A Growing Trend: Green Businesses in San Diego

Did you know that green buildings typically reduce 24 to 50 percent of their energy use, 40 percent of their water use, and reduce solid waste production by 70 percent compared to conventional buildings?

The 2011 Green Business Challenge – the first program of its kind on the West Coast – was created to help tenants in the Port of San Diego reduce their environmental impact in the areas of energy, water, waste, air, sustainable business practices and sustainable development. Participating businesses ranged from large industrial and maritime tenants to hotels, restaurants and small businesses.

80 percent of businesses participating in the challenge increased their efficiency of heating, cooling and ventilation systems, while 41 percent implemented energy upgrades such as upgrading air compressors and salt water pumps or installing solar-powered dock signage.

While the Green Business Challenge helped many existing Port tenants improve their green practices, some businesses in San Diego are entirely built around green concepts.

Seabreeze Organic Farm is nestled on a mountainside in Carmel Valley, and supports the surrounding San Diego community with its farmers market and CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. The farm is open to the public and offers tours as well as educational classes on a variety of farm-related topics including cheese-making.

The idea behind Community Supported Agriculture dates back to Thomas Jefferson’s concept of regionalism, or the belief that a viable community must also be self-sustaining. Seabreeze Organic Farm maintains a relationship with the local community to find out how many crops to plant and when to change crops based on the needs of customers. As a result, customers who place orders with the farm can enjoy fresh, seasonal products free from chemicals or genetic modification. They get to know their farmers and also help support biodiversity, clean air and a sense of social responsibility.

Where: 3909 Arroyo Sorrento Road, San Diego, CA 92130

Visitors to Ecobaby Organics in San Diego will find everything they need to furnish a new baby’s home with 100% organic materials.With over 17 years in business, Ecobaby also guarantees the purity and quality of their organic textiles used in products available for babies, pets and general home décor.

Both the online store and San Diego showroom have a variety of organic mattresses, bedding, pillows, blankets, clothing, diapers and toys for sale – all of which are tested yearly at a third party lab. Ecobaby’s commitment to 100 percent organic materials means that they allow zero formaldehydes, toluene or phenols in their products.

Where: 9541 Ridgehaven Court, San Diego, CA 92123

Harsh chemicals are also off-limits at one of San Diego’s top cleaning services, Pure Cleaning Agency. This domestic referral agency works with experienced cleaning providers who use all natural, non-toxic cleaning products that are safe for the environment, for the providers, and for household family members and pets. Both home-owners and apartment-dwellers in San Diego can contact Pure Cleaning Agency for residential green cleaning services such as vacancy cleaning, move-in/move-out cleaning, deep cleaning, regular housekeeping and carpet cleaning. Their website also offers eco-friendly tips to clean your home with natural ingredients like vinegar and salt.

Where: 3525 30th St., San Diego, CA 92104

Over the last two years, San Diego has made a noble commitment to attract and promote green businesses. Today, residents enjoy a wide range of green product and service options that keep their communities clean and energy-efficient.

Photo credit: iStockphoto/aluxum

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