Defining Excellence for Florida's Economic, Environmental and Social Future
A couple weekends ago, my family took our annual pilgrimage to St. George Island - a gorgeous dune-covered barrier island off the panhandle near Apalachicola. My daughter, Hayden, wanted to build a sand castle. We took pails and shovels to the shoreline. She picked the spot. As I began building the castle foundation, she began working closer to the water a couple feet away from me. I asked her what she was doing. She replied, "I am building a wall to protect the castle. If it's washed away, we will simply rebuild on higher ground." From the mouths of the babes. Hayden turned six last week.
Furthermore, at a recent meeting at the University of Florida, a public-interest lawyer said: "The biggest problem we face is that most don't realize that Florida is just one big sand bar."
Florida is rebuilding - its budget, its government, its communities. But will we rebuild what we know or build the future on a sustainable foundation? Energy, green building, purchasing, a water ethic, community agriculture, transportation choices, recycling and more must be addressed. And not independent of one another - these are interdependent matters that require thoughtful action to ensure a sustainable Florida. What is the role you are playing?
On a related note, as we watch Japan focus on difficult challenges to survive and rebuild, please consider a small donation. You can text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation and support their disaster relief efforts to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific.
Vice President, Sustainability Initiatives
Follow me on Twitter
. And, using the link above the logo, please share this newsletter online with your friends and colleagues! Thanks.
|Nominate Best Practices Today!|
|Deadline is March - Awards Luncheon in June|
You see them everyday. Companies. Small businesses. Non-profits. People. Making a difference. Not business as usual. Breaking the mold. Engaged in their community. Conscious of their environmental impact. All while increasing their economic bottom line while expanding their market share.
They are doing well by doing good. They focus on a triple bottom line. They are the best!
Make your nomination today for the 2011 Sustainable Florida Best Practice Awards - the state's premier sustainability awards program. More than 100 businesses, non-profit organizations, governmental groups and individuals have been honored for their work that demonstrates that a healthy environment and a healthy economy are mutually supportive. The Governor and Cabinet bestow a resolution honoring the winners each year.
The nomination deadline is fast approaching. Nominate yourself, a colleague, a vendor or partner. Awards will be presented in several categories including Leadership, Small Business, Large Business, Non-Profit, Partnership, and Green Building. An independent blue-ribbon panel of experts in sustainable practices will review and score the nominees. Nomination forms my be accessed on the web. Deadline is March 30, 2011.
ATTENTION - Please send this information to your colleagues and friends - Facebook, Twitter, newsletters, etc. - Help spread the word! Thanks!
|Educational Alliance Roundtable|
|Campus Leaders are Creating a Sustainable Path!|
If you are helping with your sustainability efforts on a college or university campus in Florida, then you should be a part of the Educational Alliance for a Sustainable Florida.
In late January, campus representatives gathered to forge the newly revised Educational Alliance for a Sustainable Florida. We created a new online community to serve as a resource for all post-secondary institutions. Position descriptions, procurement policies, best practices and more will be posted by the community members. Let us know if you would like to be a part of this effort. Simply send me an email. Or you register in the Collins Center community and join the EASF Group.
Read a recap of the EASF luncheon keynote
|A Look Around the State|
|Many Are Working to Create a Sustainable Florida|
|A lot is happening across our great state and nation. Hopefully, this quick overview will alert you to some of the bigger issues of the day. Let us know what's important to you.
- Net Zero. Leon County received a $480K Florida Clean Energy Grant (from federal stimulus funds) to help fund a 65kW solar photovoltaic system - part of their 'net-zero' energy building.
- Would mass transit help? A recent USA Today article noted that as the economy recovers, more cars are hitting the road with congestion increasing by 11% last year in the country's 100 biggest metropolitan areas.
- Time For an Energy Policy? Two articles published before the Regular Session kicked-off presented a case for energy policy. Michael Dobson (Florida Renewable Energy Producers Association) argued for the ballot action with the Florida Green Energy Initiative. At the same time, GrayRobinson partner Fred Leonhardt (a #3 seed in the SaintPetersBlog TallyMadness brackets) made the case for job creation with renewable energy efforts.
- OUC Goes with the Reliable One. Kudos to the OUC (Orlando Utilities Commission) on the groundbreaking of their Stanton Solar Farm - the first of its kind in Orange County. That's one fuel source that is not going away anytime soon.
- Florida How Often? In the cleverly titled article, Florida Audubon's director and Sustainable Florida Board member Eric Draper, makes the case that Florida should be Forever, not just Sometimes.
- Are you in a food desert? Many who live in poor neighborhoods don't have access to healthy affordable food. The Southeastern Green Network held a regional forum at Florida A&M as part of its work with historically black colleges and universities to promote green efforts.
- Join the Corps. Part of the effort to increase children's access to healthy, fresh food comes from Food Corps (think Peace Corps for foodies). It's a new national service program seeking leaders for a year of paid public service.
- No more teachers. No more books. One thing about the future is it's fun to try to predict. What if there weren't school books? What if they were on a Kindle or iPad? Cheaper in the long run (maybe), easier to carry (definitely), up to date (thank you, President Carter?). From concept to reality from the state Board of Education?
And be sure to mark your calendar for these upcoming in-state events. Lots more are listed on our website
. You can post your event by completing the form
|Become a Sustainable Florida - Collins Center Partner|
|Your Support Means the State to Us!|
Sustainable Florida - Collins Center relies upon the support of private contributions from individual and corporate partners and grants from foundations. An investment in Sustainable Florida is an investment in the future of Florida.
All friends, partners and sponsors get a discount on Sustainable Florida events like the annual conference. And we make sure people know you are a supporter with a sticker, name tag ribbon and signage at events. And our Royal Palm-level donors get a framed print of the Royal Palm series of original art work from Tallahassee-based artist William Lamb.
As is it is with recycling, every little bit moves us toward our goal. Please consider a generous tax-deductible gift today.
|Tim Center, Esq. - Director