The arrival of spring brings a host of welcome signs – warmer weather, blossoms, baseball, and the celebration of Earth Day. The Soquel Creek Water District (District) would like to take this opportunity to recognize our customers and local community members who take the meaning of this event to heart and practice good environmental stewardship every day. We would also like to share some of the District's actions to protect and enhance the natural environment.
Earth Day, which takes place this year on Saturday, April 22, is an annual celebration that marks the environmental movement's successes and raises awareness of the need to protect the Earth’s natural resources for future generations. We live in a community that is committed to protecting the environment, and as your water provider, we share that commitment.
One way we have demonstrated a commitment to the environment is through its participation in the Monterey Bay Area Green Business Program, a regional effort to encourage businesses and public agencies to adopt best business practices that meet or exceed environmental standards. The District received its first certification as a Green Business in 2017 and recertified in 2022.
Environmental stewardship is one of the District’s core values, and our staff and leadership are not only doing what is right for the environment but also setting a good example for the community. We continue to focus on reducing the impact of our operations on the environment, and we urge others to do the same.
The Green Business Program recognizes businesses and government agencies whose operations strive to reduce environmental impacts and hazards to employees and the community, including conserving water and energy, preventing pollution, and reducing solid waste production. To achieve the Green Business Certificate, the District first participated in a green business audit and was found to generally operate in a way that met many of the Green Business requirements.
To achieve all of the requirements, a staff-led “Green Team” was created to implement a variety of actions to reduce the District’s environmental footprint and meet the Green Business standards. That effort led to several eco-friendly practices, such as a green purchasing policy; encouraging staff to operate in a more environmentally responsible manner; starting a non-chemical pest prevention practice; and reducing the use of paper and single-use kitchen products.
Last March, the District underwent an inspection from the Monterey Bay Area Green Business Certificate Program and was recertified as a Green Business. As part of the process, the District has:
- Updated its Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Guidelines
- Developed a new Environmental Best Practices Document
- Posted new signage for recycling/composting and proper thermostat settings
- Met with Central Coast Community Energy (3CE), GreenWaste, and a solar power consultant
- Investigated new eco-friendly products to replace our current supplies
- Insulated the hot water pipes in Operations & Maintenance
As part of the re-certification process, the District committed to the following:
- Reducing the use of single-use cleaning products (like hand wipes)
- Increase the recycled content of our paper products where appropriate
- Eliminate cleaning and janitorial products which are not aligned with Green Seal/ EcoLogo certifications
- Educate staff about our Environmental Best Practices
More information about the Green Business Program is available at: https://greenbusinessca.org/santacruzcounty
We know that many community members are committed to limiting their impact on the environment by reducing consumption, reusing materials where possible, and recycling what can be recycled. Our water customers already do an amazing job of using water efficiently, and we will continue to encourage more of our customers to save money by saving water. An easy way to keep track of your water usage (and detect costly leaks) is by signing up for WaterSmart. It’s free, easy, and lets you track your hourly, daily, and monthly water usage.
Through the WaterSmart portal, you can also pay your bill; diagnose a high bill; get automated leak alerts; set alerts for unusual usage; and get personalized recommendations for reducing your water use. Visit the WaterSmart Portal to learn how to sign up: www.soquelcreekwater.org/watersmart
We wish everyone a happy Earth Day. We applaud our community's daily actions to protect our Earth and its precious resources. As your community water provider, the Soquel Creek Water District is committed to the wise and efficient use of our resources and being good environmental stewards.