Conservation Corner: Energy Advisory Panel update

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By The Staff

Energy Advisory Panel UPDATE

A lot has been happening over the summer in our conservation efforts and a full agenda is planned for the fall.  Here’s what we’ve been up to:

  • Recycling Tonnage Continues to Increase  When we started this initiative Cedar Key recycled a little less than 6 tons per month.  In August we recycled a little over 10 tons, about a 70% increase. I thank everyone that is already recycling and encourage folks that aren’t recycling at present to make the change and become part of the solution.  Once again I must thank Will Brown for the volunteer hours he has put in picking up cardboard and other recycled materials from several businesses.  Without his efforts we would never have reached 10 tons.  Thanks Will.
  • Dark Skies Program Implemented  The Dark Skies Program reduces light pollution and, at the same time, reduces electrical usage. Thanks to the efforts of the City Commission and City of Cedar Key for making this happen.
  • Reclaimed Water Project Underway  Reclaimed Water is now used to irrigate our city park and public plantings.  By doing this, our ground water is not being depleted.  After reading the book Mirage by Cynthia Barnett, which is in the Cedar Key Library, I am much more aware of the growing water shortages in Florida and just about the entire country.
  • Community Center Goes Solar  The Cedar Key Community Center now has an array of solar panels on its roof producing clean renewable electricity.  This will help to reduce our city’s electric bill.
  • Clamerica Information Booth Well Received   The Energy Advisory Panel (EPA) had an information booth at the July 4th Festival.  The booth was well attended and everyone had a good time.
  • Cedar Key School Gets Its Own Recycle Trailer   Thanks to the Levy County Solid Waste Center and the Levy County Superintendent, along with efforts of Ms. Ice and a teachers group, the school now has its own trailer.  This will help in the schools efforts to promote conservation and teach our children about being good stewards of our planet.

Now, here are some things that will be occurring in the coming months:

  • Fun at the Seafood Festival  In addition to the EPA information booth, we plan to have costumed recycle  characters in the Seafood Festival Parade.
  • Conservation Education Initiative at the Cedar Key School   A group of teachers and volunteers have been working on a program to be implemented this fall at the school.  An upcoming article will detail this project.
  • EPA Workshop to occur October 22, 2009  An educational seminar has been arranged by our volunteers for Thursday, Oct. 22 at 1:00 pm at the Community Center.  This workshop is being co-hosted by the City of Cedar Key and the Energy Advisory Panel. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection will also be participating. The title of the seminar is “Alternative Ways to Manage Solid Waste.”   The waste hauling contract for Cedar Key runs out this coming spring, so now is the time to inform our citizens and government leaders about a better way to deal with our solid waste.  Our island produces over 250,000 pounds of trash per month. We need to and can reduce this.  Everyone is welcome to attend the seminar.  Informed people make informed decisions.
  • Recycled Art Exhibit Planned for February 2010   The Cedar Key Arts Center will host a Recycled Art exhibit during the month of February.  Creations must be constructed of “used or discarded” material that would be trash or recycled, but has been put to a new use as a piece of art.  The main gallery will feature entries from our arts community and the small gallery will showcase works done by students at the Cedar Key School.    For inspiration, Google “recycled art,” you will be amazed.  Also check out www.recyclesantafe.org which documents an entire festival woven around the recycling theme.           

The Energy Advisory Panel and its energetic volunteers are working to help our city become a model for energy awareness, conservation and sustainability.  More help is needed.  If you would like to volunteer please call Mike Leiner, 352-543-5657 or Bev Ringenberg 352-543-0362. 

Stay well and smile every chance you get,

Tom Deverin