Green Chamber in Florida
The U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce chose Lake Mary in central Florida for its southeastern regional office, which opened over the summer. The Green Chamber is a national non-profit founded to help businesses achieve economic, environmental and social sustainability. The office will work on behalf of businesses in 12 southeastern states.
DIY Energy Audits
In Jacksonville, The Green Team, an environmental non-profit, partnered with the city-owned utility to put JEA's "Home Energy Evaluation" kits in all 21 branches of the Jacksonville Public Library. In just the first four months, 1,323 residents have checked out the kits, which contain an infrared thermometer to test for insulation gaps; meters to measure energy use in appliances; a hygro thermometer to measure and track humidity and air temperatures; a pocket calculator; and a ruler to measure insulation in attics and crawl spaces.
Sizing up the Green
The "green," "clean" or "low-carbon" economy remains difficult to quantify but highly promising for economic renewal and job creation, according to a new report from the Brookings Institution. The report found Florida seventh among the states in the overall number of green jobs, with 102,967 that pay an average wage of $38,085, compared with $34,132 for all jobs in the state. But the percentage of green jobs was low, at 1.4% — ranking Florida 49th.
The Florida Green Building Coalition this summer set a record for annual "Florida Green" home certifications, with 750 through July. The previous annual record was 749, set in 2007. FGBC Executive Director Suzanne Cook says the numbers indicate that both builders and consumers are finding value in green building as Florida emerges from the recession.
Blue Revolution on Tap
Florida Trend senior writer Cynthia Barnett's new book, "Blue Revolution: Unmaking America's Water Crisis," exposes how the green craze largely missed water — the No. 1 environmental concern of most Americans. Barnett traveled from Sarasota to Singapore to show how communities and nations have come together in a shared ethic to dramatically reduce consumption and live within their water means.
Taking the LEED
While the economy slowed green building in Florida as it did all construction, the state has nonetheless seen increased numbers of LEED-certified buildings in recent years.
2011 through June: 61
Source: U.S. Green Building Council