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2006 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

These recipients were honored in 2006 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.

The Family School (Los Olivos)

Serving students from preschool to fifth grade, the Family School has had a commitment to environmental education for over 31 years. A variety of student projects have made significant contributions to the environment:

  1. establishment of an organic garden reusing materials e.g. ladders, headboards, and aluminum cans
  2. a group meeting area that includes a solar panel water area, hummingbird and butterfly plants, and ceramic murals made of recycled tile
  3. an outdoor classroom made of recycled roofing, barn windows, posts, chalkboard, and compost lavender beds
  4. a preschool play yard and garden with straw bale bench
  5. a small orchard with a compost biome, strawbale chair, garden shed, and outdoor patio with recycled tile pavers, log benches, and table tops
  6. an outdoor classroom with recycled tin roof, patio pavers, rebar, arbor, dragonfly and butterfly sculptures from chair parts, and earthen cob bench, wine barrel gardens, and drought tolerant plants
  7. replacement of a back lawn with drought tolerant plants and drip irrigation

Also, each 5th grade class maintains a recycling program, including a worm bin for composting. The school has an informal carpooling program organized by parents and maintains organic gardens emphasizing natural pest management. Herbal based supplies and vinegar and water are used for cleaning. The school also has a “green” building that uses solar and recycled or on site materials of strawbale, cob, and rock wall structures. In addition, the school holds annual Earth Day events and school personnel speak annually to student teachers on ways to incorporate environmental education into the classroom. The school’s patios are constructed with pavers, sand and ash from the school wood stove to provide water filtration for water runoff from the school grounds. Energy conservation includes the use of compact fluorescent bulbs and an active energy conservation awareness program. The Family School recycles everything accepted by the County waste facilities and uses reusable cups to reduce waste. The school relies on used, donated items to support the reuse of unwanted equipment and appliances.

Marian Medical Center (Santa Maria)

Marian Medical Center has implemented several new programs to earn its second Green Award. It previously won a Green Award in 1999. Many of these new programs are generated through the Partners for the Environment Committee, which meets monthly to coordinate, encourage and enhance environmentally friendly practices throughout the organization. Among the new programs are a green waste recycling program that has to date diverted over 207,960 pounds of green waste; a recycling program for plastics (such as shrink/bubble wrap, blue sterile wrap, and bags) that has diverted 15,600 pounds of plastic waste; and a paper recycling program for confidential documents. Marian Medical Center has reduced its toxic waste stream by eliminating the use of mercury thermometers. It also promotes reuse by reupholstering old furniture rather than buying new furniture and uses paper towels containing 100% recycled content. The Center has established a disposal program that diverts expired medicines from the waste water and has mandated “green” landscaping practices using a minimal amount of chemicals and fertilizers. To conserve water, it has installed sensors at all faucets and has implemented a new mopping system. To conserve energy, it has upgraded its lighting, installed motion sensors in appropriate areas, and placed “Turn off the lights” stickers at all appropriate light switches. Marian Medical Center assisted in establishing an approved tree-planting list highlighting non-allergenic trees for the Tree of Life program in Santa Maria and is promoting a non-allergenic landscaping policy. Further, the new Emergency Room annex is surrounded by non-allergenic landscaping.

The Four Seasons Resort: the Biltmore (Santa Barbara)

In 2005, Four Seasons Resort achieved ISO 14001 certification, for implementing an employee and guest education and awareness practices. To reduce paper waste, Four Seasons has created an intranet and email communication system and has contacted their vendors to request reduced packaging materials. To reduce energy consumption, Four Seasons has installed variable speed drives on pump and fan motors and replaced higher energy lighting with LED lighting, compact fluorescents and electronic ballasts fluorescents. The Resort also tracks its energy consumption weekly by posting a report on its Intranet. To reduce odors and improve air quality, Four Seasons has installed additional air filters, higher elevation intake ducts, and added ecozyme to grease traps. It has also modified its pesticide program to highlight products that are environmentally friendly. To reduce noise, Four Seasons has stopped dumping glass into the compactor and instead has the glass collected in recycling bins. To increase recycling, Four Seasons has placed recycling bins in guest corridor closets, instituted a recycling program for the pool kitchen and donated 460 pool towels to a homeless shelter for reuse, instead of discarding them. To reduce carbon dioxide, Four Seasons has replaced 2 gas powered sweepers with battery powered sweepers and mandated that vehicle engines be turned off when guests are waiting for a valet. Four Seasons offers several incentives for employees to use alternative forms of transportation: it pays half the cost of monthly MTD pass to encourage employees to ride the bus; employees who carpool with two or more coworkers receive a preferential parking space, and are eligible to win a $50.00 gas card in a quarterly raffle; employees who ride a bicycle to work 10 times a month for 3 months are eligible to receive a $50.00 gift certificate from a bicycle shop; and the Resort maintains a list of employees for employees who wish to start a carpool. The Resort uses low-flow sprayers to wash dishes and a computerized irrigation system. It also educates its employees about its environmental policy during orientation, conducts quarterly training sessions, and highlights environmental topics in its newsletters. Guests are also notified of the Resort’s environmental policy and environmental options.

Van Atta Associates, Inc. (Santa Barbara)

Van Atta Associates (VAA) is a landscape architectural firm that specializes in sustainable landscape architecture for its clients, but also conducts business with sustainability in mind. VAA resides in a “green” office building’ in Santa Barbara that incorporates water and energy conservation features, such as a noise masking water feature that utilizes rain water collected from the rooftop, permeable and planted parking surfaces, native, drought-tolerant plants, sustainably harvested wood, bamboo flooring and cabinets. The building uses natural lighting, natural ventilation and energy star appliances resulting in 50% less energy use than a conventional office space. Van Atta Associates diverts 75% of normal office waste by recycling paper, plastic, and glass and it uses notepads made of 100% recycled content. It donates its used equipment and furniture and encourages the use of alternative transportation by providing a shared company vehicle, bicycle parking, and a shower for employees. VAA employees contribute time and resources to local environmental organizations and events, such as the Parade of Green Buildings, Earth Day, the Sustainability Project, Innovative Building Review Commission, the Fossil Fuel Free Landscaping Group, Santa Barbara GE-Free, and the Cultural Landscape Foundation.

Nolan, Walmsley and Associates, Inc. (Carpinteria and Ojai)

Nolan, Walmsley and Associates (NWA), is a landscape architectural firm with offices in Carpinteria and Ojai that incorporates environmental practices in all aspects of its business. NWA recycles plastic containers, glass bottles, and aluminum; oversized prints, cardboard boxes, packing peanuts, and composts office food scraps, cardboard and shredded paper. Black plastic plant containers are reused or returned to the nurseries. It purchases office paper, file folders, folder hangers, mailing packages and stationery made from recycled content. To reduce energy use, NWA’s offices use natural lighting from its skylights and fluorescent lighting. To reduce traffic congestion and air pollution, several employees telecommute or walk to work. To reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases, each principal drives a vehicle powered entirely by bio-diesel. NWA also has a demonstration garden that includes shallow basins for ground water recharge, gray water drip irrigation, organic gardening, recycled concrete, permeable surfaces, drought tolerant plantings, and use of an alternative lawn. NWA’s landscape work incorporates organic herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers, native plants, watershed restoration and conservation design. At job sites, garden trimmings are used as mulch for weed suppression and moisture retention, cardboard and mulch are used for weed reduction, corn gluten is used as a pre-emergent, and companion planting is used for pest control and water conservation. NWA’s community membership includes: the Green Building Alliance and the Ventura County Green Building Council.

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