March & April 2023

Spring into Sustainable Cleaning

With the end of winter comes fresh air, new life, and spring-cleaning. Instead of turning to harsh chemicals and detergents, consider upgrading your regimen with sustainable alternatives.

Here are some sustainable spring-cleaning tips for your health and home: 

🧽 Use non-toxic cleaning supplies, like Green Seal Certified or biodegradable cleansers. Diluted white vinegar also works great for a variety of situations, including window cleaning.

🧽 Swap single-use paper towels with reusable cloths that can be washed and reused. You can even use old t-shirts as rags instead of buying new towels.

🧽 Consider using products that can be re-filled or use concentrates to avoid buying a new bottle each time (check out our local Refill Shoppe or companies such as Blueland or Grove Collaborative for sustainable options).

🧽 Lemons can clean a variety of surfaces in the kitchen. To disinfect and deodorize wooden cutting boards, sprinkle salt on a cut lemon and scrub away. Rinse with warm water. Cut lemons can also clean the inside of the microwave and oven.

For more tips, check out our featured video below. Happy Spring, Ventura!

Featured Video:

Video thumbnail shows an image of the video title with a headshot of a man in a suit.
Check out the Sustainable Ventura Youtube channel

Green Business Spotlight:

2022 Environmental Excellence Award

The 2022 Environmental Excellence Award winner is Clean Planet Smog Check and Auto Repairs, which became the first Green Certified auto repair shop in Ventura in 2018.

Walking into Clean Planet Smog Check and Auto Repairs is a unique experience. A front desk made of reclaimed wood, a sunlit and plant-filled waiting area, and a friendly smiling mechanic might not be what you are used to when you get your car smogged or serviced. Peeking over at the garage side of the building, the floor looks so clean you could eat off it, there are big drums containing used automotive fluids that are sent off to be recycled, and green cleaning products instead of harsh chemicals.

Owners Gloria and Ruben Mendoza opened Clean Planet with a specific goal in mind. As Gloria explains, their aim was “to change the stereotype of the average smog check/mechanic shop. We wanted people to feel comfortable and relaxed, and to trust us so they come back and maintain their cars regularly. That way their cars release fewer damaging pollutants that contaminate the air.” 

Below: Clean Planet Smog Check and Auto Repairs owners, Ruben and Gloria Mendoza, speak to the Ventura Chamber of Commerce after receiving the Environmental Excellence Award.

Above: Ruben and Gloria Mendoza accepted the Environmental Excellence Award for their business, Clean Planet Smog Check and Auto Repairs, at the Ventura Chamber of Commerce in December 2022.

Ruben runs a clean, green, and efficient shop. Even before becoming a Green Business, environmental responsibility was at the forefront of Clean Planet’s business practices, their business name, and even their slogan, which reads, “Breathe clean air, live longer”. From industry leading best practices in the shop, to LED lighting, efficient water fixtures, and paperless receipts, Clean Planet has made the small changes that add up to a large environmental benefit.

Gloria explains, “I always tell my kids that I want to see my grandkids grow up on a healthy planet. We feel like we can’t change the world, but we can change our world. It hasn’t been hard, you just have to change a few little things.” 

Clean Planet is changing the perception of what a green business looks like, and showing that some of the largest environmental gains can come from industries we don’t typically associate with being eco-friendly. 

Congratulations to Clean Planet Smog Check and Auto Repairs, and make sure to visit them next time you need a mechanic!

For more information about Ventura's Certified Green Business Program, visit

Or contact Lars Davenport:

Find local Certified Green Businesses

Environmental Program Updates

Residential Food Waste Recycling Program

Composting is for Everyone

The Residential Food Waste Recycling Program is currently available to all single-family residences in Ventura and is rolling out to multi-family properties this spring. This program allows residents to comply with SB 1383 and reduce methane emissions caused by food in landfills. Follow these steps to participate:

  1. Set up your service with EJ Harrison. If you live in a multi-family property, your property manager must contact EJ Harrison to begin service.
  2. After service is established, the City of Ventura will deliver kitchen pails to aid in food scrap collection.
  3. Start composting! Collect food scraps at home (ALL food can be collected. Cooked, not cooked, meat, bones - all food.) Put the collected food in a bag of any kind, secure the top, and add it to your yard waste bin or designated food waste container.

That's it! If you need to request pails or have additional questions, please contact the City's Division of Environmenal Sustainability:

Green Schools

Springtime is for Sustainability

This spring, Ventura's middle and high schools begin their participation in the Energy Efficiency to Mitigate Climate Change and Ocean Acidification Challenge (EECCOA Challenge) with the support of the Green Schools Program. The EECCOA Challenge is a student project-based challenge, sponsored by the MERITO Foundation, local non-profit Once Upon a Watershed, the City of Ventura's Division of Environmental Sustainability, and Ventura Water.

EECCOA focuses on reducing each participating school's carbon footprint or raising awareness of the importance of removing the Matilija Dam on the Ventura River. Project proposals must reduce the school's carbon footprint to mitigate climate change and reduce utility costs to make schools a healthier place.

For more information about the Green Schools Program, contact Stephanie Terry:

Upcoming Events



Household Hazardous Waste Event

3/18 & 4/15

Surfrider Beach Clean-ups

3/25 & 4/22

Ventura Compost Co-op: The Worm's Digest

The end of 2022 brought the introduction of a newsletter exclusive to Ventura Compost Co-op members: The Worm's Digest. The second edition went out in March, with more installments to come quarterly in 2023.

Our Ventura Compost Co-op diverted roughly 1,600 lbs of organic waste from going to landfills during 2022. This would not have been possible without the amazing work of our Co-op members and the continued support of our local Queen of Compost, Camila Guzman.

Thanks for composting, and rot on! 🤘

Join the Compost Co-op

Here's What We've Been Reading...

Waste companies in the spotlight as hazardous cleanup from Ohio train derailment continues

Keto vs vegan: Study of popular diets finds over fourfold difference in carbon footprints

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