With words like “green” and “sustainability” being thrown around so much these days, we at Laurel Park Management thought it might be good to take a look at what Sarasota is actually doing to become increasingly “green” and “sustainable.” The following is from the official Sarasota County government website:
Roadmap to Sustainability
Sarasota County acknowledges that sustainability is an interlocking network comprised of everything a community touches. Its Roadmap to Sustainability holistically integrates environmental, societal and economic initiatives, fundamentally shifting the role that governance can play in building a sustainable community and transforming its identity. County Administrator Jim Ley presented his Roadmap to Sustainability to the County Commission on Oct. 22, 2006, as an overview of Sarasota County’s direction.
Below are some examples of how citizens and government of Sarasota County have demonstrated their common commitment toward a leadership role in sustainability.
- First American county to sign the 2030 Challenge for carbon neutrality
- First local Florida government to gain LEED building certification
- All new county construction and renovation must be 50 percent more efficient than standard code requirements
- First planned Renewable Community Demonstration Project
- Reduced drinking water consumption per capita by 40 percent
- Preserved 16,000 acres of environmentally sensitive land
- First Florida county to adopt a green development ordinance
- Expedited green building permits to more than 1,300 dwelling units committed to green construction
- 15 neighborhood NEST programs
- 28 certified Green Business Partners
- Recycling programs that have extended the landfill’s 40-year life by 10 years
- Nine proposed “green rezone” areas containing between 300,000-400,000 square feet of retail space
- Contractors on county demolition and salvage projects must recycle structural building materials and permit non-profit groups to remove materials that can be reused or resold
- 10 hybrid transit buses and 15 hybrid pool vehicles, saving over 8,500 gallons of gasoline annually
- Annual estimated reduction of 50,000 gallons of fossil fuels due to biodiesel fuel blend use in fleet vehicles
- More than half of Sarasota County employee pledged to change one light in their home to a compact fluorescent bulbs as part of the National Association of Counties’ ENERGY STAR ® Change a Light program, more than any other participating county.
So, those are some of the steps the county is taking…what else can we do, as individuals? As neighbors? As community members and entrepreneurs and parents and citizens? What does a sustainable Sarasota look like to you?