Ventura Chamber’s Green Task Force “Best Practices Workshop” at Ohana Pet Hospital

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On Thursday, February 21, the Ventura Chamber of Commerce’s Green Task Force held a “Best Practices Workshop” at the newly opened Ohana Pet Hospital located at 4547 Telephone Road in Ventura.

At the event, attended by business professionals and entrepreneurs, a special PowerPoint presentation was given by the staff at Ohana highlighting some of the hospital’s green and sustainable business practices.

“Ohana Pet Hospital,” said Courtney Lindberg, Environmental Specialist with the City of Ventura’s Environmental Sustainability Division and GTF Co-Chair, “is the perfect setting to host a ‘Best Practices Workshop’.  The idea for the workshops is to promote green business practices and share that knowledge within the professional community.  Ohana has been very progressive with their hospital design as well as their waste recycling, reuse practices and energy and water conservation programs.”

L to R:  Ohana Pet Hospital's Dr. Jill Muraoka Lim, Dr. Janis Shinkawa, Dr. Nicci Quinn, Dr. Kate Byrne

L to R: Ohana Pet Hospital’s Dr. Jill Muraoka Lim, Dr. Janis Shinkawa, Dr. Nicci Quinn, Dr. Kate Byrne

A sampling of the green and sustainable practices employed by Ohana Pet Hospital include optimum energy efficiency through installation of LED lighting wherever possible.  LED lights can be found in their hospital logo displayed in the entryway, emergency signage, surgery lighting, dental unit lighting and exam lights.  Additionally, the hospital made use of natural lighting with the installation of more windows.

Energy saving devices at the hospital include a tank-less water heater Energy Star washer and dryer, refrigerator and freezer , and a new  energy efficient air conditioning unit in the hospital treatment area .  Low flow toilets in the bathrooms use water at a rate of 1.28 gallons per flush.  Even the roof  was designed in order to maintain and maximize heating and cooling through insulation.

Ohana is also a paperless practice whenever possible using a new Cornerstone software system. Paperless billing is utilized, as well as paperless Human Resources (Effortless HR) and direct deposits for checks.

Recycling bins are conveniently located throughout the hospital. In the kitchen, the staff use washable ceramic dishes, mugs and silverware for take-out and eat-ins. Reusable canvas carrier bags are given to clients when they purchase pet food, and the installation of a reverse osmosis water system reduces the need for bottled water.

The hospital only uses biodegradable cleaning products and purchases office supplies with recycled content, including  pens, magnetic cards,  print paper, file folders, and stationary (cards, letters, envelopes).

Another new reuse program at Ohana involves the reuse of drapes from Community Memorial Hospital.

“These drapes are originally used as covering only,” said Ohana’s Dr. Janis Shinkawa. “We gladly opened our arms to receive them from the hospital, as we can use them on a daily basis at Ohana.”

“When we did some reconstruction on the building,” continued Dr. Shinkawa, “we worked with our designer Cynthia Louise Grier from EcoLogic Life.  We wanted to be as eco-friendly as possible. As a result, we used Marmoleum flooring, which is a USDA Certified biobased product, and 100% end of life recyclable flooring from Mondo Natura.  Our countertops are post-consumer recycled glass, and we only use Zero VOC paint.

Other miscellaneous “green” items at Ohana include recycled content rubber mats, recycled content turf in the back for the hospital for the animals to roam, and a newly installed bike rack to encourage riding bicycles to work.

“It’s great to be doing business in Ventura,” continued Dr Shinkawa, also a member of the Green Task Force.  “We love it here and we want do all we can to keep it beautiful and sustainable for the future.”

Other previous “Best Practices Workshops” have been held at Ventura’s Red Brick Pizza Café and the Ventura YMCA .  In addition to the ongoing workshop series, GTF organizes a series of quarterly “Green Drinks” where local businesses owners and professionals gather and share their green ideas and practices over food and libation.  For more information, visit:  SustainableVentura.TV and search “Green Task Force.”

 -Maryann Ridini Spencer

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