Sustainable Ventura (sustainability)
Become a City of Ventura Green Certified Business in 2016!

Becoming a GREEN Business is SMART Business.  In this Sustainable Ventura News POCAST Host Maryann Ridini Spencer speaks with City of Ventura Environmental Specialist Lars Davenport about "How to become a City of Ventura Green Certified Business." 

For more information on becoming Green Certified, visit:  SustainableVentura.TV and SEARCH "Green Certified Business" and "Green Business."


Direct download: Become_A_Green_Certified_Business_2016.mp3
Category:Sustainability -- posted at: 9:39pm EST

Clean It Green:  Non-Toxic Cleaning Ideas

Everyone loves a clean house, but not everyone loves the process of cleaning a house! Household cleaning products often contain harsh chemicals that can potentially irritate our skin, burn our eyes, or contribute to long-term health consequences. In this Sustainable Ventura News PODCAST City of Ventura Environmental Specialist Tobie Mitchell shares some important tips to clean your home in a healthy, safe, and environmentally-friendly way.


DIY Green Cleaning Ideas, Click Here.

Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning:

EPA Safer Choice Standard:

Green Seal:


Each month, the City of Ventura opens its Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center, where city residents can bring up to 15 gallons of liquid chemicals. The Center is open the third Saturday of the month (except December). Because of the popularity of this event, we ask that you call the City to make a reservation at 805-652-4525 and visit:

Direct download: Clean_It_Green_PODCAST.mp3
Category:Sustainability -- posted at: 8:04pm EST

City of Ventura's Food Waste Prevention Challenge

You're Invited to take the City of Ventura's FOOD WASTE PREVENTION CHALLENGE!

In this Sustainable Ventura News PODCAST, City of Ventura Environmental Specialists Courtney Lindberg and Tobie Mitchell talk to show host, Maryann Ridini Spencer, about the City of Ventura's Food Waste Preventional Challenge taking place from May 18-July, 12, 2015.

Whether it's sour milk, mushy bananas, moldy bread, or soggy restaurant leftovers, chances are we have all wasted some food this week.  You're not alone.  The sad truth is 40% of all food in the United States goes uneaten.  Meanwhile, 1 in 6 Americans lack a secure supply of food to their tables.

You're invited to join the City of Ventura on an 8-week challenge to DO SOMETHING about wasted food.  All residents are welcome to particiipate.  We will provide you with the tools you need to be successful.  You just need to bring your enthusiasm and commitment!

During the Challenge, we'll measure how much food waste your household throws away, then give you strategies to shop smarter, prep and store food more efficiently, and get creative with cooking.

SIGN UP to take the Food Waste Prevention Survey online at

For more information, you can also visit Environmental Sustainability's booth at Ventura Farmer's Markets for the month of April OR online at



Direct download: Food_Waste_Challenge.mp3
Category:Sustainability -- posted at: 11:17am EST

Love Food, Hate Food Waste, Save Our Water, and Other Helpful Green Tips!

According to a recent article in the Washington Post, Americans throw away nearly $170 billion dollars of food every year.  That's an astounding figure when nearly 50 million Americans live with the reality of food insecurity.

Why is this happening?  What can be done about it?

How does food waste impact our water supply? Greenhouse gas emissions?

In this Sustainable Ventura Podcst, City of Ventura Environmental Specialist Jill Santos talks to Sustainable Ventura's Maryann Ridini Spencer who helps shed some light on this critical issue.  Jill also shares helpful green tips and green living ideas.

UPCOMING EVENT:  On Friday, April 24 from 6-9pm at Ventura's Bell Arts Factory, 432 Ventura Avenue, Environmentalist Rob Greenfield will screen his documentary focusing on how to prevent food waste and other green topics.

Visit:  SustainableVentura.TV

Direct download: RobGreenfieldandJillEdit.mp3
Category:Sustainability -- posted at: 5:59pm EST

Recycling and Reuse with Habitat For Humanity's ReStores


Thinking “Green” when it comes to renovation and building is a thoughtful approach to how everyday decisions impact the sustainability of our environment, economy and community.  One way of thinking green is to reuse and repurpose building materials and home accessories and appliances.  Habitat for Humanity ReStores, nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers, do just that. Sustainable Ventura News' Maryann Ridini Spencer talks with guests Steve Dwyer, Habitat’s executive director, City of Ventura Environmental Specialist Tobie Mitchell and David Harrison, Sales Manager with E.J. Harrison & Sons.  Visit:, SustainableVentura.TV, and

Direct download: RecyclingandReuse.mp3
Category:Sustainability -- posted at: 7:40pm EST

    Homeowners interested in going solar should contact:  Jefferson Litton (805) 963-0583 x105 or register at

     When you turn on a light, work at the computer, watch television, or blend up your favorite fruit smoothie, you may not think about the fact that all these tasks require energy.  The production and flow of energy to your home and work place requires complex infrastructure that requires ongoing maintenance. Over time, this upkeep of energy systems and operations translates into cost increases on your energy bill.

     Moving forward, how can you possibly ensure your electricity costs will stay the same or even decrease over time?  There’s a simple, affordable solution. 

     On April 17, 2014, underneath the solar panels at Patagonia’s downtown Ventura headquarters, Community Environmental Council’s (CEC) in partnership with the City of Ventura announced the new “Solarize Ventura” program.

     The program, which educates and assists residents with residential solar installations, is based on a successful model used in other communities across the country.

        “Residential solar is a great source of clean renewable energy,” said Joe Yahner, City of Ventura Environmental Services Supervisor.  “Selecting a qualified solar contractor for an installation can be a daunting task for a homeowner and this program really simplifies the process.  Through rigorous interviews and a careful selection process, two reputable local contractors, REC Solar and California Solar Electric, were selected to be the program’s solar installers. The program offers below market price installations for Ventura residents that sign up for the program between April 17 – July 19, 2014.”

Purchase or Lease?

     A typical residential solar system can range from $7,000 to $20,000 per home and take approximately 4-8 weeks to install. When purchasing a system, homeowners can often re-coop their investment within 5-7 years.  Additionally, solar panels have a lifespan of approximately 25-30 years, and thus become an added value to any property. If a homeowner is reluctant to purchase a system, lease programs are available for no money down.  With either method, homeowners will likely see immediate energy savings.

     “Roof type and size, sun exposure, electricity demand, and the size of one’s home can impact whether solar installation is a good fit,” added Yahner.  “If a homeowner’s bill is only $30-40, solar probably isn’t the way to go.  However, through this program, free home assessments are given to interested parties to determine if solar is a viable solution.”

     “Over the next three months,” said CEC’s Solarize Program Coordinator Jefferson Litten, “we’ll be hosting four free workshops in Ventura (listing times and locations at to increase the public’s awareness of solar and how it functions so that residents completely understand the benefits of going solar and how going with a renewable energy solution positively impacts not only their pocketbook, but our community.”

     “We believe strongly in the environment and doing everything we can to protect it,” said City of Ventura Mayor Cheryl Heitmann at the event.  “Ventura has a tremendous track record with doing this at our own city buildings and now moving into the residences is really important.  The fact that the program is vetted by this organization is and it’s very important that we can say with confidence, ‘here are two installers that you can trust.  You can go to them and we know you’re going to get a very fair price and they’re going to do a good job.’”

     “Energy costs are going to do nothing but go up,” said Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett who attended the event, “getting onto this earlier will allow people to save money, it brings Ventura green jobs and makes us less energy dependent and allows us to decrease the use of fossil fuels which has so many environmental benefits. It’s truly a great program and I hope people will embrace it.”

     Several FREE Solarize Ventura workshops have been held during June to enthusiastic resident response.The program will run through July 2014.  Interested residents should sign up on or before the end of July to take advantage of this program.  Once signed up by the end of July, you will be able to book an installation date within the following 12 month period.

      Homeowners interested in going solar should contact Jefferson Litton at (805) 963-0583 or register at

     Also visit:  SustainableVentura.TV

Direct download: SolarizeVenturaPodcast.m4a
Category:Sustainability -- posted at: 2:27pm EST

"Haunting at the Harbor Business Tabletop Expo" October, 24, 2013

On Thursday, October 24, 2013, SustainableVentura.TV went on location to the "Haunting at the Harbor Business Tabletop Expo" presented by the Ventura Chamber of Commerce.  The event, held from 4:30pm to 7:30pm at the Four Point Sheraton Ventura Harbor Resort, featured 59 exhibitors, food vendors, raffle prizzes and three hours of fun, networking and mingling.  The City of Ventura Environmental Sustainability and Ventura Water both had booths at the event and were promoting a number of green and sustainable practices.

Visit:  SustainableVentura.TV

Direct download: BusinessExpo.m4a
Category:Sustainability -- posted at: 3:48pm EST

FREE Water Wise Class:  Ocean Friendly Gardens

On Saturday, October 12, 2013,   from 10am-11:30am, Ventura Water, Aqua-flo and Green Thumb Nursery presented the second in a series of six Water Wise classes.  The topic for the day was “How to employ Ocean Friendly Garden principles of CPR- Conservation, Permeability and Retention."

Ocean Friendly Gardens is a trademark of Surfrider Foundation and OFGs, as they’re also known, are beautiful, easy-to-maintain, and serve as vehicles to assist in the prevention of stormwater pollution.

Laura Bauer,, gave a talk and presented an informative slide show that took the audience through the concepts of an Ocean Friendly Garden, how it works, as well some examples of beautiful native plants.  SustainableVentura.TV spoke to some of the attendees who took the class. 

For more information on Green Events, visit:  SustainableVentura.TV.


Direct download: OFGWaterWiseClassPodcast.m4a
Category:Sustainability -- posted at: 2:22pm EST

Green Drinks Interviews at San Buenaventura State Beach on August 14, 2013

On August 14, 2013, Ventura Chamber of Commerce's Green Task Force and Friends of the Channel Coast State Parks presented a FREE Green Drinks Event from 5-7:00pm at San Buenaventura State Beach. Sustainable Ventura's Maryann Ridini Spencer talked to attendees. 


For more information on Green Drinks and upcoming Green Events, visit: SustainableVentura.TV  

Direct download: GreenDrinksAugust142013.m4a
Category:Sustainability -- posted at: 8:17pm EST

Green Drinks Event, May 2013.m4a

SustainableVentura.TV  attends the Ventura Green Task Force's Green Drinks Event on May 8, 2013 at Connect Ventura, (50 West Main Street, Ventura).

Green Drinks, well known in international environmental circles, and hosted in approximately 600 cities worldwide, is a network of unstructured meet-ups where environmental professionals from a variety of industries and concerned locals get together in a relaxed settings to network and discuss sustainable topics, exchange ideas, forge valuable relationships and of course, partake in appetizers and drinks. Show host Maryann Ridini Spencer talks to professionals that attended the event.

For more information about Green Drinks and other Green Events, Sign up for Sustainable Ventura's monthly newsletter.  Visit:  SustainableVentura.TV

Direct download: Green_Drinks_Event_May_2013.m4a
Category:Sustainability -- posted at: 11:33pm EST