Centerpieces don’t get any more sustainable than the Garden-in-a-Can from the Oakland-based company Back to the Roots. The cans or mason jars of flowering basil, dill, sage and cilantro were used as table decorations at a San Francisco entrepreneur summit sponsored by Inc. Magazine, at a forum of the nonprofit Social Venture Network held in a San Diego hotel ballroom and, not coincidentally, at the wedding of the brother of the company’s co-founder Nikhil Arora. “I think of it as edible live art,” Arora says of the unlikely adornments. Guests can take home the portable gardens—they will thrive on a windowsill—but to make sure fights don’t break out, it’s wise to have a supply of start-up kits as parting gifts. Also, give the seeds a month’s growing time to reach centerpiece-worthy heights. Another food-friendly way to bring life to a banquet table is Back to the Root’s mushroom farms. Home Depot displayed these crops in the entranceway to the banquet hall at a recent leadership event held in San Diego.
Bay Area Rapid Transit’s (BART) Sustainable Convention Travel Program allows planners to provide eco-friendly travel options for San Francisco conventions and meetings. The program establishes a platform that facilitates the use of SFO transfers by convention staffs and attendees; the program can also help reduce staff travel costs. Most downtown San Francisco hotels are located within six blocks of a BART station (Civic Center, Powell Street, Montgomery Street and Embarcadero).