San Francisco Department of the Environment

Project: Recycling and Composting Campaigns

Even in San Francisco, the message to compost and recycle needed a boost.

San Francisco—the most environmentally conscious city in the country, right? Turns out, when it comes to recycling and composting, there’s room for improvement. Especially among new arrivals—25% of all residents. Our client, SF Environment, needed a solve.

How do you change human behavior? Nagging doesn’t work. So we relied on psychology. Which led us to the importance of peer pressure.

Launched on outdoor boards across the City, our campaign positioned recycling and composting as #TheSFThingToDo. We struck a chord—and motivated behavior—by adding some local charm and idiosyncrasies: steep hills, dating apps, and the interminable wait for coffee.

Not only did this campaign get San Franciscans to change their behavior, but it also inspired SFE to bring us back the following year for another campaign, targeting food-obsessed Millennials.

Thus, Real Foodies Compost was born.

In a campaign spanning outdoor, social, display, and web, we drew thousands of visitors to, including both local and national press. As a result, the client is happy. And composting is part of being a real San Franciscan again.



View all projects


Smart. Selfless. Genuine. And everyone has your back.

Next: Our Culture