San Diego's Green Building Program 

Here at Green Office Projects, we just caught wind of San Diego's Green Building Program, which is a concerted effort on the part of San Diego county to make new office and residential buildings as eco-friendly as possible. The program's goal is to build more sustainable structures within the community, and promises a number of great building incentives for those who comply with the program's standards.

County officials hope that this program will encourage the use of renewable energy sources in new construction projects. The new green buildings are expected to be sleek and efficient, in the style of the Ballard Library of Seattle pictured above. They will incorporate innovative green technologies in order to improve the health, comfort, and safety of the individuals working inside them.

According to the San Diego county website, The Building Program offers the following advantages to participants:

* Lower electric and water utility costs
* Environmentally effective use of building materials
* Enhanced health and productivity
* Long-term economic returns
* Reduced environmental impact

These benefits, along with tax breaks and quick building turnaround times, will hopefully draw more participants to the project. It has recently partnered with the Rebuild A Greener San Diego program in an effort to reach people effected by natural disasters and wildfires. If you're interested in learning more about what this exciting program means for local residents and businesses in the San Diego area, check out the county's Build Green brochure.

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The San Diego Natural Guide 

Those interested in San Diego's collection of green businesses should check out The San Diego Natural Guide, which is a book containing information on eco-friendly products and services in the area. The guide includes a list of companies that currently use green technology and supplies in an effort to reduce waste and consumption. According to the website, each bi-yearly publication includes the following:

*An A to Z listing of businesses, non-profits, and community services. The types of businesses you will find include: natural food stores, holistic health practitioners, green restaurants, natural pest control, environmentally friendly dry cleaning, organic baby products, green building materials and much more.

*Interesting & Useful Articles

*Calendar of Events

*Farmer's Markets Guide

*Recycling Guide

*Featured Local Hike

*Tips, Quotes, and Recipes

*A Glossary of Natural Health and Eco-terms

And, of course, each book is printed on recycled paper using soy ink. An annual subscription is just $10, or you can also find the book at one of these convenient locations.

A Go Green Book is also in the works, which will include special savings on green dining and entertainment in San Diego. All proceeds from the purchase of the book will go to benefit schools and non-profit organizations in the area.

We think this is a great way for eco-friendly businesses in the San Diego area to get together and promote their services. The makers of the Natural Guide aspire to initiate social and environmental change on a widespread basis. Hopefully it will lead to a greener environment for all.

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Planet Green on Greening Your Office 

Planet Green, a website run by The Discovery Channel, has just released an article called "Going Green at Work." It contains several tips for helping to make your office more eco-friendly, and they are all things that don't require a lot of extra time or money. Here are some of our favorite ideas:

1) Work Digitally

Whenever possible, do your work on the computer rather than on paper. This includes tasks like sending e-mails, typing notes in a Word document, and filling out paperwork using electronic forms.

2) Stay at Home Whenever Possible

Many employers are open to the idea of you completing some work from home - all you have to do is ask. Work such as phone calls, e-mails, and reports can often be done from your home computer, which reduces the amount of pollution released in the air as a result of commuting.

3) Stock up on Green Supplies
Purchase office items that are made from recycled or Earth-friendly elements. These include eco-friendly workstations, recycled pencils, and rechargeable batteries.

4) Bring Your Lunch from Home

Prepare a homemade lunch with organic food, and then bring it to work using reusable containers. Use a lunch box or cooler that you can continue using day after day. This will eliminate the unnecessary packaging that comes with restaurant and vending machine foods.

5) Power Down Your Electronics
A lot of office work involves electronic items, such as computers, lamps, and printers. Turn off this equipment whenever it’s not in use in order to avoid wasting energy.

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Go Back to School With Green Office Supplies 
Whether you’re returning to school for a higher degree or just sending the kids off to kindergarten, the green office industry has plenty of back to school items to help you out. Just check out these great products:

Pictured above are two energy-saving computer supplies that can help you save on your electricity bills. The green computer eco button allows you to save energy by easily powering your computer down each time you take a break. And the USBCELL rechargable batteries allow you to purchase only one set of batteries to take care of your laptop needs for the next year. This means you can go to class without worrying about picking up an extra set of disposable batteries along the way.

The executive armchair pictured above is from Green Office Projects, and features perforated leather upholstery panels. These panels, placed in the seat and back, allow air normally trapped in the cushions to escape. This eco-friendly design makes you feel as if you’re floating on a cloud while you’re working on your next assignment.

Send your kids to school with these pencils from The Green Office, and rest assured knowing that they’re helping to contribute to the green movement. The pencil casing is made from recycled newspaper and 60% consumer waste. These writing tools are certified non-toxic, ensuring that your child will be safe in case of accidental chewing. All in all, a great way to start out the new school year!

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Green Projects Benefitting Wildlife Biologists 

What’s the hottest job on the market today? Wildlife biology, if you can believe it. This is due to the fact that the recent onslaught of green projects necessitates a whole slew of new ground surveyors. You see, whenever a company wants to build a big solar grid right on top of a field somewhere, a team of wildlife biologists must first be brought in to approve the area for construction.

Most solar energy plants are being built in wide open areas in the Southwest, where endangered species are unfortunately likely to thrive. Environmental law mandates that the habitats of endangered species cannot be harmed or disrupted by the construction of building projects, so animals such as the kit fox and desert tortoise may be in trouble if companies just start plopping down structures left and right.

Because of this law, before companies can build, they must have a team of wildlife biologists scour the land for protected creatures. Just in the past year, engineering company URS has employed nearly 40 biologists to tackle its list of green projects. These professionals can earn anywhere from $30,000 to $120,000 dollars a year.

"It's a good time to be a biologist - it's never been busier in my 15 years in the business," says Angela Leiba, a senior project manager for URS.

However, those interested in the field of wildlife biology should definitely be prepared for some hard work. The job is quite labor-intensive, and a team of 30 to 50 people is needed in order to complete just one project. This news goes to show that the green movement stands to benefit everyone, and could be a redeeming factor in our fledgling economy.

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