Sustainable Business Awards Nomination

Sustainable Business Awards Nomination

Click here to nominate a business for our Sustainable Business Awards on April 29, 2016.

Sustany: For Tampa Bay's Future

Sustany: For Tampa Bay's Future

The Sustany Foundation enhances the quality of life of the Tampa Bay community by promoting sustainability.

The Sustainable Buzz

The Sustainable Buzz

Sample local foods, craft beer and wine at our annual event.

Sustainable Business Program

Sustainable Business Program

Sustany operates the Green Business Designation Program for the City of Tampa. We work with companies to audit, improve, and celebrate the sustainable practices of their operations.

Sustainable Business Awards

Sustainable Business Awards

Join us for our Annual Sustainable Business Awards. Click here.

Sea Turtle Secretariat

Sea Turtle Secretariat

Sustany supports initiatives like the bid to host the International Sea Turtle Treaty Headquarters here in Tampa Bay!

Mini Grants for Many Groups

Mini Grants for Many Groups

Sustany gives mini grants to help launch projects focused on sustainability and community development.

Sustany Tumblers

Sustany Tumblers

Start a lively conversation and support your favorite local foundation with a dozen Sustany tumblers. Click here!

Help Build A Sustainable Community

Help Build A Sustainable Community

Join the Sustainable Buzz Committee, help with a clean up or participate other Sustany volunteer activities.


 

Sustany Programs & Events


The Sustainable Business Awards 

The 8th Annual Sustainable Business Awards are set for April 29th!  Nominate a business and get tickets by clicking the link:  Visit the Sustainable Business Awards Event Page

ThinkSustany

Every week ThinkSustany bloggers bring us the latest local news and sustainability features from around the world.

Sustainable Business Program
1403homebusinesslogo
Sustany and the City of Tampa work with businesses to audit, improve, and celebrate the sustainable practices of their operations.

Mini-Grants
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Sustany funds projects and organizations promoting sustainability in Tampa Bay, such as student field trips to Nature’s Academy.


 

The Latest News from ThinkSustany Blog

    Add a "Green" Resolution to your New Year's List

    by Alison Lueders, Great Green Content

    It’s the last week of January. Are you on track with your 2016 New Year’s Resolutions? If so – congratulations! If not, don’t despair.

    It’s not too late to recommit to them. When you do, consider adding a “green” resolution to the mix.

    It's not too late to make a "green" resolution for 2016!
    It's not too late to make a "green" resolution for 2016!

    What’s a “green” resolution?

    A green resolution is simply an action that helps the planet by protecting resources like the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the land and seas around us. It can be big or small, but the most important characteristic is that it’s something you’ll actually DO. Because little actions do make a difference.

    A green resolution may take you slightly out of your comfort zone – or not.  And there are so many simple actions to choose from that it’s easy to find a green resolution that fits your life.

    10 Green Resolutions for 2016

    By picking just ONE of these, you may re-charge your whole "resolution" mindset for 2016.

    If you want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs)

    1. Reduce idling in your car.  Hybrid cars like the Prius are designed to stop idling when you sit at a stop sign or a red light. It’s an easy way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save gas and money. If you don’t have a hybrid, that’s fine. Try driving at less congested times of day, or take a less congested route with fewer stops. Every 10 minutes of idling adds 1 pound of CO2 to the air. Here are “10 Reasons to Turn Off an Idling Car.”
    2. Look for the Energy Star label.  Energy Star has been around for a couple of decades now. It produces annual lists of the most energy efficient models of many different products. So whether you need to buy a new refrigerator or TV, a new air conditioner or laptop computer, the Energy Star website has got you covered. Remember that the true cost of an appliance includes the purchase price AND its operating costs. So why not buy a TV that costs the least on your electricity bill, while still fully enjoying the Big Game?
    3. Adjust your heating and cooling. According to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, some 38% of total U.S. carbon dioxide emissions come from buildings. A big part of THAT comes from running your heat or your air conditioner. So if you want to make a measurable difference, turn down the heat in winter and turn up the air conditioner in the summer. If you leave the house empty during the day, a programmable thermostat that automatically drops the temperature 10 to 15 degrees – and warms it in advance of your return – can save 5% to 15% of your annual heating bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

    If you want to save water

    4. Turn the faucet off when you brush your teeth or shave. According to the U.S. EPA, if you turn the water off while brushing your teeth in the morning and evening, you can save around 8 gallons of water a day. That’s 2,920 gallons a year that won’t go needlessly down the drain.

    5. Sprinkle your lawn only when needed. In 2015, the Tampa Bay area got about 16 extra inches of rain above the average annual amount. There’s no need to sprinkle when there’s an excess of free water coming from the sky. Open your umbrella and shut off your irrigation system until it’s truly needed.

    6. Rethink your laundry habits. Newer front-loading washers use just one third the amount of water compared to the older, top-loading machines. (It’s amazing to look through the washer’s window and SEE the difference.) Wash full loads so you do fewer loads overall. Wash in cold water to avoid the GHGs from heating the water. Be sure to check the Energy Star site to find the most energy efficient washer too!

    If you want to protect land and sea

    7. Buy organic food. Organic foods are grown and processed with fewer herbicides and pesticides. This results in a couple of things. The farmers who grow organic food create less chemical runoff, which can pollute rivers and oceans. And you and your family eat more healthily. Find organic foods too expensive? Then pick some key food items and buy THEM. The Environmental Working Group puts out a list annually of produce called the “Dirty Dozen” and the “Clean Fifteen.” It’s an easy way to know what to avoid, and where you might choose to put your money when it comes to creating healthy meals.

    8. Avoid plastic bags and bottles. Plastic takes hundreds of years to biodegrade. So bring reusable bags when you shop. Bring a mug to the office for your morning coffee or tea. Buy a reusable water bottle and use it daily. If you DO find yourself with plastic bags or bottles – recycle them! Many retailers - from your grocery stores to places like Target - generally offer bins that take back these items, in case your house or apartment does not have a recycling service.

    9. Get social. Think “going green” is some weird activity that only hippies and hermits do? Think again!  Participate in a local beach cleanup, join a local chapter of the Sierra Club for outings, or sign up for a local community-supported agriculture membership – and meet your neighbors! Going green is all about working together to keep the planet habitable for humans. It's about as "people-oriented" as it gets!

    If you want to learn more about “going green”

    10. Get more information. There are plenty of books like “Green Life Style 101” and websites like greenlivingonline.com. You can do a deep dive on the subject or take it in little bits. Then choose a green resolution that fits your life and just do it!

    Happy 2016!

    Read more

    Greener Gift Giving

    by Alison Lueders, Great Green Content

    This week, as we turn the corner towards Christmas, you may be struggling to find gifts for some of the people on your list. If so, think GREEN - greener gifts, that is. Check out the suggestions below to both generate great gift ideas and to be kind to the planet in the process.

    Think "greener" when giving and presenting gifts!
    Think "greener" when giving and presenting gifts!
    Read more

    Part Two: St. Petersburg Student Makes Big Impact on His School and Tampa Bay!

    by Walker A. Wills, Freshman, Shorecrest Preparatory School

    In the second phase of my sustainability project, The Native Classroom, we needed to remove about 2,000 Australian pines, a destructive invasive species brought to Florida from Australia in the 1890s for beauty and furniture.  Ironically, the trunks are too thin and flexible for woodworking, so furniture was never made. Spreading over beaches and back lots, Australian pine roots poison the soil, preventing other plants from growing.  The flimsy limbs of this species, technically a weed, cannot withstand the weight of bird nests, and the thick needles suffocate underbrush necessary for squirrels, garden snakes, and rabbits to live. On beaches, endangered birds, crocodiles and sea turtles also cannot live in these pines.  It is illegal for Australian Pines to be planted or sold because they create a dead zone for habitat.

    Australian pines formed a wide, thick bank along an important Tampa Bay estuary on the 54th. Avenue Chanel in St. Petersburgunnamed (1).  To benefit the environment of Shorecrest Preparatory School, a not-for-profit organization, the Edgemoor neighborhood to the north and the Placido Bayou neighborhood to the east, I organized a variety of fundraisers, complemented by a grant from The Sustany Foundation. I raised $17,000, and it was used for the project’s materials, tools, and native Florida plants.

    Removing the pines required the use of adults donating their time to chainsaw trunks and then, with adults and students, pulling the tall pines down using ropes.  Jeff Till Landscape Services was a major participant to this entire project. The time and effort the company put into this project was a huge help.  The pines were hauled by volunteers (including several volunteers from The Sustany Foundation!), boy scouts, and students. The pines were pulled by hand down a long dirt path and across the school’s track to a chipper located 70 yards from the worksite.

    An adult volunteer put the pines into the chipper, and at the end of two days, we produced 100,000 pounds of mulch!  This mulch has to be incinerated by the city, and it cannot be used for anything else.

    Eight stories worth of dirt was required to cover the site so new native plants would be able to survive after planting.  Our many vunnamedolunteers then hauled the fresh dirt by wheelbarrows and buckets to the worksite where it could be spread out by shovels over the poisoned soil left by the Australian pines.  Finally, a bobcat skidder was required
    to level the land where the dirt was located.

    Over 700 hours went into removal of the invasive pines, laying of the fresh soil, and planting of Florida native species— which I’ll write about in my next blog.  Please join me to find out the native plants we used to beautify this educational Florida outdoor!  Walker A. Willis

    Read more

    Christmas Cookies with No Extra Crunch

    by Alison Lueders, Great Green Content

    Did you know that there is such a thing as cricket flour? Me neither. But there is! And some brave 5th graders at the Trinity School in Tampa recently baked some chocolate chip cookies – made with cricket flour – and pronounced them “awesome.” Far from being some school yard prank, they were learning firsthand about sustainability and sustainable food choices.

    Read more