Green Community

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ask the Locals: Nadine Smith & Andrea Hildebran, activists

Posted By on Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 2:20 PM

  • Photo by Heidi Kurpiela

Longtime LGBT advocate Nadine Smith has served as the chief executive officer of Equality Florida since its inception in 1997. In 1993, she co-chaired the LGBT March on Washington and organized a historic oval office meeting between LGBT leaders and then President Bill Clinton. Smith, a former Tampa Tribune journalist, served four terms as co-chair of the Equality Federation and served as a member of the Democratic National Committee. She writes columns for both LGBT and general audience publications and is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post.
Andrea Hildebran is the executive director of Green Florida, a non-profit organization that helps create community gardens. She founded the organization in 2007 to better manage the Bartlett Park Community Garden, a flourishing vegetable garden in a low-income neighborhood in South St. Petersburg. She’s a writer and community organizer with decades of LGBT advocacy work under her belt.
In August 2012, with their toddler, Logan, in tow, Smith and Hildebran were among the first couples in St. Pete to register for a domestic partnership.

Favorite neighborhood: Gulfport. Nadine: “It’s bohemian. There are boat bums and well-to-do retirees. It’s funky. It’s laid-back. It’s friendly. There’s the beach, a playground and a place to grab a cold beer all in one concentrated little area.”

Where they’d eat every day if they could: Habana Café. Nadine: “It’s almost the de facto Gulfport Community Center. Everybody goes there. It’s super friendly and the Cuban food is excellent.”

Where their kid would eat every day if he could: Bella Brava. Nadine: “The little guy loves, loves, loves spaghetti. We love going there because the food is good, affordable and the owners care about the community.”

Favorite sweet spot: Cassis Bakery. Nadine: “The little chocolate truffles … good gravy, they’re so completely satisfying!”

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Monday, April 15, 2013

25 Reasons To Have Hope In An Ecological Future

Posted By on Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 10:27 PM

After conceiving this article in honor Creative Loafing's 25th birthday my first thought was I'd have a hard time finding five items, never mind 25. However, I decided to give research the chance to  disprove that thought and the results  follow. The hope & hurdles (i.e. the obstacles) to implementing these hopes are listed. Students in need of high school science fair projects and mad-scientist types looking for something to build in their garage, take note and consider throwing your brain into the solution matrix. Other readers please let me know what sparks your interest and I'll write follow-up articles to see if the hope placed in these environmental technologies lives up to the hype.   With that said, here are 25 reasons to have some hope for an ecological future. You've likely heard of some of these before, but read to the end to discover technologies that some believe have been unjustly suppressed.

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A world to love on Earth Day Mon., April 22

Tampa Bay organizations dig into Earth Day with a variety of events to bring out your greener side.

Posted By and on Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 1:00 PM

We all live on Earth, don’t we?

Mon., April 22, is a day for everyone — environmentalists and non-environmentalists alike — to surround ourselves with fresh air, feel the rich soil underneath their feet and discover their inner naturalists. Luckily, Tampa Bay organizations provide a variety of ways to help you show your love and appreciation for the planet we call home. If it's more convenient for you to celebrate over the weekend, rather than the Monday the holiday actually falls on, you have plenty of options.

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Holistic Happy Hour at Pizza Fusion

Posted By on Fri, Mar 9, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Join us for Holistic Happy Hour on Tuesday, March 13, at 7p.m.

This is an open evening for anyone in a green business or who wants to meet like-minded people, share green ideas and have fun!! Join us at Pizza Fusion in Westchase for our second Holistic Happy Hour.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ybor IKEA to go solar

The company says the solar panels will be the energy equivalent of powering 154 homes.

Posted By on Tue, Dec 6, 2011 at 8:35 AM

The home furnishing retailer IKEA announced today that they intend to install solar energy panels on ten of their southern stores, including their Tampa location on Adamo Drive.

For the company's three Florida stores (the others are in Orlando and Sunrise), they will be contracting the work out to REC Solar, who IKEA says have built more than 7,000 such systems across the country.

IKEA says that there will be 5,061 individuals panels built on the Tampa site that will generate 1,792,300 kWh/year, or the equivalent to reducing 1,362 tons of CO 2, 242 cars’ emissions or powering 154 homes.

The IKEA in Ybor City opened in 2009.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Florida environmentalists hail Obama Administration's proposal on raising fuel efficiency standards

Posted By on Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 7:04 AM

Like every other block of voters who strongly supported his candidacy in 2008, environmentalists aren't nearly so enthusiastic about Barack Obama these days.

A lengthy New York Times story published today illustrates why they might feel let down by the President, as the piece depicts how the administration - in particular chief of staff Bill Daley and regulatory czar Cass Sunstein pushed Obama to reject a proposal by EPA administrator Lisa Jackson to tighten the national standard for smog.

But environmentalists nationally and in Florida are applauding the administration for officially proposed strengthening fuel efficiency and pollution standards for passenger cars and trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

'One Bottle One Dream' aims to teach Florida kids about environmental stewardship

An educational outreach program underway in Florida Public Schools to get teach kids about recycling and the environment.

Posted By on Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 2:00 PM

It’s always exciting to see local people and businesses stepping up and making a difference in our local 'green' community.

Local author Stephanie Armenia started a project called One Bottle One Dream, wrote an accompanying children's book and created a teacher curriculum guide that corresponds to the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards to make kids aware of the idea of conservation.

This exciting new outreach is designed to encourage the habit of recycling early in life through Armenia's book, "When Will We Be Recycled, Momma?", and introducing kids to Jack, a water bottle with dreams of being recycled into a spaceship and blasting off to the moon. It starts with one act of kindness locally and grows into environmental stewardship globally.

Recently, there was a kickoff party at McKitrick Elementary in Lutz, FL, where the PTA purchased a class set of books for all 3rd and 4th grade teachers. (Watch the video highlights here.) Joining Stephanie was Worm’s Way, a local organic gardening supply store, who donated composting kits to all teachers and will provide a matching program for schools who participate in the One Bottle One Dream Project.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Temple Terrace 'Bat Tower Talk' with the Florida Bat Conservancy: Thu., Sept. 1st

Learn about the new location of the bat tower and meet the bats.

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Join the friends of the Temple Terrace Bat Tower and the folks behind the Temple Terrace Bat Tower Reconstruction Project for a special presentation by the Florida Bat Conservancy this Thursday, September 1st.

Learn about the new location of the bat tower (and see the blueprints), why bats are beneficial to the local ecosystem, how to make a bat roost in your own yard. Plus, get the chance to see some of our local bats in action. A strong showing of community support is beneficial to help this important and historic project project move forward.

Bat Tower swag will also be available for purchase, including shirts, stained glass bats, bat wine, 'Adopt-A-Bat' plush bats and more.

The event will be held from 7-10 p.m. at the Temple Terrace Community Church: 210 Inverness Ave., Tampa. Find out more about this project at the Temple Terrace Bat Tower Reconstruction Project's Facebook page.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Activists hold rally for clean air

Posted By on Wed, Aug 24, 2011 at 6:45 PM


This Wednesday, clean air advocates held a rally in downtown Tampa to support the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) updated air quality standards which will be announced by the end of the month. According to the EPA, proposed updates to reduce mercury pollution from power plants will “prevent as many as 17,000 premature deaths and 11,000 heart attacks a year, in addition to 120,000 asthma attacks and about 11,000 cases of acute bronchitis among children annually.”

With children starting school and the EPA’s impending decision, Phil Compton, organizing representative for Sierra Club Florida Regional Office, believes that the rally is an opportune moment to raise awareness and gain signatures for the Sierra Club’s Clean Air Promise. After speeches by concerned residents and members of the Suncoast Pediatric Asthma Coalitions, members were encouraged to sign the petition and get involved.

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Ocean dead zones

Agricultural runoff is a primary culprit, but sewage, vehicular and industrial emissions and natural factors cause dead zones.

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Perhaps the most infamous U.S. dead zone is an 8,500 square mile swath of the Gulf of Mexico, not far from where the nutrient-laden Mississippi River, which drains farms up and down the Midwest, lets out.
  • Robert Simmon, NASA
  • Perhaps the most infamous U.S. dead zone is an 8,500 square mile swath of the Gulf of Mexico, not far from where the nutrient-laden Mississippi River, which drains farms up and down the Midwest, lets out.
Courtesy of: EarthTalk®
E — The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: What is a “dead zone” in an ocean or other body of water? — Victor Paine, Tallahassee, FL

So-called dead zones are areas of large bodies of water—typically in the ocean but also occasionally in lakes and even rivers—that do not have enough oxygen to support marine life. The cause of such “hypoxic” (lacking oxygen) conditions is usually eutrophication, an increase in chemical nutrients in the water, leading to excessive blooms of algae that deplete underwater oxygen levels. Nitrogen and phosphorous from agricultural runoff are the primary culprits, but sewage, vehicular and industrial emissions and even natural factors also play a role in the development of dead zones.

Dead zones occur around the world, but primarily near areas where heavy agricultural and industrial activity spill nutrients into the water and compromise its quality accordingly. Some dead zones do occur naturally, but the prevalence of them since the 1970s—when dead zones were detected in Chesapeake Bay off Maryland as well as in Scandinavia’s Kattegat Strait, the mouth of the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea and the northern Adriatic—hints at mankind’s impact. A 2008 study found more than 400 dead zones worldwide, including in South America, China, Japan, southeast Australia and elsewhere.

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