of the Bag Monster, and practical and impractical tips on remembering your reusable bag
-Viv Green Action Factsheets – Use’em yourself, slip them under your landlord’s door, or leave them your favorite bar
-Eco-News – Inspiration from around the world on folks who are doing good (and bad) stuff for our environment and communities
How do you like it? How can we make them better? Let us know by posting comments on the Wiki or sending an email to

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Brats, Brews and Vivers at Gestalt

Monday night Gestalt hosted a killer Viv Special – 40% off brats, 60% off Soju cocktails and dollar off beers from 6 to 9pm.
Vivers who came out to receive the special also received a stunning canvas tote bag. Many thanks to SF Department of the Environment for providing them! These tote bags are made with scrap fabric from designer Ralph Lauren and are super sturdy. Each tote bag came with a sticker to remind you to bring your bag with you. So – if you were lucky enough to pick one up, please place that sticker where it will remind you on your way out and start bringing your own bag, like every day. For some fun tips, tricks and vids on this topic, check out our wiki.
In true Viv fashion, prior to the special, the Viv Environmental Accountability team (aka Mary Jo) helped Gestalt install 3 faucet aerators, which will cut back on the water use at all their sinks by ~50%. This will likely save them ~880,000 pints/year, which will in turn save them ~$500/year on water (excluding savings on natural gas to heat the water, or sewer fees to drain the water.) Gestalt already recycles and is scheduled to begin composting shortly. (For extra props bug them about this!)

Monday, November 23, 2009

That Takes the Cake Steals the Show

On Saturday night, Vivers were surprised and delighted by That Takes the Cake‘s delectable alcoholic cupcakes. Who knew that cupcakes could get any better?  Mint Mojito and White Russian were my personal favorites.  Big kudos to Brian and Keisha Williams, owners of the cutest cupcake shop on the block, for the delightful goodies and inviting atmosphere.
Action please. At That Takes the Cake, Vivers were prompted to take control of their waste’s streams.  Everyone who came for a cupcake, also went home with instructions on how to become a composting champion using our guide, which is designed to help bring even the least eco-friendly landlords to their senses and order green bins.
So even if you couldn’t make it to indulge with us on Saturday, if you don’t have a green bin at home, work or anywhere else you spend time, I highly recommend stepping up and making it happen.  In most cases it will save you money, build your reputation as an eco-hero, and give you that “I just composted” feeling daily.  (Not to mention, it’s against SF Ordinance not to compost and recycle.)
For more pictures of the event, check out Facebook.

Noc Noc: (Who's there?) Viv Specials for you

Noc Noc was host to our second Viv Special on Friday evening.  With half off beer and wine, a great crowd of Vivers, and the Noc Noc’s stellar atmosphere, a good time was had by all. Upwards of 40 Vivers joined us between 4 in the psychedelic cave bar and 7 on Friday afternoon in San Francisco’s Lower Haight district.  Noc Noc’s reported that the bar was more than twice as busy during the Viv Special than it normally would have been.
And best of all – the first 30 guests left with a bathroom faucet aerator designed to reduce the flow of water.  Each 1.5 gallon per minute aerator can reduce faucet water flow by 30% without compromising faucet performance.
Action item: Install the faucet aerator we gave you.  See first video here for easy to follow instructions.   And if you missed out on Noc Noc or were too late to pick up your aerator, stop by the SF Public Utilities Commission to pick up your own, and more.
Why mix deals and change?  Well, as you know, Viv’s entire mission centers around driving community change through convening conscious consumers and local merchants.  So Viv Specials are just the first step of many – bringing people together in a way that benefits people (good deals, good times and good company) and planet (decreased resource consumption through Viv giveaways).
Got ideas for us?  Leave a comment or email us at

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

First Viv Special Rocks the House

Last night’s Viv Special was a total blast. Little Star was packed (like whoa!) and people were pumped about getting their 50% discount on the best pizza in town.
The Little Star servers and manager were thrilled with the results – they couldn’t believe how many people showed up. By 5:15 (15 minutes into the special), the tables were already packed with Vivers.
Thanks to, SF Eater, and for spreading the word about the event! Gotta love Broke-Ass Stuart’s remarks: “Basically Viv is working to connect eco-aware consumers with like minded business by doing something or other with stickers. I think you put a sticker on your credit card or something and get deals. But really, I think all you have to do is just mention the “Viv Special” to get the treatment that all you lovely little broke-asses deserve.” Well put!
35 lucky folks picked up Viv’s CFL-flower gifts. People noted that it was a really fun way to get folks to be more eco-friendly — exactly what we were going for. (See Mary Jo preparing the gifts below)
Action item: Replace an incandescent bulb with your new CFL! (At each Viv Special, we’ll tee up an eco-action item.  Let us know if you have ideas!)  Thanks to for supplying the CFLs!
If you tried to call in and order out last night, our apologies. The place was so busy, that they couldn’t answer the phones. And apologies to poor Heidi who posted sadly on our wall about the issue, concluding with “Why must everyone else love Little Star as much as me?”
If you joined up, what did you think? Any feedback? Questions? We want each event to feature a unique eco-twist – any ideas?
Want to know about upcoming Viv Specials? Yeah you do. Sign up for our newsletter here and fan us on facebook here.

Lastly, join us at Noc Noc on Friday!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Jeopardy time: "Alex, I will take Radical Transparency for $500"

If you read our “New Viv” announcement, I bet you have a lot of questions. If you’ve clicked here and haven’t read the New Viv announcement, please do so first.
So what is “radical transparency”? How is social and environmental change going to happen with Viv? We have answers, and we are going to share them gradually. We don’t want to flood you with a tidal wave of new ideas and information, so for starters we are going to share them in more bite-sized pieces over the next several weeks (via a series of blog posts & updates to our website).
The theory behind our new approach is a notion called “radical transparency”. It’s really not radical in a “crazy, went-off-the-deep-end” way, but rather a “cool, Bill-and-Ted” sort of way. Radical transparency wants to let people– that’s you– make the best decisions for yourselves. Transparency of information helps you live a better life by making better decisions. If we all knew every single thing that could cause cancer, that would be awesome. The catch is you need that information in a simple, digestable (ie, easy to absorb), and accessible way. If you can do this right, you can have a massive impact by getting both people and businesses to change their behavior for the better.
This is exactly what Viv aims to do. We are going to #1, encourage, then #2, enable, and #3, incent, the Viv community of businesses and consumers to share information with one another on the socially & environmentally responsible things they do everyday. As this community grows and continues to share, we aim to drive large-scale social & environmental change by influencing behaviors of all groups involved.
At Viv, we want to make it *fun* and *easy* for you to get involved in making a more sustainable world. Over the next few weeks, we will continue to share updates on exactly how we will be “encouraging”, “enabling”, and “incenting” the radical sharing of information across businesses and consumers. Please, be patient if you are hungry for more answers and stay tuned – we’ll be sharing plenty more soon. If you do have burning questions or reactions, we definitely encourage you to email us (WhatVivs @ DoYouViv dot com) or comment here. Viv well!

The New "Viv Specials": Jaw Dropping Deals

Greetings Vivers! We ‘ve been hard at work and are thrilled to tell you about some exciting changes to the Viv program. You probably know Viv as the sticker people, who drive eco-friendly change at your favorite local businesses. The sticker still rocks and going forward we maintain our focus on driving social & environmental change in our communities, but here’s the deal, Viv just got way-mo-special and you’re first to know!
Introducing Viv Specials! We’ll be connecting you with steep discounts at your favorite San Francisco Viv spots. For starters, this week get:
50% off at Little Star Pizza on Tuesday, 11/17
50% off drinks at Noc Noc on Friday, 11/20
40% of cocktail cupcakes at That Takes the Cake on Saturday, 11/21 (more details at each event!)
Viv Specials are not your typical discounts – each special meets our Viv Standard (at least 25% off or more on something you actually want), will draw a crowd of San Francisco’s Vivified, tuned in consumers, and often feature an eco-twist.
From here on out you can expect us to share the best deals SF has to offer and make them available via our newsletter to Vivers like you. What’s the catch? No catch! Just do us a big favor and spread the word about Viv. Forward this email to anyone you know in San Francisco who’s game for good food, cheap drinks, and many deals to come – work friends, club sports teams, anyone! They can sign up and get Viv’d through our homepage at
Doin’ Good for the Environment. The second change we’d like to announce is that Viv will become a platform for “radical transparency” around social & environmental change. We have our first of several blog posts up about the potential impact of transparency. In the coming months, we’ll be developing a way for both businesses and consumers to communicate about their commitments to the environment and earn rewards for adopting and communicating their practices.
Going forward, you will continue to use the Viv sticker to redeem specials at Viv businesses but you will not have to show the sticker every time you make a purchase. The schedule of eco-actions will evolve and businesses will continue to make social & environmental changes, but these changes will be based on the platform of radical transparency and fun incentives that we will be putting in place over the coming 2-3 months. Viv businesses will officially stop counting stickers as of December 1st.
We’ll let you know more about our social & environmental change as we unveil the program, so look out for news and much more.
Viv & let Viv!, The Viv Team

Monday, October 26, 2009

New specials from Viv spots!

Seven new specials from more of our Viv spots! Make sure to mention the Viv discount when you show your sticker! Check these out:
- Buy 3 cupcakes get 1 free at That Takes the Cake
- 10% off at Royal Ground Coffee (Polk & Fillmore St.)
- 10% at Osaka Sushi on Fillmore
- Free $10 appetizer with any 2 entrees at Marino
- 10% off at Baladie Cafe
- 15% off one ink cartridge refill at Cartridge World
- 10% off all wine at Noe Hill Market
With these generous offers you won’t want to miss out on any upcoming specials – get updates through our newsletter – STUCK!

Friday, October 23, 2009

1....2....3!.... 3 devices unplugged! ah! ah! ah!

Maruya Sushi Take – Out in Pacific Heights eliminates vampire power by turning off their power switch and unplugging any devices not in use every night – reducing consumption and conserving energy. Very cool.
Little Star Pizza in Western Addition follows in their green footsteps – not only do they have delicious deep dish, but some pretty cool and green decor. They’ve recycled their old wine bottles into handmade water glasses. New locally made recycled wood tabletops have been put in – all were handcrafted by owner, Brian Sadigursky’s, neighbor.
With all the green changes these Viv spots are making on their own – they definitely deserve some sticker love ♥

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sweeter sweets and prettier pedis . . .

Some of our Viv spots are making cool green changes on their own! Sweetdish makes their bon bons & gumdrops even sweeter by using compostable candy bags.
Mani & Nanny owner, Stacey Isaacs, gets all her magazines from a Conde Nast associate in exchange for polished nails and feet – she recycles the magazines by passing them along to her sister’s store ImagiKnit, in the Castro. They also make sure to eliminate vampire power by unplugging unused appliances. Next time you’re pampering yourself at Mani & Nanny, don’t forget to mention the Viv discount – 10% OFF a combo mani-pedi!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Discounts and specials and offers… oh my!

7 Viv spots have decided to offer some very cool specials & discounts to Vivers. All you have to do is show your sticker and mention the offer to get:
– 10% off at Sports Basement (Presidio & Bryant St.)– $2 off when you spend >$30 at Real Food (Polk & Fillmore)
– 20% off at Nest Maternity
– $1 off your first pint at Gestalt Haus
– 10% off a mani + pedi combo at Mani & Nanny
– 5% off liquor & 10% off wine for October at A&M Market
– 10% off at Bruno’s Pizzeria & Cucina
(in the future, we’ll be announcing most of the discounts via our newsletter – STUCK, so definitely stay in-touch.)
And if you haven’t been to any of these spots (tsk tsk, b/c they’re fantastic)… a few quick thoughts on each:
Sports Basement – Adult playground; so so tough to leave. Real Food – Some of the best produce in Russian Hill / Marina. Nest Maternity – 5 stars on yelp. enough said. Gestalt Haus –Brats, bikes, and beer – what else do you need. Mani & Nanny – great concept, that totally delivers. A&M Market – Sweet Jimmy rocks – one of the best corner market owners in the city.Bruno’s Pizzeria – tasty pizza. very cool jazz feel (to fit the neighborhood).

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More green changes completed by SF Viv spots

They just keep rolling in. 5 new changes. Very exciting. Thanks Vivers for voting with your sticker. Here’s the rundown (+ a few snaps):
Bruno’s Pizzeria & Cucina (2) – Switched to paper towels that contain a minimum of 40% recycled content; Changed all traditional light bulbs to energy efficient bulbs
Sweet Jimmy’s / A&M Market (2) – Ensures that all appliances that consume power when plugged into an outlet are unplugged or turned off while the business is not open; Committed to the use of no-VOC paints for any & all future painting
Noc Noc (1) – Switched to using only non-toxic, earth-friendly cleaning products
Pics from Left to Right = 1 & 2) Bruno’s Pizzeria & Cucina, 3) Sweet Jimmy’s / A&M Market
A slice of pizza would hit the spot right about now…

Friday, September 11, 2009

Quick ask to help Viv win $100K grant

We would love your help to vote for us in Amex’s (and Ellen Degeneres’) small business contest, so we can get enough “spotlights” to move into the judging round by Saturday the 12th. If we win (and I know we have a good chance), the Viv team will take all of you out who voted to an amazing night on the town!
All you’ve got to do is:
1) Go here:
2) Click “Endorse this story now” near the top left corner, then click “register” (which only takes 2 minutes, I promise), and finally “Endorse this story now” to finish voting for Viv.
Thank you for your help!! We need to get 50 spotlights (and a heck of a lot more to wow the judges) in the next 24 hours, so if you can vote asap that would be tremendously appreciated.
- The Viv Team

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Green cafe Network presents "Greening the Routine: Fundamentals of Green Cafe Operations"

Our friends at the Green Cafe Network are hosting a workshop for cafe and restaurant staff on operating a green cafe. Details below – please spread the word!

Please JOIN US for our fun, informative, action-packed, skill- building workshop:
“Greening the Routine: Fundamentals of Green Cafe Operations”

Wednesday, September 16th, from 4:30-7:30pm

This workshop is especially designed for cafe & restaurant staff!
As you know, operating a green business is not just about switching to energy efficient lightbulbs and carrying green products.
Most of operating a green business depends on your most important asset – your staff!
Cafe Managers and owners are welcome, too, of course! Here’s the details:

Greening the Routine: Fundamentals of Green Cafe Operations
Participants Will:
- Learn up-to-date green business “best practices” in waste management, water & energy conservation, toxics reduction and community outreach.
- Learn practical skills that can be immediately implemented on the job.
- Gain understanding of the environmental impacts of café & restaurant industries.
- Improve your “environmental literacy,” by gaining a big-picture understanding of the connections between our workplaces, personal lives & our environment.
When: Wednesday, September 16th, 2009 from 4:30-7:30pm
Where: Powersource Cafe Address: 81 Fremont St, San Francisco, CA 94105. Near the corner of Fremont and Mission Street. Public Transit: Near Embarcadero BART station
Who: Staff members of any cafe or restaurant in the Bay Area are welcome
Registration: Advanced registration is required, as there is limited space. Please send an email to: and we’ll respond with details and confirm your participation.
Workshop Fees*:
Member cafes of Green Cafe Network: $30 for one staff member, $20 for each additional staff member
Non-members of Green Cafe Network: $50 for each staff member, $45 for each additional staff member
*We want everyone who wants to participate to be able to. Please contact us if you need special consideration for workshop fees.

GCN’s 2009 Workshop Series:
“Greening the Routine: Fundamentals of Green Cafe Operations” is the first of GCN’s series of action-oriented workshops grounded in the daily routine of café operations.

The skills gained through this workshop series serve the dual purpose of making sustainability accessible in the face of time and budget constraints and tapping into the potential of café workers to play a powerful role in protecting our environment and encouraging community members to enhance their environmental responsibility and stewardship.
or phone Kirstin at 415-407-6987

SIGN UP BY EMAILING: or just call us!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

You can find us on the streets… Vivin'

It’s going down. Tomorrow. Thursday, 9/3/2009 – all day Viv Tour. SF. (wow – say that line out loud, project your voice, and add some echo… feels like you just intro-ed a rap album?)
Well, we’ve got a big day planned, so I guess it needed a big intro. We’re going SOMA to the Marina, Western Addition to FiDi. If there are places to be Viv’d – we’ll be there.
We’ll be tweeting all day, so follow us @DoYouViv and come find us to:
- Lay down some eco-graffiti; Grab a Viv headband, buttons, or other gear; stock up on extra stickers; Get a cameo in a Viv video we’re shooting; And last, but most importantly, Viv some businesses!!
Here’s the route (open full map or click on a store to see place & time specifics):
View You can find us on the streets… Vivin’ in a larger map