Archive for June, 2009
The SPC environmental clubs and EGB (you don’t have to be a member of either to participate) adopted a mile of beach (Lot 36) on North Shore Clearwater Beach, running from Rockaway St. to 880 Mandalay.
We have scheduled our next beach clean-up Sunday July 05 starting at 9am, meeting on the beach at Rockaway Street. Bags and Gloves will be provided, but please remember to wear a hat, suncreen, closed toed shoes and pants for the dunes, etc.
For driving directions click here.
So again, plan to meet on the beach at Rockaway Street, July 05 at 9am. Spend a few hours picking up garbage and the rest relaxing on a clean beach.
Please contact email@example.com if you want to participate!
Manatee County will soon be the home to Florida’s first Earthship. The residential Earthship is designed to live in harmony with the environment and be entirely self sufficient. The structure uses recycled (such as tires and soda cans) and local materials (mainly dirt), generates its own electricity and processes its own waste and creates no negative environment impact.
Using dirt as the main building material is the ultimate form of “green” building construction as it creates no environmental pollution and consumes virtually no energy.
Earthships are designed to catch water from the sky and use it up to four times and heat water from either the sun or by natural gas. Additionally, Earthships produce their own electricity, through solar and/or wind-generated energy. The created energy is stored in batteries and then supplied to electrical outlets. Earthships contain all household sewage (utilizing toilets flush with greywater) and reuse for food production in landscaping.
This construction technique is as old as human history, and remains entirely suitable for today’s resource-conscious and environmentally friendly building trend.
The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) will introduce it’s new SmartBus.
The SmartBus diesel-electric hybrid vehicle is expected to reduce fuel use by at least 18 percent through special filtering systems that cut particulate emissions by 90 percent.
As part of the “Green Living Workshop”, the new generation of environmentally friendly transit buses will be on display June 27 from 10am until 12pm at the Largo Public Library (120 Central Park Drive, Largo, FL). Pinellas County Extension and the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences are hosting the FREE event.
Additionally, there will be information regarding Federal stimulus funds granted to PSTA and training on how residences can take advantage of the Energy Tax Credits offered through the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act. According to the PSTA, there are “a wide variety of tax credits are available for home improvements such as energy-efficient windows and doors, insulation, solar panels”.
For more information call 727/582-2100 or visit Pinellas County Extension.
Did you just graduate? Well, go look for a green job!
According to Pew Research Center, green-collar jobs are being created every day. In fact, the industry has grown 9% a year, more than twice the growth of more traditional jobs.
In a Wall Street Journal article, Joel Yudken, a member of an advisory panel for the Pew study said, “With all the emphasis in the stimulus and energy bills, there’s going to be new demand and a lot more investment in these businesses, which will mean more jobs. It’s a growth area, there’s no question about that.”
Visit these websites to learn more about green jobs:
St. Petersburg College has obtained U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED Gold certification for the new Student Services Building on the St. Petersburg/Gibbs campus. The building is one of the first in Pinellas County to earn the designation.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Gold is its second highest designation.
Susan Reiter, SPC’s Vice President of Facilities Planning and Institutional Services, said the U.S. Green Building Council finalized the LEED review process and issued the certification.
The new building, built by Biltmore Construction Company, was designed to serve as the campus “living room.”
“The main soul of the building is a two-story space that enhances the living/learning experiences of the students, faculty and staff on the Gibbs Campus,” said Leo Arroyo, Principal and Director of Design at Canerday, Belfsky + Arroyo, Architects, the building’s architect. “The students gravitate to it to play, collaborate on group projects, and study in-between classes.”
In January the college opened the new building along with the Natural Science and Mathematics Building on the Clearwater campus; both were built to conform to the LEED Green Building Rating System™, a nationally accepted certifier of high performance and environmentally sensitive buildings. The Clearwater building is also awaiting certification.
Both buildings were designed to decrease pollution and negative impacts on the environment; decrease impact on local aquifers; decrease energy consumption; and increase the quality of indoor air and the indoor working environment.
Some of the Student Services Building’s sustainable features include “Energy Star” product specification, and a large, energy-efficient industrial ceiling fan that makes the surrounding area feel between 8-16ºF cooler.
The building utilizes “Green Cleaning” products, and permanent entryway systems capture dirt and particulates. Reflective roofing and paving materials result in cooler surfaces.
Preferred parking is provided for fuel-efficient vehicles/carpools, and bicycle storage and shower/changing facilities are located within 200 yards of entranceways. Composite wood products contain no added urea formaldehyde, and all adhesives, paints and carpets meet low volatile organic compound (VOC) standards.
There is no smoking within 25 feet of any entry.
“The completion of the new Student Services Building demonstrates environmental sensitivity and works hand-in-hand with the new environmental degree programs recently developed at the college,” said Jon White, SPC’s College Engineer.
“With only a handful of other LEED buildings in Pinellas County, the Student Services Building is an example of the many initiatives SPC is undertaking to become a leader in the sustainability movement,” said Jason Green, SPC’s Sustainability Coordinator.
Additional facts about the building:
- 40 percent water savings achieved through low-flow fixtures, dual-flush toilets and waterless urinals.
- At least 75 percent of all construction waste recycled.
- 30 percent of the total value of construction materials contains recycled content.
- At least 20 percent of materials or products used were extracted, harvested, recovered, and/or manufactured within 500 miles.
- At least 2.5 percent of the total value of building materials and products used are considered rapidly renewable building materials and products.
- 95 percent of wood-based materials and products were certified in accordance with the Forest Stewardship Council’s Principles and Criteria.
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Now’s your chance to find out and take a tour of the Pinellas County Utilities Solid Waste Operations plant!
The tour is scheduled immediately following the Phi Theta Kappa and Friends of Florida Environmental Club sponsored “Three R’s” (reuse, reduce, recycle) Quad Event being held June 25, 12 to 2 p.m. at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs campus.
What you will see:
- Waste-to-Energy (WTE) facility
- Sanitary landfill
- Yard waste-to-mulch facility
- Household electronics & chemical collection center
What you will learn:
- Where garbage goes, and the importance of minimizing waste.
- How use of the “3 Rs”—reduce, reuse, and recycle—helps the environment.
No need to sign up, just meet on the quad by 2 p.m. and we will board the SPC bus to be shuttled to the solid waste facility at 3095 114th Avenue North for a two-hour tour. Faculty, staff and students are all invited, but the bus only carries 45 passengers, so only that number of participants can be accommodated.