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Green Program Certifies Five Local Businesses
The Green Business Program of Santa Barbara County announced Wednesday the certification of five local businesses, including Movegreen in Goleta, Santa Barbara Airbus in Goleta, Le Reve Organic Day Spa in Santa Barbara, Silvergreens Restaurant on Chapala Street in Santa Barbara and McDonald’s on State Street in Santa Barbara.
The Green Business Program is a countywide effort partnering local governments, special districts, nonprofits, utilities, chambers of commerce and waste haulers. It offers certification for businesses in the office/retail, restaurant, automotive and lodging sectors. In the coming year, other business types will be added to the program.
The Green Business Program certifies businesses that go above and beyond complying with applicable regulations and required measures to implement additional actions in areas such as waste reduction and recycling, environmentally preferable purchasing, energy efficiency and conservation, water conservation, air pollution prevention and transportation using a checklist tailored to their industry type.
The program is free, voluntary and offers assistance and incentives, including an official Green Business certification decal and free promotion upon completion of the required and recommended actions. The goal of the program is to help businesses become models of sustainability, while saving money and enhancing the environment.
“This group of businesses represents a wide range of outstanding locally owned enterprises,” program director Frances Gilliland said. “From green building and water conservation to biodiesel-powered trucks and educational campaigns for customers, these companies are benefiting our community and saving money at the same time.”
“The Green Business certification is great because it reinforces and supports our business ideals and what we have fought so hard to create,” partner Patrick Wilkinson said. “It has also helped refine our company and establish goals for future improvements in our business services and practices.”
Movegreen is a full-service moving company in Goleta. All of Movegreen’s trucks are new and run on B20 biodiesel, a blended fuel made of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petrodiesel. To reduce the waste of cardboard boxes and packing supplies, such as newsprint and bubble wrap, Movegreen reuses and recycles all packaging materials. It also offers reusable plastic containers to eliminate the use of cardboard boxes.
Movegreen has teamed up with All Green Recycling to offer free e-waste recycling and has partnered with the international nonprofit Trees for The Future to plant 10 trees with every move. The company also purchases carbon credits through CarbonFund.org to offset its greenhouse gas emissions from the tailpipes of their trucks and the electricity consumed by its office.
Movegreen also offers its employees innovative incentives for using alternative methods of transportation, including a $25 rebate on the cost of a bike purchased to commute to work.
Santa Barbara Airbus
“The program adds a new dimension to our company mission statement: ‘Improve our customers’ lives and our community through passenger transportation services,’” administrative manager Margaret Clemency said. “The entire staff has embraced the challenge and new responsibilities with a zeal that delivers benefits far exceeding the costs.”
Santa Barbara Airbus, based in Goleta, is a transportation company that provides day trips, charters and scheduled service to LAX and other regional destinations. Each full bus or van takes cars off the roads, thereby reducing traffic and vehicle emissions.
The staff has embraced the Green Business Program by implementing measures in all areas of their operations. An Eco-Power Brush is used to decrease water use when washing the buses, and biodegradable soap also is used. In addition, the staff can earn cash rewards for using alternate forms of transportation, and Airbus participates in Traffic Solutions programs to provide Emergency Ride Home services to employees who ride-share.
To encourage employees to ride bicycles to work, Airbus provides on-site bike storage and shower and locker facilities. The company actively works to reduce the amount of paper it uses and has redesigned its day-trip calendar from a 10-page glossy newsletter to a two-sided leaflet. Airbus employees are required to recycle everything possible, including scrap metal, and they run a recycling program for passengers.
Le Reve Organic Day Spa & Boutique
“The benefits of becoming a certified Green Business include the obvious as far as saving money on utilities, and then the bigger benefits like being able to spread the word, be part of a like-minded community, educate and having that great feeling of being pro active and making a difference at Le Reve, in our homes and in our world,” owner Shannon Neels said.
Le Reve was founded on the philosophy of choosing organic and biodynamic products. It offers a range of skin-care products and services, and the staff is dedicated to green purchasing, including all paper products used in the spa and in promotional materials.
The spa has switched to compostable water cups, and is continuously looking for new and better containers and packaging. Employees recycle all possible materials, and have recycling bins inside the spa to make recycling easy for clients and staff. As they update and remodel their space, they are using FSC-certified wood as well as salvaged materials. Le Reve employees are encouraged to bike, carpool, bus or walk to work and can earn one paid vacation day per year by achieving goals set forth in the transportation program.
Silvergreens, 791 Chapala St.
“Even though completing the certification was a great milestone for us as a company and restaurant, there are always areas to improve and learn more about making economically sound choices and sustainable business practices,” operating partner Brian Rocha said. “The Green Business Program helps in being this local resource for us, and that support serves as a great asset to our team.”
Silvergreens is a locally owned restaurant with a goal “to be involved, contribute and give back to our community.” The restaurant was designed to Built Green Santa Barbara standards, and achieved its highest certification rating of three stars.
The restaurant’s tabletops are made from local, reclaimed wood from fallen trees. Much of the food-service equipment and appliances are Energy Star certified, and Silvergreens utilizes lighting systems that are energy efficient. The restaurant also has eliminated the use of Styrofoam to-go containers, uses biodegradable products and features organic coffee from local coffee roaster Green Star Coffee.
Management also developed a Commuter Benefit Package for their associates, featuring a prize raffle for those who use alternative transportation and offering pre-purchased bus passes to employees who choose to ride the bus to work.
McDonald’s, 3940 State St.
“Many small efforts can make a big impact, and we are proud of the results we have achieved through our partnership with the Green Business Program,” owner David Peterson said. “Our staff is learning at work what they can do in their personal lives to continue to make a difference, and we hope to set an example for other businesses in our community.”
Peterson and his staff have upgraded many fixtures in the restrooms, including installing waterless urinals, and have upgraded the irrigation system, thereby realizing significant monthly water savings. Energy-saving measures include installing new, energy-efficient hand dryers and an Energy Star ice machine. New recycling containers have been placed in front of and behind the counter. Used cooking oil is collected by a local company to be converted to biodiesel. Employees also now participate in a ride-sharing program that includes raffle prizes for those who don’t drive alone to work.
Click here for more information and to view a list of all certified Green Businesses.
— Frances Gilliland is program director of the Green Business Program of Santa Barbara County.
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