Green Business Week

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Amanda Garcia CalPIRG encouraged students to “mob green businesses” during Earth Week in an effort to help local businesses in IV become more energy efficient and eco-friendly. Based on the “Carrot Mob” event put on by the Environmental Affairs Board last year, Green Business Week was designed to create an economic incentive for local IV businesses such as Java Jones, Keg N Bottle, and IV Food Co-Op to go green by generating enough profits from consumers to cover substantial start-up costs. “Basically you go to a business and tell them you will generate a large number of consumers that will buy their products, and in exchange the business will use a certain amount of their profits to pay for increasing energy sufficiency,” said Sieva Kozinsky, a second-year environmental science major. Kozinsky, one of the creators of Green Business Week, also explained that the week falls under the Global Warming Solutions campaign within CalPIRG, which seeks to reduce the effects of global warming on the environment. Chris Witchy, a first year undergraduate and media representative for the Global Warming Solutions campaign, additionally stated that Green Business Week essentially allows students and local consumers to become involved in helping businesses become green. “Green Business Week is definitely a progressive step in helping small businesses go green,” said Witchy. “Any time you can give an incentive for them to re-invest and help the environment, that’s a good thing,” he said. Danielle Birresborn, a first year undergraduate student and coordinator within the Global Warming Solutions Campaign, hopes that once most local businesses in IV use these economic incentives to go green, other bigger businesses in Santa Barbara will also participate. “If this works really well, we can definitely do it again,” said Birresborn. “It’s a great way to help small businesses in the long run,” she said. Although a lot of small business owners are apprehensive of the initial start-up costs for going green, in the long run the small businesses end up saving money by using their profits generated during Green Business Week to invest in cleaner energy efficiency for their business. “Through Green Business Week, businesses are able to help the environment and essentially save money while making money,” said Kozinsky.

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