Santa Monica Sustainable Food Commitment

First U.S. city to sign Cool Foods Pledge to buy local, organic (Sustainable Food Commitment)

Santa Monica, CA


How you can benefit

Fruits and vegetables in your supermarket are often harvested too early because they are grown hundreds of miles away You might get tastier, more nutritious produce if it's local, in-season and ripened on the vine.

Santa Monica created resources to help people and organizations:

1. Eat organic

2. Reduce conventional meat and dairy consumption

3. Avoid processed foods

4. Eat locally grown food

5. Reduce packaging and recycle food waste

Why it's a leading policy

It was the first city to sign on to the Cool Foods Pledge. And it prioritized sustainable food goals in the Sustainable City Plan. Unlike San Francisco's Healthy Food Executive Order, Santa Monica joined celebrities in the international Meatless Monday campaign.


By 2020, the city will:

  • Increase fresh, local, organic produce served at city facilities, public schools, city college and hospitals) by 15%.
  • At farmers markets, annually increase the total sales and percent of organic produce.
  • Annually decrease in the average wait time for community garden plots.
  • Reduce meat consumption by 15% to improve people's health and environment.

Who can take action

City staff, businesses, citizens.


Karl Bruskotter, Sustainability Analyst, Santa Monica, CA, (310) 458-2255,

Last Updated

August 14, 2015

Marin County Integrated Pest Management Ordinance

Requiring less-toxic pest management in county buildings and landscapes (Integrated Pest Management Ordinance)

Marin County, CA

How IT can benefit you

Pesticides can induce asthma.

Integrated pest management (IPM) effectively reduces pests while minimizing human health and environmental hazards by:

  • Asking when pest management is needed (e.g., it may not be necessary to remove clover from your lawn).
  • Designing landscapes and buildings to prevent pests.
  • Using the least-toxic pesticides as a last resort.

Like San Francisco, Marin requires the following to be updated annually and presented to the Board of Supervisors:

  • Pesticide use reports that are collected monthly.
  • Updated lists of allowed pesticides.

Why this is a leading policy

Marin's IPM ordinance is different from San Francisco's because it:

  • Bans pesticides in playgrounds, turf grass and picnic areas.
  • Does not allow pesticides with ingredients such as those known to cause cancer or reproductive or developmental toxicity (California's Proposition 65 list).
  • Has an IPM Commission that advises the IPM Coordinator on implementation of the ordinance.
  • Notifies the public 4 days before and after pesticide use on their website and via signs at entrances to the treated area. Signs must be posted 7 days before and after if volatile pesticides are sprayed indoors. (By comparison, San Francisco requires signs three days before and after).


To eliminate all pesticide use.

Who can take action

Applies to all property owned, leased or managed property by the County.


Marin has not used rodenticides since 2012, and decreased pesticide use from 81.5 gallons in 1998 to 12.7 gallons in 2008.


Chris Chamberlain, Parks and Open Space Superintendent, Marin County Parks, (415) 473-5085,,

Last Updated

November 14, 2015

Environmental Working Group

Apps and policy alerts for safer food, skincare, cell phones and more (Environmental Working Group)

EWG's guide to buying organic.

EWG's guide to buying organic.

How you can benefit

43% of chemicals in use have not been tested for impacts on human health.   Many products you buy have chemicals which can cause diseases.  Pesticide residues are often still on washed and peeled produce.  So Environmental Working Group (EWG) provides apps, rankings and policy alerts for safer food, skincare, cell phones and more.

Why it's a leading program

As of 2012, the two most popular smartphone apps in the U.S. were GoodGuide and EWG's SkinDeep skincare rankings.  Read about how they are different.   Other food apps tend to look only at nutrition.   EWG shows you a score of a food item's toxic ingredients, or pesticides which can't be washed off produce.


To make it easier for anyone to buy the right thing.

Who can take action

Scientists helped created EWG apps to make it easier for consumers to buy safer products.


EWG's Skin Deep skincare database can tell you if ingredients are safe in over 79,000 products based on 50 toxicity and regulatory databases.

Last updated

July 13, 2015


Seattle Local Food Action Initiative Resolution

Affordable, local, healthy, sustainable food for all (Local Food Action Initiative Resolution), 2008



Fruits and vegetables in your supermarket are often harvested too early because they are grown hundreds of miles away.  You might get tastiermore nutritious produce if it's local, in-season and ripened on the vine. 

Low-income neighborhoods often do not have stores with fresh produce.  So in 2008, Seattle created the Local Food Action Initiative resolution


Seattle is one of the few cities improving their food system throughout their city comprehensive plan.


To create a Food Policy Action Plan for: 

  • All residents to eat affordable, local, healthy, sustainable, food. 
  • Donating produce from community gardens to food banks. 
  • Using public land to grow food. 
  • Helping local food businesses thrive.


City departments, local food businesses, community gardeners, and other related groups.


In 2010, the Seattle P-Patch Community Gardening Program donated 41,778 servings of fresh produce to food banks.


Jessica Finn Coven, Director of the Seattle Office of Sustainability and Environment, (206) 615-0817,


September 15th, 2015