Tag Archives: Green

CL’s 40 “great ideas”

From Creative Loafing:

In last year’s Green Issue, CL’s edit staff highlighted 100 people, places and businesses helping to make Tampa Bay a greener place to live. This year, it was the readers’ turn to weigh in. In response to our call for great, do-it-yourself green ideas, we received more than 100 innovative, creative and well-thought-out tips for eco-friendlier living, from which we chose 40 in honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22.

The wide variety of recommendations — from improving baby care to creating new government programs — reflected the range of the respondents, among them new parents, longtime activists, local merchants and even a government official. You can read about many of them on the next page.

What’s refreshing about this list is that it’s a good reminder that “going green” doesn’t mean you need to get rid of your car, quit using electricity or stop buying anything new. It’s about sustaining our planet so it can do the same for us, about using less and conserving our resources. And besides helping out the environment, “going green” can also save you some green — in the form of cash — and who doesn’t want to do that?

So whether you’re an Earth activist with a passion for the planet or even a hardcore climate-change skeptic, I think we can agree that it’s important to tread a little lighter and use our resources wisely.

Even small changes can make a big difference, so what better time of year to start?  Find the complete list here.

Sights and Sounds

Sights and sounds from EcoLution 2010 in downtown Tampa. It was an afternoon of street bike racing and entertainment, highlighted by live music, food, wine tastings, green products and children’s activities.This year’s event was presented by The Urban Charrette and Mise en Place.

Local businesses achieve “green” designation

The Pinellas County Extension launched a new campaign this past year to allow Pinellas county businesses to become “green” certified. The Green Business Partnership allows businesses to showcase “their commitment to operating at the highest level of efficiency that promotes sound environmental practices and cost effectiveness that benefits their business, as well as the community.”

This past week, two companies earned that designation: Lasting Impressions in Dunedin and C&D Printing in St. Pete. Continue reading

The ABCs of Going Green

A fundamental knowledge of ‘green’ terminology is needed to understand what ‘going green’ means. With new technologies and acronyms being added every day, this glossary of terms is here to help.

Alternative energy: Energy that is derived from nontraditional, renewable sources that include wind, solar and water instead of traditional, nonrenewable sources such as oil, coal and natural gas. This type of energy does not generate pollution or “greenhouse” gases.

Blackwater: Wastewater from toilets and sewer systems.

Biodiesel: Fuel made from vegetable oil, recently living plants, animals or metabolic byproducts (such as manure). Biodiesel can be used in diesel engines.

Carbon emissions: Pollution derived from carbon compounds that are released into the atmosphere; commonly refers to the results of burning fossil fuels.

Carbon footprint: A measure of the total carbon dioxide emissions (and other greenhouse gases) that an organization, product, service or lifestyle produces over its full lifecycle. Continue reading

Sporting green: A look at “greening” baseball

Earlier this year, I wrote about the how the Tampa Bay Sports Authority teamed up with Tampa Electric to make the ACC championship football game at Raymond James Stadium the first to be powered by renewable energy.

Down in South Florida, the Marlins are bringing “green” in sports to a whole new level.

The new stadium,  scheduled to open in 2012, would be the first LEED-certified stadium in the country. The $642 million project will feature a heat-reflecting  roof, low-emission products to maintain air quality and  glass panels for increased natural lighting.

The construction process is also being “greened;” waste is recycled and most of the materials needed for building are made locally.

While this is an awe-aspiring project, it got me thinking about Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays. Unlike most ballparks, it’s a dome that is air-conditioned during the hottest days of the year in Florida. Considering my electric bill in the summer, I could only imagine what the cost, both environmentally and financially, the Rays must face.

After a little research, I found on a single day 62,000 kilowatt hours of electricity are used to cool 22 cubic acres to 76 degrees. If that number doesn’t mean much to you on it’s surface, consider this: It’s enough to power the average Progress Energy household for more than four years.

But never fear. The Rays are invested in a carbon offset program; instead of cutting down their own carbon footprint, they pay Bonneville Environmental Foundation for “green tags.” In other words, trees might be planted to absorb carbon dioxide on their behalf, or they might be contributing to a new flock of windmills that produce alternative energy.

Want to read more? Check out this tampabay.com article detailing the math behind the carbon offsets of the Trop.

Running a green business? Get recognized!

Seeking out green businesses can be a tough task, especially when it’s so hard to help consumers determine what a green business entails. Is it a business that focuses on the environment or just simply one with sustainable practices?

The University of Florida/IFAS Pinellas County Extension is looking to help consumers choose better choices, or at least know their options. The organization is calling for business to take take a voluntary assessment and become a part of the Green Business Partnership.

From the press release:

“The Green Business Partnership (GBP) is a voluntary assessment that recognizes businesses, business organizations, and local governments for their environmental stewardship and sustainable practices…  it encourages conservation of resources, waste reduction, energy conservation and cost savings.”

The program also serves as a support system for sustainability in the workplace and the growing green industry. All business are welcome to join if they “choose to implement resource conservation measures and demonstrate a culture of environmental, social and economic awareness in their business practices”

Participants will have access to professional advice and training, listing on the Green Business Partner website and special recognition by Pinellas County.

Update on Rebate

Last year, Gov. Charlie Crist signed a bill that allows the Florida Energy and Climate Commission to (among many other things) develop a rebate program to help Florida residents buy EnergyStar appliances at discount rates. The purpose is to lower utility costs of residents as well as spur sales of energy-efficient appliances such as refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, dish washers, room air conditioners, and gas tankless water heaters. The program is set be available from April 16 through April 25, 2010.

Some frequently asked questions, reposted from myfloridaclimate.com:

What is the purpose of this program?

The United States Congress approved the ENERGY STAR Appliance Rebate Program to assist consumers in replacing their old energy inefficient appliances for ones that use less energy and water. This program was funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and is designed to stimulate the economy by encouraging consumers to purchase new appliances. Purchasing new appliances will help create jobs for appliance manufacturers and retail stores. The program also encourages consumers to save energy, and to lower their monthly bills through the use of a more efficient appliance.

How much money did the State of Florida receive from the United States Department of Energy to conduct an ENERGY STAR Appliance Rebate program?

Florida received $17,585,000 to conduct the Florida ENERGY STAR Appliance Rebate program. A small portion will be used administer the program and the remaining will be used to provide consumer rebates on purchases of ENERGY STAR appliances and for incentives to recycle old appliances.

What is so special about ENERGY STAR appliances?

To qualify for the ENERGY STAR label an appliance must meet rigorous energy efficiency and water efficiency standards set by the Federal government. These appliances use less energy and less water than regular appliances and thus help the consumer save money each month on their utility bills.

Who can apply for these rebates?

Anyone residing in the state of Florida may purchase an appliance for their personal use in their home.

Why are you waiting until April 2010 to run theENERGY STAR Appliance Rebate Program?

We are waiting until April 2010 at the request of the appliance manufacturers and retail stores. Because the economy has been in a slump many manufacturers have had to cut back on production and many retailers have reduced their inventory. With every state in the United States offering this ENERGY STAR appliance rebate the manufacturers and retailers need time to ramp up production and stock the stores before the program launch date.

Why is the program only 10 days long?

Based on our nation’s experience with the Cash for Clunkers program, the retailers and manufacturers have requested we limit the time of the initial program to ensure those who really want to take advantage of this program have the opportunity to do so. If there is money left over, another smaller rebate program will be offered six months later.

How much of a rebate will I receive for each appliance?

The rebate will be 20% of the purchase price before taxes. The total amount of rebates and recycling fees that a residential address may receive is capped at $1,500.

How many appliances can I receive a rebate on?

Consumers may receive a rebate on the purchase of one of each type of appliance. They can receive a rebate on each appliance if they purchase 1 refrigerator, 1 washing machine, 1 dishwasher, 1 freezer, 1 room air conditioner, and 1 gas tankless water heater.