Category Archives: News

Nominations Open for North Florida Green Chamber Water Quality & Resource Awards

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (June 13, 2022) – The North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce (NFGCC), making it cool and convenient to go green, is recognizing August as National Water Quality Month.

To focus on an important natural resource, we usually take for granted, the Green Chamber is accepting nominations for the 2022 Water Quality & Resource Awards. Deadline is July 31.

“Now in their third year, the awards recognize examples of water quality improvement and conservation that best demonstrates significant, lasting, and measurable excellence in water quality improvement or in prevention of water quality degradation in North Florida in four categories,” noted Green Chamber Executive Director Christina Kelcourse, Esq, CFP, CRPC.

The green chamber is a regional networking organization for all sizes of businesses and community organizations including non-profits that emphasize green and sustainable business practices. The award was created in cooperation with St. Johns Riverkeepers, the Florida Green Building Coalition and the St. Johns River Water Management District.

Creative Landscape Award

 Successful candidate uses engineering design principals of Low Impact Development to reduce or eliminate flow of stormwater and potential contaminants carried with it from the property to receiving waters or that uses natural systems to manage stormwater and contaminants. Living shorelines, xeriscaping and concepts included in the minimal impact design manual are good examples as well as other efforts to use existing natural landscape or restoring landscape to provide water quality improvement and wildlife habitat.

Conservation and Water Reuse Award

Successful candidate successfully demonstrates sustainability through reduction of consumption and reuse of resources. Examples include water conservation through low flow facilities and water reuse from converting wastewater or stormwater into water that can be reused for other purposes. Types of reuses include urban reuse, agricultural reuse (irrigation), environmental reuse, industrial reuse. Reuse may include irrigation of gardens and agricultural fields. Reused water may also be directed toward fulfilling certain needs in residences (e.g., toilet flushing), businesses, and industry. Creative reductions in energy use and resource recycling are included.

Stormwater Management Award

 Successful candidate demonstrates creative and beneficial stormwater management activities in their Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans, either on behalf of their own facility or their client’s, by keeping potential contaminants from stormwater exposure at covered industrial sites or optimizing erosion and sedimentation controls at construction sites.

Wetland Protections Award

Candidate demonstrates successful efforts in protecting and enhancing wetlands through project design that avoids impacts to wetlands, including secondary impacts, enhancing wetlands through exotic species removal and hydrologic restoration or other efforts that preserve and expand wetland functions.

What are you doing to protect and conserve sources of freshwater? Let the Green Chamber know so they can acknowledge you or someone you nominate in recognition of National Water Quality Month. Deadline is July 31. Winners will be announced in August.

Nominate someone today at www.northfloridagreenchamber.org/sustainability/

The North Florida chapter has ongoing networking and educational events and benefits including the Green Marketplace, a Buyers’ Club, Sustainability Coaches, the Solar Collective, job fairs, newsletter as well as sponsorship opportunities, discounts, awards, and a mentoring program.

To learn more email contact@northfloridagreenchamber.org, call (904) 878-3474 or visit www.NorthFloridaGreenChamber.org.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Mike Bonts Public Relations

(904) 424-6641

mike@bontspr.com

North Florida Green Chamber Announces Green Drinks Summer Series

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (May 13, 2022) – Today, the North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce announced its inaugural Green Drinks Summer Series beginning Thursday, June 16 at the Cobalt Moon Center and next door at Sliders Bar and Grill in Neptune Beach.

“We are excited to launch this series in an informal summertime get-together for anyone interested in environmental issues and sustainability to connect in a fun and casual setting,” said Green Chamber Executive Director Christina Kelcourse Esq, CFP, CRPC. “We have a great topic and venue.”

Following a presentation on Biomimicry at 4 p.m. at the Cobalt Moon Center, the event moves next door at 5 p.m. to Sliders Bar and Grill, Jacksonville’s first Ocean Friendly Restaurant, for the Green Drinks social. The Green Drinks Summer Series is scheduled for June 16, July 21, and August 25.

Series topics will include using Biomimicry to create sustainable products, to design new business practices and using Biomimicry and Bio-utilization to clean up waste.

Integrative Bioscientist Jessica Tittl of BiomeFuture, an innovation company dedicated to applying the knowledge and power of nature to the development of sustainable products and systems, will be the presenter.

“Our summer series is focused on Biomimicry, and we have invited a subject matter expert in Jessica. This helps get the local conversation going and offers the opportunity to learn about Biomimicry and engage in meaningful dialogue followed by a chance to catch up with friends, meet new contacts and network with like-minded people to promote sustainability,” said Green Chamber Chairman Dolly Penland.

Green Drinks partners include the North Florida Land Trust, Environmental Protection Board, Jax Global Shapers, St. Johns River Keepers, Surfrider, Beaches Go Green and the Florida Green Building Coalition. Natural Awakenings and Folio/EU are media sponsors.

There is no charge. But registration is recommended due to space availability. Sign up at https://northfloridagreenchamber.org/events/green-drinks-summer-series/

ABOUT THE NORTH FLORIDA GREEN CHAMBER COMMERCE

Welcome to The North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce (NFGCC) where being green is cool and convenient! Today, more businesses than ever understand how critical it is to grow in ways that are sustainable financially, but also socially and environmentally. NFGCC is a 501(c)6 non-profit member organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla. and established in 2018 to advance sustainable business in Northeast Florida through networking, education, and advocacy. NFGCC is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and is a member of the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce. Visit www.northfloridagreenchamber.org.

News: Northeast Florida Earth Day Events

By Karina Miller

Celebrate the planet this April by joining in on Northeast Florida’s Earth Day events!

Start Earth Day the right way with a beach cleanup to welcome nesting sea turtles. The clean up is hosted by Beach Junki on Saturday, April 23 from 9 – 10 a.m. at Main Beach Park.

If you are interested in art, you may enjoy World Revolve Art Gallery’s Second Annual Earth Day Art Show. This will take place on Saturday, April 22, from 5 -8 p.m. The event’s theme is “Transformation” and the competition is open to artists of all ages.

JEA Drive Electric will be hosting a Ride and Drive event at TIAA Bank Field on Saturday, April 16 from 12 – 4 p.m. This event is free for the public to attend. There will be the newest electric vehicles to view and test drive. JTA will be giving rides in an electric transit bus. Learn more about conservation and why so many people have switched to electric.

On Friday, April 22 from 10 – 2 p.m., EPB and JEA will be having an Earth Day Festival. The festival will take place at the James Weldon Johnson Park.

Groundwork Jax will be holding The Second Annual Earth Day: A Celebration of Stewardship. The event is free for the community and will have music, food, and prizes! Groundwork Jax hopes to inform adults and children on how they can increase their environmental awareness. It will be held at the S-Line Biodiversity Corridor of the Emerald Trail, Saturday, April 23 from 10 – 1 p.m.

This will be a fun, family-friendly event for everyone to enjoy and will be a great time to come together with the community.

Karina Miller is a North Florida Green Chamber communications intern.

Annual Green Tie Affair, ‘Love Your Planet’ is Thursday Feb. 10 at Brick and Bream in Historic Springfield

By Karina Miller

The North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce, making it cool and convenient to be green, is hosting its annual Green Tie Affair Gala.

The Green Chamber has planned a night of networking and fun at the Green Tie Affair Gala on Thursday, Feb. 10th from 6-8p.m. at Brick & Beam, 1101 N Main St., in Historic Springfield.

This year’s theme is “Love Your Planet”, a perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Come for a night filled with food, music, fun, and prizes.

There will be opportunities to create your own eco-friendly Valentine’s Day card and bid on raffle baskets. Shop from Green Chamber members and vendors to find the perfect sustainable gift for a loved one. Take action to “Love Your Planet” by having a tree planted in your name. Make sure to wear your best “green” tie for the chance to win a door prize!

The dress code is business casual.

The Green Chamber would like to give a big thank you to this year’s sponsors: WJCT, Breaking Ground Contracting, Champion Brands, Natural Awakenings, Florida Green Building Coalition, Smith Brothers, Waste Management and Folio. Tickets are on sale now at www.northfloridagreenchamber.org/events.

ABOUT THE NORTH FLORIDA GREEN CHAMBER COMMERCE

Welcome to The North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce (NFGCC) where being green is cool and convenient! Today, more businesses than ever understand how critical it is to grow in ways that are sustainable financially, but also socially and environmentally. NFGCC is a 501(c)6 non-profit member organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla. and established in 2018 to advance sustainable business in Northeast Florida through networking, education, and advocacy. NFGCC is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and is a member of the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce.

Karina Miller is a Green Chamber communications intern from the University of North Florida.

GreenBiz Releases Top 10 Green Business Trends of 2022

By Daisy Cabanas

GreenBiz Group has published its annual ‘State of Green Business’ report for 2022, and with it has named its 10 trends for green business following its roundtable webcast on January 24.

GreenBiz Group’s annually published ‘State of Green Business’ report highlights new trends in the industry, as well as recommending some directions trends should head going forwards.

North Florida Green Chamber members and those committed to sustainable, green initiatives can learn about the current state of the green industry and potentially where to direct future goals and development. In its fifteenth report, the 10 trends that GreenBiz has identified cover a variety of different fields in green business from biodiversity to energy, food and even fashion.

According to the report, the top 10 trends of 2022 are as follows:

1. Increasing focus on environmental, social and governance initiatives, or ESG, in the workplace to galvanize and engage with employees

2. Growing interest and popularity in the second-hand resale market among consumers as a sustainable alternative to shopping new retail goods

3. Rising importance of the circular economy professional in the workplace hierarchy and introduction of sustainable, circular initiatives

4. Potentially expanding corporate commitments to reach ‘Net 0’ by pledging to increase and maintain biodiversity throughout organizational endeavors

5. Growth of sustainable food design with emphasis on finding sustainable ingredients first and forming food products around them

6. Mainstream adoption of circular mining practices to reduce total mining waste through utilization of elements and by-products to make new materials

7. Potential utilization of new technology and systems to track carbon emissions in supply chains for more accurate carbon accounting

8. Movement to go beyond 100 percent clean energy by aiming to match energy usage with clean energy

9. Increased financial investment in ESG strategy by companies and organizations both in the United States and around the world

10. Utilization of new technology and sustainable, clean energy resources to help decarbonize the shipping industry

“There’s no denying that the pace of change is quickening inside companies,” Joel Makower, chairman of GreenBiz says in the report’s trend introduction. “Whereas not long ago, the center of gravity could be found inside a handful of sectors — consumer goods, information technology, retail and apparel come to mind — today, there’s no part of the economy untouched by sustainable innovation.”

Green Chamber members cover a diverse a range of industries and causes while sharing the same common goals of emphasizing the importance of sustainable initiatives and incorporating green practices into daily work.

By partnering with the Green Chamber, members have access to a number of benefits that can help prepare and assist them in furthering their green pledge. Members have access to special news and events where they can engage and learn with other like-minded leaders, as well as coaching and mentor programs, a buyer’s club, and a green marketplace to connect them with other member organizations in the community.

GreenBiz Group is a media and events company that accelerates the just transition to a clean economy. Through events that galvanize, stories that amplify, peer networks that bond and industry-leading analysis, they define markets and advance opportunities at the intersection of business, technology and sustainability.

To learn more about the local Green Chamber email contact@northfloridagreenchamber.org, call (904) 878-3474 or visit www.NorthFloridaGreenChamber.org.

(Daisy Cabanas is a communications intern with the North Florida Green Chamber.)

North Florida Green Chamber Board Member Takes on Antarctica

By Emily Barrett

North Florida Green Chamber board member Simmie Raiford recently visited the inhabitable continent of Antarctica on a last-minute 10-day trip.

Raiford flew to Ushuaia Argentina from Orlando. She toured the town and viewed the Andes mountains in Ushuaia for a couple of days.

After that, she took a cruise to the South Shetland Islands where she got to stroll on snow-covered islands, and then the cruise continued to Antarctica where she not only got to view from afar but walk on the continent.

To get to land they had to use Zodiacs, they are the essential inflatable boats that ferry passengers away from the cruise liner on excursions. While they were going to shore, they had to dodge through icebergs of all shapes and sizes.

To get ashore they had to use ropes and ski poles and on land, they had to walk in a single file line marked by ropes. The ropes on the trail helped guide them because there were parts of the land that had holes covered by snow, so if you stepped on it you would sink in and get stuck; this did end up happening to Raiford and she had to have people pull her out of the snow.

While the normal hiking paths were amazing in themselves, they also offered a meditative path where you could sit down and take everything in. While she was hiking, she was able to see Gentoo penguins in their natural habitat but had to stay five meters away for respect to the wildlife.

The trip didn’t end there though, not only did she get to see this magnificent continent she learned about its history. She learned about explorers and scientists who have traveled there and the research they have done. Also, about how climate change is affecting the continent, what changes have been made and what changes will come about if warming does not stop soon.

They also learned about the wildlife there that mostly consists of penguins and seals. She said you could see the impacts of climate change with certain glaciers melting.

When going back to the boat Raiford and her cruise mates even took a tiny glacier back to the boat with them and used it as ice for their drinks. She realized it could have had bacteria after the fact, but it was the coolness factor that counts the most.

Back on the boat some of her crewmates did the polar plunge in the Southern Ocean.

Raiford highly recommends doing this trip and states that the photos she took do not do it justice. The best time to go is in December/ January because it’s summer for Antarctica.

(Emily Barrett is a communications intern with the North Florida Green Chamber.)

North Florida Green Chamber Supports Small Business Saturday

The North Florida Green Chamber supports Small Business Saturday.

You’re not just supporting neighborhood favorites – you’re investing in a community. Whether you’re a local or in town for the holidays, explore our Holiday Gift Guide and products and services in the Green Marketplace.

2021 Holiday Gift Guide

The Green Marketplace

About 42% of consumers say they plan to shop at a small business this coming Small Business Saturday, and about 80% of consumers say they will shop at a local business over the holiday season, according to the American Express Shop Small Impact study, which consisted of a survey of 1,031 adults as well as 523 small-business owners.

Other surveys also point to enthusiasm for the holiday season. About 43% of respondents said they plan to shop at a locally-owned small business on Small Business Saturday, according to a study by Nerdwallet.

Green Chamber Joins State Business and Environmental Leaders as Agriculture Commissioner Fried Promotes Phase Out of Polystyrene Products

ORLANDO, Fla. (November 15, 2021) – Today, in conjunction with the Annual Florida Energy and Climate Change Summit, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried began pursuing a new rule-making process to mandate a phase-out of plastic foam packaging by thousands of businesses regulated by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Fried is proposing a rule that would require businesses regulated by her department — and she said there are 40,000 — to submit reports on how much foam packaging is used each year. She said that would give the department baseline data. The proposal then would mandate the businesses reduce that amount incrementally each year by switching to biodegradable, safer alternative packaging materials like bamboo and hemp.

Fried joined business and environmental leaders including North Florida Green Chamber Executive Director Christina Kelcourse of Jacksonville after a rule-making workshop in Orlando on a proposal to force stepped reductions in polystyrene plastic packaging used at grocery stores, food markets, gas station convenience stores and other businesses regulated by her department.

The proposal would have food retailers report polystyrene use, and then meet reduction goals.

Watch the video

The North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce and Kelcourse issued a statement during the joint media conference:

“The North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce supports efforts by the business community to reduce and improve their waste stream, specifically plastic products that affect human health. We strongly encourage businesses to seek ways to reduce waste and offer them resources to do so in a way that limits the impact to their bottom line.

 The Green Chamber’s mission is to make it cool and convenient to be green. We demonstrate this mission through our programs and policy efforts, to make it easier for businesses to implement sustainable choices.

 One of these tools, to help businesses reduce plastic waste and avoid green washing, is our Buyers’ Club. The Buyers’ Club is a carefully sourced collection of sustainable products that replaces some of the most common items that contribute to this issue. Examples are coffee cups, to go containers (such as clamshells) and to-go bags.

 The Green Chamber looks forward to continuing our efforts in improving the health of our community and being a resource for more businesses looking to reduce their plastic waste.”

The rule would target the foam packaging that has been at the forefront of environmental and public health concerns for decades, as it is not biodegradable and is made up of chemicals that are poisonous to humans and to animals.

Details would evolve through the public workshop and hearing process.

ABOUT THE NORTH FLORIDA GREEN CHAMBER COMMERCE

Welcome to The North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce (NFGCC) where being green is cool and convenient!  Today, more businesses than ever understand how critical it is to grow in ways that are sustainable financially, but also socially and environmentally. NFGCC is a 501(c)6 non-profit member organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla. and established in 2018 to advance sustainable business in Northeast Florida through networking, education, and advocacy. NFGCC is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and is a member of the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce. Visit www.northfloridagreenchamber.org.

New Member Spotlight: Tucker/Hall Takes the Pledge, Joins the Movement

By Alex Boyd

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (October 26, 2021) – The North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce, making it cool and convenient to be green, has announced that Tucker/Hall has joined the Green Chamber.

Tucker/Hall is a public relations and affairs firm that helps a company maintain their relationship with their public, especially during a crisis. Their main focuses are strategic planning, relevant issues, minimizing fallout from a crisis, and digital platform management. Tucker/Hall, founded in 1990, has become one of Florida’s largest and most respected public relations and affairs firms due to their diverse team, unstoppable vision, and strong core values.

Their office is located at 1301 Riverplace Blvd., Suite 1300 Jacksonville, FL., 32207 or there is a contact request form on their webpage, tuckerhall.com/contact-us/.

The Green Chamber is a regional networking organization for all sizes of businesses and community organizations including non-profits that emphasize green and sustainable business practices or would like to become more sustainable.

The Green Chamber has ongoing networking and educational events and benefits including the Tuesdays@2 monthly virtual meetings, a Buyers’ Club, Sustainability Coaches, the Solar Collective, job fairs, newsletter as well as sponsorship opportunities, discounts, awards, a mentoring program, and student chapter.

More information on Tucker/Hall can be found in the Green Marketplace at www.NorthFloridaGreenChamber.org.

(Alex Boyd is a student at the University of North Florida and Green Chamber communications intern.)

Natural Awakenings: Green Chamber is a Great Resource for Small Businesses

By Isabella Wiedecke

Special to Natural Awakenings

Small businesses often struggle with finding environmentally friendly products that are easily accessible to them. Time and resources can be tight for small business owners.

The North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce has put together a few simple and low-cost things you can do to boost your employee’s health and wellbeing which won’t take too much effort or break the bank.

Introducing healthy catering meetings and work get-togethers can really help to establish communication and comfortability throughout a business.

Promote standing and/or walking meetings to encourage a bit of extra physical activity throughout the day.

Simple things such as putting up encouraging and positive posters in the office with healthy tips can stimulate even the smallest change in a person’s mindset.

Even mapping out possible walking/running/cycling routes close by work can encourage lunchtime activity and movement throughout the workday.

Get to know your employees and use the skills and expertise within your own organization, you may well have someone who is keen on physical activity or meditation sessions that can help inspire other employees to do the same.

Look to healthier options when considering rewards and incentives for employees, for example, fruit baskets and gym vouchers to promote wellbeing.

The Green Chamber, a business network that promotes sustainable business practices, advises businesses in Northeast Florida to think about keeping quantities to a sensible level, like providing food and an option of non-alcoholic drinks.

Make known the safe options for transportation and promote a smoke free environment with the help of simple posters and the ‘my quit buddy’ app for employees who are struggling to stop.

The Green Chamber is a great resource that can help boost your employees’ wellbeing by bringing them together in a green and clean environment with various offers and opportunities.

“I think the best benefit they get is that they become part of a community, with other businesses that care about being green. It’s refreshing to know that there is a large group of people that feel the same way,” said Green Chamber Executive Director Christina Kelcourse.

The Green Chamber is a regional networking organization for all sizes of businesses and community organizations in Northeast Florida that are committed to green and sustainable business practices and support the growing Green Marketplace.

The Green Chamber has ongoing networking and educational events and benefits including the networking events, and virtual meetings, a Buyers’ Club, Sustainability Coaches, the Solar Collective, a Student Advisory Council, job fairs, newsletter as well as sponsorship opportunities, discounts, awards, and a mentoring program.

To learn more email contact@northfloridagreenchamber.org, call (904) 878-3474 or visit www.NorthFloridaGreenChamber.org.

(Isabella Wiedecke is a student at the University of North Florida and Green Chamber Communications intern.)

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