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