Yesterday, I finally got assigned a much-coveted bike locker from the office lottery here at the California Academy of Sciences. The fact that we have so much demand for these bike lockers, even with ample standard bike parking, shows our staff's commitment to green transportation.
Reportedly, about 75% of the Academy's roughly 500 staff people take some form of alternate transportation to get to work — bus, train, biking, or walking. Partly that is due to the difficulties of driving and parking in San Francisco, and the Bay Area's excellent transit system. But also I think it reflects our staff's commitment to a greener world.
The Cal Academy is the greenest museum in the world, a LEED platinum-rated building. That refers to our building materials, water savings, and energy efficiency, among other factors. But beyond the building itself, we as a staff are encouraged to do our business in environmentally responsible ways. We do this in big and small ways, one of which is limiting the use of cars for daily transport to work.
Visitors to the Academy as well are encouraged to use alternative transportation. If you walk, bike or take public transportation, you get $3 off of admission. You can get two Mission tacos for that! Plus, you get to bike through the gorgeous Golden Gate Park.
Our staff bike culture is just one of the little things that makes working at the Academy satisfying. Not only am I at a world-class natural history museum, aquarium and planetarium. But I am also in an institution actively trying to make a difference in the world.