Looking for a few good volunteers for EEL

Miami-Dade County’s Environmentally Endangered Lands (EEL) Program was created in 1990 to purchase and preserve over 20,000 acres of native pinelands lands and other sensitive areas.

Each year, the EEL program looks for volunteers to help restore and maintain these endangered areas. “The workdays are fun, hands-on activities throughout all kinds of interesting natural areas.” Workdays are from 9 a.m. to noon unless otherwise noted.

Here is January’s EEL volunteer schedule:

  • Saturday, Jan. 10: Arch Creek Park and Preserve, 1855 NE 135th Street, North Miami, Work: Trail maintenance
  • Friday, Jan. 16: East Greynolds Park, 16700 Biscayne Boulevard — by the dog park, Work: Clean up
  • Saturday, Jan. 24: Deering Estate at Cutler – North Addition Preserve, 16701 SW 72nd Avenue, Miami, Work: Clean up

For more information, email eel@miamidade.gov or call 305-372-6611.

Miami-Park-volunteer-workdays 2014-2015

Miami-Dade County Helps Turn Your Backyard Green – Rain Barrel Workshop

Did you know that Florida receives an average of 56 inches of rainfall per year? And just a quarter- inch of rainfall over a 1000 square foot area (like your roof) can yield around 150 gallons of water. By placing rain barrels at your gutter downspouts, you can quickly fill a 50 gallon barrel with naturally pure water free of chlorine, fluoride, and other chemicals to keep your flower beds, garden and houseplants well watered.


The Miami-Dade County Cooperative Extension Service, in cooperation with the University of Florida, is offering a series of Rain Barrel Workshops this year. The workshops are FREE to residents of Miami-Dade County; providing information about important water conservation issues plus instructions on how to construct and install a rain barrel yourself. And for those attending the workshop, you will also be able to purchase a 50 gallon rain barrel for just $40.


All rain barrel workshops also include a showerhead and light bulb exchange courtesy of Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department.

Plan to attend a workshop this Saturday, May 7th, from 10:00 – 11:00 at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, 2000 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach, Florida 33139. For more information, contact Lize Luna at 305-248-3311 ext. 242 or Barbara McAdam  at ext. 245 or email Barbara at bmcadam@ufl.edu.

And for more information about real estate and environmental issues in Miami-Dade, visit my web page at http://www.melaniesellsmiami.com/

April is National Water Conservation Month

April is National Water Conservation month. This is particularly important in South Florida where we are experiencing the driest “dry season” in 80 years. What can we do to observe Water Conservation Month and to conserve water all year long?

First and most important, follow the emergency Water Shortage Order effective March 26th: “A two-day-a-week schedule for residential landscape irrigation throughout the District. Helping to relieve impacts on surface and groundwater sources, the order provides consistency for the District’s 7.7 million residents. It is also consistent with Florida’s neighboring water management districts and municipalities that are currently following a two-day watering schedule. Landscape irrigation accounts for half of all potable (drinking) water use in South Florida.” http://www.miamidade.gov/wasd/library/sfwmd_water_shortage.pdf

Exchange your standard showerhead for a high-efficiency water saving shower hear and reduce the water demand by at least 50%. It’s FREE! http://www.miamidade.gov/wasd/showerhead.asp

Replace your old toilet with a WaterSense-certified high-efficiency toilet (HET) and get up to a $50 rebate from Miami-Dade County. http://www.miamidade.gov/conservation/toilet_rebate.asp

Attend this month’s Rain Barrel Workshop on April 16 at Crandon Park starting at 1:00 p.m. The workshop is free and you can pre-register to purchase your own rain barrel for just $40. http://miami-dade.ifas.ufl.edu/environment/natural_resources.shtml

Get a FREE landscape irrigation evaluation and get rebates up to $400 per year (for a total of $1,200 per property) for recommended retrofits to make your irrigation system more water efficient. http://www.miamidade.gov/conservation/landscape_evaluation.asp

Participate in one of the many 2011 Baynanza events throughout Miami-Dade County. The annual Baynanza is a six-week calendar of clean-up days and environmental events that celebrate the Biscayne Bay and its surroundings. In addition to the famous Biscayne Bay Clean Up Day on April 16th, there are about 30 additional clean-up sites and many other events including a Bay Cruise on April 17 or an Eco Bike Tour on April 23, both at Deering Estates. http://www.miamidade.gov/derm/baynanza.asp

Let me know what you do for National Water Conservation Month!

Melanie Dawn’s Fav Five Green Businesses Serving Pinecrest Florida

I am frequently asked to write guest articles for Coldwell Banker’s “Insight Real Estate Blog” serving the Atlanta, Dallas/Ft. Worth and Florida markets. My recurring feature, called “Hear the Eco,” is about various green topics affecting the Miami-Dade real estate market.

In a recent four-part article, I wrote about my five favorite green businesses in or near the Village of Pinecrest. They are:

  • Evo’s green fast food: 9537 South Dixie Highway, Pinecrest
  • New Era Pest Control serving Pinecrest and all of Miami-Dade: 786-462-5912
  • Sudsies Drycleaner and Laundry (305-864-3279) / Dryeco Green Cleaners (877-7-Dryeco)
  • Staples: 9801 South Dixie Highway, Pinecrest
  • Whole Foods Market: 11701 South Dixie Highway, Pinecrest

For more details and links to these green businesses, visit the full article at Hear the Eco.

EPA: Multi-Family Housing Near Public Transit is Greener. Melanie Dawn: And in Miami, it’s Beautiful, too!

The EPA has just released a white paperconfirming what most of us know intuitively: multi-family housing located near public transportation is generally “greener” than any other type of housing.  Their graph tells the story very well:

It illustrates the two key points in the study about the relationship between housing style/location and energy consumption:

• “Choosing to live in an area with transportation options not only reduces energy consumption, it also can result in significant savings on home energy and transportation costs.”


• “Fairly substantial differences are seen in detached versus attached homes, but the most striking difference is the variation in energy use between single-family detached homes and multifamily homes, due to the inherent efficiencies from more compact size and shared walls among units.”

The EPA study also included a surprising correlation between proximity to public transportation and foreclosure rates:

“Location efficiency can contribute to or undermine a home’s affordability, and these impacts can also extend to a household’s financial stability. One analysis of some of the causes behind the U.S. financial crisis suggests that vehicle ownership and a lack of access to public transportation may be just as predictive of mortgage foreclosure rates as low credit scores and high debt-to-income ratios.”

In his 2010 book, “Foreclosing the Dream: How America’s Housing Crisis is Changing Our Cities and Suburbs,” Dr. William Lucy, professor of urban and environmental planning at the University of Virginia School of Architecture, said much the same thing:

““Location is more important than ever, and how location is interpreted has changed,” Lucy said.


With foreclosures and repossessions contributing to housing surplus predominantly in the outer suburbs and suburbs, these locations are not considered as being safe investments or as having good resale potential for 30- to 45-year-olds, who later need to sell for career advancement.”

Dr. Lucy and the EPA white paper also seem to be in agreement with other market studies that discuss the increasing demand for urban multi-family housing close to public transportation. The EPA study references a 2010 analysis completed by RCLCO and wrote, “that demographic changes are underway which are leading to rapid growth in the number of households without children. These households demonstrate a preference for more walkable, vibrant “urban” places with good transit access…”

In Miami we have been reading about this shift for several years now. In an October 2006 Miami Herald article by Elaine Walker, she talks to Allen and Stella Donelan about why they are moving to Downtown Dadeland:

“He also hates the hour-long commute to his U.S. Post Office job — he will cut that by two-thirds. With the Metrorail virtually next door, the Donelans plan to get rid of their second car.”

Multi-family housing located in “walkable” neighborhoods near public transportation and other amenities allows residents to save on transportation and other energy costs while living green.

And in Miami this means living on some of the most beautiful real estate anywhere in the country. The corridor from the northern edge of Downtown Miami, through Brickell, Coconut Grove, South Miami and Downtown Kendall/Dadeland boasts mid- and high-rise condominiums with Biscayne Bay views as well as attached and detached homes in tropical garden settings.

Search for Your Slice of Paradise

 

Top Ren Reasons to Install a Metal Roof – Even in Florida

metal roof melanie miamiA metal roof in South Florida may seem counter-intuitive. Under our summer sun, metal gets hot enough to cook an egg, right? But a metal roof actually reflects over 65% of the solar rays compared to only about 25% for asphalt shingle. And coated metal roofing also has a high degree of “thermal emittance,” which in plain English means they cool off fast. So here are the first of my top ten reasons to consider a metal roof in South Florida:

1. SAVE MONEY ON YOUR UTILITY BILLS: An Oak Ridge National Laboratory study reports that a metal roof can save homeowners up to 40 percent in summer cooling costs. EnergyStar.gov estimates that an ENERGY STAR rated metal roof can reduce peak cooling demand by 10-15 percent.

2. REBATES AND TAX CREDITS: Through the end of 2011, installing a metal roof qualifies for a 10% credit (up to $500) on the cost of the roofing materials. FPL offers a $0.45 per square foot rebate for qualifying metal roofs.

3. DURABILITY: Metal roofs can last well over 50 if properly maintained, and most manufacturers provide transferable warranties of at least 20 years. Metal roofing is resistant to fire, mildew, insects and rot.

4. SAFETY: Most metal roofs are rated to withstand hurricane winds of 110 mph to 130 mph winds – an important consideration in South Florida. Metal roofs are also fire and hail resistant, and many manufactures include fire, hail and wind protection guaranties.

5. REDUCE YOUR INSURANCE PREMIUMS: Homeowner’s insurance companies in at least 20 states (including Florida) provide wind, fire &/or impact discounts ranging from 18% to 35% off annual premiums.

6. ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY: Most metal roofing manufacturers use a minimum of 25% recycled content, and 98% of the finished product is recyclable. Asphalt shingles, by contrast, often contain asbestos which prohibits recycling under federal law. For new construction, a metal roof qualifies for credit towards LEED certification.

7. LIGHT WEIGHT: Metal roofing weighs as much as 75% less than slate, clay or concrete roofing, and approximately one-third less than asphalt shingle. This means homeowners will not be faced with additional structural requirements as can happen when switching to tile roofs; and your contractor may even recommend downsizing existing roof support.

8. BETTER INSTALLATION PROCESS: Metal roofs can be installed quicker than most other roofing systems, and can even be installed directly over the old asphalt roof. A metal roof is ideal for the minimally pitched roofs found on the MiMo style homes found in South Florida.

9. VARIETY OF COLORS AND STYLES: In addition to the classic standing seam style, metal roofs are now manufactured to look like regular shingles, barrel tile or even cedar shake. (See the photo above) So whatever style your home is, you can find a metal roofing style to compliment it.

10. INCREASE YOUR HOME’S RE-SALE VALUE: According to the 2005 “Residential Cost Handbook,” the appraised value of a home increases by $1.35 per square foot when a metal roof is installed. “Remodeling Magazine” reports that homes renovated with metal roofing gain between 1% to 6% in resale value over homes with asphalt roofing. It makes sense considering the long term transferable warranties, long life of the roofing system, lower maintenance costs and the substantial energy savings. A quality metal roof brings added beauty and value to your home that you and your future buyer will enjoy!

Visit my website at http://www.melaniesellsmiami.com/ for more information about green real estate in Miami.

Five Reasons to Compost in Miami-Dade

How_Compost_Happens

1. Composting is easy! As easy as throwing away your garbage, in fact. Simply separate compostable garbage into a separate bin.

2. Composting is saves money! Compost doesn’t require any fancy equipment, but it will save you money by reducing what you spend for fertilizers and potting soils.

3. Composting is good for your garden! Gardens that are composted produce more fruits, vegetables and flowers; and compost contains no petroleum products the way most commercial fertilizers do.

4. Composting is good for the planet! The EPA estimates that about 25% of your household waste is yard trimmings, vegetable scraps and other compostable items. Composting helps reduce our local landfills and emissions from the incinerator plants.

5. Composting is FREE! Compost workshops are being offered by Miami-Dade County, in cooperation with the University of Florida, and taught by a Master Gardener.

Learn how to start and maintain a compost pile to turn your yard waste and food scraps into rich soil this Saturday, February 5th, from 12:00 – 12:30 p.m. at the Coral Gables Farmers Market located at 405 Biltmore Way, Coral Gables, Florida 33134. For more information, contact Lize Luna at 305-248-3311 ext. 242 or Barbara McAdam at ext. 245 or email Barbara at bmcadam@ufl.edu.
A rain barrel workshop immediately follows from 1:00 – 2:00. The rain barrel workshop is free, plus Miami-Dade residents will have an opportunity to purchase a rain barrel for $40. The event also includes a showerhead and light bulb exchange courtesy of Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department. For more information, contact Lize Luna at 305-248-3311 ext. 242 or Barbara McAdam at ext. 245 or email Barbara at bmcadam@ufl.edu.

And for more information about real estate and environmental issues in Miami-Dade, visit my web page at https://www.melanieinmiami.com/

Park(ing) Day in Coconut Grove This Friday

The US Green Building Council’s South Florida Chapter Emerging Professionals will be participating in this Friday’s “Park(ing) Day,” a worldwide event that inspires city dwellers everywhere to transform metered parking spots into temporary parks.  Started in 2005, Park(ing) Day is a way to draw attention to the need for more public parks in urban areas. This year’s local event is scheduled to take place between 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. along McFarlane Road in Coconut Grove. Donations and support will be provided by Pie Studio, Home Depot, AFH, the City of Miami, Coconut Grove community organizers, the NET, the BID and the Miami Parking Authority. The MPA has designated 10 metered parking spaces along McFarlane Road which will be transformed into temporary urban parks for the day. Commissioners Sarnoff and Suarez are scheduled to appear, and the public is invited to attend.


USGBC Emerging Professionalsare the energetic and dynamic leaders of tomorrow’s green building movement. The program is geared toward individuals out of school and under 30, but does not exclude anyone who may be interested. USGBC Emerging Professionals seek to engage all those who are interested in learning about and advocating for sustainable building practices. So who are Emerging Professionals? Certainly many are young architects and engineers, but they also include young lawyers, education and healthcare professionals, sustainability consultants, and anyone else interested in the future of green building.”

Hey Miami Students! Get Your Green On – Enter Miami-Dade’s video contest

April is Water Conservation Month in Florida and Miami-Dade County wants you to “Get Your Green On!” The contest is open to all Miami-Dade County high school students. Create an original Public Service Announcement showcasing environmentally sustainable activities and your commercial could air at movie theaters across the County.


Every student who enters will receive a free “Use Less” T-shirt and the winning entry will be played in movie theaters across the county. Videos should be 24 seconds in length and feature only original material. Topics and ideas for your video can be found at green.miamidade.gov. All videos will be posted on YouTube for a one week period from noon on May 10th to noon on May 17th. During this period, the top ten videos with the most views will go on to be judged by the panel. After review of the videos, the winner will be announced. From Miami-Dade County:

All entries must be submitted no later than April 30, 2010. Visit MiamiDade.gov for entry forms and details.

The judging panel will consist of three members, with a mixture of professionals with backgrounds in sustainable living, design and/or television production. The judges will meet for a one day period to review the entries. Using the Video Judging Form, each judge will evaluate the posters on the following criteria:


Sustainable Living Message (50 points) – Does the video convey the theme’s message clearly and link to the sustainable living subject?


Visual Effectiveness (30 points) – How does the video relay the message and does it require you to take action? Will you remember the video next year? Is it creative?

Universal Appeal (10 points) – Regardless of age, language or educational level, everyone should be able to understand the message. Does it appeal to the general population or a large audience?

Originality (10 points) – Artistic Expression.

Come on Miami… Get Your Green On!

Melanie Dawn Molina Wood, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate LLC, is a member of the US Green Building Council – South Florida Chapter and a designated Eco-Broker. She also holds her level one Green Leadership (GCREP-GL) certificate among many other certifications and awards. For more information about Miami real estate, call/text Melanie Dawn at 305-801-3133 or visit her website at http://www.melaniedawn.net/.