Volume 5 Issue 4 | December 2017
Dear Friends,

The holidays always seem to be a time of reflection and bringing us back to fundamentals—reconnecting us to our core values, our family and loved ones, and (for some) our faith. While we all scurry around to find the perfect gift to express our gratitude to those we cherish, what I believe we fundamentally wish to give to those in our lives—and especially our children—are the gifts of health, prosperity and hope for the future. What is striking to me is the way in which providing these gifts cannot be divorced from thinking about the kind of world we desire for the future, and creating a society that lives within the limits of Earth’s life support system.
At Dream in Green, we cannot think of a more important gift than giving our children the education, skills and empowerment they will need to find solutions to environmental and climate change challenges our community faces. Education is one of the most powerful instruments of change, ensuring that the next generation is emboldened to imagine prosperity, hope and solutions for a healthy planet inextricably linked to our human health, as they confront an increasingly challenging world.
You all have played an integral part to ensure this gift is one that is given all year long—whether through your leadership as an educator, dedication as a parent, collaboration as a key community partner, or your investment as a funder. As Dream in Green enters its 12 th year in providing environmental education to the South Florida community, we thank you for another wonderful year of your commitment to our shared vision and trust in our work.

Wishing you a holiday season of health, prosperity, and hope for our future.

Lauren Ordway
Executive Director  
The Phosphorus Challenge
In partnership with the Everglades Foundation
Dream in Green is excited to have the opportunity to partner with the Everglades Foundation to develop the Phosphorus Challenge--a first of its kind invitation for South Florida High School students to compete to build community awareness about the challenges facing the Everglades for the chance to win a significant cash prize!

Dream in Green Academy High School students are invited to develop a short video/PSA discussing the importance of the Everglades for South Florida's water supply, threats the system is facing and potential solutions.

Videos that are selected as semi-finalist will then be entered in a public voting round where YOU will get the chance to select the first, second and third place winners!

Try these ideas to lessen your footprint this holiday season:

  • Many of us travel far distances for the holidays, packing a big carbon footprint.  A round-trip coach ticket from Miami to NYC is about 1.5 metric tons of carbon. Keep in mind that the average person's annual carbon footprint is about 18 MT of carbon dioxide. You can calculate the carbon footprint of your holiday travel plans and offset your flight's carbon footprint with many major airlines (UnitedDelta) or you can purchase offsets directly with the Carbon Fund.  
  • Get creative with gift wrapping and try Furoshiki, the art of Japanese cloth gift wrapping.
  • Dispose of your tree at a facility where it will be chipped. See Miami-Dade locations here.
  • Decorate with energy efficient LED strings.
  • Shop online or if you are going to go out shopping, take your own reusable bags.
  • Substitute one meat dish with a tasty vegetarian one.
  • Don't serve water bottles at dinner or parties.
  • Donate to an environmental/animal welfare organization instead of purchasing a gift that will end up in a landfill.
  • Buy used, or purchase unique handmade gifts from eBay, Caigslist, Etsy or Goodwill (you never know what you can find!) 
Building Efficiency 305
We are pleased to be supporting Miami-Dade County on a critical new initiative, Building Efficiency 305 (BE305), to significantly increase the energy and water efficiency of our existing large private and public buildings. 

Did you know . ..that electricity consumption in buildings across the County account for approximately 48% of the County's emissions?

Why does this matter?
By pursuing thoughtful, well-designed programs and policies that address the largest buildings, the County may be able to reduce their building-based energy consumption by 5%-10% or more, saving residents and businesses hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

Solutions already exist to vastly improve building efficiency. Investments made to improve building performance support local, highly skilled jobs that cannot be outsourced—and can free up money currently being spent on utility bills to flow back into the local economy.

The initiative also aims to:

  • Increase profit margins for property owners through better energy and water management
  • Expand access to financing tools to encourage energy efficiency improvements
  • Empower consumers to make more informed decisions
  • Assist our most vulnerable neighborhoods by reducing utility cost burdens

There is one final stakeholder engagement session on January 17, 2018 and we highly encourage you to attend and make your voice heard on the importance of water and energy efficiency. Attendance is FREE to the public!

January 17, 2018 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
West Dade Regional Library 9445 SW 24 St., Miami, FL 33165  Directions

To register for the January 17 session,  click here.
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