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In November of 2012, the Santa Barbara County Green Business Program certified the District’s office in the Casa Nueva Building as a Green Business. Certification involved a comprehensive review of District operations in several areas such as solid waste reduction, energy conservation, pollution prevention, water conservation, and employee transportation options.
The Casa Nueva building was built with green architecture and landscaping, so much of the groundwork had been laid (see this page for more information). The certification process allowed us to take a closer look at our operations and target areas that needed improvement.Some of the green practices we implemented (or continued implementing) were:
- installation of ultra-low flow aerators on all sink faucets
- installation of a rain-sensor on our irrigation system
- application of mulch to prevent erosion and runoff
- implementation of a green purchasing philosophy
- collection and proper disposal program for used batteries and electronics
- purchase of reusable mugs (made in the USA out of 100% recycled BPA-free plastic ) as an alternative to single-use water bottles at office events and meetings
- use of 100% recycled copy paper
- use of 100% recycled content toilet paper and paper towels
- monthly tracking of energy use
- a robust Transportation Demand Management program for employees that consists of monetary and vacation incentives to encourage bus-ridership and use of alternative transportation
Prior to the start of the Green Business Program as it exists today, the District was a founding member of the Santa Barbara County Green Awards Consortium that operated from 1994 through 2007. The District has supported the current Green Business Program since its inception in 2008, and District staff has actively participated in the ongoing operation of the program as participants in the program’s Steering Committee. Becoming a certified business ourselves was a rewarding and educational experience. By completing the checklist measures for our office, we gained an increased appreciation for the effort it takes for businesses to become certified. The District is now experiencing some of the benefits that other certified Green Businesses have gained from the program including the perpetuation of a culture of conservation and health and safety awareness, cost savings, and sustainable business practices.
For more information on the Green Business Program of Santa Barbara County see this page.