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Monday, December 11 2017 @ 02:35 AM EST
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Bitter, Not Sweet

SWFL Green Living

In November of 2014, Floridians went to the polls and nearly 75% of Florida's registered voters made Amendment One - Florida's Water and Land Conservation Initiative a law. The wording of Amendment 1 states; "Funds the Land Acquisition Trust Fund to acquire, restore, improve, and manage conservation lands including wetlands and forests; fish and wildlife habitat; lands protecting water resources and drinking water sources, including the Everglades, and the water quality of rivers, lakes, and streams; beaches and shores; outdoor recreational lands; working farms and ranches; and historic or geologic sites, by dedicating 33 percent of net revenues from the existing excise tax on documents for 20 years."

In light of the successful passage of that amendment, it might seem that the future protection of Florida's natural resources was a foregone conclusion. So, why is there so much controversy surrounding Florida's sugar industry? Clearly, it is because Big Sugar has mounted an attempt to have Florida's legislators do nothing and let the binding contract's term simply expire. Never has an agribusiness giant ever been so bold in their attempts to put profits ahead of people. Sadly, given the high level of corruption within the Florida legislature, so far, they're winning!


 

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8 Easy Ways to Start Living Green

SWFL Green Living

Whether it was a feature story on the nightly news, or an article that got read awaiting the dentist, nearly every American has heard something about Green Living. While many Americans practice daily green living, too many do not! For many, green living is just another fancy expression denoting practices of those "tree-hugger" types. Still others will admit to having no idea about the meaning of the expression. The truth is that everyone's knowledge and awareness of the concept fits somewhere within those parameters. What about yours? If you are one of the people who has always wanted to better understand green living (and possibly implement some of those principles into your own life), we can help! Here are eight simple ways that you can begin living green!



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Ready for a Fight?

SWFL Green Living

If you've been hearing more and more news stories about GMOs, don't be too surprised! The truth about how prevalent they have become in the American diet has been getting around. Many Baby-Boomers have grown up eating foods that contain GMOs, and, sadly, most are unaware of the numerous health problems and concerns that have arisen as a result of their consumption. On the other hand, one of the corporations most responsible for the proliferation of GMOs in modern agriculture is Monsanto®. As a lead proponent of the Bio-Tech industries, Monsanto, as well as many others whose future financial success depends on continued use of GMOs, have joined together in an attempt to defeat California's Proposition 37, * " ..the November 6 citizens ballot initiative that will require genetically engineered foods to be labeled and put an end to the deceptive industry practice of marketing GMO-tainted foods as “natural” or “all natural.”

The fact that Monsanto® has donated 4.2 million dollars to defeat Proposition 37 is not alarming. It is simply a direct reflection of their desperation, a desperation reflecting of the gross profits at stake, should they lose their battle to maintain national ignorance about the insidious use of GMOs in almost everything we eat! Thanks to the work of organizations like the Organic Consumers Association, there is a vigorous campaign underway to educate consumers as to why this is simply a fight that must be won!

 

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Conservation 20/20

SWFL Green Living

In 1996, Lee County, Florida was booming. Growth within the southwest Florida area was experiencing strong existing home sales, as well as new home construction. All of this growth was being bolstered by a thriving economy. At that time, a majority of concerned citizens here voted to support a proposed tax millage increase designed to protect environmentally critical lands within southwest Florida. That proposed tax was supported by a grass roots effort on the part of local citizens concerned about the loss of environmentally sensitive land to rapid development taking place here.

In 1996, when the proposed tax millage increase was passed by Lee County voters, The Lee County Board of County Commissioners created the "Conservation 20/20" land acquisition and stewardship program.   

 
Photo Courtesy: The Sand Paper

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What is Earth Hour?

SWFL Green Living

On Saturday, March 31st at 8:30PM, millions of people will power down and turn off for one hour. As a movement that began in a single city, Earth Hour attempts to take involvement to a global scale this year. If you're planning on being a part of this event, you should know why it's important.

Based upon the simple fact that 'if only one hour and one voice is important, it is yours', Earth Hour promises to bring global recognition to the response to climate change. 

 

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Do You Realize the Difference You Make when You Recycle?

SWFL Green Living

 

4000 YEARS.....

 

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Residential Solar Energy: Pros and Cons

SWFL Green Living

By definition, solar power is the conversion of sunlight into electricity. *That process occurs either directly using photovoltaics (PV), or indirectly using concentrated solar power (CSP). Photovoltaics are cells designed to convert solar energy into electrical current via a process known as the photoelectric process. Concentrated solar power systems focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. These CSPs frequently use lenses or mirrors, as well as tracking systems, allowing for the concentrated light to be utilized for a heat source, often to boil water and affect other power systems and technologies.

Because many CSP facilities presently exist and function very well, many persons wonder why solar technology isn''t more readily available for consumer use. In this article, we will attempt to dispel the myths and make clear the realities of residential solar power.

Solar panels on a residence

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Love Is Green

SWFL Green Living

Current trends in living have shown more and more Americans interested in personal health. Dietary trends have seemed to follow suit. Maintaining a proper diet involves getting the proper nutrients, as well as watching our calorie and sugar intake. Maintaining our digestive systems involves making sure we get enough fiber in our diets and also enough water. Add in the need we all have for daily vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids and, suddenly, choosing the proper foods for maintaining our health takes on new importance. While the large grocery chains have worked to supply an inexpensive variety of produce for consumers, the trend is changing. More than ever before, the demand for local and organically grown food has exploded.

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Renewable Energy is America's Future

SWFL Green LivingOur country has a serious need for reliable, renewable, energy resources. Our past and present reliance upon fossil fuels, as well as the damage that their use has caused the environment, have made the rapid development and implementation of these newer technologies of paramount importance. As more and more nations attempt to project their own future power requirements, many have opted to invest huge sums of money in research and development of renewable energy. If America wishes to continue as a globally dominant economy, will need to embrace the opportunities that these future needs for power have created.


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'The Mangrove Gathering' - SWFL's Eco Cafe

SWFL Green Living

The Mangrove Gathering Eco Cafe is a southwest Florida meeting with a history. It is a place for persons who are earth-conscious to gather and exchange ideas. What makes the Eco Cafe something special is, perhaps, the ever-changing landscape providing the pathway for the growth and recognition of it's own importance.

Described as "a place to socialize", John Kiseda, a Sustainability - Education Coordinator with Lee County Parks and Recreation, would describe it as being more than just that. "It combines both entertainment and educational displays, organizations, as well as current information on SWFL environmental happenings"


Image courtesy: Lee County Parks and Recreation


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