Earth Day Brings to Light Downtown’s Many Green Businesses

WAlameda celebrating Earth Day this Saturday, April 21, at Washington Park, it’s a terrific time to reflect on how the Downtown Alameda businesses do their part to protect the environment and make Alameda a greener community every day. 

When it comes to being green, Downtown Alameda has racked up some impressive numbers:

• More than 45 businesses have participated in Alameda Municipal Power’s (AMP) energy efficiency programs in the past three years. 
• More than 30 businesses have signed up for AMP’s “Alameda Green” program. This helps bring more renewable energy to Alameda.
• Nearly 75 restaurants and eateries participate in “organic” recycling of all food waste. According to Alameda County Industries, that’s more than one-third of all participating businesses on the Island.
• More than 20 retail shops sell almost exclusively reused and reclaimed items … clothing, furniture, toys, antiques, videos, books and more.
• Four downtown businesses have recently completed the new ReThink Disposable: Unpackage Alameda program and have switched more of their disposable items to re-usable items, with dozens more ready to “graduate.” 

Common green practices in the district include reducing water use with low-flow toilets and auto-off faucets; conserving energy by upgrading lighting and equipment; diverting waste from the landfill through reuse, recycling and composting; and using non-toxic or low-toxic cleaners.

Transportation is also a way that businesses help to preserve our natural resources. Of the several thousand people employed by the Park Street District businesses, it is estimated that more than one-third of all these employees use public transportation, walk, skateboard or bicycle to work — some of the businesses have 100 percent of their staff who walk or bicycle.

While many of the businesses have switched to LED lighting, Park Centre Animal Hospital has also installed a solar panel system that now produces 30 percent of their electricity usage — the CO2 offset is equivalent to taking four automobiles of the road each year. 

The Marketplace was able to reduce its building’s water usage by 400 gallons per day! This was accomplished by installing efficient low-flow sinks and toilets in its public restrooms. The Marketplace has also saved 10,000 paper towels per month with the installation of air hand dryers!

As a commitment to sustainability, 11 Downtown Alameda businesses have taken steps to become a Certified Green Business. The green practices of these business has been verified by the California Green Business Network: Alameda Cellars Wines & Liquors (2425 Encinal Ave.), Alameda Free Library (1550 Oak St.), Alameda Natural Grocery (1650 Park St.), East End (1650 Park St.), Greens & Grains (1650 Park St.), Lee Auto Supply (1525 Park St.), Litho Process (1818 Park St.), Pappo (2320 Central Ave.), Rhythmix Cultural Works (2513 Blanding Ave.), The Beanery (1650 Park St.) and West Advertising (1410 Park Ave.).

As these businesses help to build a greener, more sustainable economy, the community thrives.

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