SRCC GreenUp
Spring has sprung and new life with it! 
In this issue, we celebrate the 2016 Joe Garbarino Green Business of the Year, the Lotus Family of Restaurants, as well as the eight nominees: the Agricultural Institute of Marin, City of San Rafael, Corporate Media Systems, Inc., Direct Current Solar, MarinLink, the San Rafael Pacifics, Seagate Properties, Inc., and SolEd Benefit Corp. May ALL inspire green growth in your business!

Board Chair Bob Herbst, Surinder "Pal" Sroa, Jyoti Sroa, Chamber CEO Joanne Webster

The Lotus Family of Restaurants
Congratulations to the Lotus Family of Restaurants*, a family-owned restaurant serving delectable Indian cuisine to Marin County since 1999.

The Lotus vision is to create contemporary healthy Indian cuisine in the most environmentally friendly way possible using the finest local organic ingredients. Lotus is a proud member of our Chamber and extends a 10% discount to other San Rafael Chamber members.
Upcoming Events:
Sunday, April 24

Monday, April 25
Take Action to Make a Difference!
Wednesday, April 27

Thursday, May 12
Please see our Events Calendar
for a full event listing

Check out our resources guide to Green Your Business here!
Lotus sponsors many local organizations including: Marin Organic, Earth Day Marin, Marin Green Drinks, San Rafael Clean, MCE Deep Green, and the Bioneers Conference at the Civic Center.Lotus is a Certified Bay Area Green Business, a Member of Marin Sanitary Service's Food2Energy program, and is an MCE Deep Green Champion. All of Lotus' staff are educated about environmentally friendly restaurant practices including:

  • Water conservation
  • Energy conservation
  • Waste minimization
  • Recycling
  • Healthy ingredients
  • Gluten and allergy issues
  • Vegetarian and vegan meals

For many years, Lotus has been educating their customers about environmental issues related to food, water and waste. They have replaced all take out packaging with non-plastics, and are currently studying options for a solar thermal hot water system. Lotus is constantly working on improvements to go greener and healthier!

Since 2003, Lotus has a tradition to give back to the community during Thanksgiving. Every year on the day before Thanksgiving, Lotus opens their doors to offer guests a free meal -- no strings attached. Each year, about a thousand meals are distributed to the community. This is their way of saying, Thank You Marin! Thank YOU, Lotus!
THANK YOU to Harvest Properties, Green Chile Kitchen, Red Whale Coffee, and Panera Bread for generously donating to the January 27th GreenBrief: Building Value for your Organization, held at the San Rafael Corporate Center and presented by the Chambers' Green Business Committee and Sustainable San Rafael.
YES, YOU CAN sponsor GreenUP! - the quarterly newsletter with green news and cost-saving tips, reaching more than 1,700 subscribers. See our advertising agreement here.
Agricultural Institute of Marin 
The Agricultural Institute of Marin is an educational 501(c)3 nonprofit organization located in San Rafael. AIM's mission is to 1) promote a viable food system, 2) educate the public about the benefits of buying healthy local foods, and 3) connect farmers to consumers. In addition to operating seven farmers' markets around the Bay Area, AIM runs two youth centered programs, Diggin' the Farmers Market and Farm Field Studies. In Summer of 2016, AIM will launch a mobile farmers market truck that will deliver the farmers market to food insecure communities throughout Marin County. AIM is also in the middle of the capital campaign to fund the construction of the permanent Farmers Market Hall approved 
by Marin County voters in 2014.

City of San Rafael
The City of San Rafael's mission is to enhance the quality of life and provide for a safe, healthy, prosperous and livable environment in partnership with the community. Sustainability is fundamental in the City's vision to create a vibrant economic and cultural center reflective of our diversity and a responsible, innovative local government.

In 2006 San Rafael was one of the early signatories to the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, committing the City to work towards meeting the goals of the Kyoto Protocol. In 2012, San Rafael became the first-ever winner of the prestigious Beacon Award, a statewide program that recognizes California municipalities working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save energy and adopt policies and programs that promote sustainability.

Corporate Media Systems, Inc.
In business since 1972, Corporate Media Systems, Inc. is a full-service, state-of-the-art, audio visual and company; specializing in sound, projection, staging and lighting. CMS is a certified Bay Area Green Business that truly practices the 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, company-wide. President, Karl Dannecker, leads by example to show his team that small actions really do add up! CMS schedules deliveries as efficiently and economically as possible to save unnecessary trips. Employees carpool to work and can use 
the shop bicycles to pick up lunch nearby. Since "Eiki," the shop cat, joined the team, CMS no longer pays $120/month for pest control. As Karl's Dad used to say, "I can't show you a way to save $1M, but, I can show you a million ways to save a dollar." Karl is actively involved in the community, serves on MCVB's Board, and is an Environmental Forum of Marin Master Class graduate.  Karl supports his employees to pursue continuing education -- such as the Chambers' Leadership Institute, the Forum, and the Citizens Police Academy. 

Direct Current Solar
 Direct Current Solar provides photovoltaic solutions for homes and businesses. They are a third-party provider, enabling them to work with nearly all financiers to help projects come to fruition. Direct Current Solar partners with David Quattro, a Bay Area based solar contractor who recently completed the unique photovoltaics system at Jacobs Hall, UC Berkeley - check out the video on their website  Quattro Solar.
Direct Current Solar's mission is to discover their customers' goals through fact-finding and to provide solutions with full trust and transparency. They work with each customer to analyze energy usage, and determine if solar is a good option. For more information, please visit Direct Current Solar and call 415-991-3SUN (3786) to schedule a free consultation.

Founded in 2003, MarinLink fosters effective and fiscally-responsible projects and organizations by connecting people to resources and expertise. MarinLink identifies 
and fulfills unmet community needs, strengthening Marin communities through innovation and collaboration. Last Fall, MarinLink brought together over 50 individuals and organizations, forming the Marin Litter Coalition, to address the issue of litter countywide.  Partners include (partial list): Gallinas Watershed, Go Wild Institute, Conservation Corps North Bay Area, Marin County Open Space and Parks, MCSTOPP, Marin Clean Highways, San Rafael Clean (and other "clean" cities in Marin), Downtown Streets Team, Environmental Forum of Marin, Marin Sanitary Service, Novato Sanitary District, Shore Up Marin, Earthscope Media, Save The Bay, All One Ocean, GGNRA, Marin County CHP, Boys and Girls Clubs of Marin and Sonoma, Marin Conservation League, Sanszuma Solutions, Watershed Alliance, Boy Scouts, Promotoras Verdes, and 
many more. 
Marin Clean Highways and Clean Mill Valley have graciously taken the helm to coordinate resources and share information.  To get involved, please contact: Jill Whitebook - [email protected] /Joan Murray - [email protected]

San Rafael Pacifics
San Rafael Pacifics Baseball
In 2014, the Pacifics Baseball Club realized they had a problem: recyclables weren't going where they were supposed to and trash was overflowing. The Pacifics decided it was time to take action to reduce waste. The process produced dramatic results, including about $200 a month saved on disposal fees. The Pacifics significantly improved the signage above their trash stations, turning them into "education stations" that included photographs of items sold at concession stands for easier disposal after use. They recognized that efficient systems begin with the products offered and now, almost all food ware available through the concessions are either recyclable or compostable.

Seagate Properties, Inc.
is a professional, creative, and opportunistic real estate firm
with over 110 years of proven real estate capabilities in real estate, acquisition, management and disposition expertise, dealing in office, retail, industrial and multi-family properties throughout Marin and the Greater Bay Area.  Awarded the 2008 Golden Spire Outstanding Business of the Year by Marin County Board of Supervisors, Seagate has been recognized for its "leadership in business, its creation of more sustainable and energy efficient built environments, its commitment to a healthy economy by creating jobs and fostering employment opportunities, and its dedication to being a good corporate citizen through its involvement in community service throughout Marin County." 
SolEd Benefit Corporation
SolEd Benefit Corporation is a solar developer focused on saving its customers money as they go solar. SolEd is engaged with schools and municipal agencies to help them become environmental leaders. They offer a Solar Power Purchase Agreement that will drive down the cost of harvesting the sun's energy over time.
What do their clients commit to, and receive?
  • Clients sign a Solar PPA-a service agreement to pay only for clean energy delivered-with:
  • No up-front capital cost
  • Immediate energy savings
  • And increasing savings over time...
  • By using quiet, clean green energy from the sun.                                            
SolEd is a California benefit corporation, that is, a private for-profit company guided by a mission embedded in their incorporating papers.  Their mission is to help public benefit entities save money for their core purposes as they transition to clean energy.  They also help advise on energy efficiency and can provide curriculum supports for the tracking and evaluation of renewable energy benefits.
The SolEd Advantage: Lowest Lifetime Cost of Energy
SolEd is a Benefit Corporation* serving a Mission with their "Triple Bottom Line".
WELCOME two New Chamber and Green Business Committee Members:
Marv Zauderer and Karen Donner!

Marv Zauderer is the Executive Director of ExtraFood will pick up excess fresh food from organizations and immediately deliver it to nonprofits serving Marin's most vulnerable children, adults and families.  They have delivered more than 510,355 pounds of food to 67 sites serving thousands and prevented over 41,652 pounds of methane from entering the atmosphere.

Karen Donner, Principal at take3promotions, a promotional product distributor located in Greenbrae. Items like mugs, pens and t-shirts are memorable and provide a better cost per impression for advertisers than almost every major marketing effort.  Their mission is to help you create long-lasting relationships with your clients through the power of promotional products. 

San Rafael Chamber of Commerce | 817 Mission Avenue | San Rafael | CA | 94901