Thursday, October 18 , 2018, 1:38 am | Fair 55º


Green Initiative Thrives at Valle Verde of Santa Barbara

The retirement community has taken a series of steps to reduce its carbon footprint

Valle Verde is a nonprofit retirement community in Santa Barbara that seeks to enhance the independence, well-being and security of seniors through the provision of housing, health care and supportive services.

Situated on 60 acres on Calle De Los Amigos, the community has always, in its 43 years of existence, looked beyond the provision of services to its members and attempted to effect changes within society. Accordingly, the community — with more 350 residents and 200 staff — embarked on an ambitious path beginning in 2004 to become a model, sustainable community with an overall goal of carbon neutrality by 2021.

Valle Verde’s Green Initiative is a series of steps that benefit the environment by:

» Reducing electricity, natural gas and water consumption

» Producing 58,000 kw through photo-voltaic energy

» Using Built Green remodeling practices to upgrade senior living apartments

» Recycling more than 15,000 pounds of office paper, cardboard boxes, pallets and miscellaneous packaging materials every year

» Chipping more than 12,500 pounds of green waste per year to use as mulch

» Composting about 936 cubic yards of food scraps annually

» Using drought-tolerant native plants and climate-controlled irrigation with reclaimed water to reduce water usage

» Using reclaimed water for landscaping

» Eliminating paper waste by employing electronic medical records

Additionally, through a collaboration with its food supplier, Valle Verde purchases up to 85 percent of its produce from local farms. This win-win collaboration not only supports local growers, it also reduces transportation pollution and provides residents with fresh nutritional produce. The success of this local food program with Valle Verde prompted its food supplier to market the program nationally to its other customers.

Valle Verde’s economic benefits continue to expand by greening its campus. These are measured in utility costs that on average save it more than $210,000 per year. A sample breakdown of savings includes:

» $4,000 to $5,000-plus per month in electrical savings

» $10,000 per year for the use of solar domestic and space heating water

» $1,250 per year by using back-up flash water heaters

» $5,100 per year by replacing two aging 1,000,000 BTU boilers

» $800 to $1,000-plus per month in water costs

Every year, Valle Verde expands its Green Initiative, reduces energy use and waste, and reaps increased cost savings as various programs become more efficient.

Valle Verde has received the following awards and certification for its campuswide program:

» Certified Santa Barbara County Green Business (Administration Offices)

» CalRecycle Waste Reduction Award 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010

» International Council on Active Aging 2010 Green Award

» City of Santa Barbara Solar Energy System Recognition Award & Certificate 2007 and 2009

» AAHSA Leading-Edge Care and Services Award 2008

» Central Coast Magazine Green Award Nominee 2008

» Santa Barbara Green Award 2007

— Toby Ayars is a publicist.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties

Photo of Elizabeth Wagner
Elizabeth Wagner
"I consider myself to be an up front and honest agent and willing to talk my clients out of purchasing a property that isn’t right for them or won’t meet their needs in a year or two."

Full Profile >