Clean out your file cabinets and desk drawers, round up those old cell phones and stray chargers, clear those plastic bags from under your counter. Check your medicine cabinets, purses, glove boxes, and bedside tables for meds that have expired or are no longer needed. Then bring it all to DEP’s Easy As One Collection at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park on Friday, July 30, from 9 am until 4 pm.
Bring plastic bags to recycle, paper to shred and recycle, and used cell phones (working and non-working) along with stray chargers to donate to a local charity. Participants who bring in 15 or more bags for recycling will receive a reusable shopping bag. Those who bring meds for safe disposal, a cell phone or paper for recycling will receive a day pass (valid August 1 through October 31 2010) to a Florida State Park. While supplies last.
After visiting the Easy As One collection point, take in a mermaid show, take a river boat cruise, take a canoe or kayak for an outing on the Weeki Wachee River, take a swim in a first magnitude spring, take your lunch and picnic in the shade of covered picnic pavilions. Taking it easy is a walk in the park.
Take it easy this summer with a quick getaway or an extended stay at one of Florida’s 642 Green Lodges. Whether you prefer a cabin in an all-natural setting at a state park, a quaint bed-and-breakfast in the Keys or a mega resort near The Mickey, you’ll find what you need to stay cool and stay green, even in August.
Standard fare at green lodges include recycling bins for cans and bottles, a linen-reuse program, energy efficient lighting, low-flow faucets and, of course, energy efficient A/C—the invention that brought Florida to attention.
In addition to the basic requirements necessary for Green Lodging designation, some lodging owners step further into the Green Zone. For example, cabins along the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail provide outdoor grills so that you can keep heat out of the kitchen and the A/C from working overtime. Besides, burgers and hot dogs taste better grilled. Ask around.
Several bed-and-breakfast inns provide bicycles for their guests, who can pedal about town without adding emissions to the air.
Some resorts provide guests with access to electric carts and other easy-on-the-air forms of transportation to popular destinations. Some onsite restaurants specialize in local seafood and some even grow their own ingredients for the day’s special.
Check the Green Lodging list to find cool places to take it easy.
Check tomorrow’s blog for more ways to stay cool, stay green and take it easy.
Learn more about the “Take it Easy” Twitter contest. Learn more here.
During the summertime, our thoughts naturally lead to taking it a little easier. Spending time with friends and family. Taking that trip we have planned all winter long. Enjoying a warm afternoon outside.
From July 26 through July 30, the Easy As One team will be sharing some of the great ways you can unwind this summer while still maintaining your commitment to protecting our environment.
Each day we will post a new entry on our blog. The entries will be posted at random times during the day and the first five Easy As One Twitter followers who tweet according to our instructions will win an “Easy Kit” filled with great items to help them practice conservation easily this summer. View details here.
“Easy Kit” includes:
- Reusable Shopping Bag
- Microfiber Cloth
- Day Pass to a Florida State Park
- Outdoor First Aid Kit
- Boaters Whistle
- Either an LED Flashlight, Duffel Bag or Laptop Bag
Summer is vacation time. Time to pack up, head out, cook out, sleep in or stay home and lounge about. But mostly, summertime is about staying cool. Fortunately, finding ways to stay cool and still stay green is easy.
Call 511 to avoid traffic jams due to construction or accidents. Idling gets ZERO miles per gallon. For every two minutes a car is idling, it uses about the same amount of fuel, it takes to travel one mile. Besides being annoying, traffic jams potentially increase the number of times you hear, “Are we there yet?”
More than 630 green lodging options, including cabins in several state parks, provide sleep over accommodations throughout Florida. Designated Green Lodging facilities implement sustainable practices in several areas of operations: communication and education about sustainability to their employees and guests, waste reduction, reuse and recycling, water conservation, energy efficiency, indoor air quality and transportation. While you’re there, don’t forget to turn out the lights when you leave your room.
Summertime crops are ripe. Tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, butterbeans, peaches, peppers, blackberries or honeydews make tasty additions to any meal. According to the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, produce travels more than 1,500 miles before it gets to your table. Shop at a nearby farmers market for the best taste of the season and to reduce fuel waste and emissions from long-distance shipping.
While you’re catching summer sales—in the market or in the mall—don’t forget to take reusable bags for your purchases.
Barbecues are another way to keep heat out of the kitchen and your A/C from working overtime. Skewer fresh local veggies to grill along with your favorite meat or seafood for a tasty meal that’s healthy for you and for the environment.
Boating is another cool summer activity. An ocean, a gulf, bays, lakes, rivers and streams provide endless opportunities to catch a breeze. Florida’s one million registered boats provide one million opportunities for boaters to protect water quality and the quality of our aquatic lifestyle, both at the dock and on the water. Bring trash and recyclables back to the dock for proper disposal. Florida’s 222 Clean Marinas, 33 Clean Boatyards and 11 Clean Marine Retailers make it easy. And, please, use pumpouts. Tonight’s seafood platter comes from the waters we sail today.
While you’re casting for the catch of the day, don’t forget to reel in and properly dispose of that tangled mess that started out as fishing line. The fine art of knotting doesn’t belong it the water. Many public fishing spots, the fishing platforms along the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail for example, provide receptacles for monofilament gone awry. If you’re fishing from a boat, bring your tangled webs back to the dock for proper disposal.
Pack a waste-free picnic and head to your favorite swimming hole, shady green space or back yard for some cool-down down time. Pack food in reusable containers. Take along reusable plates, cups, cutlery and cloth napkins.
Save money and reduce waste with a smarter water. Instead of buying bottled or canned beverages, punch up a pitcher of water with berries, mango or watermelon slices for flavor and nutrition.
One easy way to promote green cleaning habits is to teach a class. Last week, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection provided hands-on green cleaning training to students enrolled in the Clara White Mission’s janitorial services job-training program.
The Clara White Mission partners with businesses and local community organizations to reduce homelessness through advocacy, housing, job training and employment. In 2008, the mission started a Janitorial/Environmental Services Training Program to train people for work as housekeepers and janitors in the hospitality industry. Since its inaugural course, the mission has invited DEP to enhance the program by providing information about green cleaning.
A green cleaning program is a complete approach to cleaning that examines the entire cleaning process. Programs assess space, products and work practices to maximize cleanliness while reducing unnecessary employee, staff, patient, visitor and environmental exposure to hazardous chemicals. In addition, green cleaning focuses on improving indoor air quality, reducing water pollution and encouraging recycling.
To complement the informational component of the green cleaning training, DEP also provided students with green cleaning kits containing microfiber cloths, environmentally friendly cleaning products and directions for creating their own green products.
As the students join the workforce, their green cleaning skills help increase green cleaning practices in the businesses and industries for which they work.
To get started on a green cleaning course, invest in a microfiber cloth and experiment with mixing your own green cleaners.
On Saturday, June 26, protecting air and water quality and reducing waste was easy for visitors to Jacksonville’s Riverside Arts Market where the Florida Department of Environmental Protection hosted an Easy As One collection. Collectively, Easy As One participants, in just a few hours, kept more than a ton of reusable resources out of a landfill.
Thanks to Riverside Arts Market, First Coast News, UltraShred Technologies, Florida State Parks, Florida Retail Federation and Wal-Mart.
Total items collected:
- 2,000 plastic bags
- 1,800 pounds of paper
- 61 cell phones
- 40 chargers
Clean out your file cabinets and desk drawers, round up those old cell phones and stray chargers, clear those plastic bags out from under your counter. Then bring it all to DEP’s Easy As One Collection at Jacksonville’s Riverside Arts Market on Saturday, June 26, from 10 am until 4 pm.
Bring plastic bags to recycle, paper to shred and recycle, and used cell phones (working and non-working) along with stray chargers to donate to Hubbard House. Participants who bring in 15 or more bags for recycling will receive a reusable shopping bag. Those who bring a cell phone or paper for recycling will receive a day pass to a Florida State Park. While supplies last.
Easy As One Collection
Date: Saturday, June 26
Time: 10 am – 4 pm
Location: Riverside Arts Market, Jacksonville, Riverside Avenue
Check out the flyer.
Also at the Riverside Arts Market: local art, entertainment, music, fresh produce, food venders.
Family outings on beamy pontoon boats … friends returning from fishing trips, their relationships richer for the experience…sailors catching the afternoon sea breeze… kayakers skimming across a lake at sunset… a shrimper heading out at dawn … images that remind us how Florida’s greatest natural resource — its water — affects the quality of our lives. Regardless of why we’re out there, for recreation or to make a living, we share responsibility for preserving the boating life we love by keeping our waterways and shorelines vibrant, clean and healthy.
Simple practices, applied consistently, and a little planning are cornerstones of responsible boating. Preventing fuel leaks when we fill up, cleaning with elbow grease and water instead of harmful chemicals, keeping our boats in top running shape are all relatively easy ways we can help protect water quality. Planning for the types of trips we will be taking before we leave the dock, also goes a long way toward preventing pollution – manufactured and manmade. How many people will be aboard? Is it a day trip or overnight cruise? Usually day trips do not generate much waste. Overnight trips virtually guarantee it. So we need to be prepared to stow our trash and to make sure our heads and holding tanks are in good working order. We need to know where our pumpout facilities are located and use them. And, we need to chart our courses carefully in advance to keep from damaging sensitive sea floor habitats or injuring marine life.
Choosing Florida’s designated Clean Marinas, Boatyards and Retailers for our boating needs moves us beyond individual action to supporting more than 250 businesses statewide that implement Best Management Practices to keep our waterways clean and healthy. These facilities and their trained staff are our partners—our trusted crew, ready with guidance and education on everything from boating regulations and environmentally safe products and services to the best ways to clean and cook our prize catch.
On Saturday, June 12, National Marina Day, we have an opportunity to join marinas around the country that are opening their doors to their communities. This year, ten marinas across the country will offer everyone who is interested a chance to participate in boating and fishing activities, hands-on workshops and seminars, boat test drives, boat races, and more. Support Boat.Fish.Live. At National Marina Day. It’s a perfect time to introduce a newcomer to clean boating. It’s something every boater and every marina can do right now to help keep our waterways clean for everyone to enjoy. Boaters can do their part. Marinas can do theirs to ‘Make it last, keep it clean!’
Nearly 4,000 people attended Jacksonville’s Green Expo that took place May 15-16, 2010 at the Prime Osborn Convention Center. More than 100 businesses as well as health and wellness exhibitors showcased their wares and services. Products displayed included health care and personal care products made with natural ingredients, organic food and other resources. A number of workshops taught attendees about green products and how to make greener choices.
Sheena Chin, Sustainable Initiatives Coordinator from DEPs Northeast District, participated in Jacksonville’s green expo and demonstrated a home-made cleaning product that contains non-toxic chemicals. She also handed out microfiber cloths which are better to use than paper towels because they are reusable and do not require the addition of toxic solvents. She also shared homemade green cleaning recipes and informed her audience on proper disposal of household hazardous waste.
Overall, the expo was successful in informing the community about the advantages of going green and demonstrating that everybody can be green. Remember, it is as Easy As One to make Florida a greener place.
What a beautiful day in Tallahassee to have our first collection event! Sun was shining, a nice breeze and lots of great people came out to recycle and donate. Thanks to everyone who came out and donated. Thanks also to Shred-It, FAMU Green Coalition, the Downtown Marketplace, Florida State Parks, Florida Retail Federation, Walmart, CVS Caremark and Winn Dixie.
Total items collected:
- 2000+ plastic bags
- 300lbs of paper
- 58 cell phones
- 65 chargers