One of the hardest areas to “green” in a business can be the employee commute. Employees may feel strongly about the convenience of driving. They may not want to share private time outside of work with others in a carpool, or spend extra time on mass transit. To reduce emissions produced by a company, and move it towards greener commuting, incentives are an excellent strategy.
To design an incentive program, first identify the alternative transportation options that employees prefer.
Read more about Try Incentive Program to Green Employee Commute »
To protect the environment, reduce litter and to encourage the recycling and composting of food service waste, the following rules have been approved by the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors.
As of January 1, 2017: All to -go food service ware provided to customers in the unincorporated areas of Santa Cruz County must be recyclable or compostable, as certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute. This includes:
- No plastic straws (paper is acceptable)
- No plastic stir sticks (wood is fine)
- All cups (hot or cold) must be certified compostable
- All to -go cutlery must be certified compostable
- No Styrofoam
- No #6 polystyrene products (including hot cup lids)
- All to -go containers must be recyclable or certified compostable
These rules apply to restaurants, grocery stores, farmers markets, food trucks, special events and any other business or event where food is sold to go.
Read more about New Rules for Restaurants in Santa Cruz County »
California now has the nation’s first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. The restrictions apply to large food retailers, pharmacies, corner markets and liquor stores but not restaurants or department stores.
Businesses can still offer paper bags and thicker plastic bags as long as they charge at least 10 cents for each of those items — a move crafted to encourage folks to tote their own reusable sacks.
Are you in compliance with this new law?
Read more about Bag Ban: Coming to a store near you »
For all you all-star EV owners, you can receive a $500 Clean Fuel Rebate from PG&E! A rebate ‘thank you’ for contributing to a cleaner energy future by fueling your vehicle with electricity. This rebate is just one of several that provide financial incentives for owning an EV. PG&E electricity is generated by some 25% renewable energy sources making it one of the cleanest grids in the country.
Read more about Clean Fuel Rebate for Electric Vehicles »
The Shadowbrook has been a favorite and world-famous restaurant destination since 1947. And though its roots are a log cabin built some time during the early 1920’s and though much of the facility today is ‘vintage’ post-war construction the restaurant has been most progressive and modern when it comes to green business practices. In fact, Shadowbrook was the very first business in Santa Cruz County to earn the Green Business designation.
Read more about Tips from Santa Cruz County’s First Green Business »
We are happy to announce that the Counties of Santa Cruz and Monterey and the City of Watsonville have new coordinators who will be certifying green businesses. All three women can be described as community leaders – business advocates – and environmentally conscious innovators. They each share a deep commitment to growing the tri-county Monterey Bay Green Business Program and to being your new trusted guide and resource for certifying or re-certifying your business. Welcome!
Read more about Welcome new Green Business Staff! »
The Story of Stuff is an animated film created by Annie Leonard. She teaches us all of how “things” are created and the embodied energy it’s involved in creating all those “things.” The creator takes us on a ride from extraction through sale, use and disposal, and how it all affects us and our communities. The Story of Stuff is a great wake up call to help us understand the underside of production and consumption in a very easy manner of fact that it is hard not to change our habits on over consumption.
Whenever we talk to businesses about return on investment, the biggest bang for the buck is always renewable energy, usually in the form of solar panels. They pay for themselves and save significant money over their lifetime. They are also an emission free way to serve your energy needs, and a huge contribution to greenhouse gas reductions to prevent climate change.
But not everyone has real estate, or a south facing roof, or a roof at all.
Read more about Real Estate Free Renewable Energy for Business »
Are you getting the most out of your green certification?
You’ve got your Green Business recognition. Now what? Use it to your advantage! Check out this video and info sheet for tips from recognized SF Green Businesses on how they promoted their recognition to grow the business and support their company’s image.
Read more about How to Promote Your Recognition »
Like many of our Green Businesses, Scotts Valley Cycle Sport owners were motivated to become Certified because of their involvement in their community. They are currently the only certified bike shop in all of Santa Cruz County. When I asked owners Andrew and Brittany Cavaletto why they wanted to green their operations, they linked it back to their lifestyle.
“We are already in a business where we try to ride a bike as much as we can, saving gas, preventing pollution, all that.
Read more about Community Leaders and the First Green Certified Bike Shop in Santa Cruz County »