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Thursday, May 31, 2012


Monday, June 4, 2012  
10 a.m. to noon
Seminole Community Library Program Room 
9200 113th St. N
Seminole, Florida 33722

TOPIC: Water Use

  • Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services 
  • Department of Agricultural Water Policy
  • Pinellas County Utilities Solid Waste Management

Come hear about Florida's Agriculture 'Best Management Practices' to protect water quality and reduce the use of ground water. Find out about partnerships with county, state, and federal agencies to deliver sustainable water use programs.

Bring  your questions.....and a friend or two!

R.S.V.P. to Mary:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Homes with a Higher Standard

Planning to buy or build a home? Ask if it meets the Florida Green Home Standard. The Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) has established home building benchmarks which address specific regional issues. The FGBC’s mission is "to provide a statewide green building program with environmental and economic benefits."

To gain Florida Green Home Standard certification, the builder uses the FGBC sustainability checklist for planning. When construction is complete, a third party inspector reviews the job.

The Florida Green Home Standard checklist has eight categories.
  • Energy – based on projected performance 
  • Water – efficient use indoor and outdoor 
  • Lot Choice – promotes use of existing infrastructure, mass transit, public open space, and community resources 
  • Site – protects local habitat 
  • Health – addresses air quality and contaminants 
  • Materials – waste reduction and sustainable materials. 
  • Disaster Mitigation – includes termite protection. 
  • General – credit for smaller house size, adaptability, renewable power generation 
For more details on the FGBC Green Home Standard, see
To learn more about home Green Certification Programs, download this fact sheet (pdf)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Is Your Car Really That Important?

Ramona Madhosingh-Hector    
Urban Sustainability Agent   

Our cars define us – it’s a status symbol, a mark of independence and a point of pride. They provide convenient and reliable transportation but have you ever considered how much it costs to own that car? Fuel (gas, electric), tires, tune-ups, insurance and parking aren’t things the car dealers mention when you’re on the sales lot. What if you had alternative transportation options, would you use it? The phenomenon of “car sharing” is on the rise and fits those who want a variety of mobility options and support protecting the environment.

Although car sharing is certainly economical and convenient in some cities, it highlights a growing trend that users want alternative transportation options that fit their lifestyles. Car sharers are more likely to drive less, use more fuel-efficient vehicles, and walk or bike more than the average person. Car sharing reduces private vehicle ownership and the hassles associated with it e.g. parking, insurance and car maintenance. More importantly, fewer vehicles means fewer vehicle miles travelled which has been identified as a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

There are a variety of car sharing options from private companies like ZipCar, City CarShare, I-GO to rental companies like Hertz as well as derivatives like peer-to-peer car sharing. All of these offer the user a variety of options in major metropolitan areas like San Francisco, Chicago and Austin. Fees range from $8 to $15 per hour which includes gas and insurance! As with most sharing programs, weekdays are less expensive than weekends.

In Florida, the ZipCar cities include Gainesville, Miami, Orlando and Tallahassee. Although the Tampa Bay area is not home to Zipsters, we have a number of rideshare programs available for our residents through TBARTA. For up-to-date information on transit options in our area, check out Pinellas County Alternatives Analysis and Pinellas Suncoast Transit Agency.

So next time you need to get around town, try carpooling, car sharing, biking, walking or the bus – you will pocket the savings!

Resources/Links -

City CarShare
Hertz on Demand
Alternatives Analysis

Saturday, May 12, 2012

LEEDing the Way

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) wants to see greener homes being built, and its LEED for Homes® program can help your new home be one of them.  

LEED ( Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a voluntary rating system created by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to make it simpler for homebuyers anywhere in the country to identify green homes.

Developed by a diverse group of national experts and experienced green builders, the LEED for Homes Green Building Rating System provides a consistent measurement for sustainability, addressing such aspects as:
  • Is the home location responsible in its relation to the larger community? 
  • Does the use of space minimize the project's impact on the site and natural surroundings? 
  • Does it enable efficient use of water indoors and outdoors? 
  • Is the home energy efficient? 
  • How do materials used and waste created affect the environment? 
  • How is the indoor air quality? 
  • Has the owner/ tenant been educated about the green features? 
  • Does the design and construction improve upon the program suggestions? 
For more information about LEED for Homes, go to the USGBC website.
To learn more about home Green Certification Programs, download this fact sheet (pdf) from the Florida Energy Systems Consortium.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Monday, May 7, 2012  
10 a.m. to noon
Seminole Community Library Program Room 
9200 113th St. N
Seminole, Florida 33722

TOPIC: Update on Florida Counties Preparing to Meet Statewide Recycling Goal of 75% by Year 2020 

PRESENTER:  Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Come to this exciting Discussion Group meeting armed with your own questions.
  • What will we do differently to be able to accomplish this important goal?
  • Will we get away from our casual use and disposal of plastic water bottles? 
  • Will more of us begin using re-usable shopping bags?
  • Will we take extra efforts to discourage use of styrofoam packaging?
  • Do you have strategies you have started using to reduce the amount of waste you throw out...that you could share with us?
Bring along a friend or two!

R.S.V.P. to Mary: