Small Business Benefits from the Green Economy

Bakersfield – October 28, 2010

Dear Small Business Owner,

This is the eighth email in our series that highlights businesses like yours, all across California, that are cutting costs and supporting the public and private efforts to create a cleaner, more efficient, and more robust economy. The San Joaquin Valley area businesses featured below have taken practical, productive and straightforward actions to save energy, gain new customers, and boost their bottom line.

Learn about the specific things you can do as a progressive entrepreneur and small business owner to grow your company in the green economy while cutting costs at the same time. Download a brochure with five easy steps to help you profit from sustainable practices.

  • Green Economy On-line: Greenshops, a Bakersfield company that sells green products all over the world, reduces waste by reusing all of their packaging materials as many times as possible. Gift wrap and shopping bags are made from 100% recycled content and they haven’t purchased a single box since opening their doors in 2007. The owners of Greenshops purchase carbon offsets for their homes and cars as well as their business, giving them a carbon footprint of zero. Greenshops is also a member of 1% for the Planet.
  • Dry Cleaners Cleaning Up: Today Cleaners, the largest dry cleaners in Kern County, uses a non-toxic and non-hazardous cleaning process called GreenEarth Cleaning®. Today removed their natural gas water heater and instead use waste heat captured from their boilers, cutting heating costs 25 to 30 percent. They also reduced their garbage bills by using paperless billing and by establishing a hanger recycling program.
  • Cow Power: Bioenergy Solutions helps farmers and food producers turn animal waste into renewable power. BioEnergy provides this assistance in return for a share of the revenue from the sale of methane gas and carbon credits. This arrangement has resulted in a 10-year revenue stream for their clients, up to a 70 percent reduction of methane emissions (which has more than 20 times the greenhouse gas potential of carbon dioxide), and a new domestic source of renewable energy.
  • Green Agriculture: Murray Family Farms conserves water by using only drip irrigation, minimizes the use of chemical sprays, and uses only approved organic materials from bloom to harvest, allowing their fruit to be eaten "ripe" off the trees. Murray Farms’ comprehensive approach emphasizes the use of compost to improve soils and eliminate agriculture burning, utilizes methods of crop rotation and biological materials to minimize the use of commercial sprays, and provides a safe and sanitary working environment for their employees and visitors.
  • Green Golfing Greens: Southwest Greens™ of Bakersfield creates and installs synthetic putting surfaces that stay green all year without being fertilized, mowed, maintained, or even watered. Without the chemicals, energy, water, and emissions from mowing and maintenance, Southwest Greens provides an environmental and economic alternative to real grass.
  • Green Hair Salon: Hair Fusion a green salon in Bakersfield recycles hundreds of plastic spray bottles every week. Hair Fusion also installed high-efficiency lighting in each of their salons. They paid for those up-grades at the first salon; however, the improvements at the other two locations were provided at no cost from the local utility’s efficiency program.

The San Joaquin Valley has a healthy and active green economy, having experienced a 48 percent increase in green jobs from 1995 to 2008. The Bakersfield area had significant growth in jobs related to renewable energy generation, especially wind power. Green transportation job growth was robust in the San Joaquin Valley as the region became a center for alternative fuels. The Valley was also ahead of the rest of the state in the green economic sectors of water and wastewater jobs and energy efficiency employment.  (Next10, Many Shades of Green, 2009)

Thank you for being an entrepreneur in California! Your innovation, drive and commitment to excellence will continue to ensure that California is at the forefront of green economic development and job creation, putting people to work and creating a better world for future generations.

La Ronda Bowen
CA Air Resources Board

Learn more about how you can benefit from the Green Economy and other AB 32-related policies:

For questions, please contact Jerry Hart at (916) 324-5941

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