Recent News

  • 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. 

  • 20 Feb 2013 9:45 AM | Anonymous
    Why weatherization? 
    Hundreds of millions of dollars are leaking out of our homes as you read and it can be prevented right now! Weatherization is the most immediate answer to energy independence and a clean energy future. Anyone can do it, it is easy to do, all the tools are easily available, and you could save over $400 on average in the first year alone. The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) has to date weatherized over one million homes, but 38 million more qualify for this program.  
    Starting small with DIY projects to weatherize your home like caulking windows, weatherstripping windows and doors and blowing cheap foam insulation into drafty gaps in your home’s envelope can save you 10% right off the bat. Reduce demand on energy, fossil fuel consumption, climatic pollution and create jobs all while saving you money! 
    What could be a better incentive?

  • 11 Jan 2013 4:57 PM | Deleted user
    Please see the January 2013 version of Klein Horning's Western U.S. Green Tax Incentive outline!   This version has the latest updates of Federal and state green tax incentives including the tax incentive extensions found in the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 signed into law last week.

    KH Garciano Renewable Energy and Green Building Tax Incentive Outline (Jan 2013 - Western).PDF
  • 04 Jan 2013 2:41 PM | Deleted user

    Here is a youtube link about the "Quest" Off Grid Home from the "How It's Made" Science Channel!

    You would have to purchase the series to actually watch the portion about the project. Only the first portion of the video—which is about something else entirely— can be seen for free, but we just wanted to show that green built projects are getting some press out there!


    Learn and enjoy!

  • 04 Jan 2013 10:42 AM | Deleted user
    Green Goods Sales Position
    Location - San Luis Obispo
    Job Title - Sales Specialist

    Full time sales position open for an individual looking for a long term commitment. Job position is ideal for an energetic, ambitious, organized and persistent individual with a passion for success. Must be able to work and coordinate as a team as well as have the discipline and motivation to foster working relationships as an individual.

    If architectural and building interior design is a passion and if you desire a job that contributes to the health of our community and the environment this may be the job for you. Must have experience and education in conventional and green building, and the sustainable development industry

    You must have the drive to meet and exceed sales goals. Must be able to enjoy working in a multi-tasking, fast paced competitive sales industry. Be able to balance time selling and processing orders with time spent acquiring new sales leads. Must be able to organize and record sales data and share results weekly in management and sales meetings.

    If this seems appealing then we want to meet you and discuss becoming a member of the Green Goods Sales Team. We have a tight sales team whom cooperate with one another to successfully increase sales, improve business processes, network and promote our business through social networking, marketing and lead generation. We find each others strengths and provide a platform to execute success.

    Bachelor's Degree or equivalent work experience
    1 year minimum – 5 years maximum experience in B2B sales preferred
    1 year minimum cold call experience preferred
    Experience in the construction industry is preferred
    Experience in the health, wellness, and/or environmental building industries is preferred
    Demonstrated Career Stability

    Pursue qualified prospects via cold calling, networking and other relationship establishing introductions
    Maintain long term relationships amongst the building trade professionals and consistently promote and provide our materials and services
    Qualify inbound prospects
    Schedule and perform sales opportunities
    Manage all aspects of building and maintaining a sales pipeline
    Manage sales-cycle from initial contact to close
    Create and Submit cost/request for proposals
    Develop key value propositions and expertise in Green Goods
    Achieve/Exceed monthly sales quota
    Represent Green Goods in the community and at industry trade shows and conferences

    Strong qualifying skills for cold calling and building own prospecting list(s)
    Strong written and verbal communication skills
    Comfortable presenting and selling to both homeowners and professionals in the industry
    Effective time-management, planning and organization skills
    Ability to explain and demonstrate solutions in non-technical, business-focused language
    Strong consultative selling style
    Effective in building relationships
    Ability to work collaboratively with others
    Ability to work with minimal supervision
    Comfortable using and learning about new materials, services and technologies
    Aptitude to effectively prioritize and complete multiple task
    Capacity to work in a fast-paced, often changing environment

    About Green Goods

    Green Goods is a retail showroom and licensed contracting company that designs, provides and installs green building materials in homes and businesses in San Luis Obispo County. We have established Green Goods branded products in the door and cabinet industry and a web based sales and social presence. We regularly host educational events open free to the public that are festive and fun! We have received several awards for our commitment to the community and the environment including awards from the Air Pollution Control District, Green Building Pages, EcoHome magazine and by assemblyman Sam Blakeslee for small business of the year.

    At the Green Goods Core is the genuine and authentic drive to live and support healthy and sustainable lifestyles. We believe that we have the opportunity to support our community in building spaces that embody healthy living by providing the best materials and services in our industry. Our business practices and growth decisions are based on tripe bottom line accounting, balancing the people, planet and profits.
  • 03 Dec 2012 1:20 PM | Anonymous

    New Green Building Codes in Goleta and San Luis Obispo to be Honored

    On Friday, December 7, the Central California Coast Chapter (C4) of the U.S. Green Building Council will honor local efforts to further green building and sustainable living on the Central Coast. 

    Awardees include both residential and commercial construction projects as well as innovative programs and products that push the envelope on sustainability.  While many awardees will be revealed at the ceremony, the Cities of Goleta and San Luis Obispo have already been announced as honorees.  

    In October, Goleta approved its Green Building Program, which establishes mandatory green building requirements for certain new construction and provides incentives for voluntary measures beyond existing regulations.

    “Goleta's program represents a significant success in bringing greener buildings to the community, said Michelle Zimney, Chair of the Green Awards.  “The city's focus on listening to multiple stakeholders meant they were able to craft a code that is flexible, yet meaningful.  Builders and architects will have a variety of green rating tools available to them to help design and construct better performing buildings."

    The County of San Luis Obispo will also be receiving an award for their Green Building Ordinance taking effect in January 2013.  The legislation includes education, incentive and mandatory measures improving energy efficiency, water efficiency and addressing issues of occupant health.


    Stacey White, 2012 President of C4 had this to say, “The County of San Luis Obispo was incredibly inclusive in developing the ordinance. With public input over two years, and including 40 subject-area experts in the crafting of the legislation, the result is a simple, cost effective ordinance with a potential for significant impact on existing and new construction.”

    The Green Gala and Awards Ceremony will take place on Friday, December 7, from 5:30-7:30pm at the Brooks Institute Gallery located at 27 E. Cota St., Santa Barbara, CA.  For more information, contact Michelle Zimney at greenawards@usgbcc4.org. Website: http://www.usgbcc4.org.


    Register Now

  • 19 Nov 2012 10:42 PM | Anonymous
    Friday, Dec 7, 2012
    5:30pm - 7:30 pm

    Brooks Institute Gallery, 27 E. Cota Street, Santa Barbara


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