About Kern Green
Kern Green, a local non-profit committed to protecting the environment through education and awareness, has partnered with organizations such as Keep Bakersfield Beautiful, Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, Kern Economic Development Corporation, Southern California Gas Company, Blue Sky Partners, San Joaquin Valley Air District and Pacific Gas & Electric to promote a more sustainable future in Kern County. Kern Green works with residents, schools, businesses, other local non-profits and the community to demonstrate the social, economic and environmental benefits of integrating green practices in daily work and professional life. Kern Green intends to focus on the positive sustainability efforts in Kern County and celebrate them with the public.
Kern Green has received the Ken Volpe Award in 2013 and been nominated in 2012 and 2013 for the Beautiful Bakersfield award.
Thank you to our founding sponsors Aera, Chevon, Fluxar Studios, Pure Energy, REC Solar, San Joaquin Community Hospital, Major Harvey Hall, Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Gas and the Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce that allowed us to get this program off the ground.
Kern Green Mission
To engage individuals and businesses on the benefits of improving their environment through education and awareness that will contribute to the economic vitality and environmental conservation of our region.
Kern Green Programs
The awards banquet is to help acknowledge and provide positive reinforcement to students, educators, businesses and individuals for their efforts to perform green and sustainable practices, the Annual Kern Green Awards Banquet, held in August, recognizes businesses and individuals who adopt sustainable practices in Energy Efficiency, Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling, Sustainable Purchasing, Air Quality Improvement, Eco Co-Worker, Eco Volunteer, Eco Educator, Overall Green, and Green Service.
Monthly Environmental Newsletter: Kern Green emails a monthly newsletter to over 3000 Kern County residents. This letter highlights environmental efforts in Kern County, provides environmental health and eco-tips for residents and businesses, and publicizes upcoming community events. Currently, Kern Green participates in over 35 events annually. Kern Green’s goal is to increase its participation rate to continue educating diverse groups on environmental issues and green practices. This also helps address the lack of information on these topics in Kern County.
Community Recycle Drives: Kern Green works with host organizations to organize a multitude of smaller community recycle drives throughout the year. Through these drives, it encourage the community to drop off their recyclables such as e-waste, cell phones, plastics, glass, paper, aluminum, old clothing, usable construction materials. Kern Green then redistributes this to organizations throughout the community.
Watch for Make A Difference Day
Annual Centennial High School / Kern Green e-waste event
Green Schools: –Kern Green works with schools on creating recycling programs, hosting e-waste events, no idling programs, and air quality alerts. Kern Green has partnered with Central California Asthma Coalition and San Joaquin Valley Air District to provide information to schools for the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District’s Healthy Schools program. In this program we provide free No Idling signs, 4 Air Quality Flags (Green for Good, Yellow for Moderate, Orange for Unhealthy for Sensitive groups, and Red for Unhealthy) brochures and posters for the parents and students about the program.
Green Business Certification: Kern Green added the Green Business Certification to offer a structured program that provides FREE tools, resources, and technical support for businesses that seek a targeted approach to greening their operations. The Kern Green Business Certification Program targets greenhouse gas emission reductions, air quality improvement, and other environmental impacts in local businesses. The process involves a targeted environmental assessment for businesses. Kern Green takes the guesswork out of knowing where to start and what practices to implement by providing a checklist and roadmap with tools and resources for local businesses interested in developing more sustainable and environmentally responsible operations.
No Idling Initiative: The No Idling program for vehicles consists of several components that schools can consider implementing: valet service, no idling signs, no idle zones around the school, and no idling days. Idling reduction is an important aspect of the Green Schools program because idling of cars while parents drop off and pick up students during school hours is a major source of air pollution. Kern Green has observed that schools, students and their parents are receptive to altering the current process once educated on the importance of why it is important, how it is safer and healthier for their children, and how idling reduction can even save them time. Kern Green’s goal is to empower students, so they can eventually lead these efforts and pass on the information.
Recycling to Zero Waste Program:Kern Green works with businesses, schools, parents, teachers and administrators to help establish a robust recycling program with an educational component (i.e., teaching them about the environmental benefits of recycling through supporting material). As the program develops, Kern Green will aim to expand the types of items recycled. Starting with the basics (e.g., paper, glass) and then moving forward to an array of recycling programs (e.g., organics, composting, plastics, etc).
Why Green Kern County?
Kern County is comprised of diverse natural landscapes in the form of deserts, mountains and valleys. These landscapes, which hold precious natural resources, are an inherent part of the beauty and vitality of Kern County. However, Kern County’s unique landscape and valuable natural resources have generated their own environmental challenges for the community. For example, Kern County has one of the highest per capita emissions of greenhouse gases in California. In recent years, there have been several reports on the seriousness of Kern County’s air quality, with Bakersfield at the heart of the problem. Bakersfield ranks as having one of the worst air pollution ratings in the country. The level of air pollution in the region of Kern County poses both environmental and public health risks. From increased respiratory diseases to damage to the area’s ecosystems, there is a serious need to address the air pollution problem in this region. While geographical and topographical issues play a role in the problem, the level of industrial activities, the presence of major transportation corridors, and the car-dominant design of the population centers also contribute heavily to the region’s problems. The Kern Green program provides education and resources for businesses and residents to reduce their environmental impact and improve quality-of-life in the region.
The Passion Behind Kern Green
Sasha Windes – Founder
A member of the Bakersfield community since she was 3 years old, Sasha spent many years working in the real estate industry before entering the green sector. What launched her into the green industry was a quest to find a remedy for her two children who struggled with eczema, asthma and allergy symptoms. After many months of research and making changes to her own home environment, the children’s symptoms disappeared almost completely. Sasha wanted to share her experience with other parents with the similar issues.
In 2009, Sasha wanted to show businesses that it is affordable to “Be Green” and share her experiences on how she has saved a ton of money by running a green operation in her own businesses. She started consulting to assist businesses of all sizes run a more sustainable operation. Sasha has assisted in the planning of the Make a Difference Day, Greater Bakersfield Green Expo, corporate reduce, reuse, recycle events and many more.
Sasha became a certified Green Building Professional and a Certified Green Consultant and in the process of becoming a Bau-Biologist to further assist business on their quest to “Green Up” their operations. Sasha is an active participant of the Keep Bakersfield Beautiful education and recycling sub-committees. She is a public speaker in environmental education for school children and many other local and national events, including the Entrepreneur Day at Bakersfield College, the Clean Energy Expo as well as the Women’s Business Conference.
In 2010, Sasha was recognized as one of the Leaders of Moms in Business, as well as, being profiled on Channel 17 for growing businesses in Kern County. Sasha has received many Certificates of Recognition for her efforts including the Cool California Award from the CAL EPA, CAL Recycle WRAP Award, Beautiful Bakersfield nomination and BARC Community Award.
In 2010, Sasha wanted to use her wealth of knowledge to help the businesses, schools and organizations green up their operations. That is how the Kern Green program was born. Sasha hopes that Kern Green can help work together with many of the fabulous organizations in Kern County to help educate businesses and the public that “going green” is not only the right thing to do, but it can help you save money and keep a healthier household and/or business.
Maria Demayo, Program Manager
Maria Demayo has over 25 years of professional experience in the retail, education, mortgage, and oil and gas industries. She holds a BS in Business from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA and an MBA from the University of California, Davis. She is currently pursuing a MS in Organizational Development at the University of San Francisco.
In the retail industry, she started working at the age of 7 at Marina Grocery store in Mexico as the Supply Chain Management and Pricing coordinator where she was responsible for dealing with vendors, customers and competitors. This was key information to determine supply, demand, and pricing.
In education, she worked as an Orientation Coordinator Assistant at the College of the Sequoias in Visalia, CA, where she was responsible for coordinating the orientation of hundreds of new students each year. She also provided outreach to High Schools and mentoring in advanced math.
Maria also worked as an Accounting Assistant for Cameron Financial Group, Inc in the Mortgage industry in San Luis Obispo, CA. She was in charge of analyzing and balancing loan summaries for a USD300 million annual loan portfolio. For nine years, Maria worked for Chevron Corporation in the Bay Area where she held positions of increasing responsibilities as an Accountant, Credit analyst, and Technical Business Manager.
Influenced by several factors including a renewed personal commitment to sustainability, in 2011, Maria decided to switch gears and enter the environmental field and has been supporting Kern Green since 2012.
Kern Green Board of Directors
Sheri Bowyer – Thomas Refuse Service, Lake Isabella
Sheri Bowyer is a native Kern County resident. During her younger years, Sheri lived in Lake Isabella where her family owns and operates Thomas Refuse Service, a Kern County Franchised solid waste company. Sheri moved to Bakersfield in and attended Garces Memorial High School in 1989 and graduated in 1993. Sheri attended the University of Alabama on a full athletic scholarship for Volleyball and graduated in 1998 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a minor in Marketing.
In 1998, Sheri began her career in sales and the green initiative with Sierra Ribbon Xchange, an upstart printer cartridge recycling company owned by her family. In 2000, Sheri began her nine year career working for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals as a territory representative in Bakersfield and Eastern Kern County before coming full circle and returning to work with her family and the Thomas family companies in 2009.
Currently Sheri is the Director and operations manager at Thomas Refuse Service, Sierra Waste Transfer and Kern River Valley Recycling Center in Lake Isabella. The Thomas Family companies provide a service for both solid and liquid waste removal for the Kern River Valley area. Sheri manages multiple employees while also seeking out new ways to improve their services and provide excellent customer service. Sheri has made many positive changes to the Thomas Family companies such as enhancing the availability of recycling at Kern River Valley Recycling Center and the Kern Valley Transfer Station do to education and outreach, signage, website updates, recycling newsletters, and informational articles in the local newspaper.
Todd Windes – Local Lending Inc., Bakersfield
Todd Windes holds a California Real Estate Broker’s License and is the founder and President of Local Lending Inc. Todd has been in the mortgage finance industry for the past 13 years. Todd attended Bakersfield College, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and CSUB with studies in Business Administration and a concentration of Finance. His hobbies include, traveling with his family, all kinds of sports, playing guitar with his son. Local Lending Inc. is also proud to sponsor and support three local group homes for children between the ages of 8-18 and a varsity High School Football team’s meals before games. Todd has volunteered in many cleanup programs including beautiful Bakersfield, and graffiti removal.
Terri Collins – Watson Realty, Bakersfield
Terri is a career realtor at Watson Realty. Terri is excited to be included on the Kern Green Board, she loves Bakersfield and thinks Kern Green is a fantastic way to make it even better. When she isn’t working, which is hardly ever, she also works in the community through Junior League of Bakersfield, or travels with her family.Terri is married to Patrick, and they have 2 children, Sean 26, and Kelsey 27, who both live in San Diego. Terri’s family inspires her to do crazy things , the latest being skydiving, and bungy jumping. They are looking forward to kissing the Blarney Stone in Ireland in the fall.
Linda Banales – Keller Williams, Bakersfield
Tracy Gregg, Bakersfield