October Events Put Spotlight on Florida's Emerging Green Sector and Sustainability Efforts
TAMPA, Fla. (Sept. 28, 2009) - The University of South Florida will host the 4th annual Campus & Community Sustainability Conference on Oct. 8-9 and the FREE Going Green Tampa Bay Expo on Oct. 9-10, drawing hundreds of advocates, students and industry and government leaders interested in exploring new policies, programs and practices for creating sustainable communities.
The conferences are among Florida's most significant annual gatherings for those interested in alternative energy, green building practices and sustainable development, farming and transportation. Both events will be held at the Marshall Student Center on USF's Tampa campus. The Campus & Community Sustainability conference agenda will be highlighted by a Friday lunchtime address by actor and environmentalist Ed Begley Jr., star of the HGTV series "Living with Ed" and author of a series of books on eco-conscious living.
"The combined sustainability conference and EXPO present a unique opportunity for people from all walks of life to learn and collaborate," said Sharon Hanna-West, USF's Exide Distinguished Lecturer of Ethics and Sustainability who has spearheaded brining the events to campus. "Responding to the challenges of a changing planet is the most critically important action we will undertake in our lifetime, and all of us, regardless of our disciplines, can continually improve our environmental literacy," she said.
The Campus & Community Sustainability conference is presented by Tampa Electric, Peoples Gas, Florida Campus Compact and the City of Tampa. Now in its fourth year, the conference is a program of Sustainable Florida - Collins Center, an alliance of public and private organizations that promotes sustainable development principles through collaboration and education. "The conference helps the private sector learn how best to grow their business while becoming a steward of the environment," said Tim Center, vice president of sustainability initiatives at the Collins Center and director of Sustainable Florida. "And, it helps promote the adoption of the good work taking place on campuses in the state."
Conference attendees will have the choice of nearly 70 presentations and panel discussions, ranging from promoting grassroots sustainability efforts, water conservation and building "green" schools to water conservation, emerging "green" jobs and Florida's future in high-speed rail. On the energy front, panels will feature discussions on carbon markets, biofuel production and climate change. Sustainability in high-density developments and redevelopment projects also will be explored. Complete details of the conference, registration information and a schedule of events can be found here http://www.sustainablefloridaconference.org/ .
On Friday, the conference will be held in conjunction with the start of the Going Green Tampa Bay Expo, which will showcase products and services as well as information about creating a more sustainable Tampa Bay area. The EXPO is a partnership between USF and the Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission. The Expo, which is free and runs through Saturday, Oct. 10, also will feature new local efforts and practices to reduce our impact on the environment as well as numerous workshops conducted by local experts on topics such as composting, water conservation, and "greening" businesses. More than 80 exhibits will be on hand. The event, made possible with the help of presenting sponsor Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas, will include a showcase of goods, services, information and ideas about renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable design, development and green building.
More than 3,000 visitors came to the first Expo in 2008. Complete information on the 2009 Expo can be found here http://www.theplanningcommission.org/going-green-tampa-bay-expo-2009.html .
"Our efforts toward greening the University of South Florida will benefit tremendously by hosting this year's conference, which will provide our faculty, staff, and students with rich opportunities to network with Florida's eco-friendly businesses and scholars in sustainability from around the state," said Christian Wells, director of USF's Office of Sustainability.