Articles

Clean Tech Revolution

Talk radio host Laura Ingraham recently went against political lines as she interviewed author Clint Wilder about his latest book, The Clean Tech revolution. She started her bit, noting that when she picked up the book, she expected to read global warming hype and Al Gore political rhetoric. She was amazed by the basic premise, one that those familiar with the green building world have been trying to get out to the public for the last decade. We can use technology to make our world a better place. And businesses who lead this new tech wave will thrive.

Homegrown Biodiesel

Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services is assisting Florida farmers and ranchers in producing bio-fuel crops to help reduce the nation’s dependency on foreign oil. Commissioner Bronson believes that Florida can be a leader in the effort of producing energy from crops and timber because of the vast amount of farm acreage in the state and its mild climate, which permits crops to be grown virtually year round.

Idealists Unite

I recently discovered I was an idealist. Well, I’ve always been passionate about many aspects of life. I’ve always volunteered and worked with many non profit groups to make my community a better place. Yet it wasn’t until recently that someone labeled me as an idealist.

Webster says an idealist is “one guided by ideals; especially one that places ideals before practical considerations.” It leads that an idealist is “an adherent of a philosophical theory of idealism; an artist or author who advocates or practices idealism in art or writing.”

Nature Conservancy Preserves Land to Protect Diversity

Since 1951, The Nature Conservancy has been working in partnership with local communities, government agencies and private businesses to protect the natural landscapes that harbor the diversity of plant and animal life on Earth. Our mission is to preserve the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive. The Nature Conservancy works in all 50 United States and in more than 30 countries around the world.

One Simple Step to Saving Gas

Three dollar gas is impacting the American psyche, but in ways you’d never have expected. You might think we’d see dramatic changes in the way we live and drive, yet the opposite is true. Instead of market price slowing consumption, the price must still not be high enough the make anyone second guess their driving habits. I’m shocked. Despite almost four thousand dead US servicemen and women, despite rising gas, despite world economic climate, the price of gas does not seem to be openly effecting us. And drivers where I live aren’t slowing down.

Should Coca Cola Help Save The Polar Bears?

The polar ice fields are melting. Blame it on whomever you like; debate the cause; argue about global warming. The reality is we are seeing massive change in our world today. If you look at satellite photos you can easily see the dramatic, speedy retreat of the northern polar ice cap.

The Trouble with Conservation

Again, energy issues capture the headlines and again we see a call for fuel conservation. Isn’t it amazing how often we return round about back to where we’ve started–with no real change or action to be seen?

The Library Delivers

How does a library help the environment? One home delivery at a time. And home delivery has been at the forefront of services offered by the Orange County Library System (OCLS) for more than 30 years.

Renewable Energy in Disaster Relief

Bill Young, a researcher and disaster relief expert at the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), will give a free presentation for the general public on disaster preparedness using renewable energy technologies on February 22.

7th Annual Turtle Krawl

Join us for a family fun 10K bike or skate and 5K run or walk to benefit the Sea Turtle Preservation Society.

Sugar In My Tank

I’ve been following transportation and energy news for quite some time. It seems impossible to see real change in ou lifetimes. Yes, we see new technology, we experience glimmers of hope, but ultimately nothing changes. That’s why news in Brazil is so exciting.

Florida Friendly Landscaping

Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection has launched a great new site, called FloridaYards.org! Complete with Florida plant guide and an interactive flash Do-It-Yourself guide, the site is a nifty resource, and I recommend you go visit.

In Search of Greener Printing

For years we’ve known about the inportance of using recycled papers and the environmental hazards of the printing process. And for years, some have made excellent progress in the field, while many are still unaware of the benefits of printing cleaner and greener.

To Build A Dream

Dr. King is an inspiration–and shows us how great America can become if we work together towards the common good. So much is in place to divide us. We need to build bridges–and there is a group working to build a monument in our nation’s capital that does so.

The Green Guide

The Green Guide is a great place to find information about green products and services. Practical, reliable, easy-to-use, a one-stop-information-shop, the Green Guide is “the first place I go for real green product information and advice,” says Maria Rodale, Vice-Chair of Rodale, Inc and founding editor of Organic Style magazine.

Green New Year’s Resolutions

Florida’s DEP, or Department of Environmental Protection, is an amazing resource for our state. Not only are they constant advocates for Florida’s eco-health, they are continually leading the charge on many sensitive topics, including alternative energy, sustainable development, conservation, preservation and greener living.

Acupuncture You Can Do

Your Chiropractor’s job is to relieve as much Nerve Impingement Syndrome as possible. By allowing the nervous system freely to transport the nerve impulses throughout your body, you will begin to feel like new again, free to enjoy life to the fullest! Chiropractors work to achieve the highest level of function for your body, relieving the pain, eliminating the symptoms and correcting the cause of those symptoms.

It is never too late to improve your health and well-being. To maintain good health and vitality, try these simple, painless routines.

Citizens Against Government Waste

As 2005 draws to a close and we look forward to the new year, I found this information on Citizens Against Government Waste. CAGW is the source of information on government waste and, backed by our members, CAGW works tirelessly everyday to win cuts in wasteful spending.

Purity

We all have a finite ammount of purity—innocence lost. Every time we are intimate we give some away. Like the force George Lucas shows us in the Star Wars universe, our actions effect who we are. We do something good, we shift ever so slightly to the light. And the reverse is also true. Whether it is Anakin slaying a village of sand people or going too far on a first date, our actions have consequences.

Much To Be Thankful For

Another Thanksgiving holiday passes us by and I’m reminded by just how much we have to be thankful for. So much earth-shaking, world-changing events have transpired, just in the last year. It’s often hard to take it all in–and still care. Yet amongst all this, that’s exactly what we have to do, to keep being the people we are.

Tired Of Chemicals? Look to Organic

The organic movement, if you will, is growing steadily in popularity and recognition. Not too long ago, it was a rare site to see organic anything. In the past 10-15 years it has been making its way into our homes little by little, until now. Organic cotton companies alone are reporting product sales growing at more than 40 percent a year.

Metro Blog Orlando

Transportation impacts everyone in Central Florida. Therefore, every citizen should have an opportunity to participate in planning improvements to the region’s transportation system.

Love Them

I can’t take my eyes off of the television and the deteriorating war zone that is New Orleans, La., and coastal Mississippi. The sheer human suffering. The hopelessness. The desperation. And I can’t believe it’s our own country. It looks like the places far away, the towns and villages and countries to which we send our aid. And yet it’s not. It’s us. It’s our people. It’s our citizens, our brothers and sisters. They are Americans. They are hurting. They are completely divorced from anything resembling quality of life.

Our Prayers With You

Media coverage of Katrina and her aftermath is simply beyond my ability to comprehend. We see image upon image of destruction on a scale I could not have imagined. Our thoughts and prayers, indeed the nations, rests upon all the people of the Gulf region.

Southface

Southface has spent the last 25 years helping architects, homebuilders, homeowners and other residential construction professionals incorporate earth-friendly building practices into everyday lives. Every year, hundreds visit the Southface Energy and Environmental Resource Center — a model home in downtown Atlanta that showcases more than 100 “real-world” solutions for environmental living.

Pennsylvania Wants Plug-Ins

State Representative. Mark Cohen, D-Philadelphia, announced todaythat he is seeking co-sponsors for three bills he will introduce to promote and increase the use of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in Pennsylvania.

People testing plug-in hybrids have reported getting fuel economy of 100 miles per gallon, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, or PHEVs, have the potential to reach fuel economy levels of 250 to 500 miles per gallon when ethanol or other alternative fuels are also used, with fuel economy figures at about 80 to 100 miles per gallon for normal commuting. (Source: Calcars.org)

Plug-In Hybrids Get 100+ mpg

The growing costs of U.S. dependence on oil have hit home. Factor in world insecurity, economic instability, and it’s clear we pay a lot more to fill up our cars than the price on the pump. And with the threat of global warming, it’s clear we need to use much less oil. How can we start to change?
The century-old gasoline-powered engine is on its way out. Auto makers say the answer will someday be fuel cell cars. Maybe, but we need to get affordable cars now that use far less gas with lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Oh, What A Feeling

It sure feels good to be green. Hybrids are a much needed step in the right direction. I’m still looking for a new car, and fuel economy is a big motivator for me. With Brevard’s 72 miles of coastline to traverse, gas guzzling monsters just aren’t right for me.

Have you noticed all the new hybrids on the road? Amid all the hype about employee discounts, sales and holiday specials, several automakers are deploying a whole fleet of hybrids. And I’m seeing them pop up in the least expected places.

Florida Energy Achievement Awards

The Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) is pleased to announce the creation of the “Florida Energy Achievement Awards.”
This new annual award will recognize a company, organization or individual that has made a significant achievement in the efficient utilization of energy, energy conservation, energy education or renewable energy in the state of Florida.

Remote Control Children or Developmental Programming?

Cartoon Network recently announced a new 2 hour block of programming targeted at 2 to 5 year olds. In response, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood publicly lambasted the channel for being,

“the latest attempt to get young children in front of screens — which is exactly where marketers want them”

This raises several important questions on both ethical and parental sides of the issue. Is this another ploy to plop children in front of a tv and endear them to colorful characters and their merchandise? Can television programming actually be beneficial to a child’s development, or more importantly – is it even needed for wholesome development? Read on for the major arguments from both sides, and contribute your own answers to these vital questions.

Crippled in Both Feet

Recently, a few weeks after my father Frank’s passing, I spent time with my mother Flora going through some of his things. He didn’t leave much behind, being a simple man with simple tastes. There were a few clothes; some medals from World War II; a few service pins; several books; a 1980 appointment calendar in which he had scribbled dozens of motivational sayings; and a strange piece of metal we found lying in a drawer.

My mom gasped when she picked up the metal bar, thick and laden with screws. “Look at this,” she said. “What is it?” I inquired.

Family History

This holiday season take a journey of adventure and discovery and prepare to write your family history. Your mission, if you decide to accept it, will be to interview your family members and learn what makes you who you are today.

Visit websites and chronicles of ancient documents to discover who landed where and who married who, and who in your family made the news. Travel through the portals of time and discover from yesteryear’s newspapers the social issues of the times and how your ancestors stood on those issues. Boldly go where few relatives have gone before and carefully review those old letters and pictures that have been in the attic for years. As you converse around the Thanksgiving meal, discover who made that delicious recipe for turkey stuffing or some other dish that is ritually prepared every holiday season. Speak in honor of those who served our country in a foreign war. Find out the accomplishments of your forefathers and record them for history. Visit a gravesite and experience the sacred resting-place of an ancestor.

Spend a Day learning about Florida’s Sea Turtles

Ever wonder about your “Nocturnal Neighbors”? No, not those noisy neighbors next door that are always up until 2 AM. I mean the ones visiting our beaches at night as they have for longer than you can imagine. That’s right, sea turtles! The three species of sea turtle using Brevard’s beaches struggle with the burden of crawling from the surf and finding a suitable nesting location near the dune. Once they find a suitable sight they deposit a hundred golf ball sized eggs into a carefully crafted nest chamber. Leaving them to be incubated by the heat of the summer sun, the mother turtle will never see her babies again. The hatchlings emerging two months later have very little chance of survival with only one in a thousand expected to make it to adulthood.

Dad

My father, Frank N. De Marco, died on Tuesday, July 26, at his home in Ormond Beach, Fla. He was 80. I had the honor of being with him, when he closed his eyes in this life and opened them in his new life to behold the face of God.

I Want My Solar

Soaring energy costs, increased international demand for cheap fuel, and in-your-face realities of global warming all add to one conclusion: America needs renewable energies in a big way, and we need it today, not another 20 years down the road.

Learning About Florida’s Sea Turtles

Ever wonder about your “Nocturnal Neighbors”? Spend a Day learning about Florida’s Sea Turtles! Learn how to join NESTS — Neighbors Ensuring Sea Turtle Survival! Take a Sea Turtle Lighting Course!

Using Solar Energy in a Disaster

A workshop on the “Basics of Using Solar Energy in a Disaster” will be presented at the Solar World Congress in Orlando, Florida, on Friday, August 12, from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. The course will be taught by Bill Young, a senior engineer at the Florida Solar Energy Center. Participants in the workshop will learn about the uses of solar energy for response, recovery and mitigation functions following disasters.

GM: Serving the Greater Good?

“GM Suffers Massive Losses. Wow, do you mean that we don’t want to buy ever bigger SUVs? I read the headlines from Forbes and API, and it sounds like a shocker. Big scoop… front page news: “GM Posts Another Huge Quarterly Loss.” Can even ’employee discounts’ save the day?

Prayer in Schools

I recently received an email. In it was a petition, written to President Bush, calling for the reinstatement of prayer in schools. With 1557 names on it, it asked users to forward it on when it reached 2000, something that I’m sure happened soon and was diligently delivered. But I’m afraid that the good intentions of the originator is misplaced.

Join the Local Food Revolution

The taste of a juicy tomato, just-picked off the vine at the peak of ripeness, is one of life’s simple pleasures – and for many of us it is a distant memory. When I was growing up my mother always kept a vegetable garden. I remember digging around in the dirt with her, eating sugar snap peas right off the vine, pulling up carrots and picking big juicy tomatoes for grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches.

New Territory

Bruce Wilkinson’s recent bestseller The Prayer of Jabez shined the light on an obscure Old Testament character who unleashed a powerful petition to the God of Israel that had a dramatic impact upon his life. A key portion of the prayer was Jabez’s request that God would “expand his territory.”

What this meant, explained Wilkinson, was that Jabez sought broader and deeper opportunities to be of service to God and to humankind.

The ONE Campaign

The ONE Campaign grew out of the Heart of America tour in 2002, in which a busload of citizens and celebrities toured the mid-West in support of a new U.S. initiative on global AIDS. The success of that trip insured that a new constituency of Americans were raising their voices for Africa and needed to be heard. Together with the Better Safer World Campaign, representing nine of the largest, most effective private aid agencies (with 3 million supporters) working together to fight global poverty, and Bread for the World, a Christian voice for ending hunger for more than 30 years, the ONE campaign got off to a great start.

Forever Florida

A visit to Forever Florida and the Crescent J Ranch is like a romp through the terrain that once dominated this State. The unfortunate part is trying to figure out where we will show our children this amount of unspoiled land in the future?

Helping Sea Turtles

For those of you dropping by Green Orlando on a monthly basis, sea turtles are a topic you’ve heard about before. From day one its publisher, Eric Needle, has been inspired by the story of sea turtles and the efforts citizens of this county have made to help protect these summer visitors.

Brevard County and each of the municipalities in the county have lighting ordinances established to reduce the effects of lights illuminating the beach, which disorients nesting females and the hatchlings emerging a couple of months later. It’s a concerted effort by citizens throughout the county, to do what we can to help these imperiled reptiles and it’s easy. Seeing a massive nesting sea turtle or a cute hatchling is usually enough to illicit an emotional response from most everyone and when we’re tied emotionally to these creatures we work towards protecting them.

Florida’s Green Budget

Florida’s new budget sets aside $2 billion for Everglades, beach restoration, land conservation and water improvement. Wow. Florida is an amazing place to be. The state of our environment is critical to so many industries. From tourism to agriculture, quality of life in the sunshine state remains a priority, and the new budget shows that Talahassee sees the connection.

Sea Turtle Ranger Program

This month, the turtle walk program at Sebastian Inlet State Park broke an all-time, nightly record. Recent participants of the Sebastian Inlet State Park “Turtle Walk” made history by witnessing the magic of a loggerhead turtle lay her eggs on the same night that a leatherback and green turtle beached themselves to lay their eggs. The nesting of the leatherback was a record breaking eighth nest of its kind within the park this year.

Young Professionals of Brevard

Young Professionals of Brevard will host their monthly networking social, sponsored by Community Educators Credit Union, on Thursday, May 26, from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm at The Redhead Martini & Cigar Bar – 626 Glen Cheek Dr., Port Canaveral. All young professionals in Brevard County are invited to attend.

Driving Green

According to the US EPA, every gallon of gasoline your vehicle burns puts 20 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and contributes to global warming. If you drive a vehicle uses gasoline, or any fossil fuel, then you can play a role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions that lead to climate change. You can reduce (or offset) the effect your driving has on the environment by supporting projects that reduce greenhouse gases anywhere in the world, and effectively make your vehicle “Greenhouse Gas Neutral”.

Pella Windows and Doors

Pella Corporation is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of premium-quality windows, entry door systems, storm doors and patio doors. What makes Pella newsworthy is their vision and environmental ethic.

The Real Florida

So you’re in Central Florida for a conference, on vacation, or maybe you live here! But have you ever seen the real Florida? Many of us, residents included, have no idea how diverse, how immense and how beautiful the natural Florida outdoors are.

Sustainable Buildings Industry Council

SBIC teaches, values, and advocates a balanced, holistic approach to designing new buildings. These days many terms are used to describe improved buildings, such as “green,” “sustainable,” “high performance,” and “environmentally responsive.” We are always mindful that these ideas must be kept in context with other equally important design objectives, such as aesthetics, accessibility, cost effectiveness, flexibility, high productivity, and security. Our members believe that all sustainable buildings must be low-energy, climate-responsive, use minimal fossil fuels and cleaner, renewable energy.

Industry Partnership Program

The importance of industry partnerships has long been a strategic cornerstone of the Community Greenhouse Foundation (CGF), helping to fulfill our mission. CGF exists to raise awareness about sustainable development and smart growth. We work to facilitate and speed the adoption of green-building best practices, products and materials.

Case Study Promotes Smart Growth in Central Florida

The Community Greenhouse Foundation, a 501(c) 3 not for profit organization, has partnered with Riverside Commons, LLC producing an “Educational Demonstration Program” that will raise awareness and promote the utilization of Smart Growth principles for the State of Florida.

Riverside Commons, has agreed to let the Community Greenhouse Foundation utilize their project for the “Educational Demonstration Program” due to their belief and support in Sustainable Development.

Brevard Tomorrow Community Celebration

Brevard Tomorrow announces its annual Community Celebration, an event that highlights the organization’s accomplishments and honors its many volunteer team members and partners. The date is Thursday, August 25, 2005, from 8:30 am to 10:30 am, at the King Center…
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Smart Growth, Just a Better Way

Where can you learn about Smart Growth and Greenbuilding? Ecobuild America is an international expo focused on sustainable development. And GreenOrlando has free passes to get you inside.

What is smart growth? Smart growth is a concept, a movement, an idea, that we can better plan and manage how we grow. From my house, I can walk or ride a bike straight to my son’s school, safely without ever having to cross a major road. That’s smart growth.

USO

Every day we’re reminded that American military personnel are serving in foreign lands. As we write and publish GreenBrevard each and every month I’m ever mindful of those who give of themselves and put their lives on the line to secure our freedom and way of life. Unfortunately, today’s climate in mainstream media often only shows the negative things occurring around the world. This publication’s mission is to shine a spotlight on the good news.

The Art of Storytelling

Of all the challenges facing organizational leaders today, the biggest may be engaging and motivating people to embrace the organization’s mission and vision of the future. We all know the difference between staff who are punching the clock and biding their time and those who come prepared to be part of a team that is building something great. How do we get people to see that future and want to be a part of it? It comes down to communication.

Seeking the Divine

“To an unknown god.” The ancient Athenians erected many shrines to various deities that gave power, perspective and no small dose of fear to their collective psyche. Early in the first century A.D., the Jewish philosopher Paul of Tarsus, a…
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The Dance of Life

When I paint, I go beyond what the eyes visibly see. I feel the flow of infinite energy, the continual renewal of the universe. Molecules, atoms and cells always in motion, nothing is real and still as it visually appears. Life is simply flowing energy. That is what I paint.