Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"Cinema Green"- The Clean Bin Project

December 8 at the Miami Beach Cinematheque. Please see the details here.

Is it possible to live completely waste free? Partners Jen and Grant go head to head in a competition to see who can swear off consumerism and produce the least landfill garbage in an entire year. Their light-hearted competition is set against a darker examination of the sobering problem waste in North American society. Even as Grant and Jen start to garner interest in their project, they struggle to find meaning in their seemingly minuscule influence on the large-scale environmental impacts of our “throw-away society”. Featuring interviews with renowned artist, Chris Jordan and marine pollution expert, Captain Charles Moore, The Clean Bin Project presents the serious topic of waste reduction with optimism, humor, and inspiration for individual action.
WINNER: Best Canadian Doc Projecting Change Film Festival
Blue Sky Tribute Award at the Vail Film Festival
Mobi Award Journalism Media - Recycling Council of
British Columbia

Exploring and Protecting a South Florida treasure- Temple Israel of Greater Miami

please see the Temple Israel of Greater Miami website here.

Solar plane promises new era of flight- CNN

picture from CNN

Payerne, Switzerland (CNN) -- With the wingspan of a jumbo jet and a scooter-sized engine, the Solar Impulse is a one of a kind.

Thanks to nearly 12,000 solar cells and four electrically-powered propellers, it's the first aircraft in the world that can fly without any fuel -- day or night.

The 63-meter wide, 1,600 kilogram plane is already a record breaker, staying in the air for 26 unbroken hours in 2010.

Read more here.

Also please find the Solarimpulse website here.

Real tree versus artificial tree, one of the dilemmas of Christmas

When it comes to pick a tree, a lot of us have a definitive opinion. Real trees smell so good and remind us of the past Christmases of our childhood but artificial trees seem so much greener and better for the environment. Whatever your opinion is, I invite you to read the following article from that gives an interesting spin on the subject.

Please read the article here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Recycling Resource Database- Ecomb

check out the database on ecomb's website here, spotted by Kelly Jackson.

from the website:

ECOMB, an environmental not-for-profit organization founded in 1994, is dedicated to the promotion of environmental sustainability and the preservation of our community’s ecology. This mission is carried out through the development and implementation of a variety of educational programs and campaigns in an effort to achieve the following objectives:

  • Reduce the amount of litter in Miami-Dade County’s beaches, waterways, islands, parks and mangroves;
  • Increase the county’s residential and commercial recycling rates;
  • Promote, preserve and restore coastal habitats, such as our sandy beaches, near shore coral reefs, beach dunes, mangroves, and Biscayne Bay islands and waters;
  • Decrease our community’s carbon footprint through the adoption of “green” lifestyle practices that are more environmentally sustainable.

ECOMB strives to promote better interactions amongst residents, visitors, businesses and government agencies. ECOMB believes that by educating and encouraging people to get involved, and to act responsibly towards their environment, that together, we will improve our quality of life, save resources, and live more sustainably.

By forming strategic partnerships both with local, state, and national non-profits, businesses, schools and government agencies, ECOMB is able to organize various community cleanup projects, conduct environmental seminars, and promote sustainable behaviors, practices and initiatives with in our community.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Organic Window Blinds- The Trend Hunter

Organic Window Blinds

by Meghan Young on

The Liteon Eco Leaf is Inspired by Trees to Provide Shade and Light

It cannot be denied that window blinds are essential in many homes to provide much-needed shade throughout the day or to simply seal off the rest of the world when privacy is desired; yet the Liteon Eco Leaf takes these simply coverings to a whole new level. Not only does it provide shade and privacy, it absorbs solar energy to emit soft light when dark as well as provide ventilation.

Designed by Lim Wan Xuan and Tang Xueling Jane of XentiQ Pte Ltd., the Liteon Eco Leaf is evidently inspired by a leaf. It uses solar cells that recharge during the day in order to provide illumination later through a unique yet beautiful pattern on its felt-like surface. The Liteon Eco Leaf also incorporates a digital display to inform people the current room temperature.

Please see the pictures on here.

Friday, November 18, 2011

New bike rack on the RSMAS shuttle


Recycling medals and trophies

What to do with all the Marathon medals and trophies you earned over the years? Here are some alternative to piling them in your garage:

from Medals4Mettle:

Run fast. Run far. Run for a greater good.

Medals4Mettle (M4M) is a non-profit organization that facilitates the gifting of marathon, half marathon, and triathlon finishers’ medals. Runners from around the world give their hard earned medals to Medals4Mettle. Our worldwide network of physicians and volunteers then awards these medals attached to a Medals4Mettle ribbon to children and adults fighting debilitating illnesses who might not be able to run a race, but are in a race of their own just to continue to live their life. It is in honor of this mettle and courage in bravely facing these challenges that they are awarded a medal.

Please see their website here.

From Lamb Award & Engraving:

Trophy Recycling

We've recently begun a program to help find a new home for your very old trophies so that they avoid the landfill. We will either donate matching sets to charities in need or break the trophies down for parts. These parts will go on to other trophy winners.

Please send us an email before sending us your old trophies. We also accept old plaques, sculptures, and medals. You are responsible for any expenses related to shipping the old items here.

Contact us at:
Please include recyling in your subject line.

Other ways to recycle trophies are:
  1. Try Donating to your local YMCA or Park and Recreation Department.
  2. Call local Trophy Shop and ask if they recycle.
  3. Post on Freecycle or Craigslist- the plaques can usually be removed and replaced.
  4. Donate to Local elementary school or high school
  5. Donate to Special Olympics
  6. Donate to Day Care Centers

Community Gardens in Miami Dade

Roots in the city

Enchanted Forest

The Miami Beach Victory Garden

226 Collins Ave, Miami Beach. The garden has 20 plots and it's under the care of the Parks and Recreation Department of City of Miami Beach, but it's managed by a core of community volunteers.

Community garden at Liberty Square

Liberty Square Housing Development, 65th Street NW at 14th Avenue, Miami. The garden is made up of more than 40 plots.

Contact Juanita Shanks, Executive Director of Keep Miami Beautiful.



Roots of the Grove Garden

Vegetable community garden located at 3196 Plaza Street at Day Avenue, Coconut Grove.

Roots In The City

The focus of this garden is community development, creating jobs and beautifying Miami's inner city. The organization has established several community gardens and tree nurseries in Overtown.

Miami-Dade County Public Housing Agency

Miami-Dade County Public Housing Agency’s elderly housing development at Robert King High Towers, 1407 NW 7 Street. Contact Brett Bibeau, The Miami River Commission.

Heroes Unite-Enchanted forest

Alice Billman's organization Heroes Unite created a community garden in Griffing Park where locals can plant fruits and vegetables based on what's in season. Through the organization's Giving Back Green program, 17 small plots of land were created in the area of the park called Enchanted Forest, 1725 NE 135 St. in North Miami. The community gardeners will work with students and professors from FIU to maintain the garden.Please find an article about the opening of the garden in Miami Herald here.

36 Green Gift Wrapping Ideas-

It is getting close to the holidays and some of you may have started their shopping already. Gift wrapping is part of the holidays traditions that some may enjoy and some may look at as a chore.Why not start a new tradition and wrap gifts in a green way? Please see the article by Myscha Theriault from here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Green U Roundtable Meeting- Minutes by Lauren Baron

Green U Roundtable Meeting Minutes 11-9

First we talked about the point of Green U Roundtable which is to promote unity, communication and cooperation between student groups by exchanging ideas of ways our campus can be more environmentally conscious. We also hope to share and inform each other of projects each group is working on, and discuss possible collaborations between groups.

The meeting focused on ideas for two large events that we want to do next semester in collaboration with many student organizations on campus.

Water Day (will happen the week of March 22nd)- Water Day would be an event focusing on water use awareness and water issues. There will be a screening of the movie “One Water” ( which is actually directed by UM professor Sanjeev Chatterjee and narrated by Donna Shalala. We will also plan a panel discussion involving experts on water issues, incorporating people and teachers with many different viewpoints and from different disciplines. We’ll promote outreach activities to the campus community by putting information signs along the walkway between memorial and the UC with water facts. We want the experience of water day to be an interactive one for students! We brainstormed ideas to really get the students involved and leave a lasting impact on campus.
Some examples of activities include:

Have students carry large water jugs a certain distance to emphasize how some people in other countries have to carry water over far distances
Showing students how much the average person uses when they brush their teeth and don’t turn the water off, take a shower, wash the dishes etc. by having a water display with the amount of water those activities use
Create a giant pyramid of large water jugs to be placed on the green to emphasize water day and show how much we use
Involve the Wellness Center and a Campus 5k to illustrate how far some people have to travel to get potable water
There would be an information table stationed in the UC or on the rock facilitating all of the activities and with information for people about water issues, the screening of the movie, and the panel discussion

Earth Week and Earth Day-(the week before April 22nd which is Earth Day)
During Earth Week, we want to promote awareness about many different environmental issues and ways in which students can make a difference themselves.
The theme of the week is “Green YOU” focusing on what things a person can personally do in their everyday life to make an important environmental impact.
-We will reserve the rock have a different focus each day about different environmental issues (examples of focuses include food, energy, recycling, pollution etc.)
-Visuals and interaction will also be a big part of this week.
Some ideas include:

the giant framework (skeleton) of a globe that people would contribute their trash to all day and we could paint later turning it into something beautiful
A large board with the question at the top “How can our campus be more environmentally friendly?” that students could come up to and write their opinions on
Maybe a concert the night before Earth Day
A panel with experts talking about different environmental issues could also be formed
We want to promote activities focusing on environment and sustainability in the Miami area as well, so we will encourage students to attend an event called “Sustainatopia” which is downtown and lasts from April 19th to the 25th (check out

We talked about two really important things to make this whole thing even more impactful:
-Mobilizing a Green U Action Network which would be a comprehensive listserve linking the organizations that would work together to put on these events and future events
-Getting every organization on campus involved (every club, every honor society, all of greek life) by getting them to pledge that the week of earth week they will make environmental issues and awareness the focus of their organization for that week (this would promote education, involve a lot more groups and get more people to come to the events)

Finally we talked about what needs to get done and who needs to do it.
Ian- look into the Sustainatopia event, talk to maker of One Water and have him commit to a day so we can reserve the green and equipment
Emily-reserve the rock/patio or table in the breezeway for both weeks that the events will be going on and the previous week for promotion
Lauren-contact RAK and see if they are doing hug the lake this year, what else they had planned and if they want to be involved, contact other student orgs to get them involved

EVERYONE!: Please brainstorm ideas for these two events and start gathering environmental facts that we can use for the visuals and education (The most pressing need is for facts for water day to put on the little signs along the walkway and incorporate into visuals)

Also, if you did not come to the meeting please try to make it to our next one which will be next Wednesday, November 16 at 7:30pm in the lower lounge of the UC (on the couches).

We want groups to be involved and work together!! But most importantly, we want to make an impact on this campus!!!

Please feel free to forward this email to any other student organization you think would be interested in coming to the next Green U Roundtable.

Green U Roundtable

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Green House in Kendall- Changing Coastline

Imagine a house in South Florida that sleeps a family of five and their average monthly utility bill is around $35 year round and only $110 during the hot summer months. Well that house belongs to Albert Harum-Alvarez and his family and it is one of the greenest homes in South Florida, with energy bills around 75% less than comparable houses.

Please see the rest of the article here.

A park on a rail line- New York's High Line

picture from

The High Line is located on Manhattan's West Side. It runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th & 11th Avenues. Section 1 of the High Line, which opened to the public on June 9, 2009, runs from Gansevoort Street to West 20th Street. Section 2, between West 20th and West 30th Streets, opened June 8, 2011.

You may find more information on the Highline website here.
Also remember to check the beautiful pictures on the National Geographic article "Miracle above Manhattan" here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

America Recycles Day- November 15

Since 1997, communities across the country have come together on November 15 to celebrate America Recycles Day. More than a celebration, America Recycles Day is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to the promotion of recycling in the United States. One day to educate and motivate. One day to get our neighbors, friends and community leaders excited about what can be accomplished when we all work together. One day to make recycling bigger and better 365 days a year. Get involved!
You may find more information on the America Recycles Day website here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

MIT project tries to turn trash into a game- CNN

picture from

By John D. Sutter, CNN
Here's the problem with recycling: It's boring.
But maybe it doesn't have to be. A Boston company called Greenbean Recycle is trying to make the act of keeping bottles and cans out of the landfill into a fun, competitive and engaging game for students at MIT.
The new company, which won an innovation prize this week from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, has converted a beefy recycling machine on MIT's campus into a point tabulator of sorts. When students approach the high-tech trash can to dump in their recyclables, they punch their phone number on a touch screen. A bar-code reader in the machine counts the number of cans, bottles and the like that the person has dropped off - and then uploads that data to Greenbean's website.
Recyclers can track their progress online, and even engage in competitions with fellow students.
Read the complete article here.
Please see the Greenbean Recycle website here.
Check out the Bottle bank arcade video here.
The Recycle bank website is here.
The Fun theory website is here.

The Turkey Vultures are back to Miami

picture from

picture from

Turkey vultures migrations are one of the only indicators of a seasonal change in Miami. Every year, they announce the Fall and leave for Spring.They always come back around October 15 and leave around March 15. You may see them resting on top of the old courthouse building downtown, their wings spread out on top of lampposts on the Rickenbacker Causeway or flying over Key Biscayne. They are part of Miami's every day's landscape half of the year and remind us that wildlife is always close in Florida.

For more information,please see the website for The Turkey Vulture Society here.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Boise- Project Up

Sometimes, even little choices can make big differences.
Check out The Project Up undertaken by Boise here.
For those of you who may not know, Boise is the company we use at RSMAS to buy office supplies. A portion of sales of the Aspen recycled paper goes to parks redevelopment projects.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lunch packing alternative- The Bento box

picture from

Packing your lunch or your kids' lunch may involve a lot of plastic wrap which is not so good for the environment. Here is an alternative that gives a fun and beautiful twist to an everyday task.

From Wikipedia:

Bento is a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cusine. traditional bento consists of rice, fish or meat, and one or more pickled or cooked vegetables, usually in a box-shaped container. Containers range from disposable mass produced to hand disposable mass produced crafted lacquerware.

Bento can be very elaborately arranged in a style called kyaraben or "character bento". Kyaraben is typically decorated to look like popular Japanese cartoon (anime) characters, characters from comic books (manga), or video game characters. Another popular bento style is "oekakiben" or "picture bento", which is decorated to look like people, animals, buildings and monuments, or items such as flowers and plants. Contests are often held where bento arrangers compete for the most aesthetically pleasing arrangements.

Please find the whole article here.

There are a lot of places where you may find bento boxes and bento supplies (Amazon,Target...)

One of them is the Bento Shop here.

You may find some bento lunch ideas at the following websites:

Emerge Critical Mass - Mustache Ride

Please find more info here.
Critical Mass Miami Saturday@ 10:00 am.
We will be doing a ride to raise awareness for men's cancer awareness.
We are encouraging men to grow out their mustaches and fake stashes will be provided to the ladies.
this will be a ton of fun and we will end at Pace Park for a food truck fueled lunch. See you there.

To get updates on what Emerge is doing you can join the Emerge Google Group
Emerge Miami was founded in 2005 with the mission to strengthen social bonds between progressive individuals, organizations and independent businesses in South Florida in order to more effectively accomplish our individual goals. Miami Critical Mass events have been an aspect of Emerge projects since July of 2006. If you would like to get involved and help plan future events, Please join us Tuesdays at 7pm at Sweat Records. See contact info below.

Get Involved in Alternative Transportation.
Have Fun with People in the Community!
For more information, please call Sweat Records

Monday, November 7, 2011

Ecoist: from Miami, bags from recycled materials

Please find the website here

from the website:

It began with a family trip to Mexico in 2004. Strolling through a street market in Mexico City, we were exposed to some fascinating handbags crafted by Mexican artisans using post-consumer waste, such as candy wrappers and chip bags. Inspired by this concept, we flew back to our Miami-based home and decided to develop a business making products from waste.

Since then, we’ve partnered with multinational brands such as The Coca-Cola Company, Disney, Frito-Lay, Mars, Cliff Bar, and Aveda, to repurpose all their post-industrial waste. Instead of having their misprinted and obsolete packaging end up in landfills, we reuse them to make our handbags. So far, Ecoist has saved more than 40 million wrappers from landfills.

Today, Ecoist collaborates with fashion and industrial designers to develop limited edition handbags and other fashion accessories by using waste as raw materials. Ecoist handbags are 100% handmade from recycled candy wrappers, food packages, soda labels, subway maps, newspapers, and other waste-bound materials.

Ecoist’s commitment to sustainability goes beyond recycling waste-bound materials. We practice fair trade. In 2009, Ecoist founded EcoDiseño in Ancon, Peru, employing workers and artisans in an impoverished community. We care for each and every one of the artisans. They are the ones that put their skills and love into making the products. We pay fair and meaningful wages, not the minimum wages that dominate the industry. Ecoist is a family-owned business, so we see the value inherent in investing in the lives of our workers, their families, and their communities. So far, Ecoist has improved the lives of almost 40 women artisans.

Ecoist plants a tree for every handbag sold. In partnership with Trees for the Future, Ecoist has contributed to reforestation efforts around the world. So far, we’ve planted over 100,000 trees in places like Haiti, India, and Uganda.

In 2010, wet strengthened our commitment to sustainable retail by partnering with TerraPass to offset the carbon emissions created in shipping our handbags to consumers. By 2011, Ecoist plans to offset 32,000 lbs of carbon, the equivalent
of 100,000 driving miles.

By definition, an Ecoist is “an individual that lives a modern, eco-minded lifestyle.” We hope to inspire people to become “Ecoists” so we can all live in a healthier, better, and more peaceful planet. We hope to make a difference.

We greatly appreciate your support,

Ecoist Founders

Jonathan Marcoschamer | Yair Marcoschamer | Helen Marcoschamer

MiaGreen 2012 expo and conference

Please see the website here.

From the website:
The MiaGreen Expo & Conference, is the only event in the United States providing access to the ever-growing, non-stoppable green, renewable and sustainable markets for ALL the Americas. This annual, business-to-business event is one-of-a-kind and grows bigger and better every year.
MiaGreen combines a major trade show with front edge extensive educational and networking programs. The upcoming 4th edition in January 2012 features Green Building & Remodeling, SOLAR, Clean Tech and more.
MiaGreen, as the Green Convention of the Americas, is supported by prestigious industry sponsors, partners and hemispheric institutions. Based in Miami, America’s Business Hub, MiaGreen also provides a vacation escape in South Florida.

Friday, November 4, 2011

New World Symphony Rooftop garden- Raymond Jungles

The New World Center, part of the New World Symphony America's Orchestral Academy opened its doors on Miami Beach in January 2011. The design of the building was by architect Frank Gehry. The rooftop garden was designed by Raymond Jungles.
Please see the article about the New World Center in here.
Please see more pictures of the New World Symphony rooftop garden and other gardens on Raymond Jungles' website here.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Shipping leaders set sail for a more sustainable future - EAEM

Please see the article here.
Also "Shipping Industry Gets Serious About Sustainability" from here.

More about the Sustainable Shipping Initiative here.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Helping Us Go Green- University of Miami

Mesut Avci, PhD in Industrial Engineering - measuring the air flow on a rolling door using air flow meter
(picture from the UM website)

The University of Miami Industrial Assessment Center received funding from the US Department of Energy to train and place students in energy-related careers. You may find the whole article on the UM website here.

Green cleaning tips-

Please see some tips for cleaning your house in a greener way, from You may find the whole article here.

Porcelain and Tile:
Keep your bathrooms and kitchen tile spotless and hygienic with these natural cleansers:

Baking Soda and Water: Dust surfaces with baking soda, then scrub with a moist sponge or cloth. If you have tougher grime, sprinkle on some kosher salt, and work up some elbow grease.
Lemon Juice or Vinegar: Got stains, mildew or grease streaks? Spray or douse with lemon juice or vinegar. Let sit a few minutes, then scrub with a stiff brush.
Disinfectant: Instead of bleach, make your own disinfectant by mixing 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of liquid soap and 20 to 30 drops of tea tree oil. It's easy!

Kitchen Counters:

The room where food is prepared, stored and often enjoyed requires constant vigilance. Splatters, spills and errant crumbs can build up and collect out of sight, encouraging harmful bacteria.

Baking Soda and Water: Reclaim counters by sprinkling with baking soda, then scrubbing with a damp cloth or sponge. If you have stains, knead the baking soda and water into a paste and let set for a while before you remove. This method also works great for stainless steel sinks, cutting boards, containers, refrigerators, oven tops and more.
Kosher Salt and Water: If you need a tougher abrasive sprinkle on kosher salt, and scrub with a wet cloth or sponge.
Natural Disinfectant: To knock out germs without strong products, mix 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of liquid soap and 20 to 30 drops of tea tree oil. Spray or rub on countertops and other kitchen surfaces.

Windows and Mirrors:

Instead of those harsh-smelling sprays, try this highly effective, simple solution for windows and mirrors:

White Vinegar, Water and Newspaper: Mix 2 tablespoons of white vinegar with a gallon of water, and dispense into a used spray bottle. Squirt on, then scrub with newspaper, not paper towels, which cause streaking.
If you're out of vinegar or don't like its smell, you can substitute undiluted lemon juice or club soda.

Carpets and Rugs:

Keeping carpets clean is less daunting than you might think, even after a season of tracked-in dirt and salt.

Beat Those Rugs: Take any removable rugs outside and beat the dust and hair out with a broom.
Club Soda: You've probably heard the old adage that club soda works well on carpet stains. But you have to attack the mess right away. Lift off any solids, then liberally pour on club soda. Blot with an old rag. The soda's carbonation brings the spill to the surface, and the salts in the soda thwart staining.
Cornmeal: For big spills, dump cornmeal on the mess, wait 5 to 15 minutes, and vacuum up the gunk.
Spot Cleaner: Make your own by mixing: 1/4 cup liquid soap or detergent in a blender, with 1/3 cup water. Mix until foamy. Spray on, then rinse with vinegar.
To Deodorize: Sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch on the carpet or rug, using about 1 cup per medium-sized room. Vacuum after 30 minutes.

Wood Floors:

Hardwood floors are beautiful, hygienic, long lasting and add value to your home. They are easy to vacuum, but don't do well with wet mopping. So how do you restore their natural glow without roughing them up?

Vinegar: Whip up a solution of 1/4 cup white vinegar and 30 ounces of warm water. Put in a recycled spray bottle, then spray on a cotton rag or towel until lightly damp. Then mop your floors, scrubbing away any grime.

Safer Oven Cleaning:

Conventional oven cleaning chemicals are loaded with toxic ingredients, including ethers, ethylene glycol, lye (sodium and potassium hydroxide), methylene chloride and petroleum distillates. The products are harmful to skin and eyes, and the fumes are unhealthy. Instead, go natural!

Baking Soda and Water: Coat the inside of your dirty appliance with a paste made from water and baking soda. Let stand overnight. Then, don gloves and scour off that grime. Make spotless with a moist cloth.

Bird behavior at RSMAS

You may have observed this behavior on the RSMAS campus. Some birds attack windows repeatedly. This is a territorial behavior shown by males. They believe their reflection in the window is another male and they will attack it time after time. You will notice that this behavior is only happening at certain times of the day, depending on the sun position and the intensity of the reflection. In order to stop the behavior, shooing the bird will not be enough as he will come back no matter how damaging the behavior is to him. To stop it, you will need to cut down the reflection by putting some paper or stickers on the other side of the window. Please see the article "Keeping Birds safe around windows" from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology here.