Recent News

  • 28 May 2013 9:41 AM | Deleted user

    Electric Vehicle Charging Partnership Signals a Continued Commitment by lynda.com Toward Sustainability

    May 6, 2013 – CARPINTERIA, Calif – lynda.com, an online learning company, announced today that it has become a Partner in the Department of Energy’s Workplace Charging Challenge, which aims to increase the number of American employers offering workplace charging for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) by tenfold in the next five years. The goal of the project is to encourage sustainability efforts among businesses, and to fill a gap in America’s PEV charging infrastructure, increasing consumer exposure and access to PEV charging opportunities.

    “lynda.com is committed to improving its sustainability and setting an example in the community,” said Jacqueline Burge, senior director of facilities at lynda.com. “As a producer of online training videos, our greatest opportunity to reduce our environmental impact is in the daily activities of our employees. We are pleased to provide electric vehicle charging as an additional benefit to them.”

    lynda.com has joined several major companies in the Workplace Charging Challenge. Current Partners include 3M, Bloomberg LP, Chrysler Group, the City of Sacramento, The Coca-Cola Company, Dell, Eli Lilly and Company, Facebook, Ford, GE, GM, Google, The Hertz Corporation, Nissan, NRG Energy, OSRAM SYLVANIA, Raytheon Company, San Diego Gas & Electric, Siemens, Southern California Edison, Tesla and Verizon.

    The Workplace Charging Challenge asks its Partners to commit to assessing employee demand for PEV charging at the workplace, and developing and executing a plan to provide PEV charging access for employees. lynda.com has already completed its installation of a Juice Bar electric vehicle charging station. It has also produced a promotional video in which employees talk about the benefits of commuting to work in a PEV and knowing the car will be charged before their commute home.

    The installation of its charging station is the latest initiative in the lynda.com transportation program, which provides incentives for employees to carpool, use public transportation and ride bicycles to work. The company has also taken steps to reduce energy and water usage, and reduce solid waste by composting food scraps and donating electronics. It earned Green Business certification from the Green Business Program (GBP) of Santa Barbara County in July 2012, and received the U.S. Green Building Council’s Green Office Award for the Central Coast Chapter (Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties) in December 2012.

  • 23 May 2013 10:34 AM | Anonymous

     Habitat Logo

    Registration is now open to volunteer at the Canon Perdido Affordable Homes construction site. If you are interested in helping build a Habitat home please log into your Volunteer Up account and sign up for a shift.

    Habitat for Humanity is building 12 new affordable townhouses at 822 & 824 East Canon Perdido Street. The build is scheduled to take 12 months so there are plenty of opportunities to join in. All information regarding the build and volunteer requirements can be found on your Volunteer Up account. If you have a problem logging in please contact volunteer@sbhabitat.org.

    Please remember that we cannot allow anyone under the age of 16 to volunteer at the construction site. All volunteers must sign up online at least 24 hours before arriving for their shift so that we can plan the workday accordingly.  

    Can you help? Sign up online or email volunteer@sbhabitat.org if you have questions. 

    Wall Raising

    Habitat for Humanity of Southern Santa Barbara County

    volunteer@sbhabitat.org / 805-692-2226 

    Interested in learning more about Habitat for Humanity?


    Get Involved - Learn about the many ways you can get involved with Habitat in Santa Barbara. Advocate, Volunteer, Donate.


    Habitat Programs- Learn more about Habitat's programs that create and preserve homeownership in Santa Barbara County.  


    Donate -Your gift ensures our ability to help low income families in Santa Barbara.  


    Stay Updated - Like us on Facebook to learn more about our programs, projects, the families we partner with, and the testimonials of volunteers who make a difference each day.   


    The ReStore has moved to 6860 Cortona Drive in Goleta.


  • 21 May 2013 8:57 AM | Bianca Koenig (Administrator)

    This month's SLO Monthly Lecture Series took on a new format for May, allowing multiple, local professionals to present a 5-minute pitch for their green expertise. But don't be fooled, this was not only a great marketing opportunity but also earned high points for education, as each presenter demonstrated expert knowledge in each of their fields. The depth of information and relevance to our local community and built environment was so impressive, that we had to put together a brief summary for you!

    Heather Gray, of Gray Electrical Consulting + Engineering, LLC (GECE) kicked-off the presentations to share the company approach and core values for her newly founded electrical engineering firm in Santa Maria. This woman-owned small business was recently selected as one of Santa Barbara's top three emerging businesses by the Santa Barbara Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation and the reasons are clear. When it comes to green design, GECE reminds us that quality does not have to be sacrificed for energy efficiency. In addition to her practice and volunteering for C4, Heather also participates with National Women in Construction (NWIC) to support and inspire current and future generations of women professionals in the building industry.

    Aeron Arlin Genet from the Air Pollution Control District of San Luis Obispo County (APCD) brought the group up to speed on the progress towards meeting climate protection plan goals for the City of San Luis Obispo and other cities within the County. With secured mitigation funds, APCD can now provide grants to help cities prepare for the voluntary Assembly Bill 32. While regulations related to climate change and climate protection have been subject to a hostile political and local environment, the City of Atascadero and Paso Robles, among others have agreed to move forward with a plan. This forward-thinking demonstrates the understanding of the built environment and new construction as a major component, for addressing the conservation of energy resources, and limiting pollution and health impacts in our communities.

    Alma Wagner, Project Construction Manager of Arcadis is educating folks about sustainability issues both internally with Arcadis and on multiple local projects, including the County Women's Jail and California Men's Colony which is currently pursuing a LEED Gold Certification. At Arcadis, they are driven towards sustainable practices through design and operations to benefit both the environment and client health.

    C4 was delighted to have our intern Devin Graham also present. When Devin isn't updating the C4 website, or pursuing his architectural degree at Cal Poly, he can be found in the new office of InBalance Green Consulting. Their recent project highlights include Shale Oak Winery and San Luis Obispo's new location for the Chamber of Commerce- which really stepped up their presence downtown. And in case you were wondering what that super modern structure is across from the San Luis Obispo Airport, that's the headquarters for Rosetta which is currently pursuing LEED Certification.

    Ann Sever, Senior Landscape Architect from Wallace Group shared the multi-disciplinary team's specialized focus on water. Wallace Group's Water Resources department has worked on over 100 local wineries where many of them implement water recycling of their treated process water. The Wallace Group team is also experienced in SWPPP requirements and the upcoming post-construction regulations currently in development with the Regional Water Quality Control Board.  When it comes to water conservation, Ann can address plants and irrigation efficiency in the design phase or as a Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor. Whether as individual experts or part of a collaborative, Wallace Group understands the importance of addressing water in ways that are environmentally sound and implementable.

    Cheryl Cochran, Land Use Technician with the Energy Division of County of San Luis Obispo Planning & Building shared a sneak preview of the upcoming Energy Awareness Month and The Energy Event. This year's event will focus on families and kids, featuring hands-on activities, an energy magic show and the Energize SLO Cross Country Run. More features and prizes are still being added for everyone, of all ages. The October 5th event will be held at Cuesta College. Visit our calendar page for more details.

    Speaking of events, the happiest event of the year is coming up on May 28th, 5pm - 7pm, at the SLO Museum of Art. Rebecca McKay shared the details on the third annual Bike Happy - a free happy hour for bicycle enthusiasts! Find out more or sign up to volunteer at www.facebook.com/bikehappyslo

    If we missed you at last Friday's monthly lecture series, be sure to catch us next month when we focus on residential and commercial renewable energy. Join us every third Friday of the month for a great mix of local professionals at the forefront of sustainability and green design.
  • 26 Mar 2013 11:20 AM | Anonymous

    We're celebrating the month leading up to Earth Day 2013 with a special offer on our 2010-2011 Green Awards book - Now only $25!

    Showcasing some of the Central Coast's most inspiring green projects and innovations, it is a great addition to your coffee table or waiting room library.

    Visit usgbcc4.org/books to take a look at the inside.  You can purchase your copy online via PayPal or contact us at info@usgbcc4.org to arrange alternative payment.

    Don't miss out on this exceptional price for a remarkable book. 

  • 20 Mar 2013 9:45 AM | Anonymous

    Comprised of outstanding young leaders from across the country, the Emerging Professionals National Committee (EPNC) creates enriching programs and initiatives for exiting EPs, and develops and implements strategies for recruiting new ones. Applications will be accepted through April 8Full description →

  • 20 Mar 2013 9:44 AM | Anonymous

    The Center for Green Schools is currently accepting applications for the 2013 Green Schools Fellowship, due March 29. The 2013 Green Schools Fellow will be hosted by the New Jersey School Board Association and will begin work on June 25. More informationundefinedincluding the job description, FAQ, timeline and all application materialsundefinedcan be found on the Green Schools Fellowship information page. Please contact Anisa Baldwin Metzger (at anisa@usgbc.org) with any questions or requests for additional information.

  • 20 Mar 2013 9:42 AM | Anonymous

    We want to thank you for your contribution to the development of LEED v4. With the ballot only four months away, we are taking every moment to make sure the rating systems are fully usable and the program has been thoroughly tested.

    The last step in the development process is one final public comment period, open March 1 – March 31, 2013. This comment period will focus on refinement (both in the credit language and in calculations) and provides the public with one last chance to give feedback on the system before the member vote in June.

    Visit usgbc.org/leedv4 during March to view the changes and participate in the comment period.

    Remember, your membership needs to be current by March 1, 2013 in order to vote during the ballot period. Not sure if your membership is current? View your membership status

  • 18 Mar 2013 10:24 AM | Deleted user
    An interdisciplinary team of UC Santa Barbara undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students has taken a top prize at the 2013 Better Building Case Competition, an annual U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) contest meant to engage college students in the hunt for creative energy efficiency solutions.

    Held in Washington, D.C., at the White House, the competition is part of President Obama’s Better Buildings Initiative, which is striving for a 20 percent reduction, by 2020, in commercial and industrial energy use. The endeavor also hopes to serve as a tipping point for revolutionary change in energy use across U.S. buildings.
    For the full article click the following link:

  • 06 Mar 2013 10:01 AM | Anonymous

    Due Date: March 8th, 2013 at 6:00pm
    Conference Dates: June 23rd-27th, 2013

    ·       Speaking Proposals

    ·       Poster Proposals

    ·       Best Practice Award Nominations

    The California Higher Education Sustainability Conference (CHESC), hosted by UC Santa Barbara, invites students, faculty, and key stakeholders from campuses throughout California to submit a proposal to speak, present a poster, or receive a Best Practice Award.   We are excited to hear from Private and Independent Colleges, CCC, CSU, and UC campuses.

    CHESC provides an opportunity for a wide variety of stakeholders working on campus sustainability to share their successes and to learn from others from around the state.

    This year sessions will be designed around pairings of the following topics, more information available at the Call for Proposals Homepage:

    a. Climate Action Planning
    b. Curriculum
    c. Energy
    d. Food Systems
    e. Green Building New Construction
    f. Green Building Operations and Maintenance
    g. Healthcare
    h. Institutionalizing Sustainability
    i. Local (Regional Case Studies)
    j. Procurement and Business Services
    k. Research
    l. Social Equity
    m. Student Affairs and Auxiliaries
    n. Transportation
    o. Waste Reduction and Recycling
    p. Water and Landscape

    For example, a pairing could be transportation and waste and focus on using waste oil for biodiesel.

    The University of California, Santa Barbara will be hosting this year's event.  UCSB is committed to global leadership in sustainability through education, research, and action.  UCSB received a Gold rating under the international Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) protocol for which the campus are also a charter participant.  UCSB is also a signatory of the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment and the Talloires Declaration.  There will be many opportunities to tour green buildings, campus and community gardens, green certified campus dining commons and restaurants, biomimcry research laboratories, and more. For more information about UCSB's Sustainability Program, please visit: http://www.sustainability.ucsb.edu/

    Pre-conference workshops will be held on Sunday, June 23rd.  Core conference sessions, the exhibit show, and the Awards Dinner will be on Monday, June 24th and Tuesday, June 25th.  Post conference workshops will be held on June 26th and June 27th.

    Please contact us if you have any questions regarding the event or check out our online media at:
    Website: http://cahigheredusustainability.org/
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/CHESC%20%20
  • 06 Mar 2013 9:56 AM | Anonymous

    Worm, or Vermi, composting is a process that allows any individual or family to turn kitchen waste into amazing soil amendment for plants in a garden or container.  Follow these five easy steps and you’ll be worm composting for real!

    View the full article on LoaTree here.

    by   |  on January 9th, 2013

    STEP 1.  Determine the type of worm bin you want to use.

    Figuring bin size and or quantity of bins is important because a good system is a system that effectively deals with all of the kitchen waste you produce.  Your bin should be big enough to handle the kitchen green waste (napkins, egg shells, coffee grounds/filters etc) you produce on a daily basis.  If you are producing more than say a gallon container of green waste daily you may need a larger or multiple bins.  Bin overload puts more stuff in your bin faster than the worms can break it down.  You will soon be out of space to put more kitchen scraps.  The bin can also go ‘anaerobic’ (no air inside the green waste) and smell like rotten eggs.

    Where you keep your bin is important.  The closer you place your bin to where you are creating the waste the easier and more certain it will be that you will use your compost bin regularly. I like a close-at-hand location like outside the kitchen door.  Worms will die out when they run out of food and/or their environment is too wet or too dry.  You need to use your bin regularly to see that those basic requirements are maintained.


    32-gallon tupperware. ‘The Classic.’

    Additionally, there are a few different types of worm composting systems available for home use.  Use a system you can get buy into.  Your enthusiasm will greatly aid success.  The 32 gal Tupperware container pictured with this article is one I recommend for a family or individual that produces a gallon of green waste or less daily.  It is a simple, cheap, light weight option.

    STEP 2. Make sure your worm bin has these two key features.

    -Holes high up on the sides of the bin small enough to keep critters out but also allow air to pass in.  Having holes down low can allow liquid (tea) accumulated in the composting process to run out and create a mess.  Especially no bueno if its near your kitchen door.

    -A tight fitting lid will help keep your bin free of bothersome flies or other visitors like rodents or raccoons.

    STEP 3. Provide bedding of some type for your worm bin.

    Newspaper strip bedding

    Newspaper strip bedding

    Peat moss, shredded newspaper or dried leaves are materials most often used for bedding.  It provides worms with an interface between the kitchen waste, the worm castings they produce and the worms themselves.  I use newspaper strips because newspaper is an easy to get material.  Rip newspaper sections lengthwise to make long narrow strips as the pulp fiber of the newspaper sheets run that way. You’ll get random pieces if you try to rip the paper sideways. Oh, and don’t worry about lead in the print – it’s all soy based ink now – but avoid using the glossy sections.  Make sure to moisten the bedding sufficiently (like a fully charged sponge) but not enough to leave standing water at the bottom of the bin before you put the worms in. Place newspaper on bottom of bin when ready.

    STEP 4. Place worms and their food together in your newly set up bin.

    Once the bedding is in place, spread the worms out in an area on top of it.  You can start with a small amount of healthy worm culture (worm babies, adults, cocoons with some organic matter in various states of decomposition), say a handful, and nurture the colony along slowly.  You can also put in a good amount of worms, a 2-gallon bucket full, for faster action.  Place kitchen waste next to the worms so they have something ready to eat soon. Place a healthy amount of newspaper strips over the worms and food.

    STEP 5. Harvest Worm Castings when bin is full.

    Typical food waste/green waste

    Typical food waste/green waste

    When the green waste that you’ve been putting into the bin looks mostly like black rich soil it’s done!  It usually takes about two to three months to end up with a bin full of worm castings.  Worm castings, finished worm compost, can be taken out of the bin to use for your garden or container soil environments. Worms can be separated out by dumping the bin onto a tarp.  Worms are light sensitive and will move into the pile and away from light. Pull away the outer edges.  If you get a few worms mixed in just include them in the soil mix.  Make sure to return about one fourth the amount of worm culture back to the bin with fresh bedding and food to keep the process going.

    Worms and their final product

    Worms and their final product

    If you’d like to learn more about worms and worm composting, my wife Tahara and I will be giving a worm composting workshop in Santa Barbara, Ca. on February 2nd at Art From Scrap. You can get worms and worm composting systems at the workshop.  You can also get them from me at the Saturday or SundaySanta Barbara Farmers’ Market.  For more information about me, Healing Grounds Nursery or home food production, go to my websitewww.healinggroundsnursery.com.


    -Oscar Carmona

    Healing Grounds Nursery.

    Oscar Carmona, owner and operator of Healing Grounds Nursery, has spent the last 25 years helping connect people, plants, and the planet. He has taught sustainable landscape courses, gardening classes and home consultation for better living throughout California. 


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