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Sarasota County's Green Business Partnership welcomes new members | Business

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Sarasota County's Green Business Partnership welcomes new members
Sarasota County's Green Business Partnership welcomes new members

Sarasota County, Florida -- It's not just all those summer rains that have turned Sarasota County greener these days, it's the increase in the number of local businesses going green. Recently 15 additional companies demonstrated their commitment to the environment by joining the Sarasota County's Green Business Partnership program.

"The new members joined a community that has pledged to be green in their business practices and programs and foster a healthy environment for employees and the community at large," said Tom Franklin, Sarasota County Green Business Partnership program coordinator. "Core components of the partnership certification include waste reduction, increased recycling and energy and water conservation."

The new members, ranging from a family-operated restaurant and a specialty grocery store to outdoor sports companies and service-focused organizations, demonstrate that any type of business, large or small can participate in the program. This initiative is open to all businesses in the county that implement resource-conservation measures and demonstrate a culture of environmental awareness in their business practices, said Franklin.

Octex is just one of the 15 new green partners that were required to complete an on-site certification assessment to verify the business met the Green Business Partnership standards.

"Octex is not only a leading manufacturer, but also an environmental leader," said Daniel Mallon, an Octex company representative. "Working with partner companies, packing materials, cardboard and pallets are reused. We take our used electronics to the county's Hazardous Waste and Electronics Recycling Facility. We also have an Energy Management System that turns off idle equipment automatically, and energy-efficient lighting."

There are many easy green practices that businesses and organizations can implement that will have a positive impact on the environment, said Danielle Troiano, GBP Community Outreach specialist. Turning off lights and equipment when they're not in use is a simple but effective environmentally conscious practice. Other green practices include using motion sensors for lighting, digital-programmable air-conditioning thermostats, being digitally organized versus a hard-copy filing system. Smart choices include reusing cups and mugs instead of single-use bottles and items.

Other new green GBP members include: 14golf academy, Art to Walk On, CaliFlorida Surf and Skate Shop, Diane Lane Massage, Earth Origins Market (Stickney Point location), iBusiness Solutions, The Lobster Pot, NUOVO Salon Group, The Rhythm Inlet, Salon Francisco, Temple Beth Sholom, and Sub Zero Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt.

Temple Beth Sholom is the first place of worship and school to join GBP, said Troiano. For more than three years, the temple has had an active 15-member "Go Green Team."

"Woven into the fabric of the faith is the beautiful principle Tikun Olam meaning honoring God through restoring the Earth. Environmentalism, conservation and preservation of the Earth fit this ancient principle," said Mitchell Weiss, of Temple Beth Sholom. "The temple is certified through Green Faith and is also the first synagogue with an organic fruit garden. The temple implements the Precautionary Principle that recognizes that many common chemical products and pesticides are detrimental to health, especially to the health of children."

The temple's building and grounds of the temple are cleaned and maintained with non-toxic and pesticide-free alternatives, said Weiss. All water is filtered, and students are provided with reusable water bottles, eliminating single-use plastics. The temple's energy consumption is reduced through a new white reflective roof, low E windows and energy-efficient copiers. The temple plans to install solar panels in the future.

The Green Business Partnership is actively seeking more members. For additional information, or to download a Green Business application, visit www.scgov.net/greenbusiness and click on the link, "Green Business Documents," contact the Sarasota Call Center at 941-861-5000 or like the program at www.facebook.com/GreenBusinessPartnership.