Archive for May, 2010

Go Green this Memorial Day

The Issue

Environmentally Un-friendly Memorial Day!

The Larger Issue

  • A typical party of thirty guests can create 80 pounds of waste!

Be Part of the Solution

How can I recognize Memorial Day in environmentally friendly way?

  • Instead of sending out paper invitations, send electronic invitations from a site like www.evite.com!
  • Try a tofu recipe instead of meat!
  • Bake your own snacks and desserts with organic, locally grown ingredients and extra love!
  • Ride your bike, walk or take public transport to your party, parade or baseball game of choice!
  • Instead of using streamers and balloons, decorate with small plants.  You can give the plants away as parting gifts at the end of the party.
  • Buy organic beer, or if the part is really big, rent a keg to decrease glass bottle and aluminum can waste!
  • Instead of buying bottled water, use a filtered water pitcher!
  • Use real plates, silverware and cloth napkins and stay away from disposable paper plates and utensils and napkins.  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.
  • Use environmentally friendly cleaning products and cloths rags to clean up after the party.
  • Recognize the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. to pause in an act of national unity.
  • Even if you don’t understand what you are thanking them for, thank a veteran.

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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May 31, 2010 at 8:13 am Leave a comment

Pinellas Energy Effeciency Project, June 19

On June 19, 2010, 10:30-11:30am, Pinellas County Extension will host a FREE residential energy efficiency course led by University of Florida faculty.  This educational course will provide materials (energy saving devices to all participants), tips and incentives to help your home become more energy efficient, while maintaining the same comfort level.

More importantly, the course will ultimately help you save money on utility bills!

The class will be held at the Seminole Community Library at St. Petersburg College, Seminole Campus (9200 113th St. N., Seminole, Florida).

Space is limited, so register now!

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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May 25, 2010 at 12:49 pm Leave a comment

Amendment 4 (Hometown Democracy) roundtable debate at SPC

Amendment 4, a topic affecting all Floridians is up for vote this November. The citizens have a huge stake in growth decisions that will influence our community’s future.

St. Petersburg College‘s Clearwater Campus (2465 Drew Street, Clearwater, Florida) will host an Amendment 4 round-table debate in the Fine Arts Auditorium, Wednesday, May 26, 2010 beginning at 11:00am.

When you visit the ballot box you need to be accurately informed and educated on both sides of the issue.

During the first half of this round-table presentation, presenters from both sides of the issue will present their case. The second half will be dedicated to audience question and answer.

For some background, please read the following in advance of the discussion.

HOMETOWN DEMOCRACY (pro-Amendment 4):
Supported by the Sierra Club of Florida

Each community has adopted its own comprehensive plan: a long-term master plan for sensible growth. Currently, elected city and county commissioners have exclusive power to make changes to the plan. They believe rising taxes, falling home values, gridlocked roads, dwindling water supplies and Florida’s disappearing beauty are just some of the devastating consequences of Florida politicians’ habit of rubber-stamping speculative plan changes.

If Amendment 4 passes, they believe all that will change by allowing voters veto power over the modification to your community’s master plan for growth.

CITIZENS FOR LOWER TAXES AND A STRONGER ECONOMY (anti-Amendment 4):
Supported by Florida Chamber of Commerce

Amendment 4 would impose a referendum requirement on all local comprehensive plan changes. They believe this subverts a well-established, open, accessible, and democratic planning process. With the Vote on Everything amendment, many Florida voters, not the representatives they elected, will be expected to decide 200 to 300 technical land-use planning amendments every year.

If Amendment 4 passes, they believe it will result in the disruption of local communities, disorder further disenfranchising Florida’s already-fatigued electorate, and astronomical costs, resulting in a system that is far worse, not better.

Come to SPC’s Clearwater Campus Wednesday, May 26, 2010 to decide for yourself.

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May 24, 2010 at 9:45 am Leave a comment

Stay away from beauty products containing parabens

The Issue

  • Parabens are synthetic preservatives found in shampoos, make-up foundations, shaving gels and even food.  These chemicals act as preservatives and extend a product’s shelf life by inhibiting bacterial growth.
  • Parabens are similar to estrogen and interfere with natural hormone production.  This may lead to weight gain and more importantly, may contain potential links to cancer.
  • When washed off in the shower or at the beach, parabens can accumulate in waterways or soil and disrupt the hormones in animals.  Scientists say certain animal genetic defects may be the result of paraben pollution.
  • Up to 60% of products we place on our skin seeps into our blood stream.

Be Part of the Solution

How can I stay away from parabens?

  • Stay away from products containing these chemicals: Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Benzyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid, Methyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid, Ethyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid, Propyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid, Butyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid, Parahydroxybenzoic acid and Parahydroxybenzoate.
  • Words like “natural” and “organic” does not mean paraben-free!  Don’t be fooled by the front label. You will likely find any parabens printed in small letters at the bottom of the back label.
  • Buy organic moisturizing body oils made from organic cocoa butter, sunflower oils, peppermint oil, coconut oil, and organic spearmint oil.
  • Visit Cosmetics Database (http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com) an on-line safety guide to cosmetics and personal care products.  While there, sign the petition!

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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May 19, 2010 at 8:12 am Leave a comment

Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival, June 11-12

Join the Pinellas Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society and the Suncoast Sierra Club when they host North America’s largest environmental film festival, June 11-12, 2010.

Friday, June 11, 7-9 p.m.
Curtis Fundamental Elementary School
531 Beltrees Street, Dunedin, FL [map]
(Note: The School Board of Pinellas County, Florida, is neither sponsoring nor affiliated with this event)

Ascending the Giants – 12 min.
John Waller
You may hug a tree, but would you climb one? Join tree lovers & climbers Brian and Will as they attempt to find Oregon’s largest Sitka Spruce trees. Through their eyes, from both ground and canopy views, we discover the breathtaking beauty of these beautiful giants. Click here for Trailer

Nourish – 26 min.
Kirk Bergstrom, Linda Davis
What we eat, where we eat, and how we eat reveals much about our relationship to food. Today, more than ever, we need to understand where our food comes from and how it reaches us. If you want change, vote three times a day–with your fork!

Division Street – 49 min.
Eric Bandick
This is not your father’s road trip. Roads and cars have fragmented wild landscapes, ushered in urban sprawl, and challenged some of the bedrock values we once took for granted. But as the transportation crisis appears to be spiraling out of control, a new generation of ecologists, engineers, city-planners, and everyday citizens are transforming the future of the American road. From pristine roadless areas to concrete jungles, follow filmmaker Eric as he tours North America, dodging Yellowstone’s grizzlies and Miami’s taxicabs, and highlighting sustainable road projects and wildlife corridors for the 21st century.  www.transalt.org

…and selected “shorts”

Saturday, June 12th, 7-9 p.m.
St. Petersburg College, Seminole Campus
University Partnership Center
9200 113th Street, Seminole, FL [map]

Big River – 27 min.
Curt Ellis, Aaron Woolf
The filmmakers of King Corn are back! Curt and Ian have returned to Iowa with a new mission: to investigate the environmental impact their acre of corn has had on the people and places downstream. In a journey that extends from the American heartland to the Gulf of Mexico, the guys trade their combine for a canoe and set out to see the big world their little acre of corn has touched.

Generations: A Perspective on Climate Change – 17 min.
Steve Jones
For many, snowy winters have a deep significance–culturally, personally, and financially. Going beyond charts and numbers, this new film humanizes the debate on climate change by exploring the delicate balance of winter and the intrinsic value of snow to people across generations and cultures. http://www.tetongravity.com/

Watershed Revolution – 27 min.
Rich Reid, Paul Jenkin
What is a Watershed? The answer is explored through interviews with concerned citizens working to protect and preserve the Ventura River watershed. www.surfrider.org

…and selected “shorts”

Tickets ($10, $8 for students with ID) may be purchased after May 15 at Wilcox Nursery, 12501 Indian Rocks Road in Largo, or online here.  Tickets also available at the door.

Come early for refreshments and door prizes.

For more information visit their website or call 727 667 2600.

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May 10, 2010 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

How you can help with the Gulf of Mexico oil leak

In dealing with the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico it is essential that we consider the tragedy’s immediate and future implications.  Since the oil on the surface has not been contained and the well is still leaking, it is critical that we consider the likelihood that our area may be affected by this tragedy to our natural resources and tourist based economy.

Here’s how you can help and/or stay informed…

Local organizations providing direct support:

  • Save Our Seabirds is a Sarasota, Florida-based bird rescue group that is looking for volunteers and support as its response team prepares to help oiled wildlife. Please click here to fill out their online form or call 941-388-3010.
  • The Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary and TradeWinds Island Resort are local drop-off centers for items to be donated and transported to the emergency triage sites.  They are in need of linens, kennels, towels, sheets, Dawn detergent, Pepto-Bismol and toothbrushes.  Please bring items to the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary at 18328 Gulf Blvd., Indian Shores; or TradeWinds Island Resort, 5500 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach.  Email jessicag@seabirdsanctuary.com or call 727-392-4291 with questions.
  • Tampa Bay Watch is currently seeking community volunteers to support the oil spill response in Tampa Bay and along West Central Florida.  Please visit http://tampabaywatch.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=content.home&pageID=267 for more information on how you can help by volunteering or by financially supporting their response and restoration activities.
  • St Petersburg College will be planning a beach clean-up on Clearwater Beach right before oil is expected to reach our shore.
  • Visit http://www.volunteerfloridadisaster.org/ for the most up-to-date information for people looking to volunteer their time and talents.

Websites providing updated oil spill information, maps and its projected path:

Phone numbers to call:

  • To report an oiled shoreline or request volunteer information, call (866) 448-5816.
  • To report oiled wildlife, call (866) 557-1401.
  • To participate in a training program and volunteer your vessel to help with cleanup, transportation of supplies, wildlife rescue, towing or deploying booms to contain the spill, call (281) 366-5511.
  • To submit alternative technologies, products or services that can help with cleanup efforts, call (281) 366-5511.

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May 6, 2010 at 12:45 pm Leave a comment

The Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary needs donations for possible Gulf oil spill impact

The Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary is asking the community to help them care for injured birds as the disastrous Gulf oil spill moves towards Florida.

The Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary and TradeWinds Island Resort are local drop-off centers for items to be donated and transported to the emergency triage sites.  They are in need of linens, kennels, towels, sheets, Dawn detergent, Pepto-Bismol and toothbrushes.

Please bring items to the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary at 18328 Gulf Blvd., Indian Shores; or TradeWinds Island Resort, 5500 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach.

Email jessicag@seabirdsanctuary.com or call 727-392-4291 with questions.

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May 3, 2010 at 12:33 pm Leave a comment

Older Posts


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