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Monday, January 31, 2011

Congratulations to New Green Business Partners!

By:Mary Campbell, Extension Director and Urban Sustainability Agent

Pinellas County Extension kicked off the new Green Business Partnership in 2010 and is proud that six businesses have completed the assessment to become a Green Partner. The assessment requires an energy audit and waste assessment in addition to a review of over 100 other green practices that businesses can implement as part of the program.

The program rewards businesses that have worked hard to be greener and supports those businesses that want to know how to be green. The newest partner is PSCU Financial Services which employs about 1,500 people. They have implemented many practices to support going green such as an employee newsletter that shares green tips, a recycling program, a program to reuse office supplies, waste management and energy conservation practices.

Congratulations to all our Green Business Partners!

C & D Printing
12150 28th Street North
St. Petersburg, FL 33716

Lasting Impressions
322 Main Street
Dunedin, FL 34698

1 800 Got Junk?
8440 Ulmerton Road,
Suite 508
Largo, FL 33771

Pinellas County Housing Authority
11479 Ulmerton Rd.
Largo, FL 33778

Anne Kramer and Associates, LLC
Landscape Architects
P.O. Box 2625
Dunedin, FL 34697-2625

PSCU Financial Services
560 Carillon Parkway
St. Petersburg, FL 33716

Friday, January 28, 2011

Picking the Reel Deal…Making Healthy Seafood Choices

By: Nan Jensen, FCS Agent

Fish and shellfish are an important part of a healthy diet. In addition to being a source of high quality protein, they are low in saturated fat and some varieties contain omega-3 fatty acids. Including seafood as part of a well-balanced diet can contribute to heart health and support children's growth and development. While seafood can be a healthy choice, it is important to pay attention to safety. Buy from a retailer who follows proper food handling practices. Make sure the place where you purchase your seafood looks and smells clean. Handle and store it safely when you arrive home. If you don’t plan to use it in a day or two, freeze it for later use.

Another safety consideration is the amount of mercury in some species of fish. Pregnant moms, those considering getting pregnant and moms who are nursing should avoid shark, swordfish, King mackerel and tilefish. Shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock and catfish are good low mercury alternatives.

Finally, as you make your seafood purchases, choose species that are abundant, well-managed and caught or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. The Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Marine Stewardship Council can help you with your choices.


U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Provides information about safely selecting and storing seafood

Thursday, January 27, 2011


WHEN: Monday, Jan. 31, 2011, from 10:00 am to noon

WHERE: Seminole Community Library Program Room, 9200 113th St. N., Seminole,Fl. 33722
TOPIC: Recycling At School

SPEAKER: Jeff Redett, Plant Operator, Orange Grove Elementary School, Seminole,FL
Jeff will describe various recycling and gardening activities that were started at Orange Grove Elementary School in 2008. The students are presently participating in a national 'Dream Machine Recycling Rally', for which their recycle materials are being logged into a national record-keeping system, until March 30, 2001. Come hear about the wonderful school-wide efforts being correlated at the school by Jeff. Please bring a neighbor along with you for this exciting meeting!

Contact: Mary @ 631-838-2272

Friday, January 21, 2011

Climate Refugees

There is a new phenomenon in the global arena called "Climate Refugees". A climate refugee is a person displaced by climatically induced environmental disasters. Such disasters result from incremental and rapid ecological change, resulting in increased droughts, desertification, sea level rise, and the more frequent occurrence of extreme weather events such as hurricanes, cyclones, fires, mass flooding and tornadoes. "Climate Refugees" is an important and timely documentary film that uncovers the unbelievable plight of people around the world displaced by climatically-induced environmental disasters. The film illuminates -for the first time-the human face of climate change as civilization now finds itself, facing the confluence of overpopulation, lack of resources and a changing climate. "Climate Refugees" was the centerpiece film at the United Nations' Climate Summit in Copenhagen last December, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2010, played at dozens of film festivals around the world to rave reviews, has received multiple awards and an overwhelming audience response.

There will be three local screenings January 27th, 28th, and 30th.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Join Us at 2011 Tampa Bay Home Show!

The Pinellas Energy Efficiency Project and other Pinellas County Extension programs will be on display at the Tampa Bay Home Show this weekend.

This is a great opportunity to help people who are looking to make improvements to their castle to ensure their improvements are as green as can be.
A PEEP display will feature free CFL flood lights for those that arrive early, and tote bags to remind us to conserve energy throughout the day.

Friday, January 21, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday, January 22, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sunday, January 23, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Upcoming Sustainability Events

Conserving and Restoring Biodiversity in Urban and Rural Environments
Join Dr. Mark Hostetler, Associate Professor, Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida
on January 13th at the Brooker Creek Preserve for this 4-hour workshop. You will learn about tools, methodologies and strategies to conserve and restore urban environments and promote biodiversity and water conservation; how to evaluate the positive or negative impacts of a proposed policy or development design on biodiversity and water conservation; and how to retrofit older neighborhoods.

Register Here!

Florida Seafood Safety and Sustainability
2011 Brown Bag Lunch Webinar Series

This series will provide educators, resource managers, and seafood lovers a brief overview of the selected sea food. Including management, economic values, harvest methods & gear, food safety measures, nutrition and purchasing tips associated with selected products.

The webinars will be held the third Wednesday of each month from 12:15 to 12:45pm.

January 19 Why Local Seafood?
February 16 Grouper
March 16 Shrimp
May 18 Snapper
July 20 SpinyLobster
September21 Stone Crab
November 16 Oysters

To register contact Bryan Fluech at

Making Sustainability a Corporate Norm in 2011

On January 26th head for 140 4th St. N. in downtown St. Petersburg for a complimentary workshop that will expand your sustainability knowledge-base. Start building your “green map” to sustainability with the many cost-effective, practical ideas you learn in this seminar.

The Presenters:

Dr. Charles Kibert Arlene Stewart Bert Henderson Robert Mitchell Bill Krimmel

Register Here!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Green Resolutions for 2011

By: Mary Campbell, Extension Director and Urban Sustainability Agent

Have you set your new “green” resolutions for 2011? Are you still forgetting that reusable bag for the grocery or not quite off the bottled water yet? Each year brings a new opportunity to see how we can push ourselves to implement new, more sustainable practices. This past year, I realized just how hard it is to change practices that I have been doing for years. Happily, I no longer have to take the recyclables to a remote site since St. Petersburg began curbside recycling. That is a huge step forward.

A new year is a good time to think about lifestyle resolutions that are meaningful to us. Due to economic and environmental impacts, more people are thinking about new ways of connecting their lifestyles with their beliefs. Living sustainably can mean a simpler, more economical lifestyle and more focused on reducing impacts to the planet.

One of the challenges of going green and being sustainable is the link between our beliefs and our actions. A recent Yale study notes that 76 % of participants thought it was important to buy locally grown food, but only 26 % did it and 72% of participants thought it was important to use public transportation or carpool, but only 10 % did so. The survey found that for simpler actions, like turning out lights or reusing things, people were more likely to believe the action was important and also do it. Research has shown us that convenience and cost are two important factors for implementing sustainable practices.

So let’s pick a new green practice that we will carry through 2011. I have not been consistent about purchasing locally grown (Florida) fruits and vegetables. So this year I will make sure I check where fruits and vegetables are grown before I buy them and purchase the local choice when available. This may mean not having some of my favorites, but it also means I will learn to love new things and know that I am supporting local food systems and the local economy. Farmer’s markets are a great way to see what is grown in our state and support a local economy. So I will pledge to go to a local farmer’s market once a month and buy local produce. If you want to join me in this commitment, please click here. At the end of 2011, we will see how well we all did.

Thanks for reading the Thinking Green blog and have a very “green” 2011.

Be Green and Buy Local