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Home > 2007 Green Awards

2007 Green Award Winners

The Green Award Program honored local schools, businesses and nonprofit organizations from 1994 until 2007.

This program has been replaced with a more comprehensive Green Business Program

2007 Green Award Recipients

These recipients were honored in 2007 for taking actions above and beyond their basic missions to protect, preserve, and improve the environment in such areas as solid waste reduction and recycling, water conservation, energy conservation, hazardous waste reduction and recycling, and prevention and reduction of pollution of the air, water, and soil. Take a look at our Green Awards Archives for more information about the retired program.

B & H Flowers, Incorporated (Carpinteria)

B & H Flowers, Incorporated, located in Carpinteria, is a VeriFlora Certified Sustainably Grown greenhouse, one of the few greenhouses in Santa Barbara County so certified. VeriFlora is a sustainability certification program for growers of cut flowers and potted plants, a program that guarantees that flowers and potted plants have been produced in an environmentally and socially responsible manner and meet the highest standards for freshness and quality. The VeriFlora program encompasses criteria in the areas of environmental sustainability (sustainable crop production, resource conservation and energy efficiency, ecosystem protection, and integrated waste management), social and economic sustainability (fair labor practices, community benefits), and product integrity (product quality and safety). This certification highlights the company’s commitment to their community and the environment.

Ten years ago, the firm made the decision to cut pesticide use through the extensive use of beneficial insects. On the rare occasion when a need to use a pesticide arises, B & H Flowers uses the least toxic alternative. B & H is also now moving toward the use of certified organic fertilizers. B&H collects all of its rainwater and irrigation water in a holding/percolating pond and recycles the water through a completely self-contained system, resulting in no runoff. They conserve water by watering precisely based on daily inspection of their plants and water valves so they never over-water or under-water. Also, all new high-efficiency water pumps have been installed.

The firm recycles everything possible including pallets, construction and demolition debris, piping, and electronics and uses its green waste as mulch. It reduces its paper waste by ordering supplies by e-mail or telephone, using the back sides of printed sheets and outdated letterhead, stopping junk mail, using e-mail whenever possible, and making double sided copies. Other waste reduction efforts include buying products with the least packaging, purchasing reusable rather than disposable office items, buying products that are concentrated, durable, repairable, and reusable, and asking vendors to take back packaging to be reused or recycled.

Chumash Casino and Resort (Santa Ynez)

The Chumash Casino and Resort, located in Santa Ynez, is an environmental leader among California casinos and other businesses. In the past several months, the Casino has reduced its waste stream by about 9,000 pounds of waste per month. This reduction is the result of the Accounting and Human Resources Departments going to paperless records, as well as a reuse program for furniture and wardrobe items that are now donated to a local thrift store rather than thrown away. The Casino has doubled the percentage of waste that it recycles in the last year by recycling everything it can, including carpet, pallets, green waste, and food scraps. Wastewater is treated and reused on-site in toilets and for outdoor irrigation, resulting in significant water savings. The landscaping is almost entirely native species and requires watering only four times per year. To protect against stormwater runoff, staff members patrol the on-site creek daily for litter, and all parking structure runoff is gathered and treated. Only three, non-toxic cleaning products are used throughout the facility, two of which are Green-Seal certified. A large percentage of the fresh produce used in facility restaurants is locally grown, and all dishware and utensils are ceramic and glass to reduce waste. To reduce traffic, approximately 1,300 of 1,645 employees from Santa Maria, Lompoc, and Buellton are required to take the free Chumash shuttle bus to work, and customers are offered free access to busses as well. Through this shuttle bus system, more than 400,000 customer and employee rides were provided during the first half of 2007, thereby avoiding over 20 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. The Casino has greatly increased its energy efficiency by retrofitting its HVAC system with economizers, which slow motors in the air units when not in use, shut off sections of the facility not needing cooling, allow outside air into the facility as needed, and automatically adjust for highest efficiency. Because compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) did not fit into the original light fixtures in the facility, the Casino has replaced the majority of the light fixtures in the hotel to accommodate the CFLs. All of these improvements have put the Casino only five points away from the prestigious LEED certification for existing buildings. The Chumash Casino continues to make improvements and hopes to be the first LEED-certified casino in California.

Clos Pepe Vineyards (Lompoc)

Clos Pepe Vineyards, located in the Santa Rita Hills of Lompoc Valley, is a leader in sustainable farming. As a member of the Central Coast Vineyard Team, it has achieved a score of over 90 percent on the sustainability index each year. It does not use any pesticides, insecticides, or herbicides and uses miniature Southdown Babydoll sheep for weed control in its vineyards. Boxes and perches are provided for use by owls and raptors for rodent control and beneficial insects are released. Rescued greyhounds and a Border Collie are used to protect sheep from coyotes. It practices “cover cropping” by planting legumes and clover, a technique designed to preserve or improve soil structure and nutrient content, eliminate erosion, reduce dust, and provide habitat for beneficial insects. Paper waste is minimized since the firm uses e-mail to communicate with its clientele and suppliers and its website to market and advertise the availability of its wines. It buys products in returnable, reusable, or recyclable packaging whenever possible and uses place settings for events at the winery. In addition to recycling all types of paper, hard plastics, cardboard, cans, and glass containers, the firm uses mulch in its vineyards, donates used electronics to its workers for reuse, and makes picket fences from its wine barrels and pallets. The firm uses a drip irrigation system and does not have any runoff. Its computer and office equipment, as well as its refrigerator, are Energy Star rated. Most notably, Clos Pepe provides full medical and dental coverage for its three employees and their families.

University of California, Santa Barbara, Design & Facilities Department (Santa Barbara)

The University of California, Santa Barbara, Design and Facilities Department (UCSB) is responsible for designing, building, and maintaining all classrooms and non-residential buildings on campus. It has assumed a prominent role in the University’s efforts to address climate change by ensuring that new and renovated buildings achieve the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification. In addition to greening new construction, UCSB is one of just three universities in the United States to commit to having 25 buildings achieve LEED Existing Building certification over the next five years to promote green operations across campus. It tries to minimize its environmental impact by purchasing Green Seal certified cleaning products when available, unbleached and/or chlorine free paper products, low emission building materials, carpeting, and furniture and reducing or eliminating the use of solvents. As an example of the University’s commitment to using “green” products, it convinced a manufacturer to make a “green” product for polishing tile floors to foster a clean appearance and now offers it to other firms. To conserve energy, UCSB has undertaken a number of efficiency retrofits like installing modern T8 fluorescent lighting, motion sensors and high-efficiency heating ventilation and air conditioning. New buildings are designed to beat California’s energy code by at least 20%. It plants drought tolerant landscaping, pest resistant plants, and uses less toxic pesticides whenever possible. To reduce air emissions, UCSB: allows its employees to telecommute and work on alternative work schedules; offers incentives for commuters who do not drive, such as preferential parking, discounted bus passes, discounted FlexCar vehicle use, and affordable vanpools; and provides a shuttle service, shower facilities for those who walk or bike, and bicycle parking. On an average day, one third of the faculty and staff and two thirds of students do not drive alone to work. UCSB recycles everything possible, including construction and demolition debris, carpeting, and green waste and purchases several products containing recycled content. To conserve water, it uses waterless urinals, is gradually installing dual flush low flow toilets, and has water efficient faucets and showerheads. It will continue to expand water efficient practices to all future LEED buildings. Also, the campus uses mulch for non-turf areas, reclaimed water for most areas, drip irrigation systems, and drought tolerant landscaping.

Valle Verde Retirement Community (Santa Barbara)

Valle Verde, a retirement community in Santa Barbara with over 300 seniors, has invested heavily in renewable energy for its campus that includes senior cottages, a Health Center, a memory support center, and Assisted Living. It has installed photovoltaic panels that generate 36,000 kilowatts of energy. A solar water heating system is used to heat the swimming pool, and individual solar water heating units are installed on all new or remodeled units to provide hot water for the residents. To conserve energy, Valle Verde has purchased energy efficient office equipment, ceiling fans for cooling, natural and task lighting, and has installed energy efficient windows. To conserve water, water efficient faucets and showerheads have been installed, reclaimed water is used for the drip irrigation system, and drought tolerant plants and mulch are used for the landscaping. In addition, an updated irrigation system controls campus watering based on weather conditions and climates for specific zones on the 66-acre property. There is a comprehensive program for the recycling of paper, cardboard, paperboard, glass containers, plastics, pallets, toner cartridges, electronics, paints, solvents, cleaners, batteries, fluorescent lights, and vehicular fluids. Valle Verde also recycles construction and demolition debris for the approximately 20 apartments that are renovated each year. In addition, in its Health Center, Valle Verde has switched to electronic medical records to reduce paper and ink waste. For each renovated unit, fluorescent lighting, insulated non-lever windows, tankless water heaters, and low VOC paint are used. Electric carts are used by employees throughout the campus, and a shuttle bus service is offered to residents and employees for trips downtown. Monthly cash incentives are also offered to employees that use alternative transportation and part time telecommuting is also available to administrative staff members.