Saturday, January 14, 2012

RSMAS Community Garden - The Progression

The RSMAS Community Garden is located behind the Marine Science Center building and can be accessed from the stairs next to the auditorium or the stairs on the terrasse of the cafeteria. It is taken care by the RSMAS Green Committee and volunteers under the leadership of Teddy Allen, graduate student in  MPO. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Teddy at Please see the progression of the garden in pictures below.
The next step will be to develop compost to add to the mulch. We will need volunteers that have experience in composting. If you are interested in participating, please contact Teddy.
We are hoping to have a community garden growing this year for the RSMAS community to enjoy.
Teddy setting up stakes in June 2011
November 2011
Teddy added some concrete blocks

Teddy, Jim Happell and others added mulch, December 2011

Friday, January 13, 2012

Todmorden: A town where greenthumbs, not stiky fingers, prevail- Mother Nature Network

Article by Matt Hickman

Here in the United States of Immaculately Manicured Lawns, it can be hard enough as is to grow a small, neatly kept patch of veggies in your front yard without provoking the ire of your neighbors, the local HOA, and/or city officials. So can you imagine an entire town of more than 10,000 people where edible landscaping is the norm? A town that not only encourages front yard gardening but gardening in highly trafficked public spaces like the supermarket parking lot, the doctor’s office, and the railway station? A town where wandering into your neighbor’s yard without permission to grab a couple sprigs of fresh mint, a head of lettuce, and a few tomatoes is totally kosher?

Read more here

Photo :Zuma Press

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sea Secrets Lecture Series- University of Miami RSMAS and the Ocean Research and Education Foundation

Free event, open to the public.
More details in the RSMAS Press release here

Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Dr. Miles Hayes

Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Dr. Jerald Ault 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Dr. Bruce Parker 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Stan Waterman 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Mac Stone

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

We Grow Materials- Ecovative Design

Packaging is a major source of waste in landfills as some of it is not biodegradable or recyclable. Ecovative Design is one of the companies changing the future of packaging. Growing materials make them biodegradable and thus eliminate the waste.

from their website:

The Inspiration

Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre were fascinated by mushrooms growing on wood chips, and observing how the fungal mycelium strongly bonded the wood chips together. This inspired them to think of new ways of using mycelium as a resin. In a class at Rensselaer, called Inventor’s Studio, they formulated a new process for binding together insulating particles, creating some remarkable materials that could replace Styrofoam™. Rather than just decreasing the environmental impact of conventional polystyrene foams, this invention created a whole new paradigm where composite materials are literally grown, harnessing the incredible efficiency of nature.

More about the history of the company here

The Ecovative Design home page is here

Sustainability in Packaging 2012

Join end users, packaging designers, sustainability experts and more at the 6th annual Sustainability in Packaging 2012!

How are leading companies driving innovation in the packaging arena? Find out from PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, TerraChoice, Whole Foods Market, Brooks Sports, Mirel Bioplastics, McDonald's, The Coca-Cola Company, Hewlett Packard and many more at Sustainability in Packaging 2012!

More information here

Coconut Grove Tree Removal- Coconut Grove Grapevine

There is a sidewalk renovation project in Coconut Grove that is calling for the removal and replacement of about 100 mature trees. Please see a post about it in the Coconut Grove Grapevine here.

diagrams from

Monday, January 9, 2012

Green Ham and Eggs Breakfast: Retrofitting for Sustainability- The Good, the Bad and the Green

Please see more information here.

Is it sustainable to generate electricity from cycling?

 Generating electricity from cycling is an idea that has been around for a while but is it sustainable? You may already have an opinion. If not, I invite you to read several articles on the subject below:

You may read "Produce Power by Bicycling? Idea Catches on by Wendy Koch on USA Today here

You may also read an article by Michael Hynes about Healthy Electricity, a generating exercise equipment on Trendhunter here

The Green Mycrogym website is here (The world's first electricity producing gym)

Also read an article "Universities generate electricity in the gym" on MSNBC here

Last, you may read "Bike powered electricity generators are not sustainable" by Kris de Decker here

Healthy Electricity

The World's Frozen Islands- Trendhunter

Article by Jaime Neely:

"Photographer Camille Seaman Discusses the Importance of Icebergs

Camille Seaman is a photographer who has dedicated her career to traveling the world to capture stunning photographs of icebergs. In this brief speech, Camille Seaman shares a variety of truly captivating images and even a video of various icebergs that she has collected during her career."

Read more here

picture by Camille Seaman

You may find Camille Seaman's website here

Friday, January 6, 2012

25 clever ideas to make life easier- The Daily Buzz

Sent by Sidney Hartley

25 simple but great ideas, some of them reusing items for different purpose, all in the goal to make our life easier.
Check the Daily Buzz website here

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy New Green Year 2012!

Happy New Year 2012!

Who doesn’t make resolutions at the beginning of the new year? 
How about some green resolutions? 
Don’t worry about making a big commitment. Even few steps make a difference. 
Here are some tips on little changes that could impact the environment.

Reduce the junk mail coming to your house.More information here 
 https:/ /
Consider not getting reviews or magazines if they have a website that you can access
Ask yourself if you really need to print before you do
Print double sided pages
Consider borrowing books from the library or buy ebooks if you know you may not want to keep them
Pass down the books you have read and don't want to keep to another book lover
-Energy consumption:
Install a programmable thermostat for your heater/air conditioning
Switch off the lights when you are not in the room
Unplug unused appliances
Combine errands so you don’t use as much gas
Consider riding your bike or taking the bus when possible
Use cold water in your wash machine when possible and combine the loads
Install motion detection switches for outside lights
Replace conventional light bulbs by compact fluorescent light bulbs
Close closet doors
More tips here
Use your own shopping bag when going to the grocery store
Try to combine different items on the same shipment when shopping online
Purchase items in bigger quantities (if you will need them) such as detergent
When possible, buy produce locally or join an organic buying club like this one
Make home made gift
Use alternative wrapping
Drink tap water
Use flatware and reusable plates for lunch
Bring your cup to seminars/meetings
Consider using fabric napkins at home

Of the 3 Rs, reuse or repurpose is the one that is less undertaken. However try to consider it before recycling.
Tin containers that are given around the holidays can be reused year round for kids’ small toys
Gift bags can be reused for another gift
Baby clothes can be passed down as they usually only wear them for a couple of month
Clothes you have not used for a while and are gathering dust in your closet can be donated to the Salvation Army or Good Will
Clothes can be repurposed,
-Items that you have, don’t use and that don’t hold any sentimental value: you may want to ask around if someone need them.  For RSMAS, send an info message. You will be surprised how somebody might need something you don’t
-yardwaste: you can start composting and  reuse your food scraps and yard waste for your garden.See some more information here:
-craft: some everyday items might be reused in crafts

Here are few ideas for upcycled gifts to sew for kids:

After reducing and reusing, the last is recycling. For items that can not be repurposed, find out where they may be recycled if they are not the regular single stream items.
Some schools have recycling programs for toners and sometimes phones.
Please find the Recycling Database from here

This list is not meant to be exhaustive and you might find more tips on line.
If you have any additional tips,please feel free to leave them in a comment.
Finally, whatever step you might consider taking, remember that it will make a difference.

Trade in-Donate-Recycle Program- TigerDirect

Don't know what to do with your old personal computer? Check out the TigerDirect website for information on how to Trade it in and get a TigerDirect certificate or donate it to NCF (National Cristina Foundation) or recycle it.

The website is here.

Planting Trees for a Greener Miami- TREEmendous Miami

For all of you who are parents of middle-schoolers or high-schoolers and want them to get some of their community hours participating in a green endeavor, here is your chance. They could be planting trees and learning about the environment at the same time. Also why not volunteer yourself?
Planting a tree is not only making the environment better but also more beautiful for everybody.
It is also starting a legacy. 

You may check the website here for more information or you can contact them here:
TREEmendous Miami
P.O. Box 343224
Florida City, FL 33034
Telephone:(305) 378-1863

And if you need a reason to plant a tree, you may find one among the 29 here at

From the TREEmendous Miami website:

TREEmendous Miami is a group of dedicated people making Miami-Dade a greener, cooler, healthier and more enjoyable environment in which to live.

Mission Statement: We are volunteers united to build community pride by planting, protecting and preserving trees in Miami-Dade County.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Green companies- Baptist Health

Article excerpt from Baptist Health South Florida Resource Winter 2011, a magazine from Baptist Health. You my find older publications here.

"Green and Beautiful

West Kendall Baptist Hospital has been designated a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold-certified hospital. Gold certification goes to facilities that meet stringent green requirements, including water savings, energy efficiency and innovation in design. Among its many environmentally friendly features are dual-flush toilets (using less water to flush liquid than solid waste), roofing materials that reflect heat, a charging station for electric cars and a design that takes advantage of natural lighting. The hospital, which opened last April, also was named first in Florida and fourth in the nation in the 20 Most Beautiful Hospitals in America competition sponsored by Soliant Health."

from Baptist Health South Florida Resource Winter 2011