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"GREENING OUR COMMUNITY" BLOGS

“Greening Our Community” articles are published in the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper as both online blogs and print articles.  They are written by members of the Capital Area Sustainability Council (CASC), a collaboration organized by Sustainable Tallahassee.

CASC serves as a clearing house for the exchange of ideas and information, to promote collaboration and cooperation on sustainability projects and issues, and to eliminate or reduce duplication of effort among the participants.   Click HERE for more information about this Council and the participants.


The Council rotates the content of these articles among its members.  This list includes all our "Greening Our Community" blogs - you can gain much interesting information from them!  

2017

2017.03.09 Enriching Our Community by Connecting and Empowering NeighborsA Community Resource Expo will take place March 25 in South City, written about by Leann Watts-Williams, City of Tallahassee’s Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Affairs Department.

2017.02.23 Spinning the Wheel of Solar PV Fortune. Everything you need to know about whether solar is right for your home or your business can be at your fingertips in this article and at a March 24 seminar.  Will Sheftall is Extension Agent for Natural Resource Management with University of Florida IFAS Extension Leon County. 

2017.02.09 A Free Energy Audit Now Savings Year-Round.   The City of Tallahassee provides city utility customers free energy audits that include a structural analysis for energy efficiency and an evaluation of appliances and cost-saving tips. This article was provided by Sandra Manning, Director of the Office of Community Relations with the City of Tallahassee.

2017.01.26 Leon County’s Sustainable Communities Summit: Exploring Our Backyard.   Tessa Schreiner, Recycling and Sustainability Manager in Leon County's Office of Sustainability, writes about the February 18, 2017 Sustainable Communities Summit that will be hosted this year by Leon County.

2017.01.12 Getting Passionate About Sustainability. “What can I do to be more sustainable?” is one of our favorite topics and one we could talk about all day.  It's easier to adopt a sustainable behavior when we know it's "good to do" instead of when it's an "ought to do".  Becoming passionate about sustainability makes all the right behaviors easier! It was written by Becky Parsons, board member of Sustainable Tallahassee.

2016

2016.12.29. PV+EV=Flip Flops That Leave Low Trace. The Leon County Extension Center is an example of how linking together a solar PV system and an electric car equals a "twofer” in reducing our carbon footprint, and something that businesses and homeowners can do do a well. It’s written by Will Sheftall, Extension Agent for Natural Resource Management with University of Florida IFAS Extension Leon County.

2016.12.15 Leon County Schools Succeeds in Reducing Food Waste.  While serving an average of 20,000 meals each day, Leon County schools has been able to reduce food waste by 65 percent.  Manny Joanos explains how in this article.  He is the Divisional Director for Purchasing, Energy & Nutrition Services for Leon County Schools.

2016.12.01. Greening the Season of Giving. During the holidays it is more difficult to keep up our “green” habits. This article gives us 5 easy inspirations.  It was written on behalf of Sustainable Tallahassee by Carly Sinnadurai, local artist, master of "re-use", and Executive Director of The Sharing Tree. 

2016.11.17. FAMU Researcher Tackles Peanut Allergies at Molecular Level.  Plant proteins, such as peanuts, are much more environmentally sustainable than animal proteins, and successfully growing and consuming peanuts can provide food security and help to improve quality of life.  The downside is the extent of peanut allergies.  Kathryn Ziewitz, Ph.D., in the Sustainability Institute at Florida A&M University, writes about the progress FAMU is making toward conquering peanut allergies.

2016.11.03. Creating a More Waste Conscious Community Through Education. What can be recycled? And what happens to the stuff we recycle?  Piper Miller, Communications and Outreach Coordinator for Leon County’s Office of Resource Stewardship, gives us the latest and greatest information. HERE is a link on our ST website where you can see Leon County’s new recycling video.  

2016.10.20. Sixth Annual Trash Dash Hosted by Sustainable Tallahassee. October 29 is our sixth annual Trash Dash 5K Cross County Run, and the second year for our 1-mile family fun run/walk, written by Jim Davis, Executive Director of Sustainable Tallahassee. 

2016.09.22 FAMU Partners with Metz for Healthy Foods and Sustainable Campus Dining.  FAMU is striving to model a more sustainable approach in its campus food systems by taking lessons from the classroom and the field to its dining operations. Read more from Kathryn Ziewitz, Sustainability Program Coordinator at Florida A&M University’s Sustainability Institute.

2016.09.08 Greening and Cleaning our Community – Post Hermine.  In the aftermath of Hurricane Hermine, Sandra Manning, Director of the Office of Community Relations for the City of Tallahassee, gives us timely information we can use in the clean-up process, including how Leon County and the City of Tallahassee will be handing storm debris in our neighborhoods.

2016.08.25 LCS Continues to Score Big with Energy Conservation Plan.  The Leon County School System has achieved huge energy reductions that now save us taxpayers $1.8 million per year. Get the numbers in this article by Manny Joanos, Divisional Director for Purchasing, Energy & Nutrition Services for Leon County Schools.

2016.08.11 School Supplies: Reduce and Reuse.  Every new school year it's exciting and fun to get new school supplies.  Wait – let’s re-wind that thought, says Elizabeth Swiman in this article.  Elizabeth is the Director of Campus Sustainability at Florida State University, and in her role she manages FSU’s sustainability programs and the Chuck It For Charity program. She knows exactly what students use - and discard - each year.

2016.07.28 Student Researches Risk of Exposure to “Red Tide” for People Eating Fish and Shellfish. FAMU PhD candidate Krystal Pree is researching environmental contamination and natural resource issues, particularly the effect of Red Tide algae bloom toxins that can cause Neurotoxic Shellfish Poisoning in humans.  Her research is described by Kathryn Ziewitz, Sustainability Coordinator, and Dominique Roy, Public Relations student, of FAMU’s Sustainability Institute. 

2016.07.14 Free Leon County Resources You Didn’t Know Existed.  Free paint, free mulch, free vegetable seed packets, free sustainability and recycling presentations for your group or event!  This and more is available to us by Leon County to support sustainability in our community.  This article was written by Tessa Schreiner, Recycling and Sustainability Manager, and Piper Miller, Communications and Outreach Coordinator, in Leon County’s Office of Resource Stewardship.

2016.06.30 Moving Forward Together: Social Sustainability.  Preserving and promoting our cultural values is an important element of social sustainability, contributing to quality of life for those living and their descendants.  As told by Leann Watts-Walker, of the City of Tallahassee’s Office of Community Relations, the City has brought us an important remembrance of our local Civil Rights Movement and its heroes. An excellent documentary is linked in the article.

2016.06.16 Tally’s New Art Alley.  Art Alley is a gem of a place that brings together art and repurposed materials to give life and ambiance where once was a neglected, dirty, crumbling place. Find out how it happened and the magic it brings to the All Saints district, written by Lisa Galocy, in the City of Tallahassee's Office of Community Relations. 

2016.06.02 FAMU Extension Showcases Sustainable Living Solutions. Amelia Davis, FAMU Cooperative Extension Project Coordinator and Communications Liaison, invites all beginning and seasoned farmers, gardeners, and anyone who likes to eat farm-grown food to its 2016 Farm Fest at the FAMU Research and Extension Center in Quincy, Florida. This year’s theme is “Sustainable Living Solutions”.  

2016.05.19 Making a Festival Green. Can there be festivals without Styrofoam containers?  Without single-use plastics? We say, "Yes!” Other cities do it successfully, and we can too.  In fact, we've already made a good start. It's all here in this article written by Becky Parsons, member of Sustainable Tallahassee's board of directors. 

2016.05.05 Getting from Here to There in a Sustainable Way.  "What methods do we use in Leon County to produce usable energy, and how do we use it?"  This article by Richard Hopkins, member of Sustainable Tallahassee’s Alternative Transportation Committee, underscores the important path this committee is taking to examine approaches for how land use planning, zoning, and building permitting can support and advance sustainable transportation.

2016.04.21 Red Hills Small Farm Alliance.  The Red Hills Small Farm Alliance is a unique local treasure that provides us with the Red Hills Online Market.  Last month it was recognized nationally by Farm Credit as being one of 100 visionaries, selected from over 1100 nominees, for the Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives Program.  Georgia Ackerman, writing for Sustainable Tallahassee, tells us about how it is a unique treasure in our personal lives.

2016.04.07 Sustainable Tallahassee Partners with LeMoyne Center for the Visual Arts to Green the Chain of Parks Art Festival.  Sustainable Tallahassee’s plans for the Art Festival on April 16 and 17 have us reaching out to the expected 50,000 attendees and bringing them a message of sustainable and environment friendly living. In this article Jim Davis, ST's Executive Director, gives details of our initiatives and asks for volunteers.

2016.03.24 Earth Day Abiding Lessons.  Matthew Kopka, a Sustainable Tallahassee board member, uses the 2013 Pulitzer Prize winning book “Tom’s River”, by Dan Fagin, to remind us that “Sustainability is what it will take to save us, not just what light bulbs we choose or how we sort trash.”  The Tom’s River chemical pollution is a strong example of why the first Earth Day in 1970 was important, and now even more so. More about Earth Day is HERE.

2016.03.10 The Good News About Going Green.  We don’t need negative news about climate change, depletion of resources, and plastics in our oceans to overwhelm us into inaction.  Tom Taylor, on the Sustainable Tallahassee board of directors, writes about opportunities and resources to "green" our lives, homes, and communities.  All that we do, combined with others, really does make a difference.

2016.02.25 Sustainable YOU Conference.  This year the City’s biennial Sustainable YOU Conference is March 22-23.  The theme is “Business of Green – Restoring Human and Natural Environments to Build Resilient Communities”.  Sandra Manning, Director of the Office of Community Relations with the City of Tallahassee, contributed this article that describes the conference speakers and programs.

2016.02.11 FAMU Honors Tradition as it Plans for a Sustainable Future.  Dr. Kwasi Densu, assistant professor of political science, and Dr. Fran Close, professor of Behavioral Science and Health Education, both with Florida A&M University, wrote this article about an upcoming campus wide brainstorming session about sustainability for the university's future - a collaboration of students, faculty, and staff working together.

2016.01.28 The City of Tallahassee – A Partner for Sustainable Living in 2016.  Many aren’t aware of the services and programs the City provides that support energy home improvements, recreation, community gardens, and the quality of life we enjoy in our community.  John Baker, the Policy and Program Development Administrator in the City of Tallahassee’s Office of Community Relations, writes about these programs that can support a more sustainable lifestyle.

2015

2015.12.31 Ring in the New Year with Sustainable Action in your Workplace.  FSU’s Sustainable Campus Office has successfully inspired the various university departments to get on board with adopting sustainable practices, with very encouraging results overall.  In this article Kristen Lee, Program Coordinator with FSU Sustainable Campus, assures this process can be applied to any business.

2015.12.17  Florida A&M University Students Grow a Global Ecological Consciousness by Examining Ecological Footprints.  Kathryn Ziewitz, Sustainability Program Coordinator at Florida A&M University’s Sustainability Institute, wrote this article. Students were tasked with researching facts on resource consumption, population, biological productivity of the planet’s lands and waters and its extent of habitable land, resulting in a measure of an “ecological footprint”. 

2015.12.03 Unconventional Ways to Go Green this Holiday Season.  Tessa Schreiner, Leon County’s Recycling and Sustainability Manager, gives us common-sense ideas for gift giving that are sustainable, non-consumable, and better for the environment and our wallets – guaranteed to be very much appreciated by our gift recipients.  

2015.11.19 Sustaining This Holiday Season.  It’s possible to bring joy to yourself and others without stress and without adding more stuff to the landfill.  Becky Parsons, Sustainable Tallahassee board member, writes about the Alternative Christmas Market and Sustainable Tallahassee’s Community Carbon Fund’s participation.

2015.11.05 Do It For Sustainability.  Three important ways to participate that will help to promote sustainability: ST’s annual Trash Dash 5K Run fundraiser, this year with a One Mile Family Fun Run/Walk, FAMU’s Art in Sustainability exhibit with beautiful art made of recyclables, and Sustainable Tallahassee 8th Annual Celebration and Annual Meeting. Written by Becky Parsons, Sustainable Tallahassee board member.

2015.10.22 FAMU Study Looks to Empower People in Addressing Food Deserts.  Dr. Ivette Lopez enlightens us about the obstacles to consumption of healthy foods in our community's local “food deserts”.  She is an Associate Professor of Behavioral Science and Health Education at Florida A&M University’s Institute for Public Health who serves as the principal investigator for the USDA funded study on Food Deserts.

2015.10.08 Dollars and Common Sense: Bottled Water Is Money and Resources Down the Drain.  If you haven’t given up drinking bottled water by now, read this article by Matt Kopka, board member of Sustainable Tallahassee, which should convince you to give it up.  Sustainable Tallahassee is working to greatly reduce the consumption of single-use disposable plastic water bottles.  The research on corporate marketing, cost, fossil fuel use, and waste is compelling.

2015.09.24 FAMU Making Strides on Saving Energy and Saving Money.  Energy conservation is one of the most impactful energy investments one can make.  Read about the steps Florida A&M University took with energy conservation improvements that has cut its utility bill by $1 million over the past year.  Written by Kathryn Ziewitz, the sustainability program coordinator at Florida A&M University’s Sustainability Institute.

2015.09.10 The Future of Green is an Education-conscious Business. For nearly 80 years, Tallahassee Nurseries has been an integral part of our community, evolving from just providing plants, to providing education about healthy ecosystems, pollinators, invasives, and more.  Michelle Gomez is writing on behalf of Sustainable Tallahassee, Leon County, and the City of Tallahassee to promote the production and consumption of locally-sourced food.

2015.08.27 Sustainable Indianhead-Lehigh Neighborhood.  Peggy Sanford, retired attorney and member of Sustainable Tallahassee’s Board of Directors, writes about her progressive neighborhood’s initiatives to devote the year to achieving significant sustainable milestones.  This neighborhood is creating an amazing synergy that can inspire us all.

2015.08 13 It All Adds Up.  In 2010 Floridians and our visitors generated more than 32 million tons of garbage and our state’s recycling rate was only 30%.  Tessa Schreiner, Leon County’s Recycling and Sustainability Manager, writes about where we stand today in the path to the state’s recycling goal of 75%, and what it takes to reduce the amount of garbage we create.

2015.07.30 Back to School – or the Landfill!  How do we start a new school year without backing down on our values for sustainability?  Carly Sinnadurai has solutions, for both parents and teachers.  She is the Executive Director of The Sharing Tree, a Board Member of Sustainable Tallahassee, and chair of ST's Three R's Committee (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle).  

2015.07.16 Moving Forward with Sustainable Tallahassee.  Jim Davis has been Sustainable Tallahassee’s Executive Director for the past nine months, since October 1, 2014.  In this article he updates us on Sustainable Tallahassee’s current initiatives, as well as giving some background on our organization.

2015.07.02 Creating a More Sustainable Workplace.  In the workplace we often see much unnecessary use and waste of disposable plastic, paper, and Styrofoam that contribute to our waste stream.  Tessa Schreiner, Recycling and Sustainability Manager in the Office of Resource Stewardship for Leon County, gives us ideas that can make a significant difference.

2015.06.18 Bag it Up  Carly Sinnadurai is the Executive Director of The Sharing Tree, as well as a board member and chair of Sustainable Tallahassee’s Three R’s Committee (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). Her article is about an amazing neighborhood and community collaboration to create reusable bags and give them away.

2015.05.28 Drink Locally: Stop Buying Commercial Bottled Water, written by Matthew Kopka, an Interdisciplinary Ecologist and a member of Sustainable Tallahassee's board of directors and our committee to kick bottled water. This article sets the stage for Sustainable Tallahassee’s campaign to kick bottled water.  Read his article and think about the masterful marketing job the bottled water companies do to influence our behavior.

2015.05.06 Pollinators Need Our Protection.  What are we doing, and more importantly, what more must we do, to protect the pollinators of our food and wildflowers?  The author is Priscilla Hudson, expert on this topic and winner of an Aveeno grant to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators, as well as a home gardener, hobby beekeeper, and permaculture practitioner. 

2015.04.23 The Tallahassee Leon County Enterprise Zone Supports Economic Vitality.   Ben Pingree is Vice President of Business Retention/Expansion & Public Policy for The EDC of Tallahassee/Leon County, Inc, of the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce, and the Enterprise Zone Administrator of the Tallahassee/Leon County Enterprise Zone Development Agency.

2015.04.16 Celebrate Earth Day with the Healthy Communities Festival.  Our community’s celebration of Earth Day will be April 25 at Cascades Park.  Koren Taylor, the Environmental Programs Coordinator for Environmental Policy and Energy Resources (EPER), with the City of Tallahassee, provides the events and activities in this article.

2015.04.09 Fun Ride to the Arts.  Sustainable Tallahassee will host free bus rides, courtesy of StarMetro, from five locations for a fun ride to LeMoyne’s Chain of Parks Art Festival and The Southern Shakespeare Festival to introduce the public to bus riding.  This was written by Stew Parsons, Chair of Sustainable Tallahassee’s Alternative Transportation Committee.

2015.03.26 Developing a Food Conscience Can Save the Planet. Michelle Gomez is working on behalf of Sustainable Tallahassee, Leon County, and the City of Tallahassee to promote the production and consumption of locally-sourced food.  The availability of local food is one of the most important features of a sustainable community.

2015.03.12 Breaking Silos for Sustainability. FAMU established a Sustainability Institute in the summer of 2014.  This article is our opportunity to learn more about the institute and its focus.  It was written by Abena Ojetayo, Chief Sustainability Officer at Florida A&M University and the Executive Director of the FAMU Sustainability Institute.

2015.02.26 All That Stuff. Elizabeth Swiman, Director of Campus Sustainability at FSU, shares details learned from successfully managing tons of discarded furniture, clothing, and other items as dormitories are vacated each semester.  We can apply many of these in our own spring cleaning initiatives.  Reducing what we’ve accumulated can be a big help to others less fortunate.

2015.02.12 Let the Sun Shine In. Only ¼ of one percent of the City of Tallahassee’s electricity generation capacity is currently from solar. Sustainable Tallahassee and the Tallahassee Chapter of the League of Women Voters want to see that change. In this article Stew Parsons, Chair of Sustainable Tallahassee’s Renewable Energy Committee, describes steps that we, and our local electric utility, can take to make that happen. 

2015.01.29 Cleaning Green. This article tells us how we can make better choices in cleaning products without harming our air, our water, and our pocketbooks.  It was written by Lisa Galocy who is an Environmental Regulatory Compliance Coordinator for the City of Tallahassee’s Department of Environmental Policy and Energy Resources.

2015.01.15 It’s All Connected. This year’s "Sustainable Communities Summit – Food For Us – We’re All at the Table Together” features growing a sustainable local food system in our community, what is happening in the food movement, and how to help shape its future. This article was contributed by Robert Mills, Director of the Leon County Office of Resource Stewardship.

2014

2014.12.04 Too Much Food – Too Little Consumed.  Elizabeth Swiman, Director of Campus Sustainability at Florida State University, submitted this article written by two of her students, Gabrielle Maynard and Allison Young, who have started an FSU Chapter of the Food Recovery Network, a national organization that promotes donation of unused campus food to non-profit charities in the community.

2014.11.21 Christmas can be Stress-Free and Sustainable.  This week coming up is not only Thanksgiving, it's also the Black Friday shopping extravaganza, even on Thanksgiving Day. Debbie Gibson's article will inspire you to enjoy the holidays differently this season.  Debbie is a retired teacher with a long history of community service.  She is the Chair of Sustainable Tallahassee's Community Carbon Fund, and she's volunteered with the Alternative Christmas Market since its beginning 28 years ago.

2014.11.06 Celebrate Sustainability.   What do you know about how Sustainable Tallahassee got started?  Becky Parsons, ST board member and chair of the Membership Committee, writes about what led her to Sustainable Tallahassee just as it was being established, and invites us to attend ST’s Seventh Year Anniversary Celebration and Annual Meeting on November 13.

2014.10.23 Be a Trend Setter for Sustainability.  Bottled water, plastic bags, Styrofoam containers – the use of these is entirely within our individual control.  In this article Becky Parsons, a Sustainable Tallahassee board member, challenges us to rethink and change our behaviors and to join up with like-minded people in Sustainable Tallahassee to be trend setters for sustainability. 

2014.10.09 Downtown Fun Ride.  End the love affair with your car and find out first-hand the many things you'll appreciate about riding the bus.  Sustainable Tallahassee and StarMetro are sponsoring a get-acquainted-with-the-bus Downtown Fun Ride from three different stops on Oct 25, 2014.  This article was written by Stew Parsons, chair of Sustainable Tallahassee's Alternative Transportation Committee.  

2014.09.25 The City of Tallahassee, A Green Workplace.  John Baker, a Policy and Program Development Administrator for the City of Tallahassee’s Department of Environmental Policy and Energy Resources, writes about the City’s green practices in building and maintaining its facilities, and its practices in reducing waste and providing a healthy workplace for employees.

2014.09.12 We Dig Our Garden.  Angela Breza-Pierce, environmental science teacher and the school garden and recycling coordinator at Chiles High School, tells us how school gardens have been shown to improve math, science, writing, social studies and attitudes toward learning. She says, “Gardens represent a pure and direct experimental, inquiry-based approach to learning.”  

2014.08.28 Celebrating 10 Years of Garnet and Gold Goes Green.  Florida State University has achieved a sustainability milestone – 10 years of successful waste reduction and recycling at campus events.  Learn about this impressive accomplishment from Elizabeth Swiman, Director of Campus Sustainability at FSU.  

2014.08.14 Living, Working, Playing in a Truly Sustainable and Vibrant Tallahassee.  This article emphasizes the many sustainable focuses of our community made possible by our citizens and local government.  It was written by Ben Pingree, Vice President, Business Retention/Expansion & Public Policy, Economic Development Council of Tallahassee/Leon County Inc., Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce.

2014.07.17 A New Occasion to B-Y-O-B.  At this time we aren’t able to ban plastic bags in our community, but we do have options and we need to understand the importance.  This article was written by Patience Gaia, who is on our Sustainable Tallahassee Board of Directors and also the Chair of our “Three Rs” Committee (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle).

2014.07.17 Citizen Involvement – Key to the Success of Sustainable Communities.  We as citizens, along with local government, all have an important role in making our community progress in a sustainable way.  This article was written by John Baker, Policy and Program Development Administrator for the City of Tallahassee’s Department of Environmental Policy and Energy Resources.  

2014.07.05 Get Crafty and Creative with Reuse. Kathryn Ziewitz tells us how to how to keep more stuff out of the landfill and have fun doing it.  As the Sustainability Coordinator for Leon County, Kathryn gives us resources we can use, including The Sharing Tree, Leon County’s Swap Shop, and the Trashtranaut Community Music Circle. 

2014.06. 20 For Our Kids. In this article Daniel Parker, Sustainable Tallahassee's EcoTeams Coordinator, writes that the ability to return to more sustainable thinking and living is well within reach.  He encourages taking the summer to foster and encourage sustainable activities and behaviors for our kids.  

2014.06.05 My Carbon Footprint. Sustainable Tallahassee’s Community Carbon Fund is a local way to offset our carbon footprint.  This article describes how the Fund is a multi-pronged benefit to our community that impacts social services, environment, and local economy.  Written by Becky Parsons, board member of Sustainable Tallahassee.

2014.05.22 Green Your Gatherings with Earth Friendly Choices.  As we head into a summer season of pool parties, barbecues, and outdoor entertaining, how do we host a crowd outdoors in a sustainable way?  Read this article full of ideas, contributed by Maggie Theriot, the Director of Resource Stewardship for Leon County, overseeing Sustainability, Solid Waste and Cooperative Extension services.

2014.05.08 Environmental Education in Leon County Schools. This article tells us about the environmental curriculum in our school system, and also ways in which Leon County Schools is making sustainable practices a focus in its facilities operations.  It is written by Robin Oliveri (secondary science developer and 2014 Leon County Teacher of the Year) and Anicia Robinson (Assistant Principal at Sabal Palm; she oversaw the development of a clean energy curriculum for grades K-12).

2014.04.24 With Sustainable Tallahassee. Sustainable Tallahassee wants to lower the rate at which we are tearing through our natural resources, depleting and degrading our water supplies upon which life depends, and warming the planet – all of which produce weather extremes, threaten food production, and increase the possibility of life threatening diseases. This article by Stew Parsons, ST’s Executive Director, is about ST’s initiatives to make a difference in our community.

2014.04.11 EarthCare – Your Actions Count.  Earth Day is April 22 and the City of Tallahassee is honoring this special day with a month-long focus on sustainability and our earth.  Read about how our City helps us be able to live more sustainably.  This article was contributed by Cynthia Barber, Director of Environmental Policy & Energy Resources for the City of Tallahassee. More about Earth Day is HERE.

2014.03.27 Take Back the Tap. FSU has a very active Sustainable Campus group.  This article was written by Prathyusha Pamidi, FSU student coordinator of the “Take Back the Tap” program at FSU, under the leadership of Elizabeth Swiman, director of Campus Sustainability. The program aims to increase campus awareness of how the choices we make every day affect global water issues.

2014.03.13 Take It Lite on our Lights this Earth Hour.  On March 29 this year Earth Hour takes place.  Earth Hour is now a global movement and last year was acknowledged in 159 countries.  This article tells us why it’s important.  It was contributed by Cynthia Barber, the Director of Environmental Policy & Energy Resources for the City of Tallahassee.

2014.02.27 What’s So Special About the Red Hills Region? Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy has created a new program, “The Greater Red Hills Awareness Initiative” to increase our understanding of the Red Hills region.  Georgia Ackerman is the program’s Project Manager and the author of this article where she describes the uniqueness of this area. 

2014.02.14 Family Reduces Waste to Near Zero.  Even though we may have more recycling than trash each week, the Wiley family’s experience shows us how we can reduce the garbage bin even more – and it’s easier than we think.  This article, written by Kathryn Ziewitz, Leon County’s Sustainability Coordinator, gives us the recipe for even more recycling success.

2014.02.03 Community Has 110 New Live Oak Trees.  For Tallahassee’s Arbor Day on January 25, 2014 Sustainable Tallahassee’s Community Carbon Fund provided 110 live oak trees for community planting.  Bob Henderson, a member of Sustainable Tallahassee’s Board of Directors, Community Carbon Fund committee, and a former Leon County Commissioner, wrote this article about the beauty and carbon sequestration the trees will provide.

2014.01.16 Sustainable YOU 2014 Conference: The Power of Collaboration. This year’s local Sustainability Conference is presented by the City of Tallahassee.  National and local speakers will share emerging trends in creating sustainable communities, including three well-known keynote speakers and 24 breakout sessions under the following conference tracks and mobile tours: The Green Economy, Town & Gown Collaborations, Green "Hands-on" Learning, and Partners of Change.

2014.01.02 Help “ReNew” Leon County: Bring Your Unused Paint to Leon County’s Hazardous Waste Center. What to do about those accumulated leftover paint cans that are gathering cobwebs and rust?  This article by Kathryn Ziewitz, Leon County’s Sustainability Coordinator, tells us about a great resource that enables you to clear them out and at the same time help others. And did you know that Leon County has a Swap Shop?

2013

2013.12.19 What Will You Do in 2014?.  Another year is ending and as we look ahead to 2014 it’s a good time to evaluate our stress, our time, and our consumerism by becoming more sustainable in our values and our activities.  This blog, written by Daniel Parker, the Ecoteam Project Coordinator for Sustainable Tallahassee, is a good place to start.

2013.12.06 School District Takes Big Conservation Strides.  Leon County’s public school district has had a strong focus on conservation for the past seven years, and the results have paid off in huge electric and fossil fuel cost savings - meaning more funds for education and a lower carbon footprint – a very impressive record.  Thanks to Bill Berlow, Policy Coordinator for Leon County Schools, for writing this article and sharing these accomplishments.

2013.11.21 Walk Softer on the Earth this Holiday Season.  Debbie Gibson, Chair of Sustainable Tallahassee’s Community Carbon Fund, wrote this article about the Alternative Christmas Market which will be on December 7 and 8 this year.  This year will be Sustainable Tallahassee’s second year to participate.  The Community Carbon Fund and over 30 other non-profits are encouraging your gift giving to have deeper meaning for you and others.

2013.11.07 A Very Chill Building.  Our community continues to be progressive in pursuing advanced energy efficiency in construction methods.  Kathryn Ziewitz, Leon County’s Sustainability Coordinator, contributed this article about the new Public Service Complex, a joint venture of our City and County, which has achieved a LEED Silver certification.  Read this article to learn about the impressive innovations implemented in this building.

2013.10.24 Run for a More Sustainable Community.  Sustainable Tallahassee is gearing up for our Third Annual Trash Dash 5K Run – our annual fund raiser that will be held on November 16th.  The article is an appeal to runners: it includes a description of the event and location, a link to register, and a summary of what we want to accomplish in the coming year.  It was contributed by Becky Parsons, ST Board member.

2013.10.10 Innovating for the Economy and the Environment.  As part of the 2013 Earth Day events, the City of Tallahassee organized a competition for students to develop innovating ideas to address sustainability issues faced by businesses in an evolving green economy.  This article about the process, contributed by Cynthia Barber, Director of Environmental Policy & Energy Resources for the City of Tallahassee, includes the winning entries.

2013.09.26 Sustainability Lessons From A Concrete, Electric, Solar Powered Sailboat.  An amazing demonstration solar sailboat making a trip from Alabama around Florida is docked in our area for a month.  Read Tony Murray’s article to learn more.  Tony is a biologist with the City of Tallahassee and the Director of the Big Bend Coastal Conservancy.  He addresses natural resource conservation and sustainability issues.  

2013.09.12 Greening Our Community with FSU’s ReCycle Bike Program. What a great community we live in, with leadership in sustainability happening in so many areas.  Read this article by Mark Kaster, who is the student coordinator of FSU’s reCycle Bike Program.  The more we and students are inspired to adopt sustainable practices in their lives, the better their future can be.

2013.08.29 Greening Our Community with EcoTeams.  In this article Daniel Parker, Sustainable Tallahassee’s Ecoteams Project Coordinator, encourages everyone to join an EcoTeam.  By participating we will learn how to live more sustainably in our community and we’ll have quality interactions with others.  EcoTeams are sponsored by Sustainable Tallahassee and co-funded by Leon County and the City of Tallahassee.

2013.08.15 The Goodness of Dirt.  Much of what we need comes from dirt, says Kathryn Ziewitz, Sustainability Coordinator for Leon County.  Not only does Kathryn tell us how we benefit from dirt, she also tells how we can get gardening help from the County - from resource information to mini-grant funds for Community Gardens!  Read her article and you’ll be ready to dig your hands into some good dirt!  

2013.08.01 The Red Hills Region – A Local Example of Ecological and Economic Sustainability. Neil Fleckenstein, Planning Coordinator for Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy, writes about a comprehensive economic impact analysis conducted of Red Hills’ working rural lands.  Tall Timbers’ survey of owners of 110 properties spanning nearly 400,000 acres across the Red Hills reveals the significant economic impact we can appreciate of this region.

2013.07.18 The City of Tallahassee Sets Example with Internal Waste Reduction.  Reducing waste and recycling at the office have a different set of variables than reducing waste in our own homes.  This article tells us about how the City of Tallahassee has set up internal waste reducing practices and gotten employees on board.  It’s contributed by Cynthia Barber who is the City’s Director of Environmental Policy & Energy Resources.

2013.07.04 Baking Ourselves Into Extinction? Our atmosphere has crossed an important - and dangerous – milestone for climate change: we reached 400 ppm of CO2 for the first time in several million years.  In this article Bob Henderson, Board Member of Sustainable Tallahassee and a former Leon County Commissioner, gives an illustration of the impact of climate change we can all relate to.

2013.06.20 Go Green With Leon County Libraries. Certainly we would all like to reduce our impact on the environment, but beyond replacing light bulbs and recycling more, it’s often hard to know what to do next and how to do it.  Kathryn Ziewitz is the Leon County Sustainability Coordinator and her article is just the place to start.  She’s included some excellent resources we can all use.

2013.06.06 Chuck it for Charity. At the end of the semester students empty dorm rooms and dump the contents at the curb without a thought of what happens to it. This article was written by Elizabeth Swiman, FSU’s Director of Campus Sustainability, about the Chuck it for Charity program she coordinates and how it increases sustainability and helps our community charities. Don't miss the video that's included. 

2013.05.23 Real-Time Lessons in Energy Conservation and Education. In this article Bill Berlow, policy coordinator for Leon County Schools and co-chairman of the District Conservation Committee, writes about Leon County Schools’ latest initiative in the conservation of energy resources, reduction of utility costs, innovation in energy monitoring technology, and clean energy curriculum for our students. 

2013.05.09 Help Protect Native Plants and Animals, Starting in Your Backyard.  Brian Pelc, with the Nature Conservancy, and Tony Murray, with the City of Tallahassee’s Environmental Policy and Energy Resources, have jointly written this article about the impact of invasive species and what we can do to combat the spread. This article is full of very valuable website links – save them for your reference.

2013.04.25 The Case for Renewable Energy in Tallahassee.  Sustainable Tallahassee believes there is a case for diversifying our fuel sources that produce electricity and we’re launching a new initiative for exploration.  This article by Stew Parsons, Executive Director of Sustainable Tallahassee, describes this new initiative of our Renewable Resources Advocacy Committee. (Learn more about this committee HERE.)

2013.04.11  Earth Day 2013: The Business of Green.  The City of Tallahassee's Earth Day celebration is a green business expo entitled "The Business of Green: Innovating for the Economy and the Environment” that will be held on April 23rd.  This article was contributed by Cynthia Barber, the Director of Environmental Policy & Energy Resources for the City of Tallahassee.  More about Earth Day is HERE.

2013.03.29 Plant a Smile.  Bill Berlow, a former newspaper columnist and editorial writer, wrote this March 29 article from his personal perspective as a member of “Talla-Happy Sunflowers”, a brand new initiative to increase sustainability, beauty, - and smiles - in our community. 

2013.03.14 Isn’t My Lawn Beautiful? – A Parable.  How do you feel when your neighbors pour fertilizers, pesticides, and tons of water on their lawns?  Bob Henderson, who is a Board Member of Sustainable Tallahassee and former Leon County Commissioner, tells us what we’d love to say to those neighbors!

2013.02.28 Increase Convenience and Reduce Paper Waste with Smartbill.  Sandra Manning, the City of Tallahassee’s Utility Marketing Administrator, contributed this February 28 article.  She inspires us to give up paper utility billing and receive and pay our utility bills electronically, and she backs up her appeal with solid facts about paper waste and the loads of trees saved. 

2013.02.14 A Green Side of Workforce Training.  Tallahassee Community College is on the cutting edge in providing our community with alternative energy and sustainability oriented career training.  Marc Dick, Program Specialist with TCC’s Division of Workforce Development, describes TCC’s Florida Green Academy and the training programs that are currently available.

2013.01.31 Nature’s Value in Dollars and Cents.  What a precious area we in North Florida live in – and there’s an economic incentive to protect it.  In this article Neil Fleckenstein, the Planning Coordinator for Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy, enlightens us about the value of protecting our Red Hills area, for both environmental and economic reasons.

2013.01.17 Let’s Get Growing – Plan Now, Plant Later.  Leon County has a commitment to local food production and community gardens.  This article, contributed by Maggie Theriot, Director of Resource Stewardship for Leon County, is about two upcoming workshops on how to start a community garden.  Most importantly, Leon County has a mini-grant program to provide startup funds for new community gardens!

2013.01.03 Simple Changes Make a Difference.  Most New Year's resolutions end up failing, but we can all make simple changes in this new year that will bring a big difference to our lives, to our community, and to our environment.  Take up Sustainable Tallahassee’s challenge for the new year, given to us by Barbara Shapley, retired teacher, education consultant, longtime Tallahassee resident, and author. 

2012

2012.12.20 Non-Profits: Apply to Reduce Energy and Save Money.  Non-profit organizations that serve the poor, the disadvantaged, or the disenfranchised in our community may apply to our Community Carbon Fund for cost efficient energy improvements.  This article was contributed December 20th by Rosa Morgan who actively serves on Sustainable Tallahassee's Community Carbon Fund Advisory Committee. (Check our Carbon Fund page.)

2012.12.6 Team Up for a Sustainable Future.  EcoTeams are a great way to get together with family, neighbors, friends, co-workers, or other small groups to learn about and take action on sustainability issues in our lives.  The program, funded by the City of Tallahassee and Leon County and administered by Sustainable Tallahassee, will begin in January 2013 and run through late spring.  This article was written by Rachel Walsh, the Project Coordinator for Sustainable Tallahassee’s EcoTeams program.

2012.11.21 Alternative Gift Giving.  Sustainable Tallahassee will be hosting a table at the Alternative Christmas Market on December 1 and 2, 2012 for gift donations to the Community Carbon Fund.  Gift donations to the Community Carbon Fund can also be made on our Sustainable Tallahassee website. This article about alternatives to commercialism at Christmas was written by Debbie Gibson, recently retired teacher, member of Sustainable Tallahassee, and advocate for social justice.  (Click HERE to see how this event turned out!)

2012.11.9 Fifth Year Anniversary of Sustainable Tallahassee.  November 14, 2012 is the anniversary celebration of Sustainable Tallahassee's five years of existence.  We'll celebrate by bringing back several of the ST founders for a "We Were There" panel presentation. This article by Stew Parsons Executive Director of ST gives a historical background of the origins and accomplishments of our organization. (Click HERE for photos and more about this event.)

2012.10.25 Be Fit and Green – Run the Trash Dash!  Sustainable Tallahassee’s 2012 Trash Dash fund raiser is on November 10, part of America Recycles Day at the Leon County Solid Waste Facility.  The race is on the site of the former Leon County landfill, formerly the site of the Miller Landing Bluegrass festivals, and formerly beautiful rolling farmland.  Written by Stew Parsons, Executive Director of Sustainable Tallahassee.  (Click HERE for race results & photos!)

2012.10.11 Vote for the Earth.  We can vote with our dollars to benefit the environment, to improve our economy, and to promote local businesses.  This article was written for Sustainable Talllahassee by Barbara Shapley, retired teacher, education consultant, longtime Tallahassee resident, and author. 

2012.09.27 Sustainable Communities Summit.  This year's "Leon County Sustainable Communities Summit 2012" on October 31, 2012 will focus on local food and local resources that can help us be more sustainable in our lives. Barbara Shapley, writes about her eagerness to attend the Summit to boost her knowledge.  Barbara is a retired teacher, education consultant, longtime Tallahassee resident, and author. 

2012.09.13 Going Green Saves Green.  Cynthia Barber, Director of the City of Tallahassee’s Environmental Policy & Energy Resources, contributed this overview of some of the energy saving measures the City has implemented.  We are fortunate to live in a city that has placed a strong priority on sustainability - not many cities in Florida can make that claim. 

2012.08.30 Greening Your Game Day!   Elizabeth Swiman, Director of Campus Sustainability at FSU, writes how 'Garnet and Gold Goes Green' expects to recycle and divert 100 tons of material from the landfill during this fall's football season! Don't miss the cool video that's included - made by a talented team of students. 

2012.08.16 Reuse for Home Improvement Projects, Closing the Cycle with Freebies, contributed by Maggie Theriot, Director of Resource Stewardship for Leon County's Sustainability, Solid Waste and Cooperative Extension services.  There are free materials from the solid waste facility that will help make your garden great!

2012.08.02 Students Reduce Lunch Waste, Save Energy, written by Anicia Robinson, Leon County Schools. Last year's efforts were major and students were inspired and very involved - read this to learn how to keep the momentum going in our schools and our homes!

2012.07.20 Initial Article Introducing CASC.  In December 2011 Sustainable Tallahassee facilitated the creation of the Capital Area Sustainability Council to serve as a collaborative clearing house for organizations and entities that have a major influence on effecting sustainability in our community.  These "Greening Our Community" blogs will be the vehicle by which members of CASC can communicate their sustainability focus and actions to the public.  This introductory article was written by Stew Parsons, Executive Director of Sustainable Tallahassee. (Learn more about CASC HERE.)  

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