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Local Shops Use Profits to Save Energy



Isla Vista businesses will contribute to sustainable initiatives throughout the week in an effort to increase environmental practices.

This year’s Green Business Week will feature five local businesses — the I.V. Food Co-op, Java Jones, I.V. Market, Chino’s Rock & Tacos and Keg N’ Bottle — that have volunteered to donate a day’s worth of profits to support “green” practices. CalPIRG organized the week to encourage local businesses to adopt more responsible production methods.

CalPIRG member Sieva Kozinsky said each weekday highlights an eco-friendly business in Isla Vista.

“Possible steps the business could take or have already taken are installing solar panels, waterless urinals, fluorescent light bulbs, etc.,” Kozinsky said. “The business in turn will donate a percentage of their hourly profits to a green initiative of our choosing.”

The I.V. Food Co-op donated 10 percent of a portion of yesterday’s proceeds to local farmers and Java Jones will contribute 20 percent of today’s revenue toward a solar panel investment. The coffee house will also feature a special “4-20″ menu today, offering lower prices on select items and special promotions on others.

Java Jones co-owner John Lewis said he is trying to create a business model and paradigm that is different from anyone else in the area.

“I am a small independent coffee business owner,” Lewis said. “I think philosophically that Isla Vista needs to model itself after other smaller communities like Venice, CA where there are no chain restaurants and where all local businesses there support the local economy.”

I.V. Market will participate in the efforts tomorrow by investing 20 percent of its profits in implementing more efficient lighting practices. Additionally, Chino’s Rock & Tacos will donate 10 percent of Thursday’s earnings to a tree planting foundation. Keg-N-Bottle, meanwhile, is using 20 percent of Friday’s profits to invest in more efficient freezer cases.

Keg-N-Bottle Manager Samer Ballo said the store has replaced all its lights, compressors and coolers with energy efficient alternatives, which has subsequently reduced their energy bills by almost 40 percent.

The Environmental Affairs Board annual Earth Day Festival will follow Green Business Week. This event, dubbed “There Is No Planet B,” will take place on April 24 from 12 to 7 p.m. in Anisq’ Oyo’ Park and feature live bands, speakers such as 3rd District Supervisor Doreen Farr , booths, games, henna and dancing. EAB Co-chair Violetta Muselli said this event offers students a local opportunity to celebrate the environment.

“It is a chance for the residents of I.V. to come together and celebrate the living system that sustains us all,” Muselli said. “This year is particularly important as it marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, which began in Santa Barbara, as well as the 40th anniversary of the Environmental Studies Program established here at UCSB.”

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