News Blog

  • Tuesday, June 16, 2015 10:08 AM | Anonymous

    The road trip is part of the classic American dream—setting off on the open road to destinations known or unknown. But we’re not in the 1950s anymore and neither are our vehicles. Drivers today want to save money on fuel so they have more to spend on activities. Fortunately, the Department of Energy (DOE) has a number of interactive, online travel tools to help you plan your route to the perfect Memorial Day get-away., which DOE co-manages with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, provides drivers with a wealth of information to help them use less fuel and save money.’s Trip Calculator allows drivers with more than one vehicle in their garage to determine which will be the best for their trip.  It also calculates estimated fuel consumption and cost for any particular route using a specific car. 

    Travelers can save even more money by consulting’s Gas Mileage Tips before they go. Some tips are useful anytime, such as observing the speed limit—which saves you $0.17/gallon on highways for every five miles per hour you slow down. But some tips are particularly good to know about for long-distance travel. For example, using a rear-mounted cargo box or tray instead of a roof rack can improve your fuel economy by up to 12%, which can add up to quite a bit over hundreds of miles.


    Source:  Energy.Gov

  • Tuesday, June 02, 2015 10:22 AM | Anonymous

    Whether you’re heading to the beach, the woods or a hotel this summer, keep these summer travel tips in mind to lessen your impact on the environment.

    1. Take a “staycation”. Opt to visit local sights instead of jetting halfway around the world and you’ll not only use less energy, but save money and time too. Read these staycation ideas from Real Simple.

    2. Make it educational and inspirational. The volunteer leaders with Sierra Club Outings will take you to some of the most beautiful places on the planet while teaching you about conservation, wildlife and other environmental issues. 

    3. Lather Up. Protect yourself from skin cancer and toxic chemicals by wearing a sunscreen approved by Environmental Working Group’s Safer Sunscreens guide.  

    Read more


  • Tuesday, May 26, 2015 10:28 AM | Anonymous

    Here are a few general Greening tips to keep in mind when establishing, expanding, or organizing your workspace and work systems. Trust us, your co-workers and employees will thank you!

    1. Location. Location. Location! Choose office locations that are easily accessible by public transportation. (see Transportation Tips & Tricks) Look for office buildings that will have good indoor air quality. New spaces that use low-VOC paints and carpets will be more comfortable for employees with chemical sensitivity, and better thinking spaces for all.

    2. Take your office footprint! Find out what kind of effect you are having on the environment. Use The Office Footprint Calculator™ to highlight opportunities for office/workplace Greening. Don’t be scared, even if you uncover huge inefficiencies that you might have missed, it’s never too late to make a positive change and strive to achieve Zero Waste Principles.

    3. Build a Green Team.Create a committee to take on the responsibility of organizing and monitoring your Green office practices.  Schedule regular meetings to track success. Free food always helps!

    4. Green Screen™ Your Vendors. Ask vendors about their social and environmental practices. Are they Conventional? Green? Dark Green? You’ll make your vendors aware of where they can improve their practices. And you might even gain insights into better ways of doing business!

    5. Green From the Ground Up. Incorporate your values into your company’s founding documents. Check out Our Vision for ideas!

    6. Make a Green Checklist. Find ways to translate your mission into project-specific actions. For example, striving to achieve Zero Waste includes implementing a recycling and composting system (see #7) and a Green Purchasing Policy.

    7. Turn Paper Into Trees—Recycle & Compost. While recycling is becoming mainstream in office spaces across the county, composting carries a stinky stigma. Trust us, once your office starts doing it, your employees will love it. To prevent odor, throw compost in small green containers (lined with compostable waste can liners) and empty them frequently. Small containers are easier to clean, too. And remember in some areas (like San Francisco), you can even compost food-soaked paper and help turn those disposable plates back into trees!

    8. Kick Off Your Shoes. Avoid tracking chemicals and street dirt into your office by initiating a no-shoe policy. Encourage employees to keep a pair of indoor shoes or slippers at the office. Your floors will thank you. Just make sure your socks match!

    9. Clean Green.Use environmentally friendly cleaning products. If you have a traditional cleaning service, provide them with an array of green cleaning tools and supplies to use when they come to your office.

  • Monday, May 18, 2015 9:07 AM | Sarah Boren (Administrator)

    For Immediate Release

    Contact: John Culver

    Phone: (904) 316-4804


    Special Screening of Sands Wars Documentary

    U.S. Green Building Council North Florida Nonprofit Chapter Green Carpet Film Series

    St. Augustine, Florida, May 19, 2015 - On Tuesday, May 19th, the U.S. Green Building Council North Florida Nonprofit Chapter (USGBC NF) will host its fourth feature length documentary as part of its 3rd Annual Green Carpet Film Series. Based in Jacksonville, the USGBC NF hosts a monthly documentary in Jacksonville at SunRay Cinema and St. Augustine at Corazon Cinema and Cafe. This month’s film, Sand Wars, will be shown the Corazon Cinema and Café from 6-8 PM on Tuesday May 19th. The USGBC NF will be highlighting the local connection of the film and the different aspects of environmental and social change with a panel discussion, brew and food!

    Sand Wars emphasizes the global struggle of balancing the preservation of beaches and natural habitats with the need for high quality sand. That may seem odd but sand is a major ingredient in all major building materials, most electronics, and other surprising everyday products (from toothpaste to wine glasses). It is safe to say that without sand life as we know it -skyscrapers, smartphones, and sports arenas not to mention beach vacations – would be non-existent.

    Don Resio, UNF Professor of Ocean Engineering and Director of the Taylor Engineering Research Institute, and other area experts of the beach preservation sand use nexus will participate in a 30-minute moderated panel discussion following the film.

    For more information, please go to:

    • What: Green Carpet Film Series, Sand Wars
    • Where: St. Augustine, Corazon Cinema and Cafe
    • When: Tues. May 19 2015, doors open at 6, movie starts 6:15-8:00
    • How much: $10 general, $7 student


    About the U.S. Green Building Council North Florida Chapter (USGBC NF)

    The USGBC North Florida Nonprofit Chapter vision and mission is to achieve a sustainable region and green buildings for all in North Florida within this generation through open, transparent, and collaborative education, leadership, and action.  With a region of 11 counties, 220+ members, 880 LEED Accredited Professionals, 90+ LEED certified buildings including six affordable homes and covering 6.7 million square feet, and an additional 170+ LEED registered projects in the pipeline, the Chapter is affecting change, connecting people and businesses to local talent, products, and services, and by creating demand is return creating jobs.

  • Tuesday, May 05, 2015 10:04 AM | Anonymous

    As if living green and vowing to sustain the planet wasn’t already expensive enough as it is—buying organic produce and clothing can add some extra tension on your wallet—finding various methods so that your furry friend can be cared for in an eco-friendly manner as well can put even more strain on your finances. But it doesn’t necessarily have to. There are tons of inexpensive ways you can care for your pet, such as making homemade green pet shampoos and flea repellents. And because you can see the items that are being placed into your pet’s homemade grooming product(s), you can guarantee that your concoction is non-toxic and does not include any life-threatening or environmentally damaging harsh chemicals. As a bonus they can be made simply using items that probably already reside in your pantry or restroom. With that said, to learn some cheap green pet shampoo recipes continue reading below.

    Basic Pet-Shampoo

    While this recipe isn’t really designed to repel fleas, it is designed to get your pet squeaky clean. While the vinegar will help rid any pungent odors, the glycerine will work to moisturize your pet’s skin.


    • 2 cups of natural liquid dishwashing soap such as Method, or “gentle” dishwashing soap such as Dawn or Dove.

    Read more here.

    Source: (Thanks Kim Jowers for passing this along!)

  • Tuesday, April 21, 2015 2:30 PM | Anonymous
    You can easily save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to 68°F while you're awake and setting it lower while you're asleep or away from home. By turning your thermostat back 10° to 15° for 8 hours, you can save 5% to 15% a year on your heating bill -- a savings of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long. The percentage of savings from setback is greater for buildings in milder climates than for those in more severe climates.

    In the summer, you can follow the same strategy with central air conditioning by keeping your house warmer than normal when you are away, and lowering the thermostat setting to 78°F (26°C) only when you are at home and need cooling. Although thermostats can be adjusted manually, programmable thermostats will avoid any discomfort by returning temperatures to normal before you wake or return home.

    A common misconception associated with thermostats is that a furnace works harder than normal to warm the space back to a comfortable temperature after the thermostat has been set back, resulting in little or no savings. In fact, as soon as your house drops below its normal temperature, it will lose energy to the surrounding environment more slowly. The lower the interior temperature, the slower the heat loss. So the longer your house remains at the lower temperature, the more energy you save, because your house has lost less energy than it would have at the higher temperature. The same concept applies to raising your thermostat setting in the summer -- a higher interior temperature will slow the flow of heat into your house, saving energy on air conditioning.

  • Tuesday, April 14, 2015 10:58 AM | Anonymous

    As responsible citizens, we know that we need to be conscious of how our everyday habits affect the global environment. Some make promises to use recycled shopping bags or glass water bottles, aiming to reduce their overall carbon footprint.

    Although our efforts are ongoing, there’s no day quite like Earth Day, April 22, when we as a global community can raise awareness for the health of our environment and renew our commitment to it for the coming year.



  • Tuesday, April 07, 2015 2:53 PM | Anonymous

    Over the past several months, I have been focusing my attention on homebrewers and the process of making your own beer because it's a simple way for anyone to enter the beer community and contribute something that is uniquely crafted and designed to their own desires. I have fielded many questions from newbies who are looking for simple ways to begin brewing, as well as veteran brewers who are looking to take their game to the next level and compete in competitions.


  • Tuesday, March 31, 2015 10:09 AM | Anonymous

    When replacing redundant computers, firms should invest in laptops over PCs, as they can potentially use up to 85% less energy over the course of a year. The other key advantage is their portability, allowing staff to work on the road or from home with ease.

    Source:  TheUpcoming.Co.UK

  • Thursday, March 12, 2015 1:56 PM | Sarah Boren (Administrator)

    Photo courtesy of: Carrie-Lynn Black; Left to Right: Ben Moore, Board Chair of USGBC North Florida; Melissa Ross, Host/Producer WJCT First Coast Connect; COJ Mayor Alvin Brown

    Jacksonville, FL (March 12, 2015) - The U.S. Green Building Council North Florida Nonprofit Chapter (USGBC NF) announces its 2015 Green Media Award recipient, Melissa Ross, Host/Producer of WJCT’s First Coast Connect.  Ms. Ross is being honored with this award at the City of Jacksonville’s 2015 Mayor’s Environmental Luncheon for her coverage of environmental issues in northeast Florida through the weekly “Going Green” segment on First Coast Connect and for hosting discussions on climate change.  “Too few media outlets are regularly covering environmental issues in Florida and definitely not in-depth,” states Sarah Boren, Executive Director, USGBC NF.  “Melissa Ross should be commended for fostering dialogue and awareness about issues that we all have a responsibility to understand and care about.  Stewarding our natural environment well, is fundamental to healthy economic growth and human health.  Hopefully, Melissa’s coverage will inspire other media outlets to do their own regular and in-depth reporting activating our community toward innovative solutions.”  

    This 23rd Annual Mayor’s Environmental Luncheon honors organizations and individuals that are making an effort towards a greener North Florida. Thursday, March 12, 2015, at Jacksonville’s Zoo and Gardens, Jacksonville’s Mayor Alvin Brown will join local environmental organizations in passing out awards to deserving and dedicated individuals between 11am – 1pm today.. Sponsored by Republic Recycling Services, this annual luncheon highlights Jacksonville’s success in having a positive impact on the environment over the course of the past year.  “Because of their extraordinary commitment to environmental stewardship, the individuals and organizations we’re honoring today are helping to make our community a much better place for all of us, both today and in the future,” said Mayor Brown.

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