The Lobero Theatre recently received accreditation as a Santa Barbara County Green Business. To earn the certification, the theater had to undergo a thorough review, and implement solutions to improve efficiency in electricity, water use, and implement a sustainable transportation plan for staff members. All of these improvements were introduced in a way that was congruous with the Lobero’s historic aesthetic and corporate culture.
“We view efforts to reduce our carbon footprint as not only our social responsibility, but also as a way to decrease long term operational costs and increase the viability and comfort of the building. It’s good for everyone,” says David Asbell, executive director.
This certification marks several years of gradual changes to ensure environmentally safe practices at the Lobero Theatre. In 2011 the Lobero became the first theatrical or cinematic business to join the City of Santa Barbara’s Recycling and Foodscraps Recycling Programs. These practices include requiring the use of compostable and biodegradable plates, flatware and paper products at all Lobero events, concessions and receptions. The Lobero also composts all leftover foodscraps, and will continue to utilize sorted trash collectors.
Soon after implementing these programs, the Lobero Theatre Foundation unveiled plans for a large-scale renovation of the building in 2013 which included efficiency upgrades to plumbing and electrical systems. At that time the Community Environmental Council Executive Director Dave Davis showed their support for the planned improvements, saying, “We need visionary partners [like the Lobero Theatre] who are committed to making older buildings as energy efficient as possible.”
More updates were included in the 2013 “Encore: Lobero” campaign, including installing lo-flow toilets throughout the building, and any toilets that were not replaced at that time have since been retrofitted to reduce water use. New landscaping practices and drip lines keep outdoor water usage at a minimum. New energy efficient bulbs have been replaced throughout the building, and approved plans are in place for future improvements–including eco-friendly lighting for the Lobero’s centerpiece chandelier. Other electrical systems including heating and air conditioning have been inspected and approved. In addition, the Lobero Theatre has moved to using non-toxic cleaning supplies throughout.
For more information about the Green Business Program, please visit greenbizsbc.org.