Cinema Green tonight at Miami Beach Cinematheque

The Environmental Coalition of Miami & the Beaches and Cinematheque on Miami Beach invites you Cinema Green movie night tonight at 7 and 9 pm.  First, “follow the story of Jen and Grant as they accept the challenge of creating no waste for an entire year” in the “The Clean Bin Project.” Then enjoy “One Beach,” a look at the importance of keeping our Florida beaches “Barefoot Friendly.” There will be an introduction by Luiz Rodrigues, Michael Laas and Commissioner Jerry Libbin, plus a question and answer session with One Beach cast members Barbara de Vries and Leigh Emerson, and Ben Clutter from the Surfrider Foundation.

Cinematheque is located at 1130  Washington Ave on Miami Beach. $10 for General Admission, $7 for Cinematheque, Surfirder & ECOMB Members (must present ECOMB Green Card). FREE for Students K – 8, $5 for High School Students (must present ID). Students can now get 2 Community Service Hours for watching Cinema Green Movies! TICKETS SOLD ONLINE OR AT THE DOOR  CLICK HERE TO FOR MORE INFORMATION

Pinecrest Gardens Needs Your Coffee Grounds

I don’t drink coffee. I know… how weird, right? Both of my parents were coffee drinkers, but I’ve never developed the taste for it. So, about once a month, I have to take a cup of coffee and a container of coffee grounds home from my office. The brewed coffee is mixed with henna for my hair, and the coffee grounds go into the soil in my garden. My gardenias especially love a bit of coffee every spring and summer.

Craig Morell, the horticulure expert at Pinecrest Gardens, also uses coffee for his garden – not his hair. And now he is looking for restaurants to donate their coffee grounds to Pinecrest Gardens, too.  According to their website:

A few months ago, he had a flash of inspiration: “Why not expand my home-garden usage of coffee grounds as an organic soil supplement to a larger scale, say…Pinecrest Gardens?” Gardeners have used coffee and tea grounds for decades on the soil of “special” plants like gardenias and roses, so why not use the artwork of a local barrista to our best purposes?… and so “Coffee for You in the Morning, For Your Garden in the Evening: Grounds for your Grounds” was born.

The local Starbucks have been donating their coffee grounds for the pilot program and Morell has seen “noticeable” benefits already. So if you own or manage a South Florida restaurant and would like to participate, contact Craig Morell by email at gardens@pinecrest-fl.gov

 

Would you live here? Manhattan Shoebox Apartment

“A couple years ago, Manhattan architect Luke Clark Tyler, lived in a 96 square foot apartment. Instead of upsizing with his latest move, he chose to squeeze himself and his belongings into even less space. Luke now lives in a 78 square foot shoebox studio.”

I believe in reducing one’s carbon footprint by down-sizing the living space, but this is over-doing it for me. I think even my ferrets would find that space a bit small.

 

Light Bulb Finder – There’s an App for That!

Still not sure if CFL’s are worth it? Trying to find the newest LED? This free app for iPhone and Android helps you make the best – and greenest – choice for your lighting fixture.

LIGHT BULB FINDER is a free mobile phone application that makes it easy to switch from conventional light bulbs to energy-saving equivalents with the right fit, style and light quality. View bulb images, cost, savings, and environmental impact. Create shopping lists, and buy bulbs directly through the app or at local stores.

Excellent use of QR codes too.

Would you live here? Inhabitat brings us the ‘Stark White House’

Designed by the architect & design firm of Elding Oscarson in Sweden, the ‘Stark White House’ is being featured this week in Inhabitat‘s blog: “a weblog devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future.”

As a real estate estate, I find the dramatic departure from architectual style of the neighborhood to be a bit startling. But I do appreciate the low carbon footprint and the bright minimalist space. Give me a wall and door on that bathroom and I could live there. Would you?

20% by 2020 – US Air Force Sets Goal for Renewable Energy Sources

energyNOW! is one of my favorite sources for non-partisan, science-based information on current energy and environmental issues. This week, Lee Patrick Sullivan presents “Energy Innovations in the Armed Forces.”

One quote in particular had an especially strong impact. Army NAC Director Paul Skalny said, “[a] 1% increase in fuel efficiency for the military means 6,444 less soldiers involved in convoy operations.”

On a lighter note, did anyone else immediately think “TARDIS” when he said “TARDEC”?

The Energy Savings of Low Hanging Fruit

Check out this interesting “infographic” from WellHome home energy auditors. A home energy auditor will evaluate your home to determine how much energy it uses and make recommendations to improve efficiency. Some companies, like Well home, will also perform the energy-efficient installations you choose and provide an energy savings guarantee. WellPoint does not have an affiliate in the Miami-Dade area yet, but if you are interested having a Home Energy Audit done, call me for a local recommendation.
In the meantime, WellHome’s blog is packed with great information on all aspects of energy and the enviroment, and more great infographic’s like this one.

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/

In honor of Earth Day and Tax Day 2011, a Reminder to Claim Your 2010 Residential Green Tax Credits

Did you install a qualifying EnergyStar product (not all EnergyStar products qualify for a tax credit) from one of the following categories in your primary residence on or before December 31, 2010:

  • Non-solar Water Heater
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Metal or asphalt roof
  • Insulation
  • Heating/Air conditioning
  • Biomass stoves
  • Geothermal heat pumps
  • Residential wind turbines
  • Solar energy systems
  • Residential fuel cells 
If so, you may be eligible for a tax creditof up to 30% of the cost. You will need your purchase receipt and the “Manufacturer’s Certification Statement” from the manufacturer certifying that the product qualifies for the tax credit. (You need to keep these for your records but you do not need to submit them with your tax return). You will also need IRS form 5695. Visit EnergyStar.gov for more detailed information.
 

If you did not install EnergyStar products in 2010 or you have not exceeded the new lifetime limits, don’t worry. Many of the green tax credits have been extended until the end of 2011 or 2016.

 

And in Florida, qualifying solar water heaters, solar space heaters, photovoltaics, and solar pool heating equipment are all sales tax exempt under Florida HB805. For more details about what products qualify, Florida Solar Energy Center’s White Paper and Tax Information Publication TIP # 05A01-05 will help.

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!