Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District

September 19, 2005

Alan Nakashima County of Santa Barbara, Public Works Department Resource Recovery and Waste Management Division 882-3616

2005 Green Award Winners Announced
Consortium Celebrates the Twelfth Annual Green Awards Program

Pictured (top left to lower right): Kathleen Boomer, Goleta Union School District; David Lourie, Lise Goddard, Ben Munger, Midland School (Los Olivos); Karin Perissinotto, Santa Barbara Contrators Association; Melissa Cohen, Isla Vista Food Cooperative; Gary Grenus & Chef Joel Koch, SpiritLand Bistro (Santa Barbara).

SANTA BARBARA, CA — Today, the Green Award Consortium announced winners of the 2005 Green Awards, which recognize Santa Barbara County businesses and organizations for outstanding environmental efforts. This year marks the 12th annual Green Awards program. Approximately 60 outstanding companies from throughout Santa Barbara County have been honored over the past twelve years. “A common trait of 2005 Green Award Winners is their willingness to take the initiative to institute environmental programs in new areas,” explains Kent Epperson, Consortium member and Director of SBCAG Traffic Solutions.

“This year's winners have demonstrated creativity and a strong commitment to protecting the environment," notes Alan Nakashima of the Santa Barbara County Public Works Resource Recovery and Waste Management Division. Nakashima adds, "Among their efforts, they have taken the lead in switching to cleaner fuels, purchasing and promoting fair trade products, teaching environmental stewardship and enabling contractors to build green."

The other consortium members are the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District, Community Environmental Council, and Santa Barbara County Water Agency.

The 2005 Green Award winners represent a range of businesses, organizations and schools, and their efforts to protect our environment include a wide range of activities. Honored this year with Green Awards are: Goleta Union School District; Isla Vista Food Cooperative; Midland School (Los Olivos); Santa Barbara Contractors Association Education Foundation; and SpiritLand Bistro (Santa Barbara).

The Green Award recognizes companies and organizations for voluntary activities, above and beyond their primary missions that result in cleaner air or water, less waste, less traffic, conservation of energy and natural resources, or reduced use of hazardous materials. The awards are an annual highlight of Pollution Prevention Week, celebrated nationally during the week of September 19 - 25. Winners will be honored at a special awards luncheon on Friday, September 23rd.

Meet the Winners
A description of the winners with contact numbers follows.

Goleta Union School District, Goleta

The Goleta Union School District brings green policies to innovative transportation, waste management, energy use, and landscaping programs. The District now runs its bus fleet on compressed natural gas and ultra-low sulfur diesel, a cleaner diesel fuel. The District’s voluntary installation of particulate matter traps and replacement of higher polluting school buses will reduce approximately 6 tons of the ozone precursor oxides of nitrogen and over 1,000 pounds of diesel particulate matter, a toxic air contaminant, over the lifetime of the buses. They are also implementing a creative, comprehensive recycling program throughout the school system, and have recycled more than 80 percent of waste through this program. Two schools within the District are using reclaimed water for landscape purposes, and all classrooms now use energy-efficient lighting, and energy-conserving gas heaters. The District uses integrated pest management on school grounds, and the District Board recently voted to make it the first pesticide-free school district in the county.

Isla Vista Food Cooperative, Isla Vista

Sustainability and environmental responsibility are top priorities in the day-to-day operations of the Isla Vista Food Cooperative. The Coop has established an eight-bin recycling program open to customers, incorporating composting, cardboard reuse, and recycling of other materials, and has reduced its waste stream from six cubic yards per week to one. Inside the store, cardboard boxes are re-used for customer grocery carryout, and reusable containers are available for purchase to encourage customers to buy from bulk offerings, which range from flours and grains to household and personal care products. Produce is purchased from local organic growers whenever possible. Fair trade products, promoting long term sustainability and equitable labor policies, are sold throughout the store. Administrative operations are almost entirely electronic to reduce the use of paper products. Environmentally responsible policies influence business decisions whenever appropriate.

Midland School, Los Olivos

Midland School, a college preparatory boarding school near Figueroa Mountain, values environmental stewardship in its mission statement. Students helped install off-grid and grid-tied photovoltaic (PV) systems that were featured this summer in Solar Today. In 2005-06, faculty and students will build a Compressed Earth Block faculty house, the first of its kind permitted in California. The house plans, which earned the highest commendation possible by Santa Barbara’s Innovative Building Review Program (IBRP) feature local materials, passive solar heating and cooling, solar thermal and PV panels, and rainwater catchment. Midland students track personal water use and work to decrease campus consumption. Through campus recycling programs, organic gardening, native oak restoration, and a philosophy of “needs not wants,” Midland students are active stewards of their local environment, and ethic that is shared with the local community through free community workshops.

Santa Barbara Contractors Association Education Foundation, Santa Barbara

The Santa Barbara Contractors Association Education Foundation has developed a model program for California with the Built Green Santa Barbara program. To date, no other industry-sponsored, voluntary green building program has been developed in California. Built Green Santa Barbara has over forty member companies, including contractors, builders, developers, architects, material suppliers, financial institutions, and local government agencies. The program promotes resource-efficient development, design and construction that incorporate energy and water conservation, reduction and management of construction waste, and environmentally-sensitive site planning. The program offers detailed information, materials, and a checklist rating system to help participants. The checklist serves as a guide in making hundreds of decisions that are part of the building process. The Association predicts more than 100 projects will be certified through Built Green Santa Barbara in 2005. In addition to promoting green practices to contractors, the Association itself operates on green policies. Future plans include an online plan room to reduce the use of paper, and cut down on travel needed to review plans.

Spiritland Bistro, Santa Barbara

SpiritLand Bistro creates high quality organic meals, while minimizing environmental impact. Organic ingredients, including flour, rice, chicken, dairy, produce, wine, and triple-certified coffee are used whenever possible, supporting pesticide-free farms, while producing wholesome, healthy dishes. Products that are grown within the watershed are preferred; this local purchasing promotes sustainability in our area by increasing economic support for local suppliers, reducing the use of fossil fuels, and supplying fresher ingredients to the customer. Chefs take home compostable materials for their gardens, and biodegradable “to-go” containers are used in place of styrofoam containers. The Bistro uses a swamp cooler instead of traditional air conditioning equipment, conserving energy, and water-conserving pre-rinse spray nozzles are used for dish washing. SpiritLand provides the Santa Barbara area with an environmentally sustainable alternative restaurant choice, offering vegan and vegetarian, as well as Audubon-recommended seafood, organic free range chicken, and raw-live food specialties.

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