How Green Is The Valley?

As it turns out, the San Joaquin Valley - and the rest of California - is getting greener, at least when it comes to businesses.

At least 172 companies in the eight counties from Stockton to Bakersfield work in one of five green components: low-carbon energy, energy efficiency, transportation, green buildings or carbon markets, according to the Environmental Defense Fund.

Originally released last year with 2,200 businesses, the EDF's 2010 map shows 3,500 green entities in California,. The map identifies businesses that use sustainable practices and some non-profits, schools and public agencies that design policies, train workers and educate.

The businesses run the gamut - from developers to vehicle repair and business services. Fresno County is home to at least 43 of them. According to the map, Kern County has 45, San Joaquin County has 37, Stanislaus County has 20 and Tulare County is home to 17.

Merced County has 4, but you can bet that will expand as UC Merced, which is focused on green technology, ramps up.

The San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization is a nonprofit dedicated to improving our region's quality of life by increasing its production and use of clean and alternative energy. The SJVCEO works with cities and counties and public and private organizations to demonstrate the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy throughout the eight-county region of the San Joaquin Valley.