Archive for December, 2009

Let’s make the holidays more environmentally friendly

The Issue

  • Approximately 37 million Americans purchase disposable holiday trees annually.
  • Americans send at least 2.6 billion holiday cards annually (most ending up in the garbage).
  • During the holiday season, holiday lights in each home produce enough carbon dioxide to inflate 12 balloons.
  • A typical holiday party of thirty guests can create 80 pounds of waste!
  • Annually, Americans throw away 52 square miles of wrapping paper.

Be Part of the Solution

How can I celebrate the holiday season in an environmentally friendly way?

  • Instead of mailing holiday cards, send free electronic cards from a site like www.hallmark.com!
  • Prepare holiday meals and desserts with organic ingredients and extra love!
  • Instead of buying a disposable tree, how about a live tree (bring your living tree indoors no more than a week before the holidays, and put it back outdoors soon after, plant in the spring).
  • If you buy a disposable tree, why not plant two trees in its place?
  • Save up to 90% on additional utility costs by using LED lights on your tree and on the outside of your house (be sure to put the lights on timers).  Try http://www.holidayleds.com/
  • Find out how much energy your holiday lights use by visiting http://www.christmas-light-source.com/
  • Instead of using indoor artificial lighting at night try renewable and biodegradable vegetable wax or beeswax candles to create holiday magic!
  • For holiday parties, use real plates, silverware and cloth napkins and stay away from paper napkins, disposable paper plates and utensils.  If you must use disposable plates, buy plates that are biodegradable.  In fact, some disposable plates are made from corn, potato and sugar-cane pulp!
  • Provide recycling bins for glass bottles, cans and plastic.
  • Instead of gifts, ask friends to make donations to your favorite charity, if gifts are a must, use reused or recycled wrapping paper (or newsprint) and biodegradable tape.
  • Buy gifts from local businesses!
  • Surprise your loved ones by creating homemade gifts!
  • Carpool to your holiday parties!
  • Use environmentally friendly cleaning products and cloths or micro fiber rags to clean up after the holidays.

To learn more about sustainability at St. Petersburg College, contact Jason Green at green.jason@spcollege.edu.  Then visit http://www.spcollege.edu/sustainability, join the facebook group and follow us at http://twitter.com/sustainableSPC.

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December 15, 2009 at 3:11 pm Leave a comment

Composting: It’s not as hard as it looks

The Issue

Composting!

The Larger Issue

  • Composting recycles or “downcycles” organic household and yard waste and manure into an extremely nutrient rich composted soil.
  • Annually, an average household can keep 500 pounds of perfectly biodegradable kitchen and garden waste out of landfills.
  • Composting recycles nutrients in your scraps, producing soil that’s tastes gourmet to your plants.

Be Part of the Solution

How can I learn more about composting?

  • A biodegradable material is not necessarily compostable but is capable of being broken down completely but may take a very long time.
  • A compostable material biodegrades substantially under composting conditions.
  • Some of the things you can compost include:  fruits and vegetables, bread, cereals, pastas, coffee grounds and filters, teabags, eggshells, grass clippings, leaves, weeds, non chemically treated woodchips and sawdust.  Visit http://www.compostthis.co.uk/ for more information.
  • Some things you cannot compost include: chemical treated wood, meat, bones and fat, human and animal waste, diseased plants and plants like poison ivy.
  • Visit http://www.planetnatural.com, or http://www.gardeners.com to select your compost bin.
  • Visit http://www.howtocompost.org/ to learn more about composting.
  • Buy Barbara Plesant’s book The Complete Compost Gardening Guide, Mary Applehof’s book Worms Eat My Garbage or Stu Campbell’s Let It Rot!
  • Call or visit UF-IFAS/Pinellas County Extension at (727) 582-2673, 12520 Ulmerton Road in Largo to sign up for their next free Compost Happens Workshop or to see demonstration composting bins in action.

For more tips, or to learn more about sustainability at St. Petersburg College, contact Jason Green at green.jason@spcollege.edu.  Then visit http://www.spcollege.edu/sustainability, join the facebook group and follow us at http://twitter.com/sustainableSPC.

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December 2, 2009 at 10:59 am Leave a comment

Gasparilla Film Festival’s “Green the Screen” contest

Gasparilla International Film Festival (GIFF) has partnered with Repower America to offer a short-video contest.

The “Green the Screen” film contest is your chance to get your voice heard on environmental solutions and calls to action.  GIFF is proud to announce this contest for filmmakers, activists, local celebrities and students, giving all an opportunity to create thoughtful and unique videos that will help to change the world one film at a time.

Contest winners will have their videos screened on the opening night of the Gasparilla International Film Festival, March 2010.

All entries will be posted on www.repoweramerica.org/wall, and select videos will be posted on the GIFF web site.  All are welcome to contribute, there is no fee and your activism is encouraged.

The Kick-off party will be held at the Hyatt Regency Tampa (211 North Tampa Street,Tampa, Florida) on Thursday December 10th at 7:30pm.

The non-profit Gasparilla International Film Festival is one of Florida’s largest and fastest growing film festivals, and is dedicated to expanding art opportunities in the Tampa Bay community through the medium and culture of independent film.

Repower America, a non-profit and non-partisan in its efforts promoting good stewardship of the Earth and Clean Energy.

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December 2, 2009 at 10:26 am Leave a comment


who we are:

Early in 2008, St. Petersburg College recognized its responsibility to model to our students, employees and community ways to minimize global warming emissions and provide the knowledge to our graduates to help achieve a more environmentally friendly future. Because of this, the College made sustainability (defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs) a top priority. As a result, the Office for Sustainability was established.

what we do:

Working alongside internal and external partners, the Office for Sustainability focuses on the following areas of environmental stewardship: educational programs and corporate training, energy and natural resource conservation, green buildings and facilities, carbon emissions, recycling and student activities.

learn more:

To learn more about The Office for Sustainability at St. Petersburg College, contact Jason Green, Sustainability Coordinator at green.jason@spcollege.edu

sustainable | SPC