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Tuesday, January 22 , 2019, 9:39 pm | Fair 46º


Local Businesses Go Green, See Green ... and You Can, Too

Certified local green companies provide tips for sustainable practices, large and small

In the current economically trying times, local businesses are taking active measures to save money and resources, and give themselves a competitive edge. How are they doing it all? They’re going green.

Going green has been shown to save money by decreasing costs associated with water and energy use, as well as through decreased use of supplies like paper (by printing double sided, for instance). It has also been shown that employee productivity increases in a healthier work environment. Last, but definitely not least, the companies that do go green get to brag about it to an increasingly conscientious consumer base concerned with air pollution, climate change, healthy living and resource protection.

All businesses can and should go green, and the Green Business Program of Santa Barbara County is working to show them how. The Green Business Program is a partnership of local governments, agencies, districts, nonprofit organizations, utility companies and chambers of commerce. This group works together to offer a free assistance and recognition program that helps businesses go above and beyond basic requirements of sustainable practices to set them up for success by saving them money and showing them off.

In just over a year of operation, the program has created four separate tracks to certify office/retail establishments, lodging and hotels, restaurants, and automotive service centers. With more than 80 businesses going through the process and 15 businesses already certified, the Green Business Program is well on its way to making Santa Barbara County one of the most economically and environmentally sustainable places to do business.

Businesses have saved money and reduced their consumption of natural resources by installing water- and energy-efficient appliances. They encourage their employees to use more sustainable forms of transportation with incentives like raffles and company bicycles, helping to decrease air pollution and increase individual health. Businesses have also cut costs and the waste going into our landfills by participating in locally run composting and recycling programs.

In the following four weeks, we encourage you to check back here at Green Hawk where we will talk to the experts and highlight our own local Certified Green Businesses, to offer up tips and advice on topics ranging from energy and water efficiency, to transportation and waste reduction.

Click here to find a certified business in your area, or to learn how your company can become a Certified Green Businesss, too.

— Megan Birney is a member of the steering committee of the Green Business Program of Santa Barbara County on behalf of the Community Environmental Council.

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