Freedom in Nature: Waves Above the Horizon

Canopy at Eco-Couture Fashion Show at FIU in March
Canopy at Eco-Couture Fashion Show at FIU in March

There’s still time to RSVP for the U.S. Green Building Council’s Art Week reception this week.

Join USGBC Miami and a coalition of several other environmental organizations to preview the Freedom in Nature: Waves Above the Horizon installation as part of Freebee’s “FREEDOM” Experiment. This is the first free, collaborative, eco-installation at Art Basel Miami! Come engage in an interactive experience allowing visitors to not only see, hear, smell, and touch, but to actually take part in the masterpiece!Various community artists have found unique ways to pull elements from the waste stream and repurpose them with other materials, sound, and lighting to create an oceanic ambiance.

One of the installations is being created from hundreds of discarded plastic grocery bags. Teams of volunteers have worked for weeks to assemble the canopy called “Waves Above The Horizon.” The exhibit will be featured during the first of a five-day series by FREEDOM in Wynwood. Each day of the series will celebrate “interpretations of artistic expressions, aiming to define the meaning behind freedom.”

Here’s the FREEDOM full line-up:

Tuesday, December 2nd: LAUNCH OF FREEDOM VIP PREVIEW RECEPTION (Invitation Only)

Wednesday, December 3rd: FREEDOM IN NATURE (Free Event; RSVP Required)

Thursday, December 4th: FREEDOM TO BE DIFFERENT (25th ST. ENTRANCE)

Thursday, December 4th: FREEDOM TO HIP HOP (24th ST. ENTRANCE)

Friday, December 5th: LIBERTAD

Saturday, December 6th: ELECTRIC FREEDOM

Sunday, December 7th: SIMPLY FREEDOM

USGBC Waves_Flyer_sm

FREEDOM gallery with be open to the public with FREE admission from December 4 through December 7 during Miami’s Art Week.

The U.S. Green Building Council program for FREEDOM IN NATURE begins at 7:00 p.m. on December 3rd. Registration is at 6:00 p.m. (with a free drink before 7:00), and the reception begins at 8:00. RSVP FOR WEDNESDAY EVENING’S EVENT HERE

Come learn about ways you can make small changes that will create a big difference! Enjoy an evening of GreenWorking, beverages, light snacks, and good company and be one of the first to see this new and exciting exhibit before it opens to the public for Art Basel!

Every School Should Have A Garden

Grow Food Not Lawns - Every School Should Have a Garden

Love this graphic from Grow Food Not Lawns and it reminded me of a Miami Herald article I read earlier this year about Leewood K-8 Center public school in Miami.

Seventh-grade science teacher, Angela Holbrook, started the project with her class August 2012. They planted an organic food garden near their classroom, and students from all grade levels help with the tending and harvesting.

Holbrook taught her students how to irrigate plants by collecting rainwater in barrels and keep pests under control by bringing in ladybugs.

Fenced in using colorful wooden frames, twelve rectangular soil beds house the vegetables and fruits of the class’s labor – tomatoes, strawberries, cabbages, broccoli and several other leafy greens.

Produce from the garden is used in the school’s cafeteria or donated to the local food banks.

So if you agree that every school should have a garden similar to Miami’s Leewood K-8 Center, check out Grow Food Not Lawn’s Facebook page, and “like” the idea.

And if you know of another school in Miami-Dade that has its own food garden, send me an email or comment below. I would love to feature them in future blog posts.

Miami in the Top Ten US “Most Walkable” Cities

Walk Score BrickellThe City of Miami may have an overall Walk Score of 73 (which puts us in the “Top Ten Most Walkable” cities in the United States) but my little slice of the Magic City in the Central Business District scores a “Walker’s Paradise” rating of 92 while parts of the Brickell Financial District score a 94. What is your city’s Walk Score?



New Urbanism: America’s 10 Most Walkable Cities (via Green Building Elements)

You may know the best bars and restaurants in town, but what’s the ‘walkable’ rating of your city or closest metropolitan area to your home?  Aside from fresh air, exercise, and the ability to bump into new and old acquaintances, walking is beneficial to the environment.   80 Americans are…

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April is Water Conservation Month in Florida

According to the Miami-Dade County water conservation website,  “we use approximately 134 gallons of water per capita per day” in our county. In observance of Water Conservation Month, they ask for your pledge to reduce your water usage, and they are ready to help:

It’s so simple and beneficial to take easy steps to save water. From $50 rebates to yard evaluations and much more, the Miami-Dade Water Conservation Program offers valuable programs and tips during Water Conservation Month in April – and beyond!

Learn how to get a $50 rebate toward a new toilet
Attend the April 6 rain barrel workshop
Get a free landscape irrigation evaluation
See the winning posters in the 2013 Every Drop Counts Kids Poster Contest

For some rather unusual ways to reduce water use, check out this great infographic from Loch Ness Water Gardens:

Water Usage Infographic

 

2013 State of Our Schools Report from the Center for Green Schools at USGBC

U.S. GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL 2013 STATE OF OUR SCHOOLS

"2013 State of Our Schools" Report from the Center for Green Schools at USGBC Calls for Immediate Examination of America's School Facilities (via PR Newswire)

Download image Report includes foreword from former President Bill Clinton and highlights $271 billion deficit to bring school facilities up to working order WASHINGTON, March 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) today released…

Making Solar Work in the Sunshine State! Broward County’s Go SOLARFest This Weekend

Broward Go SolarThis weekend Broward County, Florida, is hosting the “Go SOLARFest” at the Greater Ft. Lauderdale Broward County Convention Center (1950 Eisenhower Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316.)

The two-day event starts Friday at 7:30 a.m. with a continental breakfast and registration, then continues through Saturday. The event will be attended by Broward County Mayor Kristin Jacobs and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz; with a keynote address on “Building a National Solar Market” by Tom Tansy, Chairman of SunSpec Alliance and Program Manager, Solar 3.0.

Per the agenda, “Go SOLARFest will provide an open forum discussion of solar challenges, solutions, andrecommendations to advance solar regionally and statewide in the areas of permitting, financing, solar rights, zoning, and net metering and interconnection.”

For more information, download the Broward GoSOLARFestFlyer or visit Broward.org’s Go Solar Fest page.

Dow POWERHOUSE Solar Shingles Now Available in 10 States

photo provided courtesy of Saginaw Future

I have been following the progress of solar shingles, including Dow’s POWERHOUSE line, for several years, so I was encouraged to read that Dow has expanded their availability into seven additional states. Solar shingles seems like a “no-brainer” to me – “Building Integrated Photovoltaics” (BIPV) roof shingles that mimic traditional roofing materials including the S-tile so popular here in Miami. The solar shingles must meet standards for both the photovoltaic industry as well as regional building codes. I suspect our hurricane building codes, “some of the strongest… codes in the world” according to Popular Mechanics, will make the Miami-Dade market a difficult one to enter, but I am looking forward to Dow and the others arriving sooner or later. We are, after all, located in the Sunshine State.



Expanded Availability Announced for DOW POWERHOUSE Solar Shingles (via Green Building Elements)

Expansion includes East Coast markets, Louisiana, Michigan The Dow Chemical Company has released good news for solar shingle enthusiasts today. The company will expand availability of its solar shingle line, a residential roofing system that protects homes like standard shingles that contain embedded…

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Post-Katrina New Orleans Experiments With Largest Solar Power Neighborhood In Southeast

Back in early 2008, I wrote about Brad Pitt’s “Make It Right” foundation.  “When Brad Pitt visited New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward two years after Hurricane Katrina, he was shocked by the lack of rebuilding progress in this historic, working class community. Many worried the plight of the neighborhood would be forgotten. In a bold move, Pitt committed to help rebuild in the hardest hit area of the city.” To date in New Orleans, “Make It Right” has built 87 of the planned 150 homes with green features such as no-VOC paints and flooring and ENERGY STAR® appliances. Many of the homes also have solar panels. Now, New Orleans is the location of another solar powered housing development experiement:


Largest Solar Power Neighborhood In Southwest Built In New Orleans(via Clean Technica)

  The St. Thomas Housing Project had been a somewhat rundown low-income housing project before Hurricane Katrina hit, known primarily for its high crime rate. But now, the area has become the focus of several government agencies working to revitalize it through sustainable and renewable technologies…

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